Golden Nica - Interactive
Undoubtedly and deservedly one of the best projects in the Interactive Art category at Ars, 'Image Fulgurator' is this year's winner of the Golden Nica. This is a device that looks like a camera but has been hacked to function in a different manner: it detects light flashes in the vicinity by other cameras. When a flash goes off, rather than taking a photo, this device flashes an image onto whatever it's pointed at. The result? Loads of other cameras capture an image with something in it that wasn't there beforehand. For example, Mao's face in Tiananmen Square can unexpectedly have an overlaid image of a bird with outstretched wings on it. While we doubt the truth of photos in print or on the web, we tend to believe the photos we've taken ourselves. This ingenious method of real-time image distortion turns into one of the most subtle subversive activities I have ever seen.