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Sonae Media Art 2019 award exhibition with works of the five finalist artists

Sonae Media Art 2019 award exhibition with works of the five finalist artists

The exhibition of the works by the five finalist artists of the Sonae Media Art 2019 Award is inaugurated on the 28th November, at 7pm (with a guided tour for press at 12pm) and will remain open to the public from the 29th November to the 2nd February, at Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado, the institution that organises the award in partnership with Sonae.

The Sonae Media Art Award is the biggest Portuguese project to encourage art creation in the field of new media, favouring artworks built on disciplinary intersection. 

The 40 thousand euro award, one of the most financially relevant in the Portuguese cultural panorama, remains loyal to the prerequisites at the moment of its creation, of complete openness to all creators up to 40 years old, national or foreigner, residing in Portugal.

The five finalists of the 2019 edition are: the berru collective (Bernardo Bordalo, Mariana Vilanova, Rui Nó and Sérgio Coutinho); Diogo Tudela; Francisca Aires Mateus; the collective formed by Tiago Martins, João Correia and Sérgio Rebelo; and Rudolfo Quintas. The choice of the artists was conducted by a selection jury, formed by André Rangel (researcher and lecturer in the field of multimedia art. Art director and founder of the 3kta project, develops contemporary projects and events of Art and Intermedia Design), António Cerveira Pinto (artist, art critic, essayist, educator and producer. Art Director of The New Art Fest) and Adelaide Ginga (Art historian, curator and conservator at MNAC, specialised in digital arts), who assessed 93 applications based on the analysis of previous works created by the applicants, favouring applications which demonstrated a particular exploratory ability, innovative and critical in the domain of media art. The jury considered, as relevant criteria for the choice, the works’ technological maturity, conceptual clarity and formal quality. They paid special attention to generational amplitude, uniting artists with consolidated paths and emergent artists.

The collective exhibition of the finalist artists is a very relevant stage of the project, which ends with the attribution of the Sonae Media Art Award to the winner, chosen by the awarding jury comprised of Miguel Soares (pioneer artist in digital arts in Portugal and lecturer in the field of multimedia art, represented in several public and private collections in Portugal and abroad), Patrícia Gouveia (lecturer in the field of multimedia art, with research on ludic media, interactive fiction and digital arts) and Yves Bernard (Art  and Executive Director at IMAL, new media producer and activist, software engineer, scientific researcher and lecturer).

The decision on the winner will be announced on the 4th December 2019. 
In the award’s previous two editions, the winners were Tatiana Macedo, with the work 1989, in 2015, and Rodrigo Gomes with the work Estivador de Imagens, in 2017.

Five artists, Five original works 

berru collective [Bernardo Bordalo (1991), Mariana Vilanova (1996), Rui Nó (1993) and Sérgio Coutinho (1992)] 

Systems Synthesis

A biological system of approximately two metres of diameter, composed of plants and other organisms, was transported from an abandoned urban piece of land into the exhibition space. In the room, the machine replicates, through algorithms, the environmental conditions of its native spot, a forgotten place where nature grows without human intervention.

Systems Synthesis suggests a symbiotic relationship between Nature and Technology, in why living organisms depend on the machine to survive, which, in its turn, depends on life to serve its purpose. The result from the relationship is sound produced live, spread across seven channels.

The work is in constant visual and audio mutation, at a biological and natural speed which contrasts with our instant temporality, and in a state of dynamic balance.

Diogo Tudela (Porto, 1987) 

Collisions & Render Engines 

Collisions & Render Engines can be defined as an impact and detritus audiovisual theatre which models an information system in which possible trajectories are described within the cycle of material feedback that connects armed theatrical artefacts with their counterpoints in entertainment.

As such, the project suggests an analysis to the conception of media, addressing its part within the military-industrial-media-entertainment complex as a producer of formal solutions that contribute, simultaneously, to the endo-militarisation of everyday life, as well as to the important of fiction, post-production and special effects within armed context.

The installation articulates a series of 12 prints, generated through a photogrammetric algorithm that analysis and correlates images of artillery and pyrotechnics, which are momentarily and randomly retro illuminated, in reaction to a sound of eight channels which emits generative rhythmic patterns of sonic objects created through the synthesis of fireworks, bullet explosions and percussion related with the rave culture.

Francisca Aires Mateus (Lisbon, 1992) 

Musica Humana 

Musica humana is a sound installation which gathers 24 music compositions, each of them being based on the emotional and character features of an individual. The project began with the conduction of interviews to 24 people. The questions were inspired by Proust’s Questionnaire, but also in questions habitually used in job interviews. Simultaneously, an answer quantification method was predefined, as well as its translation into specific musical properties. From this information a composition was produced. In this installation, the sound is assumed as the immaterial element that fulfils the void and from which one creates a sensorial and emotional ambience that will certainly guide the way each spectator, individually, assimilates this location. What we hear is a sound mass, variable, living and organic, in time and space. Sometimes, one of the compositions becomes predominant while later we can listen to dialogues, confrontations and tensions, to the point of cacophony.

Tiago Martins (1990), João Correia (1986) and Sérgio Rebelo (1993) Collective

Retratos de Ninguém

The line between real and artificial has been a reason for discussion, fed by the emergency of computer systems which have created fake contents, often destined to propaganda and influence. Nowadays, we know that what we see, read and hear may be fake and, consequently, we start to wonder about what, before, we considered unquestionably true. Retratos de Ninguém is an interactive installation that explores the creation of contents in the intersection of real and artificial. In the installation room, there are created and presented portraits of with faces of nobody, generated from all of us, who visit it and feed it.

Rudolfo Quintas (Porto, 1980) 

Keystone I, II, III, IV

Keystone I, II, III, IV, by Rudolfo Quintas, consists of four new media sculptures that confront the spectator with an objective analysis made by an AI entity about the ideas written online by the Portuguese society, This information is presented through the recreation of a network of complex interactions, translations and permanent feedback between the digital and the non-digital world.

During a three-month period, the artist and his team trained the AI entity to be able to read and talk about what it had experienced. This system, inspired by the human brain’s neural connections, collected, analysed and assessed the feeling of more than 100,000 tweets from the most followed Twitter accounts (politicians, newspapers, political parties, etc.) in Portugal. The Keystones build an information universes of short-term and long-term memory with the most emotionally intense words of each day and talk about them, strictly basing their interpretations on what they learn from Twitter.
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