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The Shortlist

+ Matilda Skelton Mace

MA Computational Arts
Goldsmiths

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Matilda Skelton Mace

The winning entry in the 2016 Aspen Online Art Award was 'Sky Island' by Matilda Skelton Mace.

Drawing on the phenomenon of ‘Sky Islands’ – mountains with unique flora and fauna caused by climatic isolation from the surrounding lowland – users’ metadata are used to create particular landforms with their own plants and weather systems.

Visitors with matching characteristics (for example using the same hardware or operating system) generate landforms in a similar location to eventually build up a mountain range corresponding to correlations in metadata. Their weather and plant life reflects the geographical location of the user.

Visitors can explore this expanding world and a visual representation of metadata profiling emerges, with its implications for anonymity rights and freedom of expression.

Matilda Skelton Mace is a London-based artist and designer, working with the building blocks of reality, space, light, and geometric form. 

About the Artist

Matilda is interested in the ‘in between’, exploring ideas of implied, imagined and virtual space, the dissonance that can arise between real and virtual and the way we perceive it. Skelton Mace recently graduated from the MA Computational Arts course at Goldsmiths, University of London, having also gained a BA Fine Art: New Media at Winchester School of Art in 2013. This year she was shortlisted for the HIX Award 2015 and has exhibited at galleries, nightclubs and festivals.

Recommendation

Matilda's work has been exhibited widely, including as physical installations and also in online contexts. Her work features strong use of projection and materials to transform physical space, creating sculptural interactive digital artworks. She creates her own interactive systems in C, C++, Processing, Java and HTML5, and also demonstrates a solid grasp of the requirements of physical computing. She is an excellent example of a contemporary maker.

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+ Lior Ben Gai

MA Computational Arts
Goldsmiths

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Lior Ben Gai

Lior is an Israeli digital artist, working in various digital mediums since 2008.

About the Artist

Lior’s commercial works include museum installations and exhibits, mobile games, web applications and custom interactive software. As an independent artist, he explores generative strategies and computational creativity to produce expressive software, animation and sound. He is emotionally drawn to computer generated graphics, strongly believes in project based learning and enjoys thinking about things he never thought about before.

Recommendation

Lior's work explores potential intersections between artificial life and synthetic biology, examining notions of ‘lab aesthetics’ whilst creating experiences that rely on his strong visual sense. His preoccupation with computational arts methods such as superformula, and his increasing interest in artificial life and cellular automata have led him to create highly engaging physical and virtual installations that are reminiscent of science fiction, but wholly real-time and interactive.

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+ Xingru Dong (Jam)

MA Graphic Moving Image
London College of Communication

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Xingru Dong (Jam)

Xingru is a postgraduate student in London College of Communication majoring in Graphic Moving Image.

About the Artist

Xingru Dong is from Shanghai, China. She graduated from Tongji University with a major in Art and Design-Digital Media pathway 2012. In college, she was a member of student union engaged in graphic design works. Her Graduation Project ”Collage-14 little things” was selected to participate in the Shanghai University Students’ Graduation Project Exhibition 2013. After graduation, Xingru has worked in Magic Motion Studio as an animator for nearly one year. With a passion for animation and experimental video, she decided to continue her education. She is good at expressing and illustrating the world she received in the form of animations and moving images. She finds herself especially attracted to the traditional animation techniques such as stop-motion and hand-drawing so she tries to develop and explore them in her works and build her own style.

Recommendation

Jam produces beautiful hand-drawn animations with a scientific focus. Jam is an unusual thinker, quirky and original. She is very hard working and diligent and ambitious. This award would really help her develop her voice as a new filmmaker with something to say.

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+ Angie Fang

MFA Computational Arts
Goldsmiths

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Angie Fang

Angie Fang is a UK-based Chinese digital artist who works in digital media, audio visual performance and interactive installations. 

