Int’l Digital Art Awards of Melbourne Australia

North-South-East-West wins 1st Place Digital Art Award Australia, February 2004.

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North-South-East-West  wins the First Place Major New Media Award at the International Digital Art Awards of Melbourne Australia,  February 2004.

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International Digital Art Awards, Founded by Steve Danzig

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Steve Danzig IDAA & IDA projects History

This project began in New York 1999 where I was researching graphical interface protocol for online networks. During this time, I met Laurence Gartel who had worked at the Experimental Television Centre (E.T.C.) in New York with Nam June Paik researching early video paintbox systems in the mid 1970’s. Gartel and I discussed the idea of digital art and how we could create and merge virtual and physical exhibition environments whilst building an online portal and resource for digital art.

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So I set about designing a framework for new connections in the fields of academia, emerging technologies and professional art practice via the World Wide Web officially launching the original project name of International Digital Art Awards (IDAA). We were not the first to exhibit online, however we were the first to set up infrastructure for both virtual and physical exhibitions that were supported by traditional programming frameworks. This saw the foundation of the first lDAA exhibition committee to facilitate in the selecting of work via an online review process. In hindsight the early years were in part about how we engaged new thinking models around technology, digital aesthetics, memetics and cyber-culture over and above any deliberate act of presenting an exhibition of digital art. It was about how anv infrastructure could be set up to coexist and maintain professional standards in display, and documentation whilst providing an avenue for cross cultural exchange in a virtual and physical space. As we were part of a “new” emerging digital time line, it was important that our programming was inclusive of the early digital forms (generative, fractal, paintbox and video). We included early pioneers such as Jean Pierre Herbet, Manfred Mohr, David Em and Laurence Gartel to mention just a few to sit alongside emerging artists. This provided an important platform to open a dialogue about metadata, how it related to mass media and culture as a comparative document to new technologies and the digital aesthetic. It wasn’t until 2005 that we included a full program of new media and time based art. This was partly predicated by the institutions we were working with and what technologies were available. This meant there were significant design concessions to tailor our exhibitions to suit small, medium and large spaces.

New Media winners

1st place: Graham Thompson
/ NORTH-SOUTH-EAST-WEST
<http://medicine-wheel.co>
PRIZE: Macromedia Studio; MX 2004

2nd place: zsd
/ untitled
PRIZE: Macromedia Director; MX 2004

3rd place: Miah Morshed & Soma Ray
/ Gravity
<http://www.projectmiso.com/artwork/gravity.html>
PRIZE: Macromedia Flash; MX 2004

Still Image winners

1st place: Anne Maree Taranto (Australia)
AMT
PRIZE: Minolta A1 digital camera; Canto Software; Best Software; Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

2nd place: Jiri David
/ ANAN /Blair /Bush /Chirac
PRIZES: Minolta F300 digital camera; Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

3rd place: Sabrina Raaf
/ Never Alone
PRIZES: Minolta F200 digital camera; Terry’s Toffees (as selected
by Terry); Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

4th place: Ray Caesar
/ Companion
PRIZES: Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

5th place: Magdalena Kourti
/ Birth of Wave
PRIZES: ADOBE Creative Suite (Adobe Achievement Award); Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

6th place: Reinhardt Sobye
/ 1961
PRIZES: Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

7th place: Leah King-Smith (Australia)
/ Look Up
PRIZES: Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

8th place: Richard Wazejewski
/ Opus Pocus I, II & III
PRIZES: Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

9th place: Ian Gwilt (Australia)
/ Storage Space
PRIZES: Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

10th place: Ricardo Báez-Duarte
/ H
PRIZES: Desktop magazine; IDAA exhibition; Dimi subscription

Juror’s Statements

JOHN ANTIONE LABADIE,
Associate Professor of Art, Director, Digital Academy
University of North Carolina Pembroke

In the three years I have served a a juror for the IDAA the quality of the    online submissions has risen steadily each year. Let me qualify this statement:    not only has the digital-technical proficiency evidenced by the IDAA entrants    observably increased with each iteration of this worldwide exhibition, the    originality of the pieces submitted for jurying has also soared to new heights    and dimensions. IMHO the 2004 IDAA exhibition represents the very best to    be seen in contemporary digital fine arts across a wide range of genre in    both still and time-based media. The 2004 IDAA is a “must see” exhibition    for all those who seek to understand what happens when talented people choose    digital tools to as a primary means to make their art.

