PRIX NET ART IS CO-ORGANIZED BY CHRONUS ART CENTER, RHIZOME AND TSINGHUA UNIVERSITY ART AND SCIENCE MEDIA LAB (TASML).
In November 2015, after extensive deliberation, the Prix Net Art jury — comprising Josephine Bosma, Chrissie Iles, and Domenico Quaranta — announced that the 2nd $10,000 Prix Net Art would be awarded to artist Constant Dullaart, with a $5,000 Award of Distinction granted to the collective Weise7.
This year the jury looked at the specific role of net art within a larger art context. The main issue here was to emphasize the relevance of a separate prize for works and practices made in the context of the internet, and to highlight critical issues and developments in this field.
Net art has clearly moved beyond the media art ghetto. Artists and art institutions of various disciplines and plumage are starting to explore the possibilities of the internet. Cultural development without the internet is almost unthinkable at this point in time. This transformation of the art field is often described in terms of a post-media, post-digital, postinternet cultural production. While recognizing the value of these developments, the jury thinks that the Prix Net Art should support artists who critically engage with core issues surrounding art and the internet, and with the internet as a medium, a platform, and a network. Special consideration goes to artists that use or reflect upon practices originating in the basic cultures of the internet: the developers, makers, and hackers without whom internet cultures would not exist, or without whom these cultures would be very bland.
The fluidity of boundaries between artist and tech communities and questions of authorship, virtuosity, and the performativity of art in a mediated environment are an important aspect of the work of the winner of the 2015 Prix Net Art, Constant Dullaart. Dullaart’s work stays firmly yet defiantly within the realm of contemporary art, but from a position profoundly informed by the conditions of new media networks--technical as well as cultural, social, economical, and political networks. Dullaart strives for an honest, respectful, yet unembellished approach to the materials and conditions of the network. At the same time his work is full of humor, wit, and critical commentary.
The scope of Dullaart's work is impressive and reaches from rather formalistic yet always interesting works to extremely layered conceptual pieces. From his early work, in which he plays with elements and performance of software, to his recent projects, in which he reveals a fascination with the history, economy, and context of contemporary artist tools, the network has been Dullaart's environment both physically and culturally. His recently launched DullTechMedia Player is an in-depth investigation of the underlying processes of hardware production. Dullaart created a startup company that produces a video player that is both a useful tool, challenging the copyright barriers between commercial players and video formats, and a Trojan horse to get the artist's work, a screensaver, into collections and museums. The work highlights the dependence of present day cultural production on a chain of workers and processes that makes cultural production a lot less liberating than it is often presented to be.
In awarding the second distinction prize to the art collective Weise7 (Julian Oliver, Gordan Savicic, Bengt Sjolen and Danja Vasiliev), the jury wants to point to the growing number of hacker and maker labs internationally and the role these play in the context of net art. Weise7 is a strong representative of the return of the practical criticism of the early hacker labs of the late eighties and early nineties. Next to their individual and collaborative works, the artists of Weise7 give workshops about network basics to other artists. In their “Critical Engineering Manifesto” they stress the importance of self-empowerment and disobedience in the present day media landscape. In a time when networks, from the internet to telephone networks, are increasingly unsafe and under surveillance, the sharing of knowledge about basics of technology and networks is a highly critical and sensitive act. Weise7 are aware of the importance of a deep understanding of technology in a world where both the production of and access to art and culture increasingly evolve in the technological domain. The work of Weise7 can be seen as a continuation of media critical practices in art, which developed from the sixties onwards. The jury sees this type of work as not only valuable in terms of critical practice, but crucial for the circulation of knowledge of tools and materials in the increasingly mediated field of art. Furthermore, giving the special distinction prize to a collective is to foreground the profound way that networks have changed the role of the artist and of the work of art itself. Weise7 represents the fluid boundaries and links between artist collectives, tech communities, and audiences online.
Prix Net Art is Co-Organized by
Additional support for Prix Net Art and Rhizome is generously provided by