About the Artist

Angie received her art design Bachelor's degree from Shanghai Institute of Visual Art in 2010. She has been studying MFA computational Studio Art at Goldsmiths since 2013, where her research focus on the tension between sound, space and visual elements, and also the subtle experience between the technology synthesized and the reality. Her works, Nito (2013), L-Pattern (2014), Bud (2014) and Organic Flow (2014), were exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum; and the immersive installation Under the Water (2014) has been installed in Hotel Elephant gallery in the Test Signal exhibition. Outside of her academic research, she also gained experience working for Studio XO and United Visual Artists.

Qualification/Recommendation...

Angie is an excellent audio-visual artist with a very sophisticated grasp of her materials. Her online video work is created entirely in C++, making use of complex 3D OpenGL and digital signal processing techniques entirely of her own devising, rendering out fully interactive real-time audio-visual works that have been screened online and at exhibitions including at the V&A. Her online presentation of this work led her being employed as a coder with United Visual Artists whilst still studying for her masters. Her work attempts to represent a pseudo-natural, material sensory environment, yet with the characteristics of the computational and digital at its heart. This is a very challenging and distinctive approach that does not simply reference ‘the digital’ in terms of discretisation (pixels), but instead attempts to create sophisticated and natural experiences that sit in-between the real and the virtual.

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+ Miles Umney

MA
Slade School of Fine Art

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Miles Umney

Miles Umney was born in 1988 in Milton Keynes. His work investigates the technological architectures that support the production and distribution of digital video.

About the Artist

He is interested in the way that power and subjectivity are articulated through this technology, as well as in its formal, sculptural, and affective potentials. Miles has exhibited at the ICA, MK Gallery, CoExist, Residence Gallery, Phoenix Gallery, S1 Artspace and the National Trust. He has undertaken commissions for Blinc Digital Arts Festival, Milton Keynes Arts and Heritage Alliance, Dover Arts Development, the Jersey Arts Trust, and the London Internet Exchange. He is currently undertaking an MA at the Slade School of Fine Art.

Recommendation

Through his work, Miles examines the phenomenology of digital, moving image-making, highlighting structure, image function and meaning. His interest in the apparatus of image making and its limits often forms the basis of his enquiry. Resulting works are succinct, poetic and self-reflexive, evidencing the careful thought and consideration be brings to all that he does.

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+ Céline Villaneau

MA Fine Art Digital
Camberwell College of Arts

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Céline Villaneau

Born in France in 1992, Céline moved over 23 times to four different countries before settling in London for her Drawing degree at Camberwell College of Arts.

About the Artist

Céline rediscovered contemporary dancing during her ERASMUS year in Brussels, with ISAC, at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels in 2014. She keeps moving and traveling often, which explains the immateriality of her body of work. Currently, she is in her first year of her MA Fine Art Digital.

Recommendation

Céline intensely explores her chosen medium. Her combination of physical movement and complex video editing allows here to investigate the boundaries between physical and virtual space. She is an ideal candidate for this award and will challenge herself and her working methods.

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+ Trystan Williams

MA Fine Art Digital
Camberwell College of Arts

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Trystan Williams

Trystan Williams is a London based artist currently studying for an MA in Fine Art Digital at Camberwell College of Arts.

About the Artist

Trystan's practice involves using snippets of conversation, excerpts from threads, isolated sentences and thoughts that people have posted online and laser engraving them onto pieces of found stone or ephemera. The text is generally taken from small online communities where posts either aren't archived or aren't viewable without registering to the site. This means the writing is in theory unsearchable and "lost" to all intents and purposes.

Recommendation

Trystan is widely read and eagerly consumes influences from a variety of sources. He is able to incorporate these diverse influences into an incredibly focused body of work. His art deliberately crosses the boundaries of seemingly ephemeral online text and the traditions of engraving and carving text for posterity. In working towards this award Trystan would undoubtedly further challenge these apparent binaries.

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