Google launched a demo competition

menace - 20:52 10 March 2014 #



ipggi - 22:52 12 March 2014 #

One important thing that was missed is that the competition is also sponsored by the Barbican Centre. A well respected London art institution with a focus on performance, media and architecture.

In conjunction with this competition they are holding an exhibition ‘Digital Revolution’ An immersive exhibition of art, design, film, music and video games.
“This immersive and interactive exhibition brings together for the first time a range of artists, filmmakers, architects, designers, musicians and game developers, pushing the boundaries of their fields using digital media. It also looks at the dynamic developments in the areas of creative coding and DIY culture and the exciting creative possibilities offered by augmented reality, artificial intelligence, wearable technologies and 3-D printing.”

Though what I find most telling about this DevArt.Art competition is how niche it makes the demoscene feel. Is the scene stuck in a 1990s bubble? With a mindset with formalised parties, where people meet up in person for programming competitions that target a single computer platform. That are judged by their peers in what is sometimes a fame and popularity contest. Where the focus is on the engineering of the code than it is on the aesthetics, conception and emotion of the art work.

This Dev.Art competition on the other hand is very 21st century, all online and is open to nearly anyone who has access to the Internet. All proposals and its supporting code must be open source and placed on Github. A panel of judges choose the finalists instead of a people’s popular vote. Where the winners will be judged on pushing the boundaries of online as well as physical, art and technology. The installation of a work and how it will display in a gallery is just as important as the code. So a PC connected to a projector executing a program running on a continuous loop won't cut it.

To me this competition has little to do with the demoscene and coded computer ‘demos’. And is more of an evolution of the digital conceptual art movement of the past few decades. To push it to engage with always-connected, online infrastructure and hence the sponsorship with Google.

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