In the interview:
The finalists 2016

What is the inspiration of the finalists of BLOOOM Award by WARSTEINER 2016? What is the story behind their work and which items are indispensable for them in the creation of their artworks?
In the following interviews the finalists spoke about themselves and about their works.

  • Liat Segal

The Israeli artist Liat Segal sees the world through different eyes: Her studies in computer science and biology influence her in her perception, which is also reflected in her artworks. In the following, you can read about what she wants to express with her “Attending Machine”, her application for the BLOOOM Award by WARSTEINER 2016.
What is the message of your work “Attending Machine”?

“Attending Machine” temporarily visualizes a feed of portraits taken from Facebook accounts. The participants have agreed to take part in a virtual event named ‘Donate your virtual identity to art’, only to be actualized within the machine. The work questions the possibility of personal connection and intimacy on today’s digitally connected world. The Facebook platform is used as a case study from which data is collected. The attendees’ profile images are printed and fade as time passes. The portrait is no longer eternal and is based on the way the person depicted chose to represent him or herself in the social network. One by one, the images appear and fade away. The act of printing makes each individual identity present for a moment within the masses. The ephemerality of the images poses questions: What is the point in an identity representation in the digital age and why do we so desperately want to be seen and ‘liked’ within the feed? Are we just another statistic in the virtual space?
What is your inspiration for your artistic work?

Much of my way of thinking and my inspiration comes from my scientific and technological background. I studied computer science and biology and researched social, textual and biological networks. Many times I see the world as collections of information, mathematical representations or through biological models. Today this is reflected in my art works. I am intrigued by the ways we consume and analyze information and the effects information flow has on our self-identities, personal communication, memory, choices and intimacy. The daily exposure people nowadays have to vast amounts of input and the focus span we can give to transient details in this stream. I observe social and psychological changes that occur with the inflation of online private data, data that is continually supplied and collected by and on us. I create with technologies, out of their original contexts. The final artworks consist of several dimensions; a physical structure, motion and mechanics, electronics, software and data. The act of building the machines is significant to me. I feel that the technical choices I make affect the final artwork just as much as the touch of a painter affects a painting.

Which items are indispensable for you in the creation of your artworks?

Technology is my material, whether traditional and commonly used or state-of-the-art. If I need to choose specific items I would pick a pencil and a paper along with my laptop and electronics parts that I frequently use, such as micro-controllers, sensors, motors and the list goes on...
  • Femke Huurdeman

In her graduation project “Pippin and the Pursuits of Life”, Femke Huurdeman from the Netherlands tells the colourful bedtime story of Pippin. With her video, she secured herself a spot among the finalists of the BLOOOM Award by WARSTEINER 2016. In today’s interview she explains us where she draws her ideas from.
Why did you choose the story of Pippin for your work?

I can’t really say that I choose the story since I work really intuitive and the story developed almost itself when I was working on it. I got inspired by the collection of Maaike Fransen and I always use elements from my own childhood. What I wanted to tell was an absurd little story that hopefully would make people smile a bit.

What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far?

I won a few prices at international fashion film festivals such as Berlin Fashion Film Festival, Madrid Fashion Film Festival and Milano Fashion Film Festival. That was really surprising, weird but also kinda cool at the same time.

What are your goals for your artistic career?

I would love to be signed at an international production agency in the coming years. I want to find a balance between doing commercial work and artistic/experimental work and that they can influence each other. Short term, I would like to make a music video and filming in countries other than the Netherlands, which means travelling.
Which items are indispensable for you in the creation of your artworks? Could you please send us images of those?

Actually only my always-so-curious mind and the world with everything around me. I hardly write anything down because I believe the best ideas will stay in my mind anyhow.

Why did you decide to apply for BLOOOM Award by WARSTEINER 2016?

A friend sent me a link and thought it would fit my work so I gave it a try. I like that it is open to so many disciplines and artists with different backgrounds.
  • Marco Sanna

Hundreds of light switches to make music? The “We click – light switch sound cube” by Marco Sanna from Germany convinced the judges of the BLOOOM Award by WARSTEINER 2016: The cube is going to be exhibited at BLOOOM – the converging art show. You can learn here from Marco himself how his artwork has come into being.
What is your inspiration for your artistic work in general? And what inspired you to design your work “We click – light switch sound cube”?

Primarily I get inspired by objects and products, their individual sounds and their effects on the environment. Thus, in my work I deal with objects and their possibilities to communicate, with the aim to transform them into something new. Regarding the sense of hearing, I often charge objects poetically by combining them with sounds from other contexts. Regarding the form, I mostly get inspired by everyday industrial items in building centres, but also in toy stores or factory buildings. Even though we use those things every day, we hardly even recognize them most of the time. A plain light switch as such doesn’t possess a deeper meaning, but - because it is such an easy way to activate something - it is important and thus became the base of the light switch sound cube. The interaction of this simple function of the light switch and the sounds offers almost infinite possibilities. This contrast keeps fascinating me until today.

