Finalist works exhibition

Floor 3

entry: General Conditions

Sonae Media Art Award 2019

Launched in 2015 as the result of a productive and innovative partnership
between Sonae and the mnac, with the aim of distinguishing a national or foreign
artist resident in Portugal, up to the age of 40, the Sonae Media Art Award
is an undeniable achievement. At a special moment in the programming of the
museum, in which it more broadly embraces new forms of art, the Sonae
Media Art Award reflects the vitality of the creative ability resulting from the intersection between art and technological development, and has already produced two winners — Tatiana Macedo (2015) and Rodrigo Gomes (2017).

The potential of new technologies combined with creative thought and
visual expression allows for the exploration of paths of confluence, increasingly
enabling new experiences for the visitor, at times immersive, at others interactive,
taking the digital arts to new levels. The current exhibition consists of
a significant display of the fertility of these new areas of artistic expression, and
the multidisciplinary formations of the artists in this edition offer us works
of marked experimentalism and dialogue between scientific areas of knowledge
and creation. Chosen from a list of almost a hundred candidates, reiterating
the importance of this biennial award, the works exhibited here, created by an
array of emerging and already recognised artists, therefore present a sustained
balance between innovation and maturity.

The Sonae Media Art Award already assumes the responsibility of an artistic
affirmation in the panorama of new visual languages in Portugal, constituting
a fuse for thought and creative proposals that otherwise would not see the
light of day. The fact that the finalists have access to a grant of five thousand
euros allows for the creation of more complex works that, without this support,
would have difficulty getting off the page.

The credibility of these achievements, in particular when they are the result
of open calls and carry the responsibility of such a prestigious prize, is also due
to the quality of the specialists who, since 2015, have been invited to select and
award the finalists and winners. We must therefore thank the members of the
jury of this edition, renowned artists and specialists in Media Art. The selection
jury, in addition to mnac curator Adelaide Ginga, includes André Rangel and
António Cerveira Pinto. The awarding jury will be composed of Miguel Soares,
Patrícia Gouveia and Yves Bernard.

As with creation, institutions are also better placed at the confluence of
knowledge and power, so as to be able to realise their mission of public service.
Consequently, the mnac would like to pay tribute and offer its thanks to Sonae
for its renewed confidence each year in our joint work, so that we may go further
and take with us our curiosity, knowledge, and the fruition that only Art

The winner will be announced on December 4.

Emília Ferreira
Director of the National Museum of Contemporary Art

Diogo Tudela (Porto, 1987)

Collisions & Render Engines

Collisions & Render Engines can be defined as a real-time aural-visual theatre of impacts and debris unfolding an information system that describes possible trajectories within the material feedback loop that connects the theatrical artefacts of warfare to their entertainment counterparts.

As such, the project poses a critique on media itself by addressing its role within themilitary–industrial–media–entertainment complex as a producer of formal solutionsthat contribute both to the endo-militarization of everyday life, and to the operational importance of post-production, special effects and fiction in actual warfare.

The installation articulates a series of 12 prints, generated by a photogrammetric algorithm that analyses and correlates artillery and pyrotechnic imagery, backlit briefly, and in random order, as a reaction to an 8 channel audio signal deploying generative rhythmic patterns of sonic