CYBERPORT X NIIO PRESENTS:

ESPORTS DIGITAL ART PRIZES 2019 

HAVE YOUR ART DISPLAYED AT ONE OF THE LARGEST HUBS FOR ESPORTS IN THE REGION.

Joe Hamilton, Close to Infinite

Introducing 
The Esports Digital Art Prizes 2019 Winners

We’re delighted to present the jury results for the Esports Digital Art Prizes 2019.

The winners will have their artworks seen by a huge audience when shown at the Arcade@Cyberport in Hong Kong, at one of the largest hubs for esports in the region.

The art competition brought together the finest artworks from across the globe, rich in style and concept.

For this open call, we received 148 moving image artworks by new media artists and art students from 32 countries in the theme: “Game is Art”.

We’d like to extend a gracious thank you to all participants for their effort and creativity. Thank you for being part of this important initiative to expose diverse media and video art from around the world. A special thanks to our respected international Jury for the detailed and thoughtful selection process.

Introducing The Niio x Art Asia Awards 2019 Winners

The winning artwork was created by Jack Alexandroff

Congratulations to the winners of the Esports Digital Art Prizes 2019!

The winning artwork was created by

Michel Platnic

 

Artwork title: 

Genesis

Winner:   Michel Platnic

Genesis

Michel Platnic

Genesis short film draws inspiration from the biblical narrative of the creation of the world, as recounted in the Book of Genesis. Through pictorial, sculptural, theatrical and cinematographic means, the main and only character symbolically “recreates” day by day the act of creation. The empty space is populated through the painting of flora and fauna followed by man’s use of it, which ends in destruction. The grand and wonderful acts of the biblical creation story – as large as the universe itself – are translated here to an intimate scale, to images both near and familiar: The world is the familial space, the celestial globes are lamps, the flora are represented by house plants, the fauna by a cat and a bird; it is the creation of the world and its destruction in a nutshell. Platnic made use of the biblical creation narrative due to its fundamental status in, at least, the Western civilization.

Platnic extricated from it the characteristic Western terminology that still shapes our understanding of the world and the constructs of our society, and opposes to it images from the natural world. The individual is facing the world or authority, and is not aware of his power and his responsibility. He is a prisoner of a language and a culture that conceptualize a priori his ways of observing and understanding his surrounding, that rigidify certain possibilities and exclude others. He is condemned to a fragmentary, culture-dependent understanding.

Second place: Ayelet Carmi & Meirav Heiman ​

The Israel Trail: Procession

Ayelet Carmi & Meirav Heiman

The Israel Trail Procession takes its cue from The National Israel Trail, a 1,000-kilometer cross-country hiking route that runs from the Lebanese border all the way to Eilat. Relatively new, the trail (‘Shvil Israel’) was inaugurated in 1995, but clearly connects to a much older Zionist ethos of “conquering the land with ones feet.” Carmi and Heiman turn this feature of the modern state of Israel into an eccentric parade of walkers of different ages that seem to belong in a time outside time – a cross between post-apocalyptic descendents of present-day Israelis and a tribal troupe belonging to ancient, obscure times. In transporting the trail to the dreamy world of the Procession, the artists have operated one radical change: In contrast with the exalted value of coming in contact with the land, here the marchers – a mixed group of mostly women, with the odd child and a few elderly men – seem to follow a logic of avoiding contact with the ground altogether. To this end, the heterogeneous group – attired in futuristic, skin-tight garments – employs an array of contraptions designed to shift them forward, however slowly and inefficiently, along the trail. Something about this group brings to mind dark medieval times. In their strange clothing, wheels, carts, and marching contraptions they recall a group of pilgrims, itinerant acrobats, nomads or outcasts that are forced to stick together, banished as they are from normal society.

Third place: Claudia Hart

Alice Unchained

Claudia Hart

Alice Unchained uses the Unity software environment and avatar dancers also used in a live performance version being developed at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn. This work consists of a rendered movie for 3 channels, with music by Edmund Campion and motions captured from choreographer Kristina Isabelle and professional wrestler Isaias Valasquez, combined into a single avatar. In Alice Unchained the human body is destabilized, morphing male and female genders as well as the machine and and organic into a Cyborg hybrid . So too the music. Similarly hybrid, human drummers follow a digital click-track of computer generated, artificial sound. The result is a liminal halfway world, somehow transcendental and contemplative.

"Alice Unchained" is an XR work and made to be projected on three-channels with a head-set hung in the center of the space. The "Alice Unchained" VR sits on the Vive platform, but may also be shown as a 3 channel or even single-channel (center) projection.

