Stipends 2020

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Grants for Media Art 2020 of the Foundation of Lower Saxony at the Edith-Russ-Haus

<p class="MsoNormal">The Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art has awarded three six-months work grants for 2020. 390 artists from all over the world have applied for the grants.The grants of 12.500 Euro are sponsored by Stiftung Niedersachsen. </p>


<p class="MsoNormal">We are pleased to announce that the three award winners are Ayọ̀ Akínwándé, Mochu and Clara Jo. </p>

<p class="MsoNormal">Jury members:</p>

  • Natasha Ginwala, Curator of Gwangju Biennale 2020, Colombo/Berlin
  • Robert Leckie, Director of Spike Island, Bristol
  • Edit Molnár, Director of Edith-Russ-Haus, Oldenburg
  • Marcel Schwierin, Director of Edith-Russ-Haus, Oldenburg


<p class="MsoNormal"> Jury statement</p>

<p class="MsoNormal">The jury was impressed by the quality of the applications received. This year’s entries revealed a variety of approaches to the moving image, particularly considering the spatial and virtual impact of the medium and its experiential terrain. The jury took note of the engaging and formally compelling character of many of the submitted projects. The artistic practitioners selected as 2020 grant recipients are unafraid of extending inquiries into urgent as well as untapped aspects of today’s human and planetary realities. Their approaches are research driven while privileging materially rigorous, communal, and sentient aesthetics. The three successful applications are all underpinned by forms of research and practice that are theoretically rigorous and formally compelling. They propose, respectively, explorations of the sonic ecologies of protest in Lagos and elsewhere; the prehistories of the alt-right in Hindu mythology; and the possible role of virtual reality in combating mental health issues. The awardees draw from sonic and corporeal knowledges while also highlighting the troubling virtual tentacles of global politics, changing nature of mass resistance and virulence in our midst. </p>

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<p class="MsoNormal">Ayọ̀ Akínwándé</p>

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<p class="MsoNormal">Ogoni Clean-Up © Ayọ̀ Akínwándé, 2020</p>

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<p class="MsoNormal">Ayọ̀ Akínwándé’s project MUMU LP VOL. 4: ALL THE WORLD’S PROTESTS will be the fourth iteration of his ongoing artistic interrogation of political engagements in the public realm through exploring the sonic ecologies of protest in Lagos and elsewhere. In 2016, Akínwándé began a long-term research project called Archiving the Future to satisfy his endless fascination with the possible forms and natures of future archives. He built up an archive by collecting screenshots of political conversations on social media, and further extended this to include audio conversations recorded at newspaper stands in Lagos. This vocal material became the basis for building a collaboration with musicians, transforming the recordings into music using jazz instruments.</p>

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The jury was fascinated by how the artist has managed to involve local communities in such an intense way in building an architecture of sounds. In addition to capturing political views and engaging the local music scene, he uses jazz as a way of coming together and embodying a shared yet disjunctive reality as an ensemble. To continue the project, Akínwándé wants to widen the context of his collection from a Lagos-specific to a global scale, tapping into protests worldwide and finding commonalities between local and global struggles.


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<p class="MsoNormal">Mohanakrishnan Haridasan (Mochu)</p>

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<p class="MsoNormal">Basilisk Files (working title), Preview Image 01 © Mochu, 2020</p>

<p class="MsoNormal">Mochu’s work BASILISK FILES deals with the histories of visual culture, with a focus on techno-fiction, quasi-mythologies, and art history. Recent projects, for example, look at hippie subcultures in India in light of the legacies of cybernetic theory and psychedelic art. Using a fictional premise, Mochu’s proposed multichannel video installation will explore the deep histories of Indian neo-reactionary tendencies and their affinities with techno-utopian ideals. Focusing on how the anti-egalitarian, futurist ideas of the American software engineer Curtis Yarvin and the British philosopher Nick Land have been retroactively integrated with the mythological universe of Hindu thought, the project will explore how these converging ideologies have increasingly become weaponized to manipulate public sentiment online. The jury was thrilled by the ambition of Mochu’s proposed project, which “intends to map and trip through these dense interlinks and covert collaborations.”</p>

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<p class="MsoNormal">Clara Jo</p>

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<p class="MsoNormal">Temporal Shift © Clara Sukyoung Jo, 2018

<p class="MsoNormal">Clara Jo’s interdisciplinary, research-based project BETWEEN LIVED EXPERIENCE AND SIMULATED PRESENCE: EXPLORING MEMORY, EMPATHY, AND EMBODIMENT IN THE CLINICAL CONTEXT THROUGH VIRTUAL REALITY explores memory, empathy, and embodiment through virtual reality (VR) within the clinical context. Her recent work has examined museological imaging techniques, digital ethics, and sites implicated in revisionist histories. In collaboration with psychologists, artists, scientists, and academics at King’s College London, the proposed project will develop VR interfaces within immersive cinematic environments that explore sensory and perceptual shifts among individuals who experience conditions such as autism, eating disorders, and particularly schizophrenia. Jo seeks to extend VR experiences to examine broader psychosocial conditions of health as a global community, the therapeutic role of the arts, and the interdependencies between humans, animals, and extreme geographies. The jury was convinced by the risk-taking, speculative thinking, and experimental rigor of the elaborate proposal. Jo will take on a critical inquiry into toxicity, mental health, communal care, and trauma through conjoined streams of cinema, field research, and virtual relationality, presenting a refreshing prospect for the times we are living through.</p>

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<p class="MsoNormal">The Foundation of Lower Saxony grant at the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art supports a wide spectrum of media art, from video art and net-based projects to audio works and audio-visual installations.
Each of the three grants will be awarded for the production of a new project in the area of media art.</p>

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