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2016 Nam June Paik Art Center Prize Winner Announcement
사본 -2016_국제예술상_e-flux ◦ Organized by: Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation, Nam June Paik Art Center
◦ Winner: Blast Theory
◦ Prize: USD 50,000

The Nam June Paik Art Center is pleased to announce that ‘Blast Theory’ (United Kingdom, formed in 1991) was selected as the winner of the ‘2016 Nam June Paik Art Center Prize.’ Blast Theory has been internationally noted for their interactive works based on various media such as theater, radio, games, and the web. The Selection Committee considered Blast Theory as artists who investigate paths that no other artist has taken, and highly values their exploration of new boundaries, which matches the criteria of the Nam June Paik Art Center Prize. The winner is invited to Korea in February 2017 for the Prize Ceremony, which will be celebrated with the governor of Gyeonggi-do. In addition, the winner is awarded 50,000 US Dollars, and will have the opportunity to hold a solo exhibition at the Nam June Paik Art Center during 23rd November 2017.

For the Nam June Paik Art Center Prize, five Nominating Committee members propose two candidates respectively; a separate Selection Committee, which also comprises of five members, reviews the ten candidates and selects the final winner. This year, the Nominating Committee members were:
– Catherine Wood (Senior Curator, International Art (Performance), Tate Modern, U.K.)
– Fumihiko Sumitomo (Director, Arts Maebashi, Associate Professor, Tokyo University of Arts, Japan)
– Rudolf Frieling (Curator of Media Arts, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, U.S.A.)
– Young June Lee (Professor, Dept. of Intermedia Art, Kaywon University of Art and Design, Korea)
– Kyunghwa Ahn (Chief Curator, Nam June Paik Art Center, Korea)

The Selection Committee members were:
– Bartomeu Marí (Director, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea)
– Jeffrey Shaw (Chair Professor of Media art, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong)
– Nicolas de Oliveira (Director of Research and Curatorial Projects – Montabonel & Partners, U.K.)
– Soh Yeong Roh (Director, Art Center Nabi, Korea)
– Jinsuk Suh (Director, Nam June Paik Art Center, Korea)

The head of this year’s Selection Committee, Soh Yeong Roh, has remarked, “Blast Theory stands out in their wide-ranging usage of various media such as theater, internet, film, on-offline games, and recently, the field of data science. Since the mid 1990’s, the group followed the trajectory of the development of the media, with their acute and in-depth psychological analyses. I would call them the most contemporary media-poet of this age. Blast Theory puts emphasis on narrative itself rather than digging into the properties of the media. Those narratives are ordinary yet extremely British. They creatively engage old stories related to the ego, memory, and relationships with up-to-date media. I appreciate their commitment as well as their artistic spirit that they have shown for the last twenty years.”

The winner, Blast Theory, has expressed, “We are delighted to be the recipients of the Nam June Paik Art Centre Prize (2016) – it feels fantastic to win this award for all the work we have made over the last twenty five years. It is an honour to be recognised in relation to Nam June Paik, whose pioneering work set the stage for much of the art work with technologywhich has followed and we accept this prize in the sure knowledge that we would not have made this work without so many fantastic people who have supported us and helped us along the way.”

The Nam June Paik Art Center Prize was established in 2009. Since its inception, the Prize has been awarded to artists and theorists whose works are very much in tune with Paik’s work amalgamating art and technology, pursuing new ways of communication, interacting with audiences, and fusing and conflating music, performance and visual art. The first Prize was awarded in 2009 to four artists, Seung-Taek Lee, Eun-Me Ahn, Ceal Floyer, and Robert Adrian X; philosopher and sociologist Bruno Latour won the 2010 Prize; the 2012 Prize went to artist Doug Aitken; and the winner of the 2014 Prize was Haroon Mirza.

Introduction of the Winner
blasttheory_andrewtesta_
Blast Theory © Andrew Testa

Formed and led by Matt Adams, Ju Row Farr and Nick Tandavanitj, Blast THeory’s work explores interactivity and the social and political aspects of technology. The group is renowned internationally for its use of interactive media, creating groundbreaking new forms of performance and interactive art that mixes audiences across the internet, live performance and digital broadcasting. Blast Theory has shown work at the Venice Biennale, Sundance Film Festival, ICC in Tokyo, the Barbican and Tate Britain. Commissioners include Channel 4, the BBC and the Royal Opera House. Blast Theory’s first app – Karen – commissioned by National Theatre Wales and The Space was launched at Tribeca in 2015.

