The transmediale award is dedicated to current positions in digital arts and media. It is an open competition, where artists are invitded to enter with their current work. The jury of this year's award competition consisted of Kazunao Abe (Yamaguchi/Japan), Marcos Boffa (Belo Horizonte/Brazil), Nuria Enguita (Barcelona/Spain), Honor Harger (Newcastle/Great Britain) and Christian Hübler (Zurich/Switzerland). The jury nominated the art works described here for the transmediale.06 prize, which will be awarded on February 6 at 20h. in addition, the jury awarded a number of Honourable Mentions. Excerpts of the statement of the jury are available on the following pages. The complete statement and the German translation can be found at www.transmediale.de. On Monday, February 6 at 13h the nominated works will be presented in the Studio of the Akademie der Künste. Jury Statement. The transmediale.06 (...) shied away from awarding work which displayed the overt clichés of interactive art (mainly determined by the technology of the interface), favouring pieces which possessed a conceptual rigour. An acute dread of what some of us referred to as 'New Mania' permeated our considerations, and impelled us to seek works which transcended their medium and spoke: to us simply, powerfully, and with intelligence. We sought the rationale, and the subject of the work, not merely the tools it needed to manifest itself The elusive qualities of playfulness, precision and revelation were intermittent at best. Competencies and curiosities were abound, but relatively few works astounded us. It seems that 'art and media' (artistié practise through/ with.media/medialities), a term that we prefer, to'use instead Of 'media art', is currently trying to take account of its own historical context. In this light, : it was perhaps inescapable that many of the pieces which lured us echoed former eras of artistic practice. We noted, for instance, the emergence of a nouveau 'modernism', with many artists exhibiting new interpretations of romanticism and austere minimalism, reminiscent of the epic modernist urges of 1950s and 60s. And yet, we still, felt ourselves desiring experimentation, accuracy, inquisitiveness.Whilst a reflection of art historical practice is welcome, we still felt the need for surprise. We awaited work which showed a, historical awareness, but was at the same time cleverly located in a contemporary context. There is a need to rethink the status of this expansive field we call 'art and media', The 999 submissions received by transmediale exhibited the genre's characteristic miscellany, with an amalgam of performance, music, painting, photography, video, installation, software, connected only by an often arbitrary deployment of technology. What we miss is something which moves on from the so-called pioneer phase' of new media, which has So exemplified festivals and exhibitions of recent years. We, missthe next step, And yet the works we honour in this' year's prize, in their precision and certainty, possess an : intimation at where this next stride may take us. We were looking for artistic positions which despite the unstable context of media are struggling for a position of their own in contemporary art practice. Works which resist the utilitarian expectations of a technologically determined, specialised new media art', and which on the other hand are able to articulate the obstinacies and interspaces of media technologies.as a means and a source of: inspiration. Unlike much of what we have seen in 'art and media'.over the last years, artists should be better able to distinguish between an aesthetics of production and an aesthetics of.reception. They should also be aware that a media-enabled expansion of the spaces where art is shown does not always also mean an expanded: audience, but an investigation of how in these new spaces artistic conceptualisation and production can address new publics, infiltrate and transcode power structures and develop alternative forrps of authorships and emancipatory forms of media usage. These are often works which build on the history and developments of processual, time-: based arts, which take the experiences of conceptual art, intermedia, context art, net art and code art into account, and which are thus also able to transgress these. The awarded works (.. ) showed that an artistic practice can address transdisciplinary themes and questions in a way that is both fictitious and challenging borders, a way that is so often lacking from the projects submitted by artists tied up in academic and scientific institutions, restricted by research quotas and institutional agendas. (..,) We hope that the transmediale competition can continue to develop a profile that positions it in relation to contemporary art, and that offers.possibilities of identification and translation for a broader public, in Order to also \ attract artists who are at home in the traditional art scene. Besides the geographical reach, this reach into the field of contemporary art production is probably the biggest challenge for transmediale, and for media art in genef.al. The label of a digital culture, which also adorns the festival, might easily lead into the dead end street of a j designer socialism and creative industries. The path along the borders of art remains a difficult one, and worthwhile.
Kazunao Abe, Marcos Boffa, Honor.Harger, Christian Huebler, Nuria Enguita Mayo