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Winners ACT Award & Hybrid ACT Award 2024

Ling Tan, Pablo Somonte Ruano, Tom Kemp, Sara Culmann, Francois Knoetze & Amy Louise Wilson, Carrie Chen
5 min read
17 Jan 2024

We proudly present to you the winners of the STRP Award for Creative Technology (ACT Award) of 2024! With the ACT Award STRP wants to stimulate the production of new artworks, whilst also providing the opportunity to present works that resonate with the upcoming festival theme: A Matter of Freedom. STRP supports artists and makers with a budget to realize the projects, provides guidance in the development, production, presentation, and distribution of the work.

This year, STRP handed out three ACT Awards, and three Hybrid ACT Awards! All winners will premiere their new artworks during STRP Festival 2024 from 11 to 14 April 2024.

STRP Hybrid ACT Award

STRP is conducting an in-depth investigation into hybridity of artworks. By experimenting with digital technologies. We explore how art projects can provide interesting experiences for both online (remote) and onsite (physical) audiences, and how these audiences can interact in surprising ways. The hybrid projects serve as case studies for the research and are co-funded by DigitAll.

The ACT Award 2024 jury consisted of Ali Eslami, Antònia Folguera, Faye Kabali-Kagwa, Nadine Roestenburg and Ton van Gool.

Ling Tan (UK) – Playing Democracy 2.0 / ACT Winner

Can we collectively create a new form of social structure through play? Democracy implies freedom, equality and fairness, but also responsibility. Playing Democracy 2.0 is a giant multiplayer game exploring the principles of democracy. Through a 4-player Pong game, presented as a projection installation, the audience controls the game paddles using their body movements, which are tracked by a camera. Each time a player scores a point, they can choose to change one of three principles of democracy. This, when done, changes the game environment.

Pablo Somonte Ruano (MEX) – Pocas / ACT Winner

This speculative project explores how to create autonomous, local spaces where people can engage in economic enterprise in a context of freedom. Pocas describes a fictional chain of mutualistic "convenience stores" in an alternative reality in present-day Mexico City. Pocas has the characteristics of the convenience store, but trades neoliberal values for mutualistic values where both parties benefit from an interaction. The project takes form as a transmedial narrative with an onsite installation.

Tom K Kemp (NL) – Dead Minutes / ACT Winner

Dead Minutes is a roleplaying game set in the speculative Land of the Dead. Players tell the story of a group of dead people from different periods in history. By organizing and reforming themselves, they attempt to escape the Land of the Dead. In doing so, they use technology, practices and knowledge from different points in human history. Each session of the game produces completely different debates, characters, plots and visions of the afterlife based on the player's input.

Sara Culmann (RU/NL) – prussia.tech / Hybrid ACT Winner

In the project prussia.tech, Culmann merges fictional and documentary scenes into a film in which experts in law, social science and media theory look at the current (il)legal ways of making artificial intelligence the owner of a domain. The film has two different storylines. One storyline is an investigation which is illustrated by collected material, interviews, and screencasts, and is reminiscent of a data journalism project. The other is a fictional representation of a digital space, mimicking human behavior and simultaneously resisting it. The project will be implemented on site as a video installation and online as a website that is constantly updated.

Francois Knoetze & Amy Louise Wilson (Lo-Def Film Factory, ZA) – Kosmotechnik / Hybrid ACT Winner

Francois Amy
Kosmotechnik is a three-part workshop series for young people from 15 to 18 years old. They will work with Lo-Def Film Factory to create a decolonized, socio-technical mindset that is useful to the community of Valley of Grace, a small town in the Western Cape of South Africa. During the workshops, the group will engage in forms of digital D.I.Y. storytelling, such as lo-fi green-screen video, 3D scanning, photographing and editing with cell phones, and making costumes and sets from found materials. Each workshop has a lo-fi technical element and starts from the central question: how do we articulate our own (history) stories and imagine our future?

Carrie Chen (US) – To Play (as children do) / Hybrid ACT Winner

To Play (As Children Do) uses 3D animation, VR and performance and explores our memories and experiences of play. How are these shaped by power dynamics, autonomy and freedom of choice, cultural narratives and technological mediation? Audiences will have an opportunity both online and onsite to relive their memories of play in their childhood. The video work, as well as 3D objects such as the carousel, ball pit and observation rooms, are located both onsite and in the fictional, online playground where visitors can interact with each other. Audiences are encouraged to share their experience of play in various cultural, political and social contexts.