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Art Awards For The Digital Age

Art Awards For The Digital Age

New Zealanders traditional view of art awards will be confronted tonight (March 22nd) with the unveiling of the finalists in the country’s first-ever national digital art awards.

The Vodafone Digital Art Awards, which are worth over $40,000 in cash prizes, are being vied for by both established and emerging digital artists.

Judges Tobias Berger, Susan Ballard and Steve Russell sorted through hundreds of entries to find the finalists in each category.

“As a new event, the Vodafone Digital Art Awards present a number of questions for judges and audiences alike. What defines digital art? And how might the categories Still Image, Moving Image, Net.Art and PXT/Video PXT be explored?

“At its biggest the work references our immersion in the digital age or at its smallest the work makes us pay attention to the digital building blocks of code.

“Either the digital makes the work happen, or the digital operates as a placeholder or methodology. Whatever their take, all the finalists included here succeed in negotiating the complex terrain of artmaking and the digital, and together their works begin to offer definitions within this emergent field,” says Judge Susan Ballard, who is currently doing her Ph.D in Digital and New media theory at the University of New South Wales.

37 finalists from four unique categories will be on show at Disrupt Gallery on Karangahape Road, Auckland and available to view on The categories are: Still Image, Moving Image, Net.Art and PXT/Video PXT.

The exhibition includes a range of works from digital sculptures of sheep’s head by Wanganui artist Brit Bunkley to a PXT of a sexy circus acrobat by Auckland artist Amber de Boer.

The exhibition will run from March 22nd to April 18th with the public able to view the works and vote for their favourite artwork by texting to shortcode ARTS (2787). The popular choice award is worth $10,000. …/2 - 2 -

“It’s the first year of the awards and we hope that they’ll help grow the digital art culture in New Zealand and establish a focus for digital artists here” says (General Manager, Company Relations) Lynley Kirk-Smith.

“We encourage people to come along to the exhibition and vote for their favourite work – so we’re asking the public to decide who gets the $10,000 for the Popular Choice Award” she says.

The finalists come from all over New Zealand including: Auckland, Wanganui, New Plymouth, Wellington and Dunedin.

Winners will be announced at Vodafone’s new building v.nue on May 12 2005.There are six prizes to be announced: The overall Vodafone Digital Art Award $15,000, the Popular Choice Award $10,000, and the winner of each category $4,000. Each winner will also receive a Vodafone live! GX30 handset.

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Editor’s notes: Tobias Berger, Artspace Director and curator, is one of New Zealand's leading authorities in contemporary art. He has been the director of Artspace, one of New Zealand's key contemporary public art institutions, since 2003 and from April 2005 he will be executive director of Para/Site Art Space in Hong Kong.

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.

Still Image Finalists: Ingrid Boberg, Brit Bunkley, Kylie Duncan, Yeoh Guan Hong, Dieneke Jansen, Sean Kerr, Campbell Kneale, Jacob Sua, Namalee Weeraskara, Marcus Williams.

Moving Image Finalists: Daniel Belton, Stella Brennan, Lang Ea, Catherine Haslam, Scott Heappey, Campbell Kneale, Louie Noble, Satpal Singh, Holly Shin finalists: James Charlton, Ian Clothier, Luke Duncalfe, Anna Gates, Adam Hyde and Honor Harger, Raewyn Turner and Colin Beardon and Nicholas Spratt.

PXT/Video PXT finalists: Jacob Barratt-Boyes, Amber de Boer, Julian Brown, Matthew Hogg, Saliesh Khandu, CK Reynolds, David Tetava, Jayson Thomas, Kylie Willett

Disrupt Gallery is open from 10-6pm on weekdays and 11-3 on Saturday and Sunday.

© Scoop Media

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