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Prix Ars Electronica

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Title: Prix Ars Electronica  
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Subject: Zavoloka, Andrew Witkin, Kaija Saariaho, Manfred Mohr, Graffiti Research Lab
Collection: Arts Awards, Arts Awards in Austria, Austrian Awards, Awards Established in 1987, Computer-Related Awards, Digital Media, Media Awards
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Prix Ars Electronica

Logo Prix Ars Electronica

The Prix Ars Electronica is one of the most important yearly prizes in the field of electronic and interactive art, computer animation, digital culture and music. It has been awarded since 1987 by Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria).

In 2005, the Golden Nica, the highest prize, was awarded in six categories: "Computer Animation/Visual Effects," "Digital Musics," "Interactive Art," "Net Vision," "Digital Communities" and the "u19" award for "freestyle computing." Each Golden Nica came with a prize of 10,000, apart from the u19 category, where the prize was 5,000. In each category, there are also Awards of Distinction and Honorary Mentions.

The Golden Nica Award

The Golden Nica is replica of the Greek Nike of Samothrace. It is a handmade wooden statuette, plated with gold, so each trophy is unique: approximately 35 cm high, with a wingspan of about 20 cm, all on a pedestal. "Prix Ars Electronica" is a phrase composed of French, Latin and Spanish words, loosely translated as "Electronic Arts Prize."


  • Golden Nica winners 1
    • Computer animation / film / vfx 1.1
      • Computer Graphics 1.1.1
      • Computer Animation 1.1.2
      • Computer Animation/Visual Effects 1.1.3
    • Digital Music 1.2
    • Hybrid art 1.3
    • [the next idea] voestalpine Art and Technology Grant 1.4
    • Interactive Art 1.5
    • Internet-related categories 1.6
      • World Wide Web 1.6.1
      • .net 1.6.2
      • Net Vision / Net Excellence 1.6.3
    • Digital Communities 1.7
  • References 2
  • External links 3

Golden Nica winners

Computer animation / film / vfx

The "Computer Graphics" category (1987–1994) was open to different kinds of computer images. The "Computer Animation" (1987–1997) was replaced by the current "Computer Animation/Visual Effects" category in 1998. New York artist and musician John Fekner received honorary awards for Concrete People and The Last Days of Good and Evil in 1987 and 1988.

Computer Graphics

Computer Animation

Computer Animation/Visual Effects

Chris Lavis with the Golden Nica for "Madame Tutli-Putli" (2008)

Digital Music

This category is for those making electronic music and sound art through digital means. From 1987 to 1998 the category was known as "Computer music." Two Golden Nicas were awarded in 1987, and none in 1990. There was no Computer Music category in 1991.

Hybrid art

[the next idea] voestalpine Art and Technology Grant

  • 2009 - "Open_Sailing" by Open_Sailing Crew[1] led by Cesar Harada.
  • 2010 - "Hostage" by [Frederik De Wilde].[2]
  • 2011 - Choke Point Project by P2P Foundation (NL).[3]
  • 2012 - - tools for the next revolution by Christoph Wachter & Mathias Jud[4]
  • 2013 - Hyperform by Marcelo Coelho (BR), Skylar Tibbits (US), Natan Linder (IL), Yoav Reaches (IL)
    • Honorary Mentions: GravityLight by Martin Riddiford (GB), Jim Reeves (GB)[5]

Interactive Art

Joe Davis at the Prix Ars Electronica 2012

Prizes in the category of interactive art have been awarded since 1990. This category applies to many categories of works, including installations and performances, characterized by audience participation, virtual reality, multimedia and telecommunication.

Internet-related categories

In the categories "World Wide Web" (1995 – 96) and ".net" (1997 – 2000), interesting web-based projects were awarded, based on criteria like web-specificity, community-orientation, identity and interactivity. In 2001, the category became broader under the new name "Net Vision / Net Excellence", with rewards for innovation in the online medium.

World Wide Web

  • 1995 - "Idea Futures" by Robin Hanson
  • 1996 - "Digital Hijack" by etoy
    • Second prizes: HyGrid by SITO and Journey as an exile


Net Vision / Net Excellence

Digital Communities

Danny Wool, representing WorldHeritage, receives a 2004 Golden Nica.

A category begun in 2004 with support from SAP (and a separate ceremony in New York City two months before the main Ars Electronica ceremony) to celebrate the 25th birthday of Ars Electronica. Two Golden Nicas were awarded.

  • 2004 - WorldHeritage and "The World Starts With Me"
  • 2005 - "Akshaya", an information technology development program in India
  • 2006 - canal*ACCESSIBLE
    • Distinction:
      • Codecheck (Roman Bleichenbacher CH)
      • Proyecto Cyberela – Radio Telecentros (CEMINA)
    • Honorary Mentions:
      • Arduino (Arduino)
      • – News from Belarus
      • CodeTree
      • MetaReciclagem
      • Mountain Forum
      • Pambazuka News (Fahamu
      • Semapedia
      • (Stefan Eibelwimmer (AT), Günther Kolar (AT))
      • The Freecycle Network
      • The Organic City
      • UgaBYTES Initiative (UgaBYTES Initiative (UG))
  • 2007 - Overmundo
  • 2008 - 1kg more
  • 2009 - HiperBarrio by Álvaro Ramírez and Gabriel Jaime Vanegas
    • Distinction:
    • Honorary Mentions:
      • Maneno
  • 2010 - Chaos Computer Club
  • 2011 - Fundacion Ciudadano Inteligente
    • Distinction:
      • Bentham Papers Transcription Initiative (Transcribe Bentham) (UK). See also the project's Transcription Desk
      • X_MSG
  • 2012 - Syrian people know their way
  • 2013 - El Campo de Cebada by El Campo de Cebada (ES)
    • Distinction: Refugees United by Christopher Mikkelsen (DK), David Mikkelsen (DK)
    • Distinction: Visualizing Palestine by Visualizing Palestine (PS)


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^

External links

  • Prix Ars Electronica
  • Past winners
  • Past winners (in german, more detailed)
  • Prix Ars Electronica 1987-1990 (German)
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