After 16 years, the competition will come to an end. New exhibitions will showcase the latest trends in art and new media
The VIDA International Art and Artificial Life Competition is entering a new era. The international artistic creation competition organised by Fundación Telefónica has begun a process which will see the end of the competition – in its current form – to give way to new ways of supporting cutting-edge art, science and technology.
VIDA’s story is, to a large extent, the story of the evolution of art and new media. Its specific field is artificial life, a wide-ranging and permeable concept which first appeared in the 1980s, and which includes and generates varied interesting creative proposals which merge art and technology with science.
The more than 2000 works presented at the 16 editions of the awards are just part of the legacy of visionary and adventurous contest, which has also served as a launch pad for renowned artists like Ken Rinaldo or Eduardo Kac.
Theo Jansen, in October
Since its creation in 1999 by artists Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Susie Ramsay and Fundación Telefónica, VIDA´s main aims have been to detect and promote emerging artists within the framework of art and new media.
Some of those emerging artists are playing a pivotal role in this new era. The VIDA competition may be coming to an end, but Fundación Telefónica’s commitment to pioneering art and new formats is stronger than ever. Throughout the 16 years of the awards – first directed by Lozano–Hemmer, then by Daniel Canogar and most recently by Mónica Bello–, research into multiple ways of creating and reflecting on life has been realised through avatars, computer viruses, simulations, cellular automota or interactive installations.
An example of this realisation is the work of the Dutch artist Theo Jansen, who received an award at VIDA 6.0 and who will exhibit his work at Espacio Fundación Telefónica in Madrid this October as part of the exhibitions Big Bang Data – a subject in which VIDA was a pioneer – and Jim Campbell, one of the most innovative and renowned artists in the field of research into light. By manipulating electronics and computing, the American artist draws us into a world of visually stunning video installations and light sculptures. LED spheres, pixels, video projectors, frames, electronic circuits and pixelated photographs are just some elements of the visual language he uses.
The internet, an enormous repository
The four offices of Espacio Fundación Telefónica (Madrid, Buenos Aires, Lima and Santiago de Chile) are the main setting for this new era in support of art and new media. Alongside the schedule of exhibitions faithful to the formats and themes addressed by VIDA, there will be a range of workshops in line with the latest trends in cutting-edge art.
The contest is coming to an end but VIDA’s legacy will remain open to all. The contest’s website (vida.fundaciontelefonica.com) will remain online for all those wishing to follow the evolution of these awards which have become an international benchmark in new media art.