Pax Awards 2019
On June 13, 2019, the Pax Art Awards will be presented for the second time. With the ground-breaking prizes for digital art, the Art Foundation Pax in collaboration with HeK honours media-specific practices of Swiss artists whose works use media technologies or reflect on their effects. This year’s prize winners are the artist group knowbotiq and the artists Alan Bogana and Félicien Goguey.
The Pax Art Awards 2019 will honour the work of an established group of artists and two up-and-coming artists who have shaped the Swiss media art scene in recent years and will continue to do so in the future. With prize money of CHF 30,000, the group knowbotiq, consisting of Yvonne Wilhelm and Christian Hübler, which has been active for many years, will be awarded for its advanced and long-standing work in the field of media art. With an amount of CHF 15,000, the Art Foundation Pax supports the two artists in the production of a new work. An additional CHF 15,000 will be used to purchase one of the group’s works for the Art Foundation Pax collection. Two further prizes will be awarded to young, emerging media artists. Alan Bogana from Ticino and Félicien Goguey from Geneva will each receive CHF 15,000 including prize money and purchase.
The award ceremony will take place on June 13th 2019 at 7pm at HeK. The works of the award winners purchased for the Art Foundation Pax collection will be exhibited during the award ceremony.
In spring 2020, existing and new works by the three prize winners will be presented in an exhibition at HeK.
Mónica Bello (Head of Arts at CERN, Geneva), Nicolas C. Bopp (President of the Art Foundation Pax), Davide Fornari (Head of R&D at ECAL, Lausanne), Sabine Himmelsbach (Director HeK), Fausto De Lorenzo (De Lorenzo Art and Museum Management & Consulting GmbH) and Carmen Weisskopf (part of the artist duo !Mediengruppe Bitnik and winner of the Pax Art Awards 2018)
“I am delighted that Carmen Weisskopf, an artist, has joined this year’s jury” explains Nicolas Bopp, President of the Board of Trustees of Art Foundation Pax. “Her perspective and the exchange with her were very stimulating and purposeful for all of us”.
The Prize Winners
Through their long-standing practice as artists, knowbotiq – formerly active as knowbotic research together with Alexander Tuchacek – has significantly shaped the media art scene in Switzerland. The artist group is among the first voices within the field and has created an impressive body of work spanning nearly 30 years of experimentation at the intersection of art, knowledge, information and technology. From the beginning, the artists have been dedicated to developing research-based works, around networked agency, immersive realities, epistemic disobedience and medialities of knowledge. Their work explores many areas from the poetic to the conceptual, revisiting for example the history of camouflage and cybernetics. The public performance Macghillie is a multi-layered work examining strategic camouflage as a means of withdrawing from self and purpose, while experimenting with visibility in urban spaces. More recently, knowbotiq have been reflecting on new working conditions in the logistics industry and the digital economy. Amazonian Flesh features cocoons of idleness, a collective mesh of bodies, bots and digital artefacts which talk of incomputability, strike and idleness in a labour environment of almost completely automated work.
Their latest exhibitions are awe-inspiringly dense poetical representations of what it means to live with technology today.
The jury particularly appreciates the conceptual profundity of the work by knowbotiq, praising the philosophical aspects of their artistic investigations, the variety of topics approached, as well as the formal care in the presentation of their complex installations and performances.
