juries… omg, where do i even start? i don’t trust them. they are a breeding ground for collusions and various forms of deal making. a friend of mine, who was a prix ars jury member in recent years in an unnamed category, actually told me some stories, that confirmed every suspicion i had. can’t tell, i am sworn to secrecy, webbed into the “great conspiracy of silence” surrounding the prix ars.
so if not decided by a jury, how can winners be determined in a competition like the prix ars?
i think there has to be some form of a crowd process envolved. but as christoph rightly pointed out online voting is out of the question. 4chan hackers are only the most public group who have been exploiting online votes.
but there is one model i heard about, that really has great potential. future everything, the media art festival/conference in manchester, has an online community in which every artist who ever visited the festival was asked to create an online profile. not sure, maybe even visitors can create such profiles. at any rate, it is this community that votes for the winners of the competition.
best things last. most other prix ars categories this year were one huge heap of pointless blah to me, but all the winners in the digital communities category are really great and deserve to win. wikileaks.org allows journalists to upload sensitive documents in an anonymous way. piratebyran.org is the irc community that famously started the pirate bay in sweden. rasmus fleischer gave a really witty talk, pointing out the dangers that receiving 5000.- euro could represent for a group of online friends like piratebyran, ending his talk with: “i want to thank ars electronica for the 5000 euro and i promise it will not last long”. well, maybe, this would sound almost cynical to the winners, hiperbarrio.org, who could certainly use every penny to further their cause of bringing youth to blog in violence ridden medellin, columbia.