The weather in Madrid was nice and mild, perfect to receive all the representatives from the art world at large gathered around the International Contemporary Art Fair ARCO.
Our community was also there. The moment had come to decide who would receive the 20,000.00 and 10,000.00 Euros for the best internet-related art and research project. The winner of the ARANEUM prize, organized by the Spanish ministry of Science and Technology in collaboration with the ARCO foundation, coordinated by LaAgencia, was about to be revealed.
Rachel arrived on Thursday morning. In the afternoon, Vicente picked up Olia from the airport and drove her straight to the ARCO offices. Rachel, Jose Luis Brea and Juan Manuel Bonet (director of the National Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid) were already there. Rachel and Olia did a wonderful job adapting themselves immediately to the Spanish schedule: a meeting that starts at 7pm.
The decision was made but we all had to keep ourselves from talking until Saturday.
On Saturday 14, 2004, Vicente introduced Rachel, Olia, Jose Luis and Jorge Pérez Martínez (Director General for the Development of the Information Society of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology) to the press. Some familiar faces like Roberta Bosco and Stefano Caldana were also there. Speeches on the relevance of this prize in the current local and global contexts led to the announcement of the winners:
10,000.00 Euros to develop the best research project on Internet creativity will go to Geert Lovink. The essay that we will be enjoying a year from now is: Open Sources, Open Borders-Issues in Global Internet Culture. It will explore the uncertainties of an unequal global society gathering online; topics include: Alternatives in global governance; ICT in India; OneWorld, an NGO-Dotcom?; ABC of Webjournals; Web Design: the first Decade; Cellspace Explorations; Movement Strategies.
20,000.00 Euros for the creation of an Internet related art project will be received by Jonah Brucker-Cohen and Katherine Moriwaki. As of December 1 2004 we will be able to explore the coincidences of need proposed by Umbrella.net (http://www.undertheumbrella.net). The project aims at highlighting
connections in public spaces by creating a system of ad-hoc network nodes that can spontaneously form and dissipate based on changing weather conditions and crowd formations.
That evening Vicente had organized THE party in the new 250 sq. meter space that will now house LaAgencia. It was an event full of new creativity, music, video and blinking lights that brought together all the energy that has defined their projects and collaborations since 1998.
We celebrated LaAgencias 5th anniversary, the new space, ARANEUM. The evening also served to showcase LaAgencias newest project – Trans-E, to be presented during the International Benicassim Festival in August. The highlight of this event will be SV2, a streaming software, fresh from the Mexican UNAM, intended for the omnipresence of our community; it was be tested on Saturday, bringing Barcelonas Optiq_Syndicate and NYCs Volume to Madrid. The magic of the evening was provided by the physical and virtual presence of Good Mood, Frecuencia Electronica, FakeShop, Arcangel Constantini, Area3, Igor Stromajer, FakeShop and other usual – and new – suspects.