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Prix u19
Hos Geldiniz

Austria’s foremost computer competition for young people is about to get underway
A Golden Nica statuette, cash awards totaling € 10,000 and cool merchandise prizes are in store for the winners! Beginning January 10, entries can be submitted to the u19 freestyle computing competition.

Helping young people to bring their ideas to fruition and exhibit their work, and nurturing their abilities, creativity and inventiveness in working with modern technologies and new media is the mission of Prix Ars Electronica’s u19 freestyle computing category. Just as the name “freestyle computing” suggests, the spectrum of potential submissions is broad. And a perusal of the 1,103 entries in 2004 confirms that Austrian young people are giving free rein to their creativity. The list of past winners and recipients of Awards of Distinction and Honorary Mentions also displays great diversity, including groups of kids as well as individuals, primary school pupils and high school grads. The thematically wide-ranging creative encounter of Austrian youth with the kaleidoscope of modern technology is being played out in computer animation, robotics, Web design, interactive games and an array of other fields.
And the winner is … everybody!

u19 freestyle computing is meant to motivate, which is why all participants come out on top—every entrant gets individualized feedback from a jury of experts about his/her work as well as a free pass to Ars Electronica 2005. The grand prizewinner receives the Golden Nica and € 5,000 in cash, two Awards of Distinction are endowed with € 2,000 each, and 10 additional works are singled out for recognition with Honorary Mentions. The jury takes the particular entrant’s age into consideration, but as an added incentive for younger participants, special merchandise prizes are also awarded to two groups: kids up to age 10 and youngsters age 11-14. The awards ceremony will be held in conjunction with the Ars Electronica Festival in September 2005. The prizewinning works will go on display in the CyberArts 2005 Exhibition at the O.K Center for Contemporary Art in Linz and will also be featured in the annual Prix Ars Electronica catalog.

Contact and Information
Without a bit of bureaucracy and a few rules, it would hardly be possible to stage the Prix Ars Electronica’s u19 freestyle computing competition. But have no fear—we keep red tape to a bare minimum, and if you encounter difficulties, the Ars Electronica Center’s staff is always there to help. Entries can be submitted between January 10 and March 11. To receive a folder with details about the submission process, contact:

Gerlinde Pöschko
Ars Electronica Center
Hauptstraße 4
4040 Linz, Austria

For additional information, log on to www.u19.at

The Winning Projects in 2004

Golden Nica u19-freestyle computing
Thomas Winkler

The GPS application by Thomas Winkler is an adaptation of the classic game “Tron” for cell phones. In a very impressive performance, the 19-year-old from Hartberg, Styria expanded the game’s concept by adding levels of reality and virtuality that blend into the realm of augmented reality. In Thomas Winkler’s game, the player’s movements in real space, which are tracked by GPS and transmitted to the cell phone’s display, influence his/her position in the game. Each player is represented by a line that gets longer and longer. However, the player’s own line is not allowed to cross itself or the opponent’s line—if it does, that player loses. This is a game for two players—even those who are geographically distant from one another.

Award of Distinction u19 freestyle computing
Gottfried Haider

“radio2stream” transforms the radio signal of an analog antenna into an mp3 stream that can be received by several computers. The radio station to be tuned in is chosen in an online selection process. Gottfried Haider’s aim with this project was to establish a bridge between the radio and the PC, and to enable users to conveniently listen to the radio with their PCs, since some stations are not available online via stream. The voting system also yields a nice community feature.

Award of Distinction u19-freestyle computing
Manuel Fallmann
MINDistortion.tk - sanity is not statistical

Inspiration and ideas are lurking everywhere—on signs pointing the way to the emergency exit, on the way home on a rainy night, or perhaps just in songs that absolutely cry out to be used in a soundtrack. For a while now, visitors to the MINDistortion forum have been able to exchange ideas and experiences, and a small but dedicated community has formed. “Animotion,” a game that emerged as a spin-off of what began as a programming experiment, gives users the opportunity to try their hand at animation and enables them to save their creations online. Moreover, visitors to Manuel Fallmann’s website can also submit and display their own drawings and animated sequences. After all, the Internet is just full of such creative people…“Originally a little programming experiment” is how Manuel Fallmann describes the beginnings of the “Animotion” software. Later, he developed the tool further into an online animation program. Manuel Fallmann’s website is distinguished by its very interesting style and high level of creativity.

Award of Distinction u19 freestyle computing
Project Group of the Europahauptschule Hall in Tirol
Hos Geldiniz Avusturya

Time and time again, children whose families only recently moved to Austria are shunted off into special ed programs or even facilities to treat learning disabilities simply because these youngsters lack German language skills and despite the fact that their academic performance often would otherwise be superior to that of their fellow students who are native German speakers.
This CD is meant to help remedy this situation. Another aim of the project is to make an additional teaching aid available to instructors of German as a second language.
This learning CD is designed to give kids the opportunity to acquire the vocabulary necessary for (school)day-to-(school)day life and to self-test this new knowledge in a fun way. Furthermore, the ability to hear how the expressions are pronounced provides a way to get around reading problems. The production staff made a particular effort to make the testing process as entertaining as possible.
The vocabulary list is also available as a .pdf-file that can be printed out to enable pupils and teachers to utilize a hard copy of the material.

Award of Distinction u19 freestyle computing
David Haslinger
Es war einmal ein Mann...

David Haslinger’s project was an outgrowth of his encounter with the book “Kinderreime” (Children’s Rhymes). He got the idea of making a story out of his favorite rhyme, “Es war einmal ein Mann” (There once was a man…). He worked on this by searching for pictures in the Internet, printing them out, cutting them up and, finally, photographing them with a digital camera. The poem itself was recorded digitally. The result of a lot of painstaking work at the computer using this material and graphics processing software was a short film featuring the poem recited by David Haslinger and illustrated by the sequence of processed images.

For further inquiries please contact:

Wolfgang A. Bednarzek
Ars Electronica Center, Hauptstraße 2-4
4040 Linz, Austria

Tel.: 0043.732.7272.38
Mob.: 0043.664.81 26 156

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