Digital Art Prize
variations on the word ghost, 2020, chatbot.
Engaging with absence, loss, and the inherent precarity of digital communications, variations on the word ghost is a web-based chatbot embodying the restless spirit of a distant friend. This piece was first published by Liminal, as part of their Glitch series.
Shastra Deo was born in Fiji, raised in Melbourne, and lives in Brisbane. Her first book, The Agonist (UQP 2017), won the 2016 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and the 2018 Australian Literature Society Gold Medal. She was Running Dog's Poet in Micro-Residence for October/November 2019, and State Library of Queensland's first Reader in Residence in 2020.
★ Second Prize – $2,000
Quarry: A Story About Grief, 2020, digital story. Words by Bridget Mackey, design by Grace Purton-Long, music by Christopher Gray.
Quarry is a digital story about fear, grief and creativity, describing the experience of developing a show in a huge sandstone quarry soon after the death of artist Bridget Mackey’s mother. This work is best viewed on desktop.
The Hunt are an artist group founded in 2016 who use sound, performance and imagery to create performance vignettes centred around a female protagonist and drawing on horror tropes. The core artists in the group are Christopher Gray, Bridget Mackey, and Grace Purton-Long.
Drive In Roulette, 2020, digital video, 15m.
Drive In Roulette records random entries into the driveways and carports of the artist’s local neighbourhood. By parking in a stranger’s carport and counting to 20, the driver tests the tense threshold between private and public space. Filmed over a day during the depths of COVID-19 crisis, Drive In Roulette reveals moments of unease and fear, humour and serenity.
Mark Parfitt's practice draws from sculpture as a process and how it relates to situated experiences within the everyday. Parfitt produces site-specific and participatory work in the form of documentation, performance and sculpture. Since 2004, he has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions, featured in institutional and private collections, and been awarded grants, residencies and prizes.
Under a Star Called Sun, 2020, bitsy game.
The game is controlled using arrow keys on desktop and gestures on mobile.
Cecile Richard is a graphic designer, illustrator, zine maker and game designer living in Melbourne. Their personal work often revolves around memory, connection and belonging.
★ Highly Commended – $500
Dream Yield, 2020, multimedia website.
In Dream Yield, a crop of black beans opens up a hopeless investigation in search of a fair price, crashing up against fuzzy supply chains and the crushing weight of industrial empire. The work consists of photography, GIFS, and an original soundscape alongside other documentation of the artist's investigation into a seemingly opaque supply chain. Project supported by Salamanca Arts Centre through Next Wave X.
Alex Last is an interdisciplinary artist living and working on Muwinina land in nipaluna, lutruwita (also known as Hobart, Tasmania). Last labours to listen closely and uncover the relationships which bind earthly organisms and their human relatives.
★ Third Prize – $1,000
Hard As You Can, 2019, single channel digital video, sound, 12m.
Hard As You Can (2019) is a video artwork about the impact of David Fincher's 1999 film "Fight Club" on the development of far-right men's groups. It was commissioned by Prototype, an e-newsletter of experimental video art & short film.
Tiyan Baker is a Malaysian Bidayuh/Anglo-Australian artist making video and installation art. She uses field research and documentary techniques to explore our emotional experience within wider socio-political contexts. Originally from Darwin, NT, Baker currently lives and works on the Gadigal and Wangal lands known as Sydney.
Matt Aitken & Mei Swan Lim
Land Sale: Gravel, Moonscape, The Dress, Surface Expression, Grand Designs, 2019, digital video, 13m.
Land Sale looks to the altered landscapes, sweeping sub-divisions, freeway extensions and early-phase industrial sites of Perth’s northern suburbs. The urban sprawl keeps moving. Biodiverse areas are erased in the blink of an eye – top soil is scraped away, yellow fill sand is trucked in and layered smooth like icing. This ‘clean slate’ is the blank surface upon which we can project our desires of the dream home & lifestyle package.
Matt Aitken & Mei Swan Lim are artist collaborators based in Western Australia. Lim is a sound and visual artist whose work centres on the environmental, emotional and spiritual importance of place. Aitken is an artist and educator drawing on a background in Cultural Anthropology and DIY music.
★ Best of the West prize – $1,000
Iwantja Young Women's Film Project
Kungka Kunpu (Strong Women), 2019, single channel video with sound, 4m.
Our video work is called Kungka Kunpu, which means 'Strong Women' in Yankunytjatjara. We want to show a strong, positive message about life in a remote Indigenous community – us young women here in Indulkana love to dance and have fun and make each other laugh. We’re proud to live on our land and hold on to our culture and our language. Us younger ones are from the generation that grew up with Coca Cola and TV as well as Tjukurpa (cultural stories) and bush tucker, so we like to have a bit of fun with combining those two different worlds.
– Kaylene Whiskey
Iwantja Arts is an Indigenous owned and governed art centre, located in the remote community of Indulkana, on the APY Lands, South Australia. Iwantja Arts supports the careers of its artist members, providing access to professional and artistic development. Iwantja Arts is known for its innovative and culturally rich projects that celebrate Anangu cultural strength and artistic excellence.
★ Acquisition Prize – $2,500. Selected by the City of Melville arts team.
★ First Prize – $6,000