Pax Art Awards 2019
The second edition of the Pax Art Awards was held in June 2019. These groundbreaking prizes in the field of digital art, established in a collaboration between the Art Foundation Pax and HEK (Haus der Elektronischen Künste) honour and promote media-specific practices of Swiss artists whose works use media technologies or reflect their effects. The winners of the 2019 prizes were the artist duo knowbotiq and the artists Alan Bogana and Félicien Goguey.
The Art Foundation Pax is an independent foundation for the promotion of digital and media-based art in Switzerland and is sponsored by Pax. Since its institution, the foundation has annually presented the Pax Art Awards at the HEK.
The jury of the 2019 Pax Art Awards – Mónica Bello (Head of Arts at CERN, Geneva), Davide Fornari (Head of R&D at ECAL, Lausanne), Sabine Himmelsbach (Director at HeK), und Carmen Weisskopf (of the artist duo !Mediengruppe Bitnik, winner of the 2018 Pax Art Awards) – celebrates the artist duo knowbotiq (Yvonne Wilhelm and Christian Hübler) for their advanced and long-standing work in the field of media art with the first prize of CHF 30'000. The prize money is divided into CHF 15,000 in support of a new work and CHF 15,000 for the acquisition of a work for the collection of Art Foundation Pax. Two further prizes of CHF 15,000, each respectively divided into support and acquisition, are dedicated to young emerging media artists. In 2019, these went to the Ticino artist Alan Bogana and the Geneva-based artist Félicien Goguey.
Jury seats and voting rights are also held by members of the board of Art Foundation Pax:
Nicolas C. Bopp, President, Art Foundation Pax, Basel
Fausto De Lorenzo, De Lorenzo Art and Museum Management & Consulting GmbH, Basel
Through their long-standing practice as artists, knowbotiq – formerly active as knowbotic research together with Alexander Tuchacek – has significantly shaped the media art scene in Switzerland. The artist group is among the first voices within the field and has created an impressive body of work spanning nearly 30 years of experimentation at the intersection of art, knowledge, information and technology. From the beginning, the artists have been dedicated to developing research-based works, around networked agency, immersive realities, epistemic disobedience and medialities of knowledge. Their work explores many areas from the poetic to the conceptual, revisiting for example the history of camouflage and cybernetics.
The jury particularly appreciates the conceptual profundity of the work by knowbotiq, praising the philosophical aspects of their artistic investigations, the variety of topics approached, as well as the formal care in the presentation of their complex installations and performances.http://knowbotiq.net/
Bogana’s singular artistic practice focuses on the exploration of light, material processes and interactions within a vast array of natural phenomena, particularly related to minerals, fluids and crystals. These interests are deeper explored by applying different media and amplifying their range through series of mesmerising installations and devices that allows the viewer to enter the hidden realms of their natural world.
The combination of various forms and mediums, from sculpture, computer graphics and electronics to 3D printing technics, offer a great variety of languages and a solid and diverse application of multiple tools. Bogana’s artworks confront the viewer with the challenges of a common digital life and inspire to think about how modern technologies contribute to other ways of seeing and mimicking nature.https://www.alanbogana.com
With a background in communication networks, visual studies and digital media design, Goguey’s practice revolves around the imperceptibility of the Internet and its invisible mechanisms, as well as its political and social consequences. By exploring the creative potential of programming languages and new open source technologies, he creates interactive installations, live performances, applications and connected objects. The core of his research focuses on mass surveillance conducted within communication networks by governmental entities and the relations between monitored spaces and their users.
The jury of the Pax Art Awards 2019 is impressed by the quality of Goguey’s work and its reference to current topics influencing our everyday lives. They appreciate the singular way in which the artist approaches not only the topic of the Internet as such but also its infrastructures, while praising the elegance and the originality of the artist’s works.