The ZKM | Karlsruhe, together with partners from science and economy, has been awarding the unique AppArtAward since 2011. This year again, the 70 submissions come from all over the world: Austria, Belgium, China, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, La Réunion, Switzerland, Spain, UK and USA. The submissions are awarded in the categories »AppARTivism«, »Sound Art« and »Game Art«.
The submitted apps show an enormous scope of ideas, which turn your mobile device into a medium of creativity and artistic perception. During the award ceremony, you will enjoy an eventful program including: Gisle Martens Meyer and Christian Nainggolan. The Award Ceremony can also be followed via livestream!
Categories and Prize Winners 2017
Prize for AppARTivism
The AppARTivism award is aimed at people who use new media and platforms to generate awareness of social injustices and citizens’ grievances. Up to now, political protests have only been effective in drawing the public’s attention when instigated by collectives, but with an app as medium any individual is enabled to participate in political action, act in the public sphere, and demand democratic rights – whether through protest or creative criticism. The AppARTivism award is intended to recognize a new app that has been developed to facilitate citizens’ access to politically inspired Action Art.
With his app »Polluted Selfie« David Colombini wins the prize for AppARTivism. It is a web application connected to a sculptural stand that holds your phone and contains a sensor that allows you to take a »polluted selfie«. A filter alters the appearance of the image depending on the surrounding level of pollution recorded in real time by the sensor. Instead of letting you show your best angle, the »Polluted Selfie« lets the levels of three main air pollutants (PM, CO2, and CO) each affect a different parameter of the image. PM (Particulate Matter) determines the level of glitch in the image, while CO2 and CO impact its color. As a result, no single »polluted selfie« looks the same. The app allows citizens to act as environmental activists by sharing their images, which indicate pollution levels, on social media. Adopting an aesthetic inspired by Net Art, glitch, and computer viruses, »Polluted Selfie« also suggests that it is possible to be digitally polluted. / Web application for Android
Prize for Game Art
The Game Art award addresses all free-lance app developers who work on innovative, critical, and/or subversive computer games and subsequently use this medium as an artistic expression.
»Glitchskier« by Shelly Robin Alon is a classic and challenging »shoot-em-up« game with a surprising aesthetic. It combines smart programming with the look of illegally downloaded software in last fin-de-siècle style. The user interface looks like a virtual retro-desktop, on which the players open »files« via the long-lost double click to start the game or change its visual appearance. This virtual return to old designs and structures allows users to reflect on our modern interactions with smartphones and tablets. / Application for iOS, Android, and Windows
Prize for Sound Art
Sound Art refers to all applications in which sounds are processed in an artistic way. Here, output can be very diverse, whether it sonifies data, creates audiovisual works, or implements innovative DJ tools. Sound Art applications support the continual transformation of sound, space, time, movement, and form. The Prize for Sound Art accounts for this development and the diverse possibilities emerging from the interplay of technology and sound.
Two apps were awarded with the prize for Sound Art this year:
»Mazetools Soniface« by Jakob Gruhl and Stephan Kloß is a visual synthesizer and groove sequencer application – a software that allows you to create various styles of electronic music on mobile devices. Bringing together the words »maze« and »tools« represents the interaction between exploration and expression offered by the app. Its immersive music space is based on common aspects of notation and production, including the circle of fifths, Alexander Scriabin’s color-organ, and polyrhythmic percussion, as well as conventions from digital music production and mobile app usage. The framework of action is a grid that works audiovisually, with each line representing a single note. The grid can be morphed through multi-touch gestures, and the sound of the synthesizer modulates simultaneously. A circular editing interface provides several sound and visual effects. / Applikation für iOS, Android und Windows
In his interactive music video »Visual Beat« Max Mörtl blurs the distinctions between the ostensibly passive audience and proactively creative directors and musicians. App users become a part of the artistic process, contributing to the musical arrangements and visual design of a variety of music videos. New combinations of sounds and films can be created from a versatile and multi-faceted repertoire of instruments and vocals. The music video construction kit provided by »Visual Beat« was composed collaboratively for the project by four very different musicians – Mohna, Nutia, Clara, and Dobré – and four specially developed stop-motion animations bring these musicians to life. / Application for iOS, Android and Windows
- Stefanie Fritz (Project management)
- Peter Weibel (Concept)
- David Hermanns (Concept)
- Martin Hubschneider (Concept)
- Ute Soldierer (Moderation)