The DIGI-ARTS team has pleasure in announcing the Prizewinner of the Digital Pluralism – UNESCO Digital Arts Award 2003.
The jury committee meeting was held at IAMAS (Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences, Japan) in Ogaki, Gifu Japan on 17, 18 July 2003 with the presence of the following jury members: Elaine Ng (President of Jury committee, Independent curator in contemporary and new media art, China), Ibrahima Ndiaye (Professor, Universite Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Senegal), Diana Domingues (Professor, University of Caxias do Sul, Brazil), Gerfried Stocker (Director, Ars Electronica, Austria), Azza El-Hassan (Independent filmmaker, Palestine), Itsuo Sakane (President Emeritus, IAMAS), Hiroshi Yoshioka (Professor, IAMAS), Kae Hirai* (Member of the Board of Directors, National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan), Christa Sommerer (Associate Professor, IAMAS), and Tereza Wagner (Deputy team leader, Digi-Arts Project, UNESCO Headquarters).
Out of the 122 high quality applications from 49 countries all over the world that we have received, the first prize goes to:
Mwanya Chanda, a 25 year old artist from Zambia. Mr. Chanda will receive US$5000 plus a six months artist-in-residency at IAMAS, during which he will complete his proposed project. His proposal centers around the use of internet-based technologies as communication tools, much as the African drum once allowed subtle long-distance communication between distant village communities. His “Caught in the Web” proposal is an ideal example of digital pluralism, starting from his ideas about communication within his country but being extended to multicultural level.
The second prize of US$3000 has been awarded to URTICA, an art and media research group from Serbia and Montenegro for their project entitled “Mouse Says: click! and Human Says: eek!”, a rather playful computer-based lexicon of what is described as “primal communication”.
The third prizewinner of US$2000 is Ms. Cobi Van Tonder from South Africa for “Ephemeral Gumboots”, which uses sensor-equipped rubber boots to illustrate digital variations in global music and dancing.
The jury has also decided to present eight honorary mentions to the following artists:
Ms. Andrea Polli (USA), Mr. Markku Reunanen (Finland), Mr. Hung Shek Ngan (Canada/Hong Kong), Mr. Jiro Ishihara (Japan), Ms. Kristi Trinier (Canada), Ms. Margaret Tan (Singapore), Mr. John Gerrard (Ireland) + Mr. Robert Praxmarer (Austria), and Mr. Padipark Mesomboonpoonsuk (United Arab Emirates).
Lastly, we would like to express our appreciation to all the applicants and the jury members who have contributed to making the UNESCO Digital Arts Award 2003 fruitful. We would also like to ask for future support for the following UNESCO Digital Arts Award 2004, to be held within the framework of ISEA 2004 in Stockholm, Tallinn, Helsinki on 14-22 August 2004.