Ars Electronica

GOLDEN NICAS

COMPUTER ANIMATION / FILM / VFX

Madame Tutli-Putli
Chris Lavis, Maciek Szczerbowski. (Directors), Jason Walker (Special Visual Effects) (CA) / National Film Board of Canada

new window: www.nfb.ca/madametutliputliwww.nfb.ca/madametutliputli

Madame Tutli-Putli rides the night train. Her baggage includes all her worldly possessions and just about every ghost from her past. The steam locomotive-driven journey becomes a commutation between fantasy and reality during which ever-more-peculiar fellow travelers ensconce themselves in the elderly lady’s compartment. Madame Tutli-Putli, a stop-motion film made under the aegis of the National Film Board of Canada, blew the jury away with its technical brilliance, exquisite treatment of details and touching plot. Their response was the 2008 Golden Nica.

DIGITAL MUSICS

reactable
Sergi Jordà (ES), Günter Geiger (AT), Martin Kaltenbrunner (AT), Marcos Alonso (ES) / Music Technology Group, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain

new window: http://reactable.iua.upf.edu/http://reactable.iua.upf.edu/

The reactable is an intelligent musical instrument specially conceived for multi-user performances. There’s room for several players at this round table; visible on its surface are geometric figures, each of which symbolizes a specific sound. Moving the figures back and forth, rotating or interlinking them modifies the sounds they produce. With its highly intuitive, user-friendly interface, the reactable can be played by anyone—from little kids to professional musicians. But this is not just some music-making toy; the reactable is a genuine instrument and, accordingly, it takes some practice to get the most out of it. Proof of this was recently provided by Scandinavian artist Björk, who used one on her latest world tour. The reactable has been singled out for recognition with the 2008 Golden Nica in the Digital Musics category.

HYBRID ART

Pollstream – Nuage Vert
Helen Evans (FR/UK), Heiko Hansen (FR/DE) / HEHE

new window: http://www.nuagevert.orghttp://www.nuagevert.org

Pollstream – Nuage Vert transforms clouds into projection surfaces. As such, these indefinable, constantly and chaotically changing products of the condensation of water vapor become media bearing political ideas and messages. Or aestheticized symbols of environmental pollution caused by carbon emissions. Pollstream – Nuage Vert was developed in collaboration with experts in laser technology, computer science, electrical engineering, energy generation and air quality monitoring. Development commenced in 2002 and concluded in February 2008 with a performance in Helsinki that impressively demonstrated how art is capable of encompassing an entire city—its public sphere, its industry and its inhabitants—and unfolding sociopolitical relevance. Pollstream – Nuage Vert is the recipient of the 2008 Golden Nica in the Hybrid Art category.

INTERACTIVE ART

Image Fulgurator
Julius von Bismarck (DE)

new window: www.juliusvonbismarck.com/fulguratorwww.juliusvonbismarck.com/fulgurator

Image Fulgurator is amazing to behold—due in equal measure to its ingenious concept and its simple technical implementation. It makes it possible to manipulate photos and to do so at precisely the moment they’re being shot. This subversive witchcraft functions with any camera—as long as the flash is in use. The Image Fulgurator is synchronized with the flash to project some random message onto the subject being focused on at the moment the picture is snapped. Almost invisible to the naked eye, this ghostly image comes to the fore on the photo that eventually emerges. The Image Fulgurator receives the 2008 Golden Nica in the Interactive Art category.

DIGITAL COMMUNITIES

1kg more

new window: www.1KG.orgwww.1KG.org

In rural regions of China today, there are more than 400,000 elementary and secondary schools, almost all of which are suffering from notorious shortages of personnel, textbooks and other teaching materials. “1kg more” deals with this problem in a way that is as uncomplicated as it is unusual. This wiki doesn’t just call attention to existing shortcomings; it also calls upon travelers to China to pack just one more kilo into their luggage—desperately needed teaching material—and to deliver it where it’s needed. “1kg more” thus makes simple yet effective use of the quotidian mobility of an enormous number of people, and has this quickly made it China’s fastest growing and most effectively networked NGO. Now, it’s being honored with the 2008 Golden Nica in the Digital Communities category.

u19 – freestyle computing

Homesick
Nana Susanne Thurner

Bickering parents and a little girl who’s shocked by this quarrel and seeks refuge in her sister’s room—so much for the back-story of this animated film by 15-year-old Nana Susanne Thurner from Bad Leonfelden. To produce it, she had to draw countless images by hand, scan them into her computer, and then assemble them before real backgrounds. The result is an atmospherically intense short film that tells of a child’s emotional universe. The 2008 Golden Nica in the u19 – freestyle computing category goes to Homesick.

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