The artists work closely with researchers and scientists and have collaborated with the Mixed Reality Lab at the University of Nottingham since 1997, co-authoring over 45 research papers. The artists teach and lecture internationally including at the Sorbonne, Stanford University and the Royal College of Art. They curated the Screen series for Live Culture at Tate Modern. The group has been nominated for four BAFTAs and won the Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica.

※ Official website http://www.blasttheory.co.uk/
Main Works
Blast Theory_Operation Black Antler
Operation Black Antler
2016, Live performance, Approx. 2 hours © Ruler

Go undercover for one night to explore the moral corruption at the heart of state surveillance. What will you do when the power is in your hands? Operation Black Antler is an immersive theatre piece that invites you to enter the murky world of undercover surveillance and question the morality of state-sanctioned spying.
Blast Theory_Karen
Karen
2015, Phone based app, 19 episodes, Approx. 5 minutes per episode © Ruler

Karen is a life coach and she is friendly. Too friendly. Karen is a life coach and she’s happy to help you work through a few things in your life. You interact with Karen through an app. When you begin, she asks you some questions about your outlook on the world to get an understanding of you. In fact, her questions are drawn from psychological profiling questionnaires. She – and the software – are profiling you and she gives you advice based on your answers.
Blast Theory_My One Demand
My One Demand
2015, Live Film, 1 hour 45 minutes © Oscar Tosso

Seven people stride out across Toronto in an interactive film about unrequited love. To walk in a city is to be among strangers, freed from everyday expectations, liberated to luxuriate in your own thoughts. By the very act of moving you are thinking, you are shedding skins and finding more of yourself than you knew was previously there.
The History of the Nam June Paik Art Center Prize
1st (2009)
■ Winner: Seung-taeck Lee, Eun-me Ahn, Ceal Foyer, Robert Adrian X
■ Jury
▷ International Jury Panel
Hank Bull (Executive Director of Center A in Vancouver)
Doryun Chong (Associate Curator at The Museum of Modern Art, New York)
Udo Kittelmann (Director of the National Galleries, Berlin)
Tetsuo Kogawa (Artist and Professor at Keizai University, Tokyo)
Barbara Vanderlinden (Curator and Author)

▷ Korean Jury Panel
Jeonghwa Choi (Artist, President of Gasum Visual development Laboratory)
Minkyung Kim (Professor, Gangnam University)
Geun-jun Lim (Art and Design Critic)
Seong-Min Hong (Artist and Critic)
Youngchul Lee (Director, Nam June Paik Art Center)
2nd (2010)
■ Winner: Bruno Latour (Professor, the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris)
■ Jury
Xavier Douroux (Director of Le Consortium)
Anne-Marie Duguet (Professor of Univ. Paris 1)
Wulf Herzogenrath (Director of Kunsthalle Bremen)
Wan-kyung Sung (Former Director of Gwangju Biennale)
3rd (2012)
■ Winner: Doug Aitken
■ Jury
▷ Nomination Committee
Stephanie Rosenthal (Chief Curator, Hayward Gallery)
Tobias Berger (Curator, M+ Museum for Visual Arts and Culture)
Sook-Kyung Lee (Curator, Tate Liverpool)
Jee-Sook Baek (Director, Atelier Hermès)
Seong Hee Kim (Director, Festival Bo:m)

▷ Selection Committee
Tae-Hi Kang, Professor (Professor, Korea National University of Arts)
Ra-Young Hong (Deputy Director, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art)
Bart de Baere (Director, MuHKA, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp)
4th (2014)
■ Winner: Haroon Mirza
■ Jury
▷ Nomination Committee
Kazunao Abe (Artistic Director, Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media)
David Joselit (Critic and Distinguished Professor, CUNY Graduate Center)
Jang Un Kim (Senior Curator, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art)
Hyunseok Seo (Artist and Professor, Yonsei University)
Kyunghwa Ahn (Chief Curator, Nam June Paik Art Center)

▷ Selection Committee
Mike Stubbs (Director, FACT Liverpool)
Nobuo Nakamura (Director, CCA Kitakyushu)
Sun Jung Kim (Director, SAMUSO)
Kyuchul Ahn (Artist and Professor, Korea National University of Arts)
Manu Park (Director, Nam June Paik Art Center)
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