The exhibition of the works created by the five finalists of the Sonae Media Art Award 2017 will have its opening on the 22nd November, at 7:00 pm, and will remain, until the 1st April, at MNAC – Museu do Chiado, the institution that organises the contest in partnership with Sonae.
Sonae Media Art Award is the biggest Portuguese project to encourage art production in the field of new media, favouring the artistic work based on the intersection of disciplines.
Worth 40,000 euros, the Award remains loyal to the postulates defined upon its creation, of complete openness to all creators upto 40 years of age, national or foreign citizens living in Portugal.
The choice of the five artists, André Martins, André Sier, Nuno Lacerda, Rodrigo Gomes and Sofia Caetano, was made by a selected jury composed of Teresa Cruz (researcher, Media and Contemporary Art expert and lecturer), António Sousa Dias (composer, researcher in the fields of Multimedia and Installation and lecturer) and Adelaide Ginga (curator and art historian), who assessed 147 applications based on the analysis of previous works, favouring not only the cross-disciplinary dynamics shown on their artistic paths, but also conceptual quality, project innovation and understanding of the media art concept.
The collective exhibition of the finalists is a very relevant stage of the project, which culminates in the presentation of the Sonae Media Art Award to the winning artist, chosen by the jury composed of Filipa Oliveira (curator and current artistic director at Fórum Eugénio de Almeida, in Évora), Nuno Crespo (lecturer and researcher in the fields of Aesthetics, Art Theory and Critique, Architecture and Philosophy) and Ramus Vestergaard (diretor and head curator at DIAS – Digital Interactive Art Space, the first Danish kunsthalle specifically focused on media art and digital art).
The decision on who's the winner will be announced on the 6th December 2017.
On the first edition, in 2015, Portuguese artist Tatiana Macedo was the winner of the Sonae Media Art Award, with the work "1989”, which explored film and video, through a triple projection with space sound, in a personal and sensitive way, connecting the individual and the political.
5 PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN WORKS ON EXHIBITION
ANDRÉ MARTINS – MEMORIAL
Video projection of online project.
Memorial Feed is an online feed, constantly updated, of memorialised accounts that exist on Facebook.
Memorialised accounts are a way for people on Facebook to be able to remember and celebrate those who have died.
An account can only be transformed into a Memorial through a request to Facebook by relatives or close friends and through a document confirming death, requesting the continuation of the deceased person's account.
Memorialised accounts are a recreation of the celebration of death consolidated virtually through the continuity of an online existence beyond death, in a digital medium where profile pictures of the person who died are kept as well as the possibility of linking to the webpages with all the existing information, ensuring thus the perpetuation of his or her virtual presence in a digital global cemetery with no hierarchy, dematerialised, presentified, and where all responsibility for capturing profiles is randomly delegated on a web crawler.
ANDRÉ SIER – WOLFANDDOTCOM, 2017
Atmospheric vigeogame in a local network with interactive electronic sculptures, two single-channel video projections, two stereo audio installations, three iron and electronics sculptures, three computers.
Wolfanddotcom is a unique interactive audiovisual environment network which synchronises two players in a single virtual space generated and shared by the computers. The virtual game space of the work combines the imagery of virtual living experiences with wolves in a dystopian near future, after the eventual extinction of mankind. The wolves in this work seek to rebuild a virtual cybernetic network between them in the game's space that may provide the continuity of life on the planet. The recreation of an internet by these animals in a post-apocalyptic future is the piece's central theme. The piece works like a dynamic and interactive painting of a network that shook space and changed the way one lives on the planet. Wolves, social animals, that hunt in packs or venture out in wild and lonely grounds, are among animal predators that survive this virtual apocalypse filled with ruins, and must rebuild a network between them to maintain hope of life on Earth.
NUNO LACERDA – SAMARRA, 2017
Interactive installation with optical mouse and HD video projection, stereo sound.
Samarra is the name of a small beach, hard to reach and thus, kept in a sort of wild state, located on the plateau of S.João das Lampas, on the northwest coast of Sintra.
This scenario, which the artist initially thought strange, thus neutral from that point of view, gradually became an object of thorough recognition, registration of experiences and memories, and it is on this familiarity built throughout time that multiple narratives are registered in video, where a human figure, the author, films himself in several different locations.
The different images captured through time are edited and pasted in juxtaposition, building a puzzle that allows different readings. Through a pointing device (mouse) the observer/visitor may interact with the projection, establishing a path through the different videos and taking a hypothetical control over the actions that occur.
RODRIGO GOMES – ESTIVADOR DE IMAGENS, 2017
Audiovisual sculpture, composed of four mirrors, four acrylic tubes, an acrylic board, four speakers.
Video projection (HD), colour, space sound, 11'59''.
Estivador de Imagens is a bombing simulator. The piece is divided in three surfaces: a large mirror serves as the base for four plated tubes which support two other surfaces. One made of wood, creating an irregular grid, and a third one made of corrugated acrylic which fits into the previous one. Inside each tube, four speakers make sounds that propagate and creat vibrations along the whole piece.
On the sculpture's surfaces images are projected, creating a propagation, reflection and refraction game.
The content of the projected images is based on footage of war drones, simulating a battle scene. The intervals that characterise the grid on the wooden surface are like targets. The projection emits "shots” with interval precision, joined by the sound that comes out of the tubes after each shot.
In War at a Distance (2003) by Harun Farocki ‘The image is no longer used as a witness only, but also as an essential link in a production and destruction process’. (Farocki, 2003)
SOFIA CAETANO – GOD, 2017
Interactive multimedia installation, composed of seven colour photographs, an acrylic structure printed in 3D, tower and button, and three video overhead projections (HD), from the digitalisation of a 16 mm film, colour, sound (stereo), 4’.
GOD is a multimedia installation, whose scenario recreates the atmosphere of a spaceship, bordered by a wall at the end that resembles a shrine and by a set of seven photo prints concerning the video's contents. The prints visually form a strip that unites the ceiling, the floor and the two side walls, in continuos reading.
At the centre, a hallway flanked by lights controlled by motion sensors projects the visitors' shadows on the walls as they walk to the "shrine” where there is a tower/button with the word "GOD”.
The installation allows participants to play an active role when they press the button which activates the projection of a film that shows on three screens conceived so that they involve the observer's peripheral vision, stressing the immersion of this space.
The contents are based on Genesis, which is recreated here in a scientific anticipation environment, through 16 mm films, remixed and converted to digital, which take us to the cinematic imagery of experimental filmmakers from the 60s and 70s.