LAURANCE GARTEL,
PRINCIPAL  JUROR/DIGITAL PIONEER, LAURENCE GARTEL AWARD FOR DIGITAL EXCELLENCE

The winning imagists have translated the digital process into a hyper elevated
medium. The words “ULTRA KOOL” seem to fall of the tip of my tongue.    And what
a delicacy it is indeed. It seems that our post 9/11 society has felt so much    that
our outer skin is teflon: The images unstoppable. They have felt so much that    the
emotional impact these images give off cannot be “penentratable.”    The beauty here
is that whether it be an abstract image by Nick Karlovich, to the surrealistic    image
of Ray Caesar, these images show perfection. As I wrestled with Sabrina Raaf’s
bathroom pictures looking for “something wrong with her picture”    I just couldn’t
find it! All made perfect sense, in a perfect world. The “cherry on the    sundae” for
me was Juri David’s portraits. WHY in any other moment of time, would anyone
care about a picture of a president in such disdain? It is a brilliant execution    to see
the man we love to hate. “Globalness” and “Americanizing the    World” brings back
nightmare’s of George Orwell’s 1984. Ian Gwilt’s image “Pool Elevate”    summarizes
the entries of the IDAA and that state of affairs, at least from a public    relations
point of view. – “We live in a perfect world.”

While I expected to see artists fighting back with anger and hostility due    to our
global economy, instead we see resilience and courage. It is a great surprise    and
tribute to all contributors to this years IDAA, stating, that “no body    is going down
without a fight.” That artists will continue to make real art through    hard political
and economic times. John Vucic-Wolfpup’s apocalyptic ending “Desire is    Suffering”
is one of the few works that follows my own world sensibilities to which I    would
expect others to share. However Wolfpup’s cool colors, illustrate our defiance.
In summary, this year’s IDAA announces to the world, that the digital genre    is
more than thriving, and that the medium can make humane statements above and    beyond
all art forms.

I salute all those that have participated in the creative process, the selection,    and
for those that gave their spirit in the struggle to be heard.

TOM CHAMBERS,
CO DIRECTOR IDAA NEW MEDIA

TomChambers.com

IDAA PRINT:
“A    sweeping view of this year’s IDAA reveals mainly a figurative approach concomitant    with photo-based and manipulative expression as a part of the digital medium    that rivals the same in other media. Abstraction and Abstract Expressionism    are alive and well within various works that also rival these movements in    other media. As an overview, the exhibition confirms that the digital medium    is indeed “Fine” as it relates to the Arts and in some instances,    surpasses other media according to the ability of the creator. In the hands    of a “Master” and evidently seen in many of the works as a part    of this IDAA, the digital medium is playing a viable and vital role in redefining  and/or expanding the artist’s tools for self-expression. As the view is narrowed or focused per work, a great deal of evocation or imaginative re-creation is felt. This is due to the multifaceted nature of the digital medium and how its diverseness is interpreted and utilized. The IDAA 2004 is all of this and possibly more.“

IDAA    NEW MEDIA:
“From Joaquin Baron Herranz’s ‘How To Make  A Possible Perfect Christmas Tree’ to Graham Thompson’s ‘North-South-East-West’, the New Media section of the IDAA 2004 comprises a good range of movement/sequential-art, which sometimes require participation to move the meaning along. Videos via QuickTime, Flash and series of Web pages project the artists’ concepts at a level of expression that equate with installation/experimental art in real space. The New Media entries this year go beyond mere technical wizardry to move towards a level of evocation that can be called Fine Art.”

VICKI McCONVILLE,
Visual Artist, Board of Directors, NAVA (National Association for the Visual Arts) Australia

As an Artist and as a Juror, it has been inspirational to see the development    of the International Digital Art Award over the past three years. The quality    and depth of the work submitted, not to mention the volume of work submitted, has increased immeasurably.

The 2004 IDAA indicates a shift in style and direction and I am pleased to    see the exceptional work being produced in both contemporary digital printmaking    as well as the inclusion of new media works. Congratulations to
all of our exhibitors in the 2004 IDAA.

