City of the future: meet the three winners of the STARTS open call

Nesta Italia, one of the STARTS Regional Centers, is pleased to announce the winners of the STARTS Open Call “City of the future”!

The call for artists, supported by Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo and the European Commission, ended on November 30th 2020.

During the evaluation process, the Jury Panel  considered the degree of innovation of the proposals, the level of interaction between artistic language and technical-scientific approach, as well as the potential impact of the prototypes with respect to the themes identified by the challenge selected by each candidate.

The diversity and variety of professional backgrounds as well as the expertise and geographical origin of the candidates was another consideration for the selection.

Of the 77 projects received, 24 had access to a pre-selection phase; subsequently, 12 projects arrived at the final evaluation. Amongst these, the three winners were identified.

Clair Tolan visit website

Responded to the challenge “Challenging social isolation through Extended Reality (XR) Technologies”. Claire will work in collaboration with CELI as Tech Partner andwith Superbudda as Cultural Partner.

Claire Tolan is an artist and a programmer living in Berlin, Germany.

Artistically, Tolan has worked primarily with ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) since 2013. She hosted an ASMR radio show, “You’re Worth It”, on Berlin Community Radio from 2013-2019. 

She has exhibited, performed, and presented her work at venues such as Martin Gropius Bau, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berghain, Volksbühne, CTM Festival, Münchner Kammerspiele, Goethe-Institut London, ArkDes, and Sónar+D.

As an engineer, Tolan led two technology teams as co-CTO of decentralised music-streaming cooperative Resonate and as CTO of New Eelam, a distributed housing cooperative. For nearly a decade, she has contributed to web and software projects focused on distributed, online communities and digital privacy. 

Tolan studied English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago and Archival Science and Information Analysis at the University of Michigan School of Information.

Studio Above & Below visit website

Responded to the challenge Simulate the organization of brain structure over space and time by exploring tools based on Artificial Intelligence”. They will work in collaboration with Politecnico di Torino as Tech Partner and with Viadellafucina16- Condiminio Museo as Cultural Partner.

Studio Above&Below is a London based art and technology practice founded by Daria Jelonek (DE) and Perry-James Sugden (UK) after graduating from the Royal College of Art. Their work combines computational design, speculative storytelling, XR and digital art in order to draw together unseen connections between humans, machines and the environment. 

Believing in research based art, Studio Above&Below works with scientists, technologists and other artists to push the boundaries of digital media for future living. Over the last years the duo has created ground breaking artworks using immersive technologies such as AR and XR with live data inputs in order to make the invisible visible and give our environment a voice to express itself.

The duo’s work has been exhibited internationally at institutions such as the Royal Academy, Tate Modern, V&A London, Photophore during the Venice Biennale, Today Art Museum, WRO Biennale, Sonar+D, HEK Basel and WIRED Japan.

Previous prizes and fundings include the Factory Berlin x Sonar+D x Beats by Dr. Dre residency, Near Now Fellowship, Collusion Art Funding, Lumen Prize (shortlisted), Bloomberg Bursary, WIRED Creative HackAward (finalist), Communication Arts Award – Interactive Art and the Battersea Sculpture Prize. Studio Above&Below regularly gives talks at culture and technology institutes such as Nottingham Contemporary, Retune Berlin, Microsoft Research, London Design Festival, Royal College of Art and Arebyte Gallery about the intersection of art, design, technology and its impact on the environment.

Giulia Taurino visit website

Responded to the challenge “How can Art reclaim the algorithm that tries to predict its success?”. Giulia will work in collaboration with ISI Foundation as Tech Partner and Associazione Arteco as Cultural Partner.

Giulia Taurino is a media scholar and current fellow at MIT Open Documentary Lab, where she works on a project for the adaptive navigation in structured archives of immersive content, developed in collaboration with the Society for Arts and Technology in Montreal, Canada.

Her research interests focus on forms of content organisation on online platforms and digital archives, ethical implications of algorithmic technologies, and the intersection between artificial intelligence and the arts. Since September 2019, she is a research affiliate of metaLAB (at) Harvard, where she collaborates on the project “Curatorial A(i)gents”, exploring A.I. and curatorial practices in museums. 

Formerly, Giulia was a Visiting Research Fellow at Brown University’s Virtual Humanities Lab. She holds a doctorate degree in Media Studies and Visual Arts from the University of Bologna and the University of Montreal.

What comes next?

From the second half of February, Nesta Italia will kick-off the online residencies and starting from April 2021, will prepare for the on site period, providing the safest work environment for artists and their partners. 

In the coming weeks the STARTS REGIONAL CENTRE will share more details about the winners’ projects and we will discover how the research and production activities will evolve.

Article originally published by Nesta Italia here, on February 3rd 2021.