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ZKM announces the AppArtAward for the best creative developments in the field of mobile applications
Submission AppArtAward© ZKM. Photo: Fidelis Fuchs.

KARLSRUHE.- In collaboration with its partner CyberForum e.V., for the third consecutive year the ZKM presents the AppArtAward for the best creative developments in the field of mobile applications. This year, the sponsors and patrons CAS Software AG, GFT Technologies AG, GRENKELEASING AG, init AG and the Sparkasse Cultural Foundation Karlsruhe, present the “Award for Artistic Innovation”, the Special Award “Crowd Art” as well as the Special Award “Augmented Reality Art”, each of which are endowed with €10,000. The call for submissions ran from March 11 to May 12 this year, and was directed at artists, designers and developers throughout the world.

“Mobile media are art’s contemporary laboratory.” (Peter Weibel)

At the time of the original AppArtAward in 2011, any thought about the broad reception the presentation would experience was mere speculation. We are therefore delighted to have encountered a substantially broad interest among developers throughout the world in 2013 as well. This year we have similarly received 100 submissions, the uniqueness of which may already be discerned in their origins. Whereas, last year the Apps stemmed from thirteen nations, this year twenty-three countries participated – Australia, Brazil, China, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, India, Italy, Japan, Canada, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland, Serbia, Spain, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK, Hungary and the USA.

The jury selected the winners from these international submissions. This year, the Award for Artistic Innovation goes to the Dutch artist’s group JODI for its development ZYX. The application of art, which transforms users into performers, was presented by the company CAS Software AG with an award endowed with €10,000.

“This App, named after the axis of three-dimensional space, does not permit any format other than when installed on the mobile telephone, which everyone permanently has in their pockets. (...) With this App, JODI takes users to their physical limits whereby simple movement processes must always be repeated before reaching the next level to remain alive, as it were. If several users meet in the same, neutral space, an absurd performance arises reminiscent of one minute sculptures, performance art (...).” (Rainer Kohlberger, visual artist and designer, and winner of the AppArtAward 2011)

The Special Award Crowd Art, endowed with €10,000 was presented to Andrew Bluff from Australia for the “Mobile Phone Orchestra” – an App, which makes the crowd a compulsory element in performance. By way of visualization, the App provides entirely new insight into the collaborative experience of music and thus enthralled the jury:

“Experiencing mobile music is a private and emotional exertion, and the mobile phone orchestra manages to merge exactly that experience into one collaborative user experience. Beautifully visualized with spectromorphologies, it allows a new glimpse into abstract collaborative abstract music experience.” (Sabiha Ghellal, Professor of Mobile Media, HdM Stuttgart).

The Special Award is being presented by GFT Technologies AG and Sparkasse Cultural Foundation Karlsruhe both of which are endowed with €5,000.

The App ARART is to be presented with the Special Award Augmented Reality Art to the amount of €10,000, presented by init AG and GRENKELEASING AG at €5,000. By way of image recognition, the application reveals the background and bizarre animations compelling users to search for concealed messages. It is an App that extends the museum space to a further level: the most famous works of art are satirized at a second level, and become subject to filmic transformation:

“Suddenly, the Mona Lisa crumbles away and becomes an old man [Leonardo da Vinci] who moves his finger. For a moment one is suspended between virtual and actual reality and asks oneself: what if? In this way, the App not only awakens the paintings to life, but also the creative ideas of the observer.” (Simon Knipper, software designer, CAS Software AG)

With the new award categories, Crowd Art and Augmented Reality Art, the AppArtAward is oriented on current developments within the new media.

The Award for Artistic Innovation is directed, in a general category, at all creative, innovative App developments that use the medium’s artistic range. Crowd Art refers both to the de-territorialized, networked Cloud Computing, as well as to collective creativity, which is made possible thereby. Furthermore, Crowd Art characterizes the shift from the analog era of production (mass goods by machines, etc.) through to the age of digital distribution (data, media, personalization: the mass as a collective of individuals). Apps on mobile terminal equipment are the global testing stations for this new form of art.

The Augmented Reality Award refers to the applications of Augmented Reality, which add a further dimension to our perception of reality. The idea as well as current possibilities for implementation extend our possibilities enormously. It is against this background wealth that, in keeping with an intelligent visualization of information and, not least, flow control, a challenge to creativity begins to show itself.

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