WAYNE J COSSHALL,
Assistant Director IDAA/CO-Director New Media, Editor,Writer, Co-Founder Digital Art Association Australia

The 2004 IDAA represents a significant stage in the IDAA’s development. Firstly,    the incorporation of a good body of work in the IDAA New Media section nicely    compliments and contrasts with the IDAA Still Image section. Since contemporary   digital art practice covers both areas, it not only makes the IDAA a more  representational living documentation of the state of digital art practice    in 2004, but also allows viewers to make their own, interesting connections    between the two. The IDAA Still Image section raises the quality bar yet again    and is the strongest IDAA yet from a fine art perspective. It heartens me    that, yet again, all areas of digital still image art practice are represented    and you will find examples of the best digital art in each category and style. It shows that no one area of digital practice, such as 3D, has become the  dominant voice of digital still image. This diversity of approach is the strength    of digital art practice and provides a rich ground for cross-fertilization    and the continuing development of digital art. My thanks to everyone who entered    and my congratulations to everyone accepted to the list of finalists. You    can rightly feel that your work has been judged against some of the best digital    art internationally, and been found comparable.
Wayne J. Cosshall, Assistant Director, IDAA

Digital Giraffe California, Site of the Month

North-South-East-West at Digital Giraffe of California, January 2004.

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Thompson’s North-South-East-West  was Site of the Month at the technology web site the Digital Giraffe of California in January 2004.

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The Digital Giraffe

Corinne Whitaker founder of the Digital Giraffe in 1994, an online monthly art journal, is an American artist who works in digital imaging and digital sculpture.  Her work has been exhibited at the Biennale International Art Exhibition in Florence Italy, Austin Museum of Digital Art,  the Ansel Adams Center in San Francisco, the Peninsula Museum of Art in Burlingame,  the United States Biennale in New York City, the Evolve the Gallery in Sacramento, California,  the New York Digital Salon/Visual Arts Museum, the Centre for Photography as an Art-Form Bombay India,  the Atelier Nord Electronic Gallery Norway, the Cyberkind Electronic Journal, the Brandstater Gallery Riverside California, the Lightfantastic Gallery Michigan State University, the Institute for Design and Experimental Art Sacramento, the Museum of Art California, the Kansas City Art Institute Missouri, the Festival Internazionale di Computer Art Riccione Italy, and the John Michael Kohler Art Center Gallery,Wisconsin.

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“Creating 3 dimensional forms electronically has been a holy grail for artists since Macintosh recreated the desktop in 1984. Parallel processing, multi-tasking, faster clock speeds and ever more powerful computers have finally brought us within reach of that goal. As is often the case, artists had to wait for technology to catch up with their visions.” … Corinne Whitaker

Trinity Square Video, Toronto

North-South-East-West at Trinity Square Video, Toronto Canada, October 2004.

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The North-South-East-West , inspired by the traditional knowledge of the Anishinaabe People, was presented by Trinity Square Video from October 2 – 31, 2004 in conjunction with the ImagineNative Film + Media Arts Festival of Toronto from Oct 21-23, 2004.

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Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge by Aubrey Reeves, Programming Director
Trinity Square Video

Inspired by the four sacred directions, as taught by the Anishinaabe peoples of North America, Thompson’s North-South-East-West video installation is concerned with enhancing our emotional connection to the earth through the use of digital technology. Thompson states that his “desired effect of providing ancient stories in the context of a modern technological environment was an effort to show the relevance of aboriginal traditional knowledge to our contemporary society. By popularizing the ancient themes 1 am hoping to re-frame our modern “Canadian” experience as part of a much older Aboriginal culture that has been here in North America for thousands of years, and to offer the “old ways” as a contemporary solution for modern humans to reconnect to the earth and find peace with their environment.”

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Thompson does not see ancient culture and digital culture as necessarily at odds, but two worlds that can be positively fused. Like any other artist working in new media, ‘Thompson’s artistic choices are informed by technological parameters. For instance, he is limited by the “software/hardware involved in presenting text, images, sound or video on internet display devices – such as flat screen monitors or traditional video displays  that try to satisfy user desire for scaleable fonts, quick scannable text, speedy delivery and simplicity of design.”

