Semiconductor Wins £10,000 Samsung Art+ Prize

The winners of the Samsung Art+ Prize were announced last night in a ceremony at the BFI Southbank. From a shortlist of 10 nominated artists, Semiconductor has been chosen as the first prize £10,000 winner, Lucky PDF as £5,000 second prize winner and Doug Fishbone has been selected by the public as the winner of the Samsung Art+ Prize audience award. It has also been announced that David Hall has been chosen by the panel of judges as the recipient of the lifetime achievement award.

[pullquote_right]”The first Samsung Art + Prize has been a great adventure and we hope that the future will present even more thrilling and intriguing new media art work.”[/pullquote_right]

The Samsung Art+ Prize is the UK’s first ever prize for new media art and aims to highlight artists who reveal the ways technologies can touch our lives. The Samsung Art+ Prize exhibition is on display at the BFI Southbank until 29 January 2012 and includes work by all ten shortlisted artists Neil Cummings, Doug Fishbone, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, Torsten Lauschmann, Lucky PDF, Aura Satz, Hiraki Sawa, Semiconductor, Erika Tan and Thomson and Craighead.

The winning artistic duo Semiconductor (Joe Garhardt and Ruth Jarman), make innovative moving image works and create animations that pursue a quest to translate the lexicons of science into aesthetic experiences. Recent solo exhibitions include Worlds in the Making, FACT, Liverpool (closed September 2011) and their work was included in the group exhibition Watch Me Move: The Animation Show, Barbican, London (closed September 2011).

[pullquote_right]”Semiconductor are recognised as an important voice in questioning the relationship between the material and virtual world.” [/pullquote_right]

LuckyPDF, the second prize winners, are an artist collective immersed in social media who make use of the fast-changing array of technologies at their disposal. Their practice is multifaceted, embracing their social network (both online and in their physical neighbourhood) and the arts ecology of London. LuckyPDF recently completed a project at Frieze Art Fair in London (October 2011).

To select the winner of the audience award the Samsung Art+ Prize hosted a public vote on the website ( Doug Fishbone was selected by the public as their favourite and will receive a 46” Samsung Series 8 Smart TV. Fishbone often uses satire and humour within his film, performance and installation works to examine consumer culture and the mass media in a critical and disarming way. He has recently produced and cast himself as the lead role in the Ghanaian-made film ‘Elmina’ to question the impact of ethnic difference within the international market of art and entertainment.

[pullquote_right]”It’s been a great experience working with leading industry figures on this project”[/pullquote_right]

The £5,000 lifetime achievement award has been presented by the judges to David Hall for the outstanding contribution he has made to the UK new media art scene. Hall was a prominent sculptor of the ‘new generation’ school in the 1960s who later turned his attention to photography, film and video. Hall’s pioneering work Interruptions from 1971 is widely acknowledged as the first artist intervention to be broadcast on British television and he has been attributed with helping video gain acceptance as a recognised art form. Hall will be presenting a major solo exhibition of his work entitled End Piece… at Ambika P3 in London from 16 March – 19 April 2012.

Andy Griffiths, Managing Director of Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland said: “Our main ambition in creating the Samsung Art+ Prize is to raise awareness of this exciting new art genre, and in doing so, inspire future generations of artists. It’s been a great experience working with leading industry figures on this project and I have been hugely impressed with the exceptional standard of works from our shortlisted artists. On behalf of everyone at Samsung, I’d like to congratulate the winners, Semiconductor for their inspirational piece.”

Jiyoon Lee, Director of SUUM and member of the Samsung Art+ Prize judging panel said: “The whole concept of ‘new media art’ remains open, but it has been fascinating process to explore this concept creatively with my fellow judges.  We are delighted that all of the shortlisted artists have given us the opportunity to celebrate works that are not only about technological innovation but also focus on artists that use technology as a medium of artistic intervention and to engage audiences. The first Samsung Art + Prize has been a great adventure and we hope that the future will present even more thrilling and intriguing new media art work.”

[pullquote_right]”Our main ambition is to inspire future generations of artists”[/pullquote_right]

On behalf of the Samsung Art+ Prize judging panel, Stuart Comer, Curator of Film at Tate Modern said:

“With the first and second prize for the Samsung Art+ Award, the jury is pleased to honor two collectives who highlight the decisive and quickly shifting impact of technological media on recent cultural practice.

Semiconductor are recognised as an important voice in questioning the relationship between the material and virtual world. They have developed a long term and rigorous practice that draws on innovations in science and media to form a visually and sonically rich body of work. They have crafted their own unique ‘technological sublime’ by reconsidering how images can be constructed and distributed through careful research and collaboration.

Lucky PDF reflect a renewed interest in collaboration and have brought tremendous energy and insight to exploring the possibilities of media, broadcast and networked production on the role of the artist. Their projects fundamentally question technology and its role in forming artistic practice and the production and performance of images.

David Hall is without question one of the crucial pioneers to understand and articulate a new world of broadcast and monitor-based media. With a legacy extending from some of the earliest video installations and interventions to the development of London Video Arts and the first chapter of video art in the UK, Hall richly deserves the Samsung Art+ Lifetime Achievement Award, which is awarded to him with a unanimous decision by the jury.”

Sam Hardy

Sam Hardy is a writer for KingLoaf and music journalism site AltSounds.