Celebrating 11 years of projection in Alys Beach, FL, held May 18-20, 2018, Digital Graffiti announced “Participation” by Jes Van Zee of AOA, Orlando, FL as “Best of Show.” The festival, sponsored by Christie, welcomed 25 artists from around the world to Northwest Florida’s Scenic Highway 30A in South Walton County to showcase original digital artwork on the pristine white walls of Alys Beach’s homes.

“The judges’ selection of Jes Van Zee’s work “Participation” as “Best of Show” underscored her use of interactive technology to break up and create new layers of associations and meaning, literally in the street,” says Digital Graffiti curator Brett Phares. “The judges saw her piece as exemplar, especially in the way it welcomed and stirred those in attendance to interact with it.

The complete list of winners includes:

  • Best of Show ($5,000 prize): Jes Van Zee of AOA, Orlando, FL, “Participation”
  • Curator’s Choice ($2,000 prize): Vinay Khare, Pondicherry, India, “Chaos in String Theory”
  • Special Recognition ($1,000 prizes):
    • Luzena Adams, New York, NY, “Alpha Omega”
    • Cesar, Alhaurín el Grande, Spain, “softporn”
    • Sean Capone, New York, NY, “The Sky Report”

“AOA and I are incredibly honored that the curatorial staff selected “Participation” as “Best of Show” out of all of the pieces featured at the festival,” says Jes Van Zee. “As an artist, I am incredibly lucky to receive such support from my organization, who are proud that this work was seen and acknowledged at Alys Beach. With the support of the resources at AOA, we were able to present the best possible vision of this piece to the audience and artists at Digital Graffiti. Being surrounded by immersive projections and talented artists at this beautiful location was nothing short of inspiring. We look forward to applying to next year’s festival with a new, interactive projection that is already in the works.”

In his pick for Curator’s Choice, Phares says, “For Curator’s Choice, I want to highlight certain work as the future of Digital Graffiti, and those artists who are practicing their art at a deeper level. Vinay Khare represents this for me, and I am very happy to help further his craft and his art.”

A panel of art and industry experts led by Phares served as the jury for the festival and selected the winners. The panel included Florida State University College of Communication research associate and adjunct instructor Lucia Fishburne, journalist Evan Narcisse, executive director at New Orleans Film Society Fallon Young, Christie Digital media server solutions manager Geoffrey Platt, and director & creative technologist Jeff Grantz.

In addition to the juried competition, a select group of artists who participated in this year’s Visiting Artist Residency were invited to create large-scale pieces at Digital Graffiti: 2017 “Best of Show” winner, Kameron Neal of Brooklyn, NY; Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Motion Media Design department chair John Colette, Savannah, GA; and Emilia Forstreuter of Berlin, Germany, who won special recognition for her  project “Yonder” in the 2016 festival.

The festival was powered by industry leading Christie technology – including Christie Boxer, Christie M Series, and Christie Captiva ultra short throw projectors, along with Christie Pandoras Box media servers to manage the content. This year’s festival marked Christie’s second year as the technology sponsor.

“The projected art that was shown at Digital Graffiti just shows how art and technology can be brought together to create something amazing,” says Geoffrey Platt, media server solutions manager at Christie. “Christie was proud to sponsor the festival, and to work with the artists to help transform the architecture of Alys Beach with Christie technology.”