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Vodafone Launches National Digital Art Awards

Challenging New Zealand Art

Vodafone Launches National Digital Art Awards

New Zealand’s first-ever national digital art awards are being launched today (Thursday 1st July 2004) with a promise to confront the boundaries of traditional art.

The Vodafone Digital Art Awards – offering more than $40,000 in prizes - invites artists to unleash their creativity by submitting work in four unique digital categories; Still Image, Moving Image, Net Art and PXT/Video PXT.

Leading New Zealand contemporary art professional’s Tobias Berger, Steve Russell and Susan Ballard will be judging entrants on their creative and technical ability as well as their interpretation of the theme; interface/interspace.

The theme explores the role of technology in not only blurring old boundaries, but removing them altogether. This is creating a new social and workplace environment and changing the way people communicate with each other.

The overall winner will receive $15,000, the Popular Choice Award winner $10,000 and each of the four category winners will receive $4,000 each.

The ten finalists in each category will be exhibited in Auckland in early 2005 before announcing the winner at Vodafone’s state-of-the-art new building in May 2005.

“We’re launching the Vodafone Digital Art Awards to show our committment to supporting and encouraging innovation in New Zealand, “ said Lynley Kirk-Smith General Manager of Sponsorship & Company Communications. 2- “Digital works are at the cutting-edge of art and technology and we’d like to promote this leading up and coming medium.”

“National recognition of this field of art is long overdue – we’re encouraging all artists to enter these nationwide awards, including professional artists, tertiary students and those specializing in technology,” said Kirk-Smith.

The closing date for entries is 5pm Friday 10 December 2004. Full entry details can be found at http://www.vodafone.co.nz

Editor’s notes:

Tobias Berger, Artspace Director and curator, is one of New Zealand's leading authorities in contemporary art. Born in Germany, he completed his masters in Art History before professionally training as a curator in the Netherlands. He has been the director of Artspace, one of New Zealand's key contemporary public art institutions, since 2003 and is currently the commissioner for the New Zealand contribution at the Sao Paulo Biennial 2004.

Steve Russell is the manager of the newly opened New Zealand Film Archive Mediaplex in Wellington. He has extensive experience in the area of non-theatrical film exhibition and distribution. He organizes the Archive’s annual public programme of screening, exhibits and associated activity. Prior to working at the NZFA, he was the Assistant Director of the Wellington and Auckland Film Festivals from 1990-1996.

Susan Ballard is an artist, writer and musician whose expertise covers the broad field of new media art with a particular emphasis on digital art installation from New Zealand and Australia. Susan is a senior lecturer in Art Theory at the School of Art in Dunedin, currently doing her PH.D in Digital and New Media Theory at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales.

The Vodafone Digital Art Awards will help celebrate the company’s move to its new building v.nue in Fanshawe st, Auckland which is currently under construction. v.nue will not only be a place for employees, but also a visible reflection of Vodafone’s culture and brand where staff will be moving towards the office of the future; with increased mobility and flexibility in the work space.

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