On behalf of the jury, it is an honor to present Digital Solitude’s artists in residence. The four winners of this prize will spend one month in Akademie Schloss Solitude’s Web Residency. The jury hopes that the prize will enable the artist to continue exploring and developing their proposed projects. The artists will also have the opportunity and time to engage with Akademie Schloss Solitude’s network. The award goes to artists whose time-based media work delves into the unique ways in which various everyday life performances reflect on learning from objects, technology, and nonhumans, profoundly executing ideas of interconnectedness, multiple folds, and transitions as vital to beings. We are very happy to announce residents Nkhensani Mkhari, Marie-Eve Levasseur, Lark VCR, and Zahra Malkani.
Juror's Statement by Violet Nantume — Nov 16, 2020
Nkhensani Mkhari (re)creates a digital »power figure,« an attempt to archive and excavate precolonial history. An imminent tension between remembering and forgetting in society pours over and permeates cyberspace, given how little control we have over how our information and memories are stored. The work references thousands of spiritual artifacts; repositories of ancestral spirits transmogrified into art objects relegated to vitrines in museums on distant shores, thousands more destined for destruction under fire. Today the history and meaning of these objects continue to challenge Africans, anthropologists, and museum curators alike.
Marie-Eve Levasseur’s work proposes brewing symbiotic care in a brewery where plants, microorganisms (yeast), machines, and humans collaborate. The work recognizes brewsters, alewives, and other women who brew for their kin to survive, but also gather specific knowledge about plants, fungi, healing, and caring for their own bodies and those related to them. The work also examines the relationship of human beings to yeast, researching former and current rituals and looking at the power relations related to brewing and caring.
Zahra Malkani creates ephemeral imagery in an audiovisual web installation that explores divinity as a system by exploring Shivaite and Sufi healing practices in Pakistan’s delta and desert regions; ancient ecologies now ravaged by coal and dam infrastructure. The project looks at the collective healing power of nature while working across different South Asian aniconist traditions.
And an online moon altar by Lark VCR will honor tradition and track the lunar cycle via sound and visual metaphor to explore how the moon’s movement universally affects and foregrounds cycles of travel and rest, celebration and solitude, the act of letting go and then setting intention. The moon altar will be an interactive website; its use of sounds and images denoting the global and shared experience that will shift with the moon’s phases.
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