GII Arts and Entertainment Award, sponsored by Citibank, recognizes Dia for its commitment to new forms of artistic expression on the web

Apr 20, 1998

Dia Center for the Arts is pleased to announce that its series of artists' projects for the web has won the third annual Global Information Infrastructure Award for Arts and Entertainment. Called "a cross between the Oscars and the Baldrige Awards of the Internet" by USA Today, the GII Awards recognize champions across all industries and sectors of society who are using the Internet and network technology to produce extraordinary results

Since early 1995, Dia has presented a unique program of web-based artists' projects on its website at http://www.diacenter.org. These large-scale projects are commissioned from distinguished artists, including Claude Closky's Do you want love or lust?, an online questionnaire based on popular women's magazine quizzes; Tim Rollins and K.O.S.'s (Kids of Survival) Prometheus Bound, a work of web art based on the classic Greek play including an audio performance of the kids' own translation; Cheryl Donegan's Studio Visit, a "painterly" interface which weaves together animated video vignettes; Molissa Fenley's Latitudes, a dance choreographed for the screen; Susan Hiller's Dream Screens, an interactive color field with a soundtrack in six languages; Komar & Melamid's Most Wanted Paintings, an attempt to discover what a true "people's" art would look like; and Fantastic Prayers, a collaborative performance-based project by Tony Oursler, Constance De Jong and Stephen Vitiello.

"Our effort has been to support artists to experiment with this new medium, and to give the public access to real web-based art," said Michael Govan, Director of Dia Center for the Arts. "We are thrilled that the GII Awards has recognized the spirit of our mission and the artists' work, which gives us further confidence to continue this innovative and far-reaching program."

Dia's web site is innovative in its commitment to developing ambitious artists' projects for the web, often commissioning them from a generation of artists that might not otherwise have had access to this new medium, and recently, from younger artists who have interest in and knowledge of the medium, but who need resources to produce projects of this scale. Dia's series of artists' projects for the web has been made possible by generous grants from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, the New York State Council on the Arts, Chase Manhattan Bank, and the Bohen Foundation. Picturetel has provided in-kind support.

The GII Awards, a non-partisan and independent initiative, recognizes champions from all industries and sectors of society who use the Internet and network technology to produce amazing results. Vice President Al Gore has cited the Awards program itself as "An innovation that is vital to our country's future." GII Awards go to individuals, businesses and organizations who are using the information superhighway in collaborative, innovative and results-oriented ways.

"Web-based art and entertainment that works has been an Internet Holy Grail," said James Hake, founder and chairman of the Global Information Infrastructure Awards. "Dia has pioneered entirely new forms of artistic expression that capitalize on the web as a new medium. The work at Dia is both thought-provoking and entertaining, it reveals the potential of the web as a new creative medium."

From an initial pool of over 800 entries from 41 states, a total of 68 entries, in 11 categories, advanced to finals round. The GII Award categories are; Arts & Entertainment, Children, Commerce, Community, Education, Government, Health, Netpreneur, Next Generation, Promise, and Public Access. One winner per category emerged from this set of finalists. Winners were announced at the GII Awards Ceremony, Monday, April 20 in Chicago.

The GII Finals Judging panels are comprised of a cross section of recognized experts in their respective fields and leading thinkers and practitioners of the digital revolution. Finals judges included Don Tapscott, Esther Dyson, Vint Cerf, Patricia Seybold, Reed Hundt, Ann Winblad, Dr. Robert Ballard, Linda Ellerbee, Dr. Robert Kahn, and many others.

The GII Awards Program is sponsored by a cross-section of private and public sector leaders including Compaq, IBM, Gateway 2000, Lucent Technologies, MCI, Tandem, UUNet, TIME Magazine, Business Week, PC Week, and many others.

Dia Center for the Arts is a tax-exempt charitable organization. Established in 1974, the organization has become one of the largest in the United States dedicated to contemporary art and contemporary culture. In fulfilling this commitment, Dia sustains diverse programming in poetry, visual arts, education, and critical discourse and debate.

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For additional information or materials contact:
Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, press@diaart.org or 212 293 5518

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