This is the sixth edition of the Best Media Arts Graduation Projects Competition, organized jointly by the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław and the WRO Art Center.
The project of competition, developed since 2015, creates a platform for cooperation and exchange of experiences between academies on various models of education in the field of art using different media. The event emphasizes the importance of media art as a teaching field within contemporary art, it is also focused on the promotion of students and graduates.
The opening of this year’s exhibition, postponed from spring to autumn, will be held in a hybrid formula with a live transmission from the WRO Art Center, with the participation of artists, representatives of the universities involved and the audience.
We invite you to join us!
The review of best bachelor’s and master’s theses takes place at eight state art academies in Poland: in Gdańsk, Katowice, Cracow, Łódź, Poznań, Szczecin, Warsaw and Wrocław, and the works for the competition exhibition in each center are nominated by five-person committees.
In the five-years history of the competition to date, the best diplomas have included video installations, computer animations, social media interference, interactive and generative projects, audiovisual concerts, realizations on the borderline of bioart and neural networks, as well as actions taken with cosplay aesthetics and conventions of the world of computer games. This time the genre spectrum is extended with VR, 360° or AI projects. Such diversity emphasizes the growing importance of media tools within contemporary art and their role in shaping reflections on contemporary art.
The selection committees consist of two experts from the WRO team, two representatives of the artistic community from a given city and one representative of the art academy. Best BA and MA graduation projects chosen by them will be presented during the competition exhibition at WRO and online, out of which the international jury will choose one that’ll receive the award.
The main prize in the amount of 15.000 PLN, funded by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, will be awarded by a jury composed of the following members: Agnieszka Jelewska (Professor at Adam Mickiewicz University, director of HAT Research Center), Łukasz Gorczyca (Raster Gallery) and Benjamin Gruner (Pochen Biennale). In this exceptional year, exceptionally, one Audience Award will not be granted. As it is difficult to predict whether the visitors will have the opportunity to cast their votes for the selected work, the amount of the prize, funded by the Rectors of the participating universities, will be divided among all participants. For the first time in turn, the editorial staff of “Contemporary Lynx” magazine will award the selected artist(s) with a portfolio publication and additional promotional activities.
CONFERENCE: Nov 20, 2020 / Fri / 10 AM – 3 PM
As in previous years, the exhibition is accompanied by a conference organized by the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław. This year’s event was being held online on the ZOOM platform, with transmission via the channel of the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw on YouTube. Here you can watch the conference.
The jury unanimously decided to award the prize to Horacy Muszyński for his work And I Love You so Much, and I Like You so Much. The film made with a 360-degree camera combines a deeply intimate perspective with new technological possibilities and conveys in a new way the fundamental existential experience of a loved one’s departure. The jury decided to reward Muszyński’s work, appreciating its clear and suggestive form and, above all, its message – the inalienable humanistic dimension of new media art.
“Contemporary Lynx”, after seeing this year’s exhibition, decided to award its prize to Krystian Grzywacz.
Still Life is a project which the artist depicts as a moving postcard from the “meantime” of technological evolution. Its stillness – indeed, deadness – lends itself to a dual interpretation. While this representation of nature indeed includes depictions and images of transience, dying, and decline, at the same time it thoroughly relies on artificiality. The film is not a camera recording of real plants or people. Instead, the entirety of the image was developed by the artist using graphic software. The nature shown in it is inanimate – it is dead, not because of its passing or its static quality, but because it has actually never been alive. Grzywacz even came up with a “synthetic” narrative. Specifically, he did not pen the poetic depictions of the situation, but selected pieces generated by a reduced version of the GPT-2 program, an AI system which is capable of producing texts by imitating the tone and themes of an input piece. The software was developed by an OpenAI research team led by Elon Musk. At the moment, OpenAI is managed by an organization comprised of the OpenAI staff (Greg Brockman, Ilya Stutskever, and Sam Altman), Adam D’Angelo, Holden Karnofsky, Reid Hoffman, Shivon Zilis, and Tasha McCauley. The software proved so effective that it was not made publicly available in order to prevent possible abuses of its potential. Later, the researchers decided to share its weaker, less educated version called 345M, a name derived from the 345,000,000 parameters it uses to anticipate successive words of the text it generates.
In this exceptional year, exceptionally, no single Audience Award was granted. As it was difficult to predict whether the visitors would have the opportunity to cast their votes on the selected work, the amount of money allocated for the award, funded by the Rectors of the participating universities, was divided among all participants.