Music Composition: Edmund Campion log drums: Loren Mach and Dan Kennedy

Runners Up

Linnea Bågander & Nicole Neidert

Skinning/True Mesh 16:9 Full Time Texture

Linnea Bågander

The project was initiated by choreographer Nicole Neidert and fashion designer Linnea Bågander. The work is an interaction between dance, costume and visual situations, a conversation around materials and bodies. In a shared fascination for texture and reshaping of the body, we found a common interest in 3D animations and digital representations of the body. We saw how in the field of animation and virtual representations challenge the boundaries of the body and its movements. This opened up for us to explore the IRL bodies of its symbiosis with materiality.

Concept and ide by: Nicole Neidert & Linnea Bågander

Produced by:  Joakim Envik Karlsson 

Co produced by: Maida Krak (Madbunny productions)

 

Director of Photography: Joakim Envik Karlsson

Choreography and dance: Nicole Neidert

Costume designer: Linnea Bågander

Edit, Grade & Online: Joakim envik karlsson

Sounddesign and music: Elize Arvefjord

 

Dancer: Nicole Neidert

Additional dancer: Mina Mannelqvist

Light designer / Gaffer:  Luisa Fanciullacci

Best boy gaffer:  Jeremiah Erskine

First assistant camera:  Christoph Mällinen

Production assistant:  Freja Svensson

Nevet Yitzhak

WarCraft

Nevet Yitzhak

Channel #2 from WarCraft triptych

Nevet Yitzhak 2014

Nevet Yitzhak's accidental encounter with Afghan war rugs could not but capture her attention and set fire to her creative imagination, for they are infused with the same subject matters that motivated her artistic practice from its nascence. The Afghan war rugs, a fascinating and unique phenomenon, are a combination of traditional rug weaving technique with a history paved with conflicts and foreign military presence. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late-1970s and a decade of occupation, civil wars and American military intervention have yielded a plethora of war rugs. 
 The war rugs, the anti-war rugs and victory rugs, both spectacular and horrifying, have become sought after collector's items in the West, the subject of research and numerous exhibitions. What started as an authentic expression of the changing reality and landscape, a means for transmitting to the world the horrors of war and occupation, migration and uprooting, an expression of resistance and a means of survival, had been commodified and turned into touristic memorabilia industry. Rugs of this type served as the point of departure and basis for Nevet Yitzhak's video installation exhibited here. ! In this work, the stylized images of Soviet firearms were replaced by three-dimensional models of weapons commonly used by other armies and war zones, and their animation, created by various software, re-instils in them the violent, destructive potential. Integrating gaming audio and visual aesthetics, her installation links the battlefield to virtual space, reminding us of the ubiquity of war imagery and of our numbness to its violence.

Claudia Hart

Inside The Flower Matrix

Claudia Hart

11-minute, installation re-purposing the Flower Matrix VR environment. By Claudia Hart, with music composed by Edmund Campion, cello improvisations by Danielle DeGruttola, vocals by Claudia Hart and Mikey McParlane. Special thanks to Jennifer Muraoka. Meant to be exhibited offset in multiple channels.

Available as 1080 p and 4K

 

Inside the Flower Matrix is a new work that is a part of Claudia Hart’s Alice world, reinterpreting the Lewis Carroll paradigm as a labyrinth. Inside the Flower Matrix envisions Wonderland as the Interweb, covered by flashing emoji, the icons for power, money, addiction and control. Hart’s Internet is commercial stripway, the enactment of Casino Capitalism but at the same time, paradoxically, also a metaphor for a model of the mind and a site of transformation.

 

The Flower Matrix is specifically modeled after the ancient Roman mythological labyrinth of the Minotaur, an endless maze from which there is no escape. Hart has created a game world covered with pulsing graphical patterns made from emoji, and also from symbolic computer language and public signage icons, conjoined in animated patterns that throb and pulse hypnotically. Also inside the Flower Matrix are five original species of fantastical flowers designed by Hart and covered with the same pulsing patterns, randomly growing and decaying. This is an environment portraying an esthetic of fakeness where technology has replaced nature, both sugary sweet and chemically toxic in equal measures.

Matteo Zamagni

Horror Vacui

Matteo Zamagni

Taking place in the current unfolding global crisis, the film explores the geological self-similar formations of Earth and the frenetic hyper-development attained by mankind; It reflects upon the alienation from nature and the resulting break of the harmonious balance of life.

By apposing computer generated images and real-world footage the video blurs the distinction between reality and a digital recreation of it, questioning the act of perceiving and the biased notion of 'reality'. Techniques used consists of Aerial Drone footage, Macro photography, 3D scanning, geological LIDAR point cloud, Ultra hi-res Satellite Imagery, 3D Modelling, Organic Physics simulations.

 

Horror Vacui (from Latin :'Fear of empty space') refferred during Middle Ages, to the style of filling entire surfaces with detiail; this term reflects the ongoing human expansion in the film.

 

On the other hand 'Horror Vacui' relates to the Buddhist concept of Emptiness, the fear of the unknown and attachment to the materialistic worldview.

