InstitutionsMovements 17-02-2017

Rhizome’s Prix Net Art 2017 | Who is the future of digital art?

Rhizome, the New York nonprofit dedicated to the promotion and preservation of digital art, has announced the winners of the annual Prix Net Art.

The three winners — Porpentine Charity Heartscape, Bogosi Sekhukhuni, and Eva and Franco Mattes — will all receive a financial prize of $5,000, funded by Rhizome’s partner, the Chronus Art Center in Shanghai.

The most high-profile of the three prize winners are Brooklyn-based duo Eva and Franco Mattes. Among the early pioneers of net art, one of the couple’s most famous projects was their presentation at the 2001 Venice biennale of work by invented Serbian artist Darko Maver, whose oeuvre consisted of graphic images of death. The work was revealed to be a hoax after the biennale.


Eva and Franco Mattes, Reenactment of Marina Abramovic and Ulay's "Imponderabilia" - Synthetic performance in Second Life, 2007, HD video, 8:40 minutes



Described in Rhizome’s announcement as a “writer, game designer, and dead swamp milf,”  Porpentine Charity Heartscape’s work explores the tension between trauma and reality, and virtual reality. Her hypertext game With Those We Love Alive, part of the 2012-2015 series Eczema Angel Orifice, is a queer fable about isolation, abuse, and the relationship between art and power, which received much critical acclaim. Her work will feature in the upcoming 2017 Whitney Biennial.

Bogosi Sekhukhuni is a South African conceptual artist whose work looks at personal and national identity, and repressed African spirituality. Unlike the other winners, Sekhukhuni has not previously collaborated with Rhizome. His work featured in the 2015 exhibition “Co-Workers: Network as Artist” at Paris’ Musée d’Art Moderne.

Zachary Kaplan, Rhizome’s executive director, said of the winners: “The three exceptional artists/artist duo were awarded the prize for their ongoing excellence and represent the future of the form. They show the diversity and quality of art on the internet.”

To find out more about Rhizome and the history of net art, read our article here.

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