Award Winners

Marc Lee

Marc Lee, 10.000 Moving Cities – Same but Different – VR, 2015, Screenshot, Bangkok, © Marc Lee

The Pax Art Award jury is pleased to award Marc Lee (*1969) with this year’s Pax Art Award for an established voice in the domain of media arts in Switzerland.

With his net-based practice he has been a long-standing and important voice within the media art field in Switzerland and he has created a striking body of work. Marc Lee creates impressive and immersive installations that expand through spaces which simultaneously enchant and overwhelm.

The networked image is central to his work. In his multi-layered configurations of networked communication and information feeds, Marc Lee’s work lets us see the cultural, economic and political aspects of networks. He uses live feeds to trigger impressive interactive installations that invite the user to reflect on their own embeddedness within these information streams.

«Unfiltered», his most recent work, is a site-specific immersive installation centred around the diverse voices of the social media app TikTok. For each exhibition location, new posts, hashtags and user profiles from the local TikTok community are used to generate the input for the room-filling installation. The work reflects on the impact that digital accessibility has on public consciousness, on identity structures and visual aesthetics within a community.

With unprecedented and ever increasing access to mobile phones and the internet, have platforms like TikTok become the new town halls? Is «influence» no longer restricted to an urban elite? Can the diverse voices of TikTok shape a truly inclusive, socially conscious future?

Awards

Bogdanka Poznanovic Award | Social Media Art Award, Phaenomenale | SuMa Award | Netart Award | Viper International Award | tpc CreaTVty award of new media | Award of University of Art and Design, HGK Zürich | Transmediale Award | Viper Swiss Award | Europrix Student’s Award

Exhibitions

HEK (Haus der Elektronischen Künste), Basel | C/O Berlin | UNArt Center, Shanghai | Asia Culture Center (ACC) | Roehrs & Boetsch, Zürich | Annka Kultys Gallery, London | Synthesis Gallery, Berlin | MAK Wien | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (ZKM), Karlsruhe | National Art Center, Tokyo | National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), Seoul | Seoul Museum of Art | Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul | Ars Electronica Center, Linz | New Museum, New York

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Chloé Delarue

Chloé Delarue, TAFAA – ACID RAVE, 2019, exhibition view of TAFAA – ACID RAVE at MBA La Chaux-de-Fonds, photo: Florimond Dupont, courtesy of the artist and MBA La Chaux-de-Fonds © Chloé Delarue

Chloé Delarue (1986) lives and works in Geneva. In her work she produces installations that combine sculpture, video, and sounds under the TAFAA acronym, standing for «Toward a Fully Automated Appearance». Her works, which the artist calls «environments», are formed as elements of the redesign of an abstract body. In this process, these elements converge and overlap, and a kind of information spectrum emerges, combining an immaterial and matter-like flux of forms and meaning.

Similar to biosemiotic planes – such as the mycelium latent in the forest bed or the tick waiting for the mammal to cross its path – Delarue’s environments intend to capture the signals and fluctuations found in these environments. Created as a composition of various materials like fluorescent lights, electronics, hanging metal parts, hooks and wires, organic-looking layers, sounds and video pieces, prisms, crystals, and latex, her installations are shaped as flesh-like sculpted bodies. They seem to suggest the existence of an anamorphic condition that transcends into a progressive complexity. These objects may perform operations that are more than methods or processes for inquiry, as the artist seems to show a possible condition of artificial life forms that reside in liminal spaces and beyond human agencies. In the use of these raw materials and their compositions, Delarue comes close to the depiction of a kind of alien nature whose purpose is an invitation to think of associations that arise from the various fragments that are displayed in the space.

Awards

Winner of artistic residency Simetrìa, CERN | Winner of Kunst am Bau Collège des Rives | Abraham Hermanjat Grant | Hirzel Prize of Société des Arts | Kiefer Hablitzel Prize

Exhibitions

Binz39, Zürich | Instituto Svizzero, Rom | HEK (Haus der Elektronischen Künste), Basel | Post Territory Ujeongguk, Seoul | CAN Neuchâtel | Windhager von Kaenel Gallerie, Zürich | Villa du Parc – Centre d’art contemporain, Annemasse | Musée des beaux-arts de La Chaux-de-Fond | La Salle de bains, Lyon | Kunsthaus Langenthal | Urgent Paradise, Lausanne | Sonnenstube, Lugano | Parc Saint Léger – Hors les murs, Nevers | Palais de l’Athénée, Genf

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Laurent Güdel

Laurent Güdel, Speakers, 12 channels audio installation, installation view at Nidwaldner Museum, Stans, photo: Augustin Rebetez, 2017 © Laurent Güdel

Laurent Güdel has electricity running through his body of work, on multi-track mode. In his constantly shifting tangle of veins and cables, electricity is both a communicational actor with a storied history in transporting sound, and a live-wire twitch on the spine of the present.

Sometimes, Güdel will dig deep into the xeroxed, taped or otherwise archived arcana of sound technology to reveal how radio frequencies, oscillators humming in the synthe­sizers developed in the state-funded research labs of postwar Europe, or contact microphones inserted in beehives, can all serve to convey or to silence, to amplify or to obfuscate messages, politics, and communities.

He will show how happy accidents in the chain of manufacturing and commerce, say a recording button inadvertently pressed on by a worker in a Chinese factory before an electronic device makes its complicated way to the West, can tune our ears to the ghostly, disjointed soundtrack of global capital. Or, teaming up with Aladin Borioli in a dialogue with bees, he will exhibit how data sonification may be key to the sorely needed improvement of interspecies communication.

At other times, Laurent Güdel edges close to becoming electricity itself. What elsewhere in his work is of documentary matter becomes raw, immediate power when he performs one of his live electronics sets. Body bent over the swarm of cables jutting forth from his modular synth set-up, fingers jacked into its many ports, he is exceptionally masterful at carving out space and time out of the shudders of pure voltage, making communication communal and ecstatic.

Awards

Prix d’encouragement de la ville de Bienne | Bourse «Ici  &  Ailleurs» du CFACG, Canton de Berne | Collection d’œuvres d’art du canton de Berne

Exhibitions

Swiss Art Awards 2021, Basel | Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival (LUFF) | Q-02, Brussels | Electronic Musik Studion (EMS), Stockholm | Radio Belgrade, Electronic Studio, Serbia | KSYME Contemporary Music Research Center, Athens | Espace eeeh!, Nyon | Lokal-int, Biel/Bienne | Krone Couronne, Biel/Bienne | Mayday Radio Marathon, Oscillation Festival, Brussels | Centre d’art Pasquart, La Cantonale, Biel/Bienne | Espace d’art contemporain (les halles), Porrentruy | Centre d’art contemporain (CAN), Neuchâtel | documenta14, Kassel | Kunsthaus Langenthal, La Cantonale

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