Swiss Art Awards | Hermann-Claasen Prize for Media Art and Photography | International ZKM Media Art Award | August Seeling-Award of Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum | Prix Ars Electronica
HKW Berlin | PACT Zollverein | Schauspiel Dortmund |Display Gallery Prag |Archive Books und District Berlin |HEK Basel | Contemporary Art Center Plovdiv | Kampnagel Hamburg | M1 Hohenlockstedt | HMKV Dortmund |Mediatheque Cotonou Benin | Lassale College of Art Singapore | Kunstraum Lüneburg | Schweizerisches Nationalmuseum, Zürich | Venice Bienal, Venedig | Kunsthaus Hamburg | Goldsmiths London
knowbotiq | manYdancing the molecular ornaments, 2018, in collaboration with Alesandra Seutin and Lamin Fofana | Photos: Kim Bode
Bogana’s singular artistic practice focuses on the exploration of light, material processes and interactions within a vast array of natural phenomena, particularly related to minerals, fluids and crystals. These interests are deeper explored by applying different media and amplifying their range through series of mesmerising installations and devices that allows the viewer to enter the hidden realms of their natural world. Boganium, handwavium et les autres is an installation based on his research made at the Musée de Minéralogie Mines ParisTech, in which he digitised several minerals of the collection to establish a fictional system of categorisation of materials. With installations such as La Gogotta Desnuda (2015), Thiotimoline (2015) or Sineddoca (2016), Alan Bogana has also created several works using holography to further examine the interweaving between natural phenomena, their aesthetic qualities and the scientific discourse. The combination of various forms and mediums, from sculpture, computer graphics and electronics to 3D printing technics, offer a great variety of languages and a solid and diverse application of multiple tools. Bogana’s artworks confront the viewer with the challenges of a common digital life and inspire to think about how modern technologies contribute to other ways of seeing and mimicking nature.
Simetrìa CERN-ESO Residency | Bally Artist Award | Société des Arts Grant, Genf | Djerassi Residency Programm, San Francisco | Grant for the Arts, Pro Helvetia | Landis & Gyr Residency, Zug | Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris | Swiss Institute, Rom
Bally Foundation, Milan | Mineralogy Museum MINES-ParisTech, Paris | La Rada, Locarno | Lokal-int, Biel | Fotomuseum, Winterthur | Copenhagen Contemporary, Kopenhagen | Museo d’Arte, Mendrisio | OnOff, Winterthur | Kunsthaus, Langenthal | One Gee in Fog, Genf | Fri-Art, Freiburg | MAGA, Gallarate | Centre d’Art Contemporain, Genf | ISEA 2014, Dubai | Hard Hat, Genf | Blank Projects, Cape Town | Accademia di Romania, Rom
Alan Bogana | Boganium, handwavium et les autres, 2018
With a background in communication networks, visual studies and digital media design, Goguey’s practice revolves around the imperceptibility of the Internet and its invisible mechanisms, as well as its political and social consequences. By exploring the creative potential of programming languages and new open source technologies, he creates interactive installations, live performances, applications and connected objects. The core of his research focuses on mass surveillance conducted within communication networks by governmental entities and the relations between monitored spaces and their users. The work Masquerade is a tool created to provide resistance to online surveillance, the existence of which has been made known by the work of Edward Snowden. It consists of a box that, once connected to the internet, sends out keywords alerting surveillance systems and generating a constant noise of information. Created in collaboration with Thomas Meghe, A GSM Landscape v.0.1.5 explores the surrounding mobile phone landscape thanks to a cell phone scanning the frequency bands allocated to GSM and a laptop computer visualising the spectral space produced by the network activity, usually imperceptible and superimposed to our private and public spaces. The work IPMapper: Tripod sniffs the local WiFi traffic in ist surroundings. Each IP (Internet Protocol) packet is then shown on a world map, from its source to its destination. This visualisation sets the local activity in the global reality of the Internet, in order to show its physical and geopolitical issues. The jury of the Pax Art Awards 2019 is impressed by the quality of Goguey’s work and its reference to current topics influencing our everyday lives. They appreciate the singular way in which the artist approaches not only the topic of the Internet as such but also its infrastructures, while praising the elegance and the originality of the artist’s works.
Bourses de la Ville de Genève: Bourse Lissignol-Chevalier et Galland
Power Station of Art, Shanghai | Espace Multimédia Gantner, Bourogne | NeMe Arts Centre, Limassol |Kunsthaus Langenthal | Crypto Design Challenge 2016, Amsterdam | Centre d’Art
Contemporain, Genf | CiCG, Genf | 12 Mail, Paris | Pavillon Sicli, Genf | Rolex Learning Center, Lausanne | International Conference for Computational Creativity, Ljubljana | Musée des arts et métiers, Paris | Vector Festival 2014, Toronto
Félicien Goguey | Masquerade, 2015-2019 | Photo: Dylan Perrenoud