Google DevArt Competition Winners Are Announced

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2014-04-30

Google DevArt Competition Winners Are Announced

Two French new media artists and developers have been named as the winners of the first DevArt competition sponsored by Google and London's Barbican multi-arts and conference venue.

The duo of Cyril Diagne and Béatrice Lartigue of France were selected for their project, "Les métamorphoses de Mr. Kalia," an interactive and animated "poetic adventure" built around the theme of metamorphosis in the human body, according to a recent post by Emma Turpin, the DevArt lead at Google Creative Lab, and Paul Kinlan, a Google developer advocate, on the Google Developers Blog.

Diagne and Lartigue's project was chosen out of hundreds of entries received in the competition, wrote Turpin and Kinlan. "We were looking for a unique idea which mixes art and code and pushes the boundaries, to be featured in the Barbican's Digital Revolution exhibition, opening this summer in London and from there touring the rest of the world," they wrote.

The winning entry "invites gallery visitors to personify Mr. Kalia as he goes through many surrealistic changes [see a video about the project's creation]," wrote Turpin and Kinlan. "The piece conveys feelings related to change, evolution and adaptation. Mr. Kalia is brought to life through the use of a skeleton tracking technology, and uses Chrome apps and Google Compute Engine."

The winning work will now be installed alongside the works of four of the world's finest interactive artists who are also creating installations for The Digital Revolution Exhibition that will open in London on July 3, according to the post. The featured artists at that show will be Karsten Schmidt, Zach Lieberman, and the duo Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet. Google commissioned their works for the show earlier.

Other entries in the DevArt competition included a project that mapped a dream as it navigates through your brain using G+APIs; another project that explored metamorphosis through storytelling in the form of a poetic adventure with Chrome Apps and Compute API; and travels through a playful giant map that explores fantasy and reality on a huge scale using Map API, according to Turpin and Kinlan. "These are just a sample of the hundreds of projects we received after inviting the developer community to express themselves creatively as part of DevArt."

The Google/Barbican DevArt competition was announced in February 2014 as a way to find, publicize and sponsor a software developer who would join a rising group of interactive artists who are creating amazing projects and work using code, according to an earlier eWEEK report. The idea of DevArt is that software code can also be considered as art and creativity, according to organizers. For the project, Google and Barbican promoted a global competition to find an up-and-coming developer artist who pushes the boundaries of art using code.

So what exactly is DevArt? DevArt is a new type of art, made with code by developers who push the possibilities of creativity and technology.

Google DevArt Competition Winners Are Announced

The competition ended March 28. Participants were eligible to use any blend of technologies such as OpenFrameworks or Processing, Arduino or Raspberry Pi for their projects, but they had to include at least one of four Google technologies—Google Go or Dart languages; Google Chrome Apps, Android, Google Compute Engine or App Engine platforms; Google Web Toolkit or Polymer toolkits; or any Google APIs.

The winner of the competition will receive a prize of about $41,042, as well as Google Developer help, and curating and production support from the Barbican to help transform their concept into a digital art installation, according to the contest rules. The top 10 finalists will have the opportunity to meet the DevArt judging panel during a Google+ Hangout and receive a "DevArt finalist" award for their site.

The winner's work will be displayed at this summer's Barbican exhibit from July 3 to Sept. 14, and then will go on tour to cities around the world.

Google is often involved in the promotion of art around the world.

In December 2013, Google unveiled its Google Open Gallery, an online service that lets small art galleries around the world receive some free help from Google to show off the lovely artwork within its walls by displaying their collections to online visitors.

In March 2013, Google expanded its Global Art Project with another 2,000 works of art in its growing and evolving Google Art Project, which is a Website that displays amazing and hard-to-find sculptures, paintings, drawings, and even folk and street art from around the world. The collection now includes more than 30,000 beautiful and creative works of art in 200 museums across 40 countries, all viewable through a Web browser.

The Google Art Project was started in February 2011 by a group of Google employees who came up with the idea of creating an online collection of art from around the world. The project was designed during their "20 percent time," which is set aside for employees to work on personal projects that advance the company's work and missions using as much as 20 percent of their work week. The employees built the project using Google's Street View, Picasa and App Engine technology to take pictures of artwork and assemble them on this special Website. The Google Art Project, a collaboration between Google and the participating museums, began with 17 museum partners in nine countries when it launched.

 In August 2013, Amazon began selling fine art online, adding it to the many categories of items that shoppers can buy from the e-commerce giant, which already is the leader in selling books, CDs, DVDs and more online. The Amazon Art category on Amazon's site includes more than 40,000 works of art from about 4,500 artists that are being offered for sale by more than 150 galleries and art dealers in the United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Canada.

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