W e’re excited and honoured to bring Shaheer Zazai, Xuan Ye, Alvin Luong, Emily Hamel, and Anna Eyler into the fold, along with their respective artworks, Carpet No. 7, IN BETWEEN () WE OSCILLATE, Taking is too easy but that’s the way it is (Dance, Dance Revolution?), The Queer in the Rural, and PAN/PAN. As this year’s finalists, they join the community of artists and arts workers who have contributed to the growing success of the EDAA program. Selected by jury Tobias Williams, Yifat Shaik, Emily Fitzpatrick, and Lindsay LeBlanc, the finalists’ works share in taking subversive action against the binaries that structure our politics, environments, and technologies.
In these works, contradiction abounds. But rather than establishing meaning by reinforcing two opposing terms, these artists do away with divisive approaches in favour of actions that synthesize and bring together.
Each does so in their own visual language from individual perspectives, and every similarity between the selected works is equally matched with a marker of distinction. Their contents address a host of salient issues, ranging from the colonial narrative of discovery and progress to the preservation of culture through digital reproduction—from what the Spice Girls mean to neoliberalism, to feminist and queer glitch aesthetics, to the structural core of language itself.
Read the artists’ statements to get a taste of what their works say, what they do, and why they stood out to our jury. Ultimately, we know seeing is believing; so mark your calendars, because these five works will be shown in an exhibition at Trinity Square Video from September 27 – October 13, 2018. In early October, mid-way through the exhibition, the winner will be announced for the first time. Shall we cue one extra-long drumroll…? And so it begins.
To all artists who applied, thanks for answering our call and we hope to see more of your work next year. It sounds cliché to say that the competition was tough, but it truly was. We wish we could showcase more of your awesome stuff; it inspires us to see such poignant and political conversations happening around digital art and culture.