Camila Duprat Martins

This ninth edition of the Sergio Motta Art and Technology Award reinforces Instituto Sergio Motta’s purpose of fostering and disseminating a contemporary artistic production that, through digital and electronic media and as part of its poetic activity, raises questionings, analyses, and restlessness in view of the current state of the world.

The foundation of ISM and of the Award itself in the beginning of the 21st century puts forth actions to support the innovative and creative use of technology. In light of the constant challenges generated by fast transformation, technological impacts, and the speed of informational systems in contemporary world, ISM develops initiatives to create a consistent space that is permanently focused on updating its parameters.

In view of these purposes, the Sergio Motta Award, since its first edition in 2000, has emerged as an actor whose aim is to foster the Brazilian production in this field, also becoming a mean in which the dissemination and discussion of this production takes place.

In these eleven years, many changes and adjustments have been necessary in view of the need to be constantly up to date. The well-established initiative we see today is a result of the determination of the institute’s artistic direction and technical team in reestablishing and redesigning the proposals of this action in order to ensure its scope and conceptual coherence, in view of a dynamic artistic scenario. The innovations in artistic languages, particularly those in which the use of technological tools is the basis of the creative process, require a special attention from institutions and curators in terms of a comprehensive understanding of the innovations and changes in these languages. As stated by Néstor Canclini, when new concepts abruptly emerge, or displace our view, demanding its reformulation, it is time to expand horizons and reestablish our perception of what is contemporary (1). And having this in mind, the design of the Award is renewed in each edition to keep up with the dynamism of new artistic expressions.

When, as of 2005, the Award became biennial, this change resulted in the creation of new projects that reached a wider public and more Brazilian regions. This longer time gap between awards opened space for more comprehensive debates and discussions on the issue of contemporary Brazilian art.

In 2011, once again curated by Giselle Beiguelman, the Award gives more space to Early-Career artists and creators with the creation of four awards, granted to Jeraman (PE), mmnehcft & MANIFESTO21.TV (SP), Pablo Lobato (MG), and Vivian Caccuri (RJ).

Lucas Bambozzi (SP) and Eric Zaven Paré (RJ) were granted the two Mid-Career awards.

The portfolios submitted to the award were thoroughly examined by two different selection committees—each comprised of five professionals of the fields considered for the Award—and consensually selected by the jury. This first phase selected twelve artists who made the short list for the Award. It took several hours of heated debates at Goethe-Institut’s auditorium to fulfill the hard task of choosing the more consistent backgrounds in view of the broad contemporary artistic universe.

The Selection Committee and the Prize Jury also had the task of granting the Hors Concours award, which pays tribute to artists and scholars whose works made a substantial contribution to the development of artistic languages with digital or electronic interfaces. By unanimous decision, the jury appointed Pernambuco-born Paulo Bruscky, a pioneer in the use of various media and supports, as well as in understanding the multiple variations of the artistic process. Through this Award, a well-deserved tribute is paid to Bruscky, who is a reference in the art world, and to his tireless pursuit for whatever is new in the artistic scenario.

The jury also proposed a tribute to the multimedia artist Diana Domingues, from the state of Rio Grande do Sul, a scholar and a hardworking advocate of the dissemination and establishment of the artistic production in digital and electronic media.

Substantial contributions, such as those made by Diana Domingues and Paulo Bruscky enabled the current existence of productions that use the state-of-the-art technological tools and question potentialities, pushing them to their limit. For the Sergio Motta Award, granting these awards and paying these tributes is also a way of building bridges and highlighting relevant aspects in the history of Brazilian digital art through its most prominent contributors.

We also believe the Award fulfills its mission of fostering the production in electronic and digital media by offering within its program a space for debate and critic. In this edition, the Portfolio Readings—which open space for the shortlisted artists to debate their work with Brazilian and foreign art critics—were expanded to a seminar format. The Circuit and Critic of Post-Digital Media Contemporary Art intends to offer a critical view on the body of work of the twelve artists and to have a more comprehensive understanding of the contemporary production that establishes a dialogue with technology, in addition to bringing the public closer to the work and the poetics of these artists.

We would like to congratulate all the winners of the 9th Sergio Motta Art and Technology Award, as well as this edition’s shortlisted artists, the selection committee, and the jury. We would also like to thank the permanent support given by Goethe-Institut, which lent its facilities to the meetings of the jury. Our special thanks to curator Giselle Beiguelman for the excellent job she did and to Instituto Sergio Motta’s team for its commitment and restless effort to organize this edition.

(1) Néstor Canclini, Hybrid Cultures, translated by Christopher L. Chiappari and Silvia L. Lopez, foreword by Renato Rosaldo (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005).

Camila Duprat Martins is Instituto Sergio Motta’s superintendent. Martins is a museologist postgraduated in art history from ECA-USP. She was the director of Museu de Arte Moderna-SP (1990-1992), director of Centro Cultural São Paulo’s Divisão de Artes Plásticas [Visual Arts Department] (1993-2000), production coordinator of the Sergio Motta Art and Technology Award (2001-2004), coordinator of the project Museu Vivo, developed by the Secretaria de Estado da Cultura (2004-2005), and coordinator of Senac-SP’s graduate course Gestão em Artes [Art management] (2007-2008).