What kind of sound themes are part of the cube and why?

The cube is a kind of modern music instrument that nobody has learned to play yet. I didn’t intend to imitate the sound of already existing instruments. At first, the player feels like they are making music with the sounds, but the character of the sound then transforms quickly. The dimension of the cube as a music instrument is comparably big, which I wanted to express also through the sounds as a surprise for the player. Therefore, the sounds are mostly sounds of footsteps and doors slamming, creating the impression of people walking inside the cube. Additionally, there are a lot of click-sounds in different speeds that match the sounds of the light switches. So the player presses the real light switches and the recorded click-sounds respond at a different pace. After all, the instrument as such should speak to the player to make him or her possibly smile.
Which challenges did you have to face in your work?

From an organisational point of view it was definitely challenging to obtain such a large number of light switches. Fortunately, however, I could win the company Jung as sponsors. Much more difficult was the technical aspect, as every single one of the 180 light switches had to be connected to a specific sound. For that, I needed both detailed plans and a lot of intuition, sensitivity and patience.

Which items are indispensable for you in the creation of your artworks?

A sound recorder has become an essential item for my work. In order to preserve the authenticity of objects and that way be faithful to their sounds and my style, I don’t want to take any sounds from the internet. For the composition of sounds I use a special software. It offers me a lot of freedom and doesn’t distract with pre-fabricated sound themes or parameters, so that a lot of the purity of the sounds remains. A huge amount of cables and electronics provide the objects with the energy they need.

sketchbook for ideas

rendering software

sound recording and cut

cables for brazing

working tools

speakers
Why did you decide to apply for BLOOOM Award by WARSTEINER 2016?

After having worked as a classical graphic designer for agencies and companies for a few years, I followed my inner calling and began to study communications design. Now, shortly after having obtained my diploma, my freedom lays in my freelance work, the success of which is based on hard work and perseverance but also on professional contacts and the exchange of experiences. My aim is to realize interdisciplinary and interactive projects.
To have a mentor whom I can talk to and who supports me on my way as an artist is not only calming but also really helpful. I am pleased that the BLOOOM Award offers this possibility within the endowment, which is why I decided to participate in the competition.
  • Angelika Wischermann

For her work “recht schön gelegen“ (“layed down nicely”) Angelika Wischermann from Austria lays down on grass for days. Find out here about what she thinks is in the foreground of a performance and how her love for beer inspired her to the work she submitted for the BLOOOM Award by WARSTEINER 2016.
What is your inspiration for your artistic work in general? And what inspired you to design your work “recht schön gelegen”?

I’ve been working as a performance artist for years, but there’s one thing that has always bothered me: the event character and the theatrical moment that goes along with a live performance. I’ve tried many times to exclude that moment from the performance, to perform it with the tranquility it needs in my opinion. For me, the action has always been in the foreground, not my body. This is why I began asking myself more and more, if there couldn’t be a type of artistic performance that excludes my own body – or even every human body. But how could it be possible to exclude the body if the action is still in the foreground? Is it possible to engrave actions onto objects, so that they reflect the actions instead of the body? My performances deal with very long-lasting actions anyway, which are very suitable for that intention. So the body plays an important part in the creation of the artwork, but in the artwork itself it isn’t visible anymore.
What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far?

It’s difficult for me to speak of a highlight, as there have been a lot of nice and important things for me, since I’ve been making art. Exhibitions offer me the opportunity to show my artworks and to interact with the audience. Whether they take place in off-spaces, a museum or an art fair, is secondary for me, because all these places have their assets and can be used differently. Scholarships and sales, however, allow you to fully concentrate on your art without financial worries at least for some time.

Which items are indispensable for you in the creation of your artworks?

In my work, materials like water, air, a string and, most of all, my own body recur. Also, it is essential that my family and friends provide me with advice and assistance. Without their help I couldn’t have realized many of my projects.
Why did you decide to apply for BLOOOM Award by WARSTEINER 2016? Why did you choose this particular work?

Since my youth, I have loved drinking beer, I would even say that there are only very few people who love beer as much as I do. Three years ago, when I found out about the award for the first time, I couldn’t resist to participate. Therefore, I am all the more pleased to receive the chance to exhibit at the BLOOOM - because all good things come in threes.
Most beers, I have drunk in the park, sitting or lying in the grass. I have always loved to relax that way. Therefore, it was clear for me to hand in my work “recht schön gelegen” (“layed down nicely“) for the BLOOOM Award.
  • Matthias Danberg

Modern technology, antique characters, cubist forms: Matthias Danberg’s Video “Sculptures“ immerses the viewer in a completely new, fascinating world. In our interview, the German artist tells us what inspires him for his work and why he applied for BLOOOM Award by WARSTEINER 2016.
In a nutshell: What is your work “Sculptures“ about?

The 3D animation “Sculptures” (2015-2016) opens the view into a deserted, maybe transhumanist world. The players - combinations of technology and fragments of cultural achievements – interact without entirely revealing if they are communicating in conflict or if it’s a simple exchange of information.
Why do you show especially sculptures that are inspired by classical antiquity and cubism? Why did you choose these eras?

It seems to me that the most relevant sculptural problems have been solved with the end of modernity. The solutions provided can now be integrated into art. Classical antiquity, cubist heads or technological sculptures – they all show rooms of ideas that I transform into my material. In “Sculptures“ I needed themes of upheaval, of advance for some of my characters. Antiquity, the cubism, technology – they provide what I needed, but they are very finely differentiated in their individual forms.

What inspired you to your work?

I’ve always drawn and painted something and someday I started to make animations. So inspiration as a spark of beginning has never played a role. My work rather grows out of a constantly running modus operandi, which sometimes generates something useful.
What kind of emotions will be evoked in the viewer watching your work?

I think the movie lays down different tracks. On the one hand, it is set on a high monumental level, on the other hand, it then shifts to something amusing. Thus, reactions will be ambivalent.

Which items are indispensable for you in the creation of your artworks?

The computer programs I make movies with. I have established an almost embarrassing emotional connection to some of these programs.

Why did you decide to apply for BLOOOM Award by WARSTEINER 2016? Why did you choose this particular work?

I liked the application form on the website. No annoying folder you had to print out. No DVD you had to record. No strange requirements on outdated formats. The application form for BLOOOM Award by WARSTEINER embodied the claim for progressiveness it had set for itself. That may sound banal at first, but it isn’t, if you think about it a bit longer.
  • Rahel Zaugg

A firearm transformed into a protection vest? With her sculpture “Liberator – parts of defence”, the Swiss artist Rahel Zaugg has convinced the judges of BLOOOM Award by WARSTEINER 2016 and secured herself a spot among the ten finalists. Her work, which she desgined with the help of a 3D printer, consists of parts of the liberator gun, a firearm whose building plans were freely available on the internet in 2013. Topic of the work is the fine line between attack and defence. She has told us what encourages her in her work as artist.
What inspired you to your work?

The deep chasms of the internet, in which everything seems to be available, and a 3D printer.

What kind of emotions does your work evoke in the viewer?

I want to leave that to the observers themselves.
Which items are indispensable for you in the creation of your artwork?

Regarding the way I work in general: I do need a place where tools and materials are gathered that are immediately available in case I have a flash of inspiration so that they can serve for my experiments. I always feel like I have to touch and try out everything, which is why I couldn’t possibly work without my studio as a room for ideas and tests. For my work “Liberator – parts of defence”, however, I used comparably few materials.

studio

laptop

3D printer

nails, dichloromethan and the pieces printed out

sandpaper
What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far?

Receiving the chance to exhibit at BLOOOM – the converging art show is a great compliment for me and a highlight of my career so far. It’s also a little highlight for me when somebody is simply enthusiastic about my artworks. Comments like “this work is good” or “wow, this is amazing” make my heart warm up and I feel encouraged in my work.

What are your wishes for your artistic career?

I want to keep surprising myself, work as much as possible and provoke storms of enthusiasm.
  • Tadao Cern

For Tadao Cern from Lithuania, simplicity is genius. With his “Black Balloons” he secured himself a spot among the Top 10 of the BLOOOM Award by WARSTEINER 2016. Find out here, what inspired him to his installation and what he wants to achieve as an artist.
Why did you choose to work with black balloons?

Every single day I spend at my studio and my creative process resembles playing. And everything I create comes out of curiosity. The same happened with the project 'Black Balloons'. For an extensive amount of time I had the idea to connect two balloons. I found a free minute between the other currently running projects, bought two balloons, and got overwhelmed by the result.
It was so unpretentious and so magical at the same time! That opposition created by two very simple and playful objects once again brought a unique childlike sense of discovery.
This experience uncovers a lot and the more one looks at it, the more it becomes true: "simplicity is genius".
For the first test I only used two balloons and two different gases: helium and sulfur hexafluoride - the light and the heavy ones. Later on I worked out how to make the balloons float in the middle of a glass tank without connecting them to anything.
How long did it take until you had determined the right amount of the gases needed in each balloon to let them float in the way you wanted them to?

Since most of the composition consists of balloons standing on the ground, there’s no possible way to make a mistake here. You fill one balloon with helium and then the other one with heavier gases. That’s it! The composition stays on the ground because the heavier balloon is working as an anchor. It was a little more complicated to make them float in the middle of a glass tank. I had to use helium and plain air so the two connected balloons would go up. Then you put them in a tank and start adding helium until the balloons descend to reach the desired level.

During your experiments you experimented with different combinations in regards to the number of balloons or the distance between the balloons. How did you decide for the one with which you applied for BLOOOM award by WARSTEINER 2016?

I had to choose only one composition so I’ve decided to apply with the simplest and most appealing one. You’ll never go wrong with a cube. By the way, it was most liked on social media, magazines, etc.

What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far?

Oh, the biggest highlights are still waiting for me.

What are your goals for your artistic career?

I'd like to be remembered as one of the greatest artists who created art not only for the sake of art itself, but rather used it as an instrument to address more important issues. In the end, I want to be someone whose actions mattered and who changed the world for the better.

Which items are indispensable for you in the creation of your artworks?

There are none. I’ve created projects using my camera, paintbrush and canvas, everyday objects, etc… I could say that most of them have been realized in my studio, so maybe it is the one that inspires me most.
  • Xanthe Somers

Within the work “Don’t bite the hand that feed you, or maybe you should” the artist Xanthe Somers reflects on the political situation of her home country Zimbabwe. Find out here about the heroes and the goals of the artist, who is now based in London.
What is the message underlying your work “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, or maybe you should”?

Mugabe’s 1980 speech of independence was full of promises and hope, which once fueled a nation but have now become empty words. Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket of Africa, with a thriving maize industry, which has now turned into one of the poorest countries, that is rife with hunger. The words of the speech are jumbled in a pile, making the speech it illegible. The underlying meaning is to try and visually quantify the meaningless and lies of the speech and to represent the starvation, poverty and economic downfall that one man has brought upon a nation.
If you could talk personally to Mr Mugabe, what would you like to tell him?

I would tell him it’s time for change.

What are your goals for your artistic career?

My goal as an artist is to be able to fulfill large-scale projects that can promote change and provoke thought.

Do you have a hero? If yes, who?

I don't have one single person, I admire family, artists, activists, authors for example Ai Weiwei, William Kentridge, Bernard Takawira (Shona Sculptor), individuals who have been brave enough to promote change in Zimbabwe, Pastor Evans.

Which items are indispensable for you in the creation of your artworks?

Inspiration is more indispensable to me than particular items. Found objects, literature, Zimbabwe and my history are all an integral part of the creation of my work.

Why did you decide to apply for BLOOOM Award by WARSTEINER 2016?

I applied because I thought it could open up opportunities and visibility for me as an artist.
  • Martin Reiche

“Shell Performance“ is a software-art-installation which integrates three hard drives with personal data, which were found on an electronic waste dump in Ghana. The German artist Martin Reiche tells us in our interview in what way his work is meant to express the integrity of data and privacy in today’s consumer society.
In a nutshell: What is the message underlying your work “Shell Performance“?

“Shell Perfomance” is a software-art-installation – a kind of a collage of a digital life whereby the underlying data was taken from hard drives, which were found on an electronic waste dumb in Ghana. The hard drives contain a huge amount of private documents and photos, pop music as well as pornographic images and videos (mainly from mainstream productions). The work picks up the data and creates a constantly changing, abstract, digital collage from it.
What is your inspiration for your artistic work in general? And what inspired you to design your work “Shell Performance”?

I think it is exciting how the relationship between human beings and technology (and inevitably also between human being and human being) is influenced by the constant development of technology.
I am focusing on technology which I classify as particularly critical; radio technology, networks, software.
What they all have in common is that they can open up new rooms, which again offer potential for artistic creation. Besides, all three can be counted to the “critical infrastructure”, thus it is about technology, whose breakdown has systemic consequences.
“Shell Performance” offers a different point of view: The work plays with private data from unknown natural people, who in no way gave consent to becoming part of an artistic production. But their technological footprints, thus the residual data from the hard drives which were used by them, become the fuel of the installation.
Hence, the dealing with storage technology in general is questioned. My special attention in this work was a nearly archeological and a definitely forensic approach.


What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far?

That’s difficult to answer generally. I was honoured to work with some brilliant artists and to be part of some great exhibitions around the world. A very formative period was my residence in Sao Paolo, Brasil in summer 2015.

Which items are indispensable for you in the creation of your artworks?

As I am working in the genres of installation, sculptures, software art and video art, this question is also difficult to answer generally. Certainly, the notebook is the only actual indispensable instrument.

Why did you decide to apply for BLOOOM Award by WARSTEINER 2016? Why did you choose this particular work?

I, personally, see myself as a media artist. However, I participated more and more in fine arts exhibitions in recent years.
It is important for me to establish a bridge here and to integrate media art in all their facets into the context of fine arts.

Thank you 2016!

Again, a record: We received more than 2,000 applications from 84 countries in 2016!

The special exhibition with the ten finalist's work at BLOOOM - the converging art show was a great success.

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