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Yet at the same time, Thompson allows traditional knowledge to shape his approach to technology. Using multiple television screens, projected video images and an interactive Flash CD-ROM, Thompson transforms the gallery into a meditative atmosphere where we float from one vision to another on our collective journey. This format is configured based on two Aboriginal traditions, that of the Sweat Lodge Ceremony and the Healing Circle Ceremony. He translates the experiences and themes from these ceremonies into the format of new media, thus making it more accessible to a potential audience who is unfamiliar with Anishinaabe traditions.

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Thompson explains his adaptation of traditional ceremonies to new media as such: “By also thinking of these two ceremonies as points of reference for the new media installation in general, multiple monitors and computers were used in an effort to recreate the hypnotic environment of sweat or the immersive interpersonal space of the healing circle. The use of repetition of audio-visual themes on overlapping displays allows for the creation of an audio-visual space that engages the audience in a complex environment of sounds and images – in order to provoke a feeling of belongingness and inclusion, and a feeling of shared experience.”

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Thompson designed North-South-East-West as “a ceremonial experience that permitted self-reflection and examination of one’s life stages and to explore our spiritual and psychological relations to the earth.” He examines our life cycle in terms of four challenges: the challenge to survive; to find a vision; to find a path; and to learn wisdom. The viewer is carried in a circle from East to North, moving through seasons, personalities and stages of life. Thompson emphasizes that all people, no matter what age, race or culture, “face very similar challenges in life.” It is his aspiration that North-South-East-West can aid viewers on their own paths along the four directions, four seasons and four challenges of life and the installation can eventually help them to arrive at a final place of wisdom, so that ultimately “they may communicate it to others.”

PRESS RELEASE: Ancient Wisdom Meets New Technology

September 28, 2004 ImagineNative Film + Media Arts Festival and Trinity
Square Video (TSV) are proud to co-present the Toronto premiere of Graham
Thompson’s new media installation North-South-East-West at the TSV
Gallery from October 6 – 23, 2004. Inspired by the four sacred directions,as
taught by the Anishinaabe peoples of North America, North-South-East-West
2.0 is concerned with enhancing our emotional connection to the earth
through the use of digital technology.

The artwork consists of a video installation and an interactive CD-ROM Flash
presentation that examines our life cycle in terms of four challenges: the
challenge to survive; to find a vision; to find a path; and to learn wisdom.
In North-South-East-West 2.0, ancient knowledge meets new technology, making
the point that living, itself, is a work of art. The viewer is carried in a
circle from East to North, moving through seasons, personalities, and stages
of life.

Thompson has an optimistic belief in the ability of technology to bring
people together. Trained as a graphic designer, Thompson is also a member of
the Metis Nation of British Columbia. This background has encouraged him to
see ancient wisdom and digital culture as realms that can be positively
fused rather than as two opposing worlds. Using multimedia, he transforms
the gallery into a meditative atmosphere where we float from one vision to
another on our collective journey.

The artist will give a lecture at TSV about his work, the four sacred directions, and the fusion of traditional and digital culture on Friday October 22, at 7 pm, followed by an ImagineNative Festival Party.

The ImagineNative Film + Media Arts Festival runs October 20 ­ 24, 2004. See http://www.imaginenative.org for details.

Trinity Square Video Gallery
401 Richmond St. West, suite 376
Hours: Monday ­ Friday, 10 am ­ 6 pm
Special Festival Hours on Saturday October 23, 12 ­ 5 pm.
http://www.trinitysquarevideo.com
Media Contacts:

Aubrey Reeves, Programming Director
Trinity Square Video
416. 593.1332 aubrey@…
http://www.trinitysquarevideo.com

Wanda Nanibush, Festival Co-ordinator
ImagineNative Film + Media Arts Festival
416. 585.2333 info@…
http://www.imaginenative.org

‘Technography’ New Forms Festival, Vancouver

North-South-East-West at New Forms Festival in Vancouver Canada,  September 2004.

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North-South-East-West video installation with Metis storyteller was presented at ‘Technography’ the September 2004 New Forms Festival in Vancouver Canada.

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New Forms Festival Presentation

North-South-East-West (NSEW), the new media installation is concerned with enhancing our emotional connection to the earth by creating an immersive audio-visual environment that includes video monitors, DVD players, computer workstations and interactive CDROMs. The installation will carry its ecological message this year to SAW Video Media Arts Centre of Ottawa, Trinity Square Video of Toronto, Pilot TV the experimental media festival of Chicago and the ImagineNative Film and Media Arts Festival of Toronto

NSEW, which began with the support of the ED Video Media Arts Centre of Guelph in 2003, was researched through reading The Ojibway Heritage (Johnston) and Reading Rock Art: Interpreting the Indian Rock Paintings of the Canadian Shield (Rajnovich) and through participation in Sweat Lodge, Pow Wow and Healing Circle ceremonies in the Ottawa valley.

NSEW was established by cross-referencing themes founds in the above resources and mapping them into a grid as four directions, four seasons, four stages of life and the daily procession of the sun as shown in table 1.

East

South

West

North

Spring

Summer

Autumn

Winter

Childhood

Youth

Adulthood

Old Age

Sunrise

Noon

Sunset

Evening

Table 1: Matrix of directions, seasons, sun position and stages of life.

Through this matrix, I related the stages of our lives to our geography and climate, and then developed NSEW as a personal look at our circumstances both in a descriptive and interpretive sense. The Flash animations, streaming videos and new media installations present personal statements about our life as well as interpretations of these testimonies in terms of geographic and climatic points of reference.

NSEW is also an effort to show the relevance of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge to our contemporary society. By popularizing the ancient themes, I am hoping to reframe our modern Canadian experience as part of a much older Aboriginal Culture and to offer the “old ways” as a solution to our ecological problems, by encouraging communities to find peace with their environment rather than destroy it.

The Circle

In North-South-East-West, the Flash animation, the interface is based on the circle, as in the sitting arrangements found in the sweat lodge and the healing circle ceremonies of the Anishinaabe Peoples. As shown below, the interface is ringed by 4 groups of links labeled within the categories “North,” “South,” “East” and “West.”

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Hypnotic Environment of the Sweat Lodge

NSEW tries to recreate the hypnotic environment of the sweat lodge, by emulating the atmosphere of chanting and repetitive rhythms of rattles within the darkness of the lodge through the use of multiple video monitors and sound tracks within a darken gallery setting. The repetition of audio-visual themes on overlapping displays for the creation of an audio-visual space that engages the audience in a complex environment of sounds and images, in order to provoke a feeling of belongingness and inclusion, and a feeling of shared experience similar to the immersive interpersonal space of the healing circle.

North-South-East-West was in short designed to create a ceremonial experience that permitted self-reflection and examination of ones life stages and to explore our spiritual and psychological relations to the earth.

 

 

Metis Director Wins European Film Award

CanadExport features European Prize: Media Artist Wins Serbian Film Award, 2004.

Vol 21 No 21 Eng

International Trade Canada’s Journal CanadExport notes European Prize: Métis New Media Artist Wins Serbian Film Award, November 2004.

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Canadian Metis Director Wins European Film Award

MEFEST, the 12th International Festival of Touristic, Ecological and Sport Films held from September 23-26, 2004 in Zlatibor Serbia has awarded Graham Thompson “The Special Award of the Festival” for his ecological video “The First Sunrise.”

The video, inspired by the meaning of the east as taught by the Anishinaabe Peoples of North America, seeks to express the beauty, power and mystery of the east. As it is from the east that we witness the sunrise, the start of a new day and symbolically the birth of man and our universe.

The First Sunrise is apart of the “North-South-East-West” new media series. The series involves the use of Web sites, CD-ROMs, DVDs, digital video, streaming media and webcasts.

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Thompson’s work has been exhibited at the ED Video Media Arts Centre of Ontario, the Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener| Area, the Toronto International Media Arts Biennial, the 2004 International Digital Art Awards touring exhibition of Melbourne Australia, the World Social Forum of Mumbai India, Canada’s Brampton Indie Arts Festival, SAW Video Media Arts Centre of Canada and Serbia’s international film and video festival MEFEST. Later in October his work will travel to Vancouver’s New Forms Festival, Toronto’s Trinity Square Video, Toronto’s ImagineNative Festival and Chicago’s experimental media festival Pilot TV.