XIII ARCO-BEEP Electronic Art Award, presentation of Border Crossers by Chico MacMurtrie at ARCOmadrid and the BEEP Collection at Ars Electronica

Chico MacMurtrie, Border Crossers © MacMurtrie/ARW. Photo by Bobby N. Adams


For a thirteenth consecutive year, the BEEP collection is pleased to announce an open call for the ARCO-BEEP Electronic Art Award, an award dedicated exclusively to electronic and technological art at ARCOmadrid (from 21 to 25 February 2018), that is now recognised as one of the most established prizes of the fair.

Its origins date back to the curated sections Black Box and Expanded Box (2005-2008) that from 2005 until 2008 took place at Madrid’s most important rendezvous with contemporary art, and which, 13 years later have become the BEEP Collection, composed of 50 artworks from all disciplines using new media, encompassing so called, net art, robotics, electronica, bio art, the digital and interactive art, covering all the facets permitted by contemporary technology and being a faithful reflection on new modes of contemplation of our reality in the technological age.

The objective of the prize consists of selecting for the award the best piece that implies the significant use of new technologies exhibited by a gallery at the fair. In doing so, BEEP demonstrates its deep commitment to promoting the investigation, production and exhibition of art linked to new technologies or electronic art.

The winner of the prize is awarded a maximum quantity of 15,000 euros and will be selected, as in all its open calls, by a jury made up of specialists in contemporary art and new technology art. The winner of this, the XII edition, will be announced on 23 February at the fair. Galleries that wish to register can do so by using the official registration form and sending it by email until 20 February, delivering it in person to the management team on 21 February at the fair or delivering it in person to the stand of the Collection (7H01) also on 21 February. The full competition rules can be consulted at: https://www.coleccionbeep.org/premio-arco-beep/

Also, the collection will present one of its production projects at the fair: Border Crossers by the U.S. artist Chico MacMurtrie. This robotic sculpture, constituting of a poetic piece that invites the public to rethink the notion of frontiers in a globalised world, will become part of the Collection. If technology is used to overcome economic and cultural barriers in today’s world, it is also being used to maintain and reinforce physical barriers. With this project, MacMurtrie uses technology as a positive tool to go beyond and question these barriers, creating a symbolic and transcendental work about the notion of what constitutes a border in the world of today.

MacMurtrie is a completely consolidated artist who has exhibited in 16 countries around the world. He is the artistic director of Amorphic Robot Works (ARW), and his work has been exhibited in museums and institutions such as the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), Beijing; Hayward Gallery, London; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, París; Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC), México City; Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY; Shanghai Biennale; Tri Postal, Lille, Muffatwerk, Múnich (Pneuma World, 2016).

On the other hand, in recognition of the quality and richness of the artworks, production and research projects in the collection, it has been invited to the upcoming edition of Ars Electronica Festival which will take place in the Austrian city of Linz from the 6 to 10 of September of this year. This festival is the most important date at a worldwide level dedicated to electronic and digital art. The exhibition spaces available at ARS Electronica serve as a stage for new media artists, collectors and galleries to share experience and debate, among other themes, questions regarding the preservation and maintenance of technological works in the long term, new media projects and new commercial formats in the growing online art market. Without doubt, forming part of ARS Electronica represents a unique opportunity to exhibit a carefully chosen selection of pieces proceeding from the ARCO-BEEP Electronic Art Prize.

As part of the show, the latest works of the British artist, physicist and scientist Paul Friedlander produced at the Eurcat Laboratories (Centro Tecnológico de Cataluña) as winner of the first open call of the ATA Programme for creation and training in art with advanced technologies convened by the Collection and the NewArt Foundation will be exhibited. This recognised creator has been researching all kinds of technologies and procedures with the intention of making light a malleable and flexible material that can acquire any form or volume.

Friedlander obtained the title of physicist and mathematician from the University of Sussex, where his personal tutor, Anthony Legget, received the Nobel Prize for his work on superfluidity. He is participant in a research programme of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences of the University of Cambridge. In his extensive artistic trajectory he has exhibited in 12 countries on three continents. Of special note is his participation in the exhibition Machines and Souls, Digital Art and New Media in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, dedicated to exploring the convergence of science, art, technology and society at the beginning of the 21st century.

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Marta Lorenzo


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