Artists 23-05-2017

Maja Smrekar and Lisa Buttinger awarded the Prix Ars Electronica 2017

Established in 1987, the Prix Ars Electronica, (AEC) at the crossroads of art, technology and society, has recognized artists hailing from Congo, Belgium, Germany, Canada, Ireland, Slovenia and Austria this year, with artists Maja Smrekar and Lisa Buttinger taking home the top prizes in their categories.

Slovenian artist Maja Smrekar is the recipient of the Golden Nica — the most important of the prizes — in the Hybrid Art category, with her work K-9 topology, “a true hybrid artwork with profound bio-political message… certain to bring a lot of discussion to the audience from both art and science sides,” according to the jury.

K-9 topology comprises a series of works including Ecce Canis, a project focusing on metabolic processes, whereby “chemists used serotonin, a tissue hormone and neurotransmitter, provided by the artist and her dog, Byron, to create a fragrance that symbolizes the chemical essence of the relationship between a human being and a dog”; I HUNT NATURE AND CULTURE HUNTS ME, a performance in which the artist evokes the relationship between wolves, dogs and human beings, creating an “inquiry into animal ethics”, as well as ARTE_mis, whereby “an ovum provided by the artist was artificially inseminated with the sperm of her dog.” The resulting hybrid cell, could “create a new species whose chances of survival on Planet Earth are better than ours,” claims the artist.


K-9_topology from Maja Smrekar 


“Whilst exploring troubling, provocative and radical imagery, Smrekar’s work has also a political and moral dimension, focusing on very present issues,” says Gerfried Stocker, artistic director of the AEC.

The jury also recognized Lisa Buttinger in the u19 CREATE YOUR WORLD category for young Austrian artists, for her work nonvisual-art, citing her ability to develop “a new medium, a new material that artists can utilize to form images.” The project consists of an image that is “simultaneously visible and invisible” where “cellophane foils and air bubbles trapped in a layer of adhesive refract in a highly artistic way the light shone onto them.”


Lisa Buttinger — Credit: Martin Hieslmair


The other Golden Nica prizewinners — who have each received a €10,000 cash prize, except in the u19 category (€5,000 cash prize) — include David OReilly, who won in the Computer Animation category and Cedrik Fermont and Dimitri della Faille, both winners in the Digital Musics category. The full list of prizewinners is available here. The 2017 Prix Ars Electronica festival will take place between September 7 through 11 in Linz, Austria.

Previous laureates of the Prix Ars Electronica include: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Roy Ascott, Lynn Hershman, Toshio Iwai / Ryuichi Sakamoto as well as Chris Cunningham / Aphex Twin.


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