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Hit hard by the COVID-19 lockdown, the founders of Zurich’s Museum for Digital Art (MuDA), Caroline Hirt and Christian Etter, announce the non-profit’s untimely end. “It is heart-breaking to have to make such a short-term decision after all these years building this project up from zero.” Crowdfunded in 2016 and recognized for exhibiting the likes of Zach Lieberman and Vera Molnar, MuDA will host its final finissage on July 19th.
LaTurbo Avedon’s interactive experience Your Progress Will Be Saved (2020) launches as the first commission for “Virtual Factory,” Manchester International Festival’s (MIF) temporary home inside the Fortnite videogame. Visitors join the avatar artist on a journey through shifting spaces, across illuminated dance floors and into private booths, making and collecting memories in anticipation of the Factory’s reopening in 2023.
In the Bloomberg webcomic The Perfect Art Heist: Hack the Money, Leave the Painting, illustrator Anna Haifisch and writer James Tarmy relate the ongoing dispute over who owns John Constable’s 1824 painting A View of Hampstead Heath. Art dealer Simon C. Dickinson had sold the prized landscape to the Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enschede, for $3.1 million in January, but a (still at large) hacker intercepted the money transfer by hijacking Dickinson’s email.
Icelandic–Danish installation artist Olafur Eliasson launches Earth Speakr, a new artwork and AR mobile app that “invites kids to speak up for the planet and adults to listen to what they have to say.” Using the app, kids can map cartoon versions of their faces onto their environment and record messages for us to hear. A selection of them will be streamed at the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg as well as at the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.
Part of his incomplete series of quarantine collaborations, Japanese composer and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto premieres low tide, a contemplative piece produced together with American experimental music veterans Laurie Anderson and Arto Lindsay featuring video art by New York collective Zakkubalan, within the 2020 Festival de Cannes livestream.
Exhibiting digital art in sticker form, the Zentrum für Netzkunst-curated group show “stick.t.me” opens at Berlin’s panke.gallery. 19 artists including Nadja Buttendorf, Carla Gannis, Rosa Menkman, Lorna Mills, and Igor Štromajer harness the sticker feature of the Telegram messenger app for creating net art collectibles. Produced during an ‘in-app’ residency, the stickers can be gathered in a dedicated scrapbook available at the gallery; their digital counterparts are available in Telegram.
In announcing this year’s Golden Nica winners, the Prix Ars Electronica jury notes that, for the first time in the prize’s 33-year history, an anonymous citizens movement—that of Hong Kong protesters—has been awarded while all other winners—another first—are women. Among them are Miwa Matreyek (Computer Animation), VALIE EXPORT (Visionary Pioneer), and Lauren Lee McCarthy (Interactive Art +), whose 2019 piece SOMEONE (image) had gallery visitors become human versions of smart home assistants.
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