2019 marks the fifth edition of the Emerging Digital Artists Award, and we couldn’t be prouder to have made it to this point. It’s incredible to be a part of an initiative rooted in a medium that is continuously changing form as our relationship with digital culture deepens. The submissions we receive each year push the boundaries of what it means to create with digital tools, and to conceptualize digital space—and as a result, we feel lucky to have worked with some of the most compelling artists working in Canada at the moment.
The traditional gift for five-year anniversaries is wood (according to many credible online sources, not least of all including the authoritative Brides.com). It seems like an interesting proposition to give something so tactile, utilitarian, and organic to mark the fifth instalment of a digital art award—but fitting, in that digital artists are world builders of sorts. While reviewing the 2019 submissions with this year’s jury, we saw this parallel between physical and digital spaces being explored and expanded. Analogue and digital processes, too, collided in creative works that challenged our expectations for the genre. Artists are questioning what a virtual environment can be, while offering critical reflection on the inherent power structures embedded within digital and physical landscapes. Perhaps the codes and systems that wood represents are not such a far cry from the binary sort, after all.
The grueling task of selecting five finalists from a number of incredible submissions is over, and the announcement of our finalists is just around the corner. We can’t give away too much, but we can share that this year the EDAA will see the broadest geographic representation in our finalist group, with artists from four different regions. We look forward to celebrating our fifth year with an exhibition of their works at Trinity Square Video, September 6 until September 28. Please mark your calendars! The exhibition is free, but we do accept wood gifts.