Nimbus Nominated for Ars Electronica STARTS Prize

Innovation in and for Europe

Science, technology and arts (STARTS for short) limn a nexus at which insightful observers have identified extraordinarily high potential for innovation. And innovation is precisely what’s called for if we’re to master the social, ecological and economic challenges that Europe will be facing in the near future. In this STARTS Prize initiative, the European Commission’s focus is on projects and people that can make meaningful contributions to this effort.

Art as Catalyst

Here, art is assigned the role of catalyst that propagates scientific and technological knowledge and skills among the general public and triggers innovative processes. Accordingly, STARTS is emphasizing, on one hand, artistic works that influence or change the way we look at technology, and, on the other hand, very promising forms of collaboration between the private sector and the world of art and culture. A prizewinning project will be singled out for recognition in both categories and each will be supported with €20,000 prize money.

Dave Lynch, Mike Nix

Project Nimbus (2015) achieved the inaugural projection of moving images onto clouds from aircraft. The image (Horse in Motion – Muybridge 1878) is a shared cultural reference between art & science. Beyond the spectacle, genuine collaboration was underpinned by art as research, involving aviators, technologists, and cultural specialists, driven by the power of idea and joy of risk, giving freedom from commercialization.

Inspired by a proposed US military non-lethal weapon, the Laser Zoopraxiscope Mk6 is an open source cloud projector, combining historical and innovative projection technologies.

Through a pioneering journey of artistic and scientific enquiry, rapid prototyping and willingness to question, the blurring of art, science and maker cultures became the ultimate product. A moment of apparent physical impossibility revealed the fragility of inspiration possibility, risk, commitment. Nimbus captures the innovation and optimism that pervade scientific and artistic research practice.

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