 

'Here then, Form is no other than emptiness, Emptiness no other than form. Form is only emptiness, Emptiness is only form. Feeling, Thought, and choice, Consciousness itself, Are the same as this. So, emptiness, no form, No feeling, thought, or choice, Nor is there consciousness. No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind; No color, sound, smell, taste, touch, Or what the mind takes hold of, Nor even act of sensing' Excerpt from the Buddhist Sevenfold Puja

Xia Han

The Gift

Xia Han

The Gift is a science short film, which takes place in the 26th century. One day during the long nuclear winter, a senior robot is telling a story for a young robot about how human beings sowed the dangerous seeds and turned the worst expectations into reality.

Daniel Belton and Good Company Arts

AXIS - Eclipse

Daniel Belton and Good Company Arts

“AXIS - eclipse” offers a dimensional arena where dancers can multi-locate in the blink of an eye. In this elastic field, figures switch places like notes on a musical score. Dancers are seen travelling through apertures tensioned with the happening of projected light. Their choreography establishes a circuitry of luminosity. Human beings are standing wave patterns of energy - we are complex harmonics. Our bodies are solid, but from another frequency, we might look like filaments of light transmitting as energy fields. Ultimately our physical bodies are the products of wave actions.   In an inspirational sense the pull of this work promotes a language that literally encodes human gesture and voice in projected light environments. The dancers are engineers and players inside an orrery-like celestial game.   Daniel Belton and Good Company Arts

Lawrence Lek

2065 (Barbican Edition) 

Lawrence Lek

"In the year 2065, Farsight Corporation learns to harness the power of artificial intelligence. eSports is the world’s fastest-growing industry. With all work taken care of by algorithms, people spend all day playing video games against AIs.

 

Inside the game, can anybody tell the difference between art and the world? Some people can sense it immediately, but others find that it takes them much longer. It’s not really clear, because nobody’s ever stopped playing."

 

2065 is an ‘open-world’ video game set on a virtual island that incorporates all the physical galleries which have exhibited it as an interactive artwork. Players teleport between multiple zones: K11 Chi Art Space in Hong Kong, Singapore's Marina Bay casino complex, and the Barbican Art Centre in London. 2065 exists as an exploratory experience – an envisioning of the future of art, aesthetics and artificial intelligence – which enables players to reflect on a world that is dominated by technology.

 

In this edition, produced for the exhibition 'AI: More than Human' at the Barbican Centre in London, Lek reflects on current issues surrounding the UK's departure from the European Union. He brings questions about geopolitics into the speculative framework of the open-world game.

Lawrence Lek

Snow Yunxue Fu

Karst

Snow Yunxue Fu

Karst is multi-level virtual reality visual and sound experience/artwork that creates liminal spaces in between the representational and the theatrical, the limited and the multi-dimensional, and the abstract and the real for people to visit and experience. The multiple scenes in Karst reference a variety of places in our reality that is being limited to be visited because of various reasons, revealing human’s relationship to the larger world. It pushes the boundaries of landscape art by putting natural ecologies and human environmental interventions in dialogue through immersive VR. It also attempts to embody the concept of Plato’s cave in the medium of a virtually constructed realm, providing a contemplative environment for the visitor to wonder; walking and teleporting within the control of the wireframed virtual hands that are given to them.

Silvia De Gennaro

Travel Notebooks Bilbo

Silvia De Gennaro

Futuristic architecture consisting of imaginary animals from cosmic prehistory moves in an atmosphere that combines fantasy with industry. Bilbao, a city with a strong identity, a mixture of ancient values and fascination with progress. But who really are its inhabitants? Where do they come from?

Ran Slavin

The Floating Life

Ran Slavin​

Visual excess & colour stimuli, code, 3d eye candy, robotics, synthetic information, hyper visuals. Off-world fragments and technological debris float abandoned in space in an ambient calm suggesting a fragment in an unfinished story. Like a video game slowed down, this work takes another look at video game essentials, its building blocks, and attempts to redefine the gaze on gaming, suggesting a dreamy abstract flow devoid of any real intention aside from pure visual pleasure and wonder. “The Floating Life” contemplates the meaning & feeling of the disconnection from natural time, presenting a dysfunctional technological space with a meditative appeal, of utopian hyper-evolved futures, as an encompassing reflection of the virtual and digital age. “The Floating Life” addresses an increasing post internet online presence and a technology connected world. It visualizes and echoes a parallel abstract simultaneity of virtuality that has turned into a reality, a morphing digital online essence, our multi-screen environments, distracted, information busy digital current present. “The Floating Life” resembles a ride through a future-is-already-here city with the entropy of the fleeting splinters of images, where each image is already the next one, with no time to take it all in, we are left with the option of gaze and marvel at the new synthetic techno eye candy.

As new media art moves beyond the white walls of galleries, it has the potential to engage with a wider audience than previously possible. The open call is part of Niio’s aim to reimagine how we experience art and offer untapped potential for immersive art experiences in cities and public spaces.

 

Interested in hosting an open call or an art experience?

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