Published on 17 September 2019
Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand receive 2019’s Art+Technology Award at SMARTcafé event
The artist duo Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand are this year’s winner of the Witteveen+Bos Art+Technology Award. On 7 November 2019 they will receive the prize in Deventer from Karin Sluis, managing director of consultancy and engineering firm Witteveen+Bos. The award ceremony will take place at Witteveen+Bos' Deventer headquarters and is part of the event 'SMARTcafé - Making sense with data', which will include a presentation on the interfaces between art and technology.
Evelina Domnitch (1972, Minsk) and Dmitry Gelfand (1974, St. Petersburg) have been working together for over 20 years. Together they create works of art that offer an immersive sensory experience. In their research they strive for a synergy of science, technology, art and philosophy. In 1994, Evelina obtained an MA degree in Philosophy cum laude from the Belarusian State University. Dmitry obtained his bachelor's degree in Film/Video at the University of New York in 1996. In 1998 they started working together, after meeting each other in New York. In 2005 they came to the Netherlands, they are currently based in The Hague.
Witteveen+Bos would like to increase the mutual inspiration of the winning artists with the engineering consultancy practice in order for the award to have as much impact as possible. That is why this year the artists will be given a commission for a work of art to be developed in order to be displayed in one of the offices. This creative process is reinforced by Witteveen+Bos' invitation to the artists to hold workshops on inspiration and innovation for Witteveen+Bos employees. During the SMARTcafé, which includes the award ceremony, there will also be a session about what connects art and technology.
Karin Sluis: 'We are very pleased with the different perspectives the award winners offer us and we want to create better conditions for cross-pollination between our consultancy and engineering work and the work of the artists. We both work with insights from technology and science, where creativity is needed to arrive at the best solution. The special thing about the work of Evelina and Dmitry is that they make invisible principles of physics perceptible by showing them, magnified, in their installations. We are increasingly making the same kind of translation in our work. We use new technologies to allow stakeholders to experience our engineering solutions, for example by letting them move through a design in a VR environment or by having them experience the effect of a new noise barrier.'
Since its establishment in 2001, the Witteveen+Bos Art+Technology Award has consisted of a sum of fifteen thousand euros and a book about the work of the artists. The exhibition in the Bergkerk, which until last year was also part of the exhibition, will be replaced by the development of a new work of art.
The jury that Domnitch and Gelfand nominated is independent and consists of chairman Maria Verstappen, fine artist and, together with Erwin Driessens, herself a winner of the prize in 2013, Arie Altena, publicist at V2_, and Robbert Roos, director of Kunsthal KAdE. From the jury report: 'We appreciate the way in which Evelina and Dmitry succeed in making scientific processes experienceable. They manage both to leave the mystery of almost unknown phenomena intact and to show it to us. Without exception, their work can be enjoyed without prior knowledge. It shows the beauty of the processes in all their simplicity, not spectacular, not explosive, but very subtle and elegant.’
Domnitch and Gelfand are the 18th recipients of the Art+Technology Award. Previous winners include Theo Jansen (2002), John Körmeling (2006), Dick Raaijmakers (2011), Iris van Herpen (2016) and Floris Kaayk (2017).