Google DevArt Competition Winners Are Announced

The DevArt project encourages developers to create art using software code and to assemble artistic code in creative new ways.

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.