December 2011, Paris, France, saw the inauguration of the Prix Mobile art prize – a new, annual contest, open to all comers, rewarding excellence in the field of mobile art. To the winner a unique trophy, with cash prizes for first, second and third place.
The competition was judged by an international jury of practising artists, photographers, videographers, art curators, entrepreneurs, academics, internet and media luminaries, and prizes were awarded in Paris at DigitalArti.
The first Prix Mobile Art Exhibition ran December 7th, 8th and 9th 2011 at LeWeb, Les Docks, Eiffel building / D1. Mobile art from the contest was featured in a central Paris exhibition at DigitalArti, 13, rue des Écluses Saint-Martin, 75010, with an evening event Dec 8 from 18:30 to 21:30, continuing Dec 9 12:00 to 18:00.
Prix Mobile Results:
First Place: Alberto Nava – Mexico. Challenge: Urban Green Research.
About the artist
Alberto Nava is from Mexico City, where he lives with his family. He comes from a multi-faceted background, and is now working in social media for the government. He says that the Urban Green Research was a theme with which he knew he could engage, although he recounts feeling some creative tension when the challenge was issued and he realised that the ten days were going to pass very quickly.
“Every day I use the subway as I commute to work, and I take pictures all the time of my journey, because that’s my environment,” he says. “I decided to make the plant into a character called Green and take it with me. I knew straight away exactly where I wanted to end up, and what I wanted to say. I knew that I wanted to illustrate the journey and show many aspects of urban green along the way, green roofs, urban regeneration, and ecology. I wanted to create a narrative to express my ideas. Green travels through the city and ends up in my office, in the heart of the city, which overlooks Chapultepec park, the biggest green area in the city. And he’s still there.”
Speaking about the culture of image sharing networks, Alberto echoes the sentiment of many digital arists.
“I take my iPhone everywhere and use it as a camera all the time. I use a small Italian fisheye lens I found on the internet, and software of course. What I like about the community is that it’s very friendly. People leave positive comments and share tips, and what brings people together is this shared passion for images and expression. I am in the local IGers community here in Mexico, as well being in a global community. I love showing the enormous complexity of where I live in Mexico City, and at the same time looking at life through the eyes of other people from so many countries. I find it very interesting to see the cultural differences between my view of the world, and say, someone in Japan who sees the world so completely differently.”
Second Place: Marianne Hope – Holland. Challenge: Collage (of/in) Paradise.
About the artist
Marianne Hope is a Norwegian living in the Netherlands. An avid photographer since childhood, she found mobile photography and in-camera editing fed into her business and work with dedicated cameras.
“It’s actually hard to put into words just how much the acquiring of my first iPhone has meant for me and my photography. The technical ability of an iPhone is very limited when compared to a DSLR, but I find these limits are what really brings out my creativity in both figuring out how to compose the picture, but also in how to edit it. And the fact that the iPhone is so small and easy to use, and that I always have it at hand or at least close by, is a huge plus. And so is the possibility to edit the pictures there and then.”
“The fact that I can capture real life and people without them noticing and without putting a big lens in front of their noses is just fantastic and I love it. I love the fact that I can capture the energy and essence of a city like Amsterdam or London and create beautiful, meaningful and sometimes artistic photography just at the hand of a thing called iPhone 4.”
Her large online community with which she is very engaged extends into Instagramers Holland, which she founded. She says, “It is lovely getting so many likes and comments, but popularity is not the reason I do it. I never watch TV, I’d rather read, or look at a computer screen, take pictures, and edit. I organise my life so I can find time for my obsession.”
Third Place: Christiane Bäcker – Germany. Challenge: The Question of Digital Art.
About the artist
Christiane Bäcker is 53 years old, and lives in Berlin, Germany. Photographing with a Canon DSLR since 2005, she is a self-taught photographer and image editor.
She says, “Since January 2011 I’ve been taking pictures with the iPhone. The first one was an iPhone 3G, but when I took the first pictures I got addicted and fairly quickly I got an iPhone4. I love that little smart camera and I don’t touch my big camera since I got my iPhone. There are no days were I’m not on the move. Doesn’t matter what weather… I am on the road. In so doing I haven’t any focus areas, but I’m receptive to all.”
“I welcome the fact that there are so many wonderful apps with multiple editing capabilities. Here I am particularly fond of one type of processing that’s somewhere between real and painting.”
“I’m so glad a friend of mine called my attention to the Prix Mobile contest. It was a personal challenge for me to get my own theme and to have to worry about it. Further, it gave me great pleasure to look at the wide variety of selected images from the other artists who participated.”
How the Judges Voted
C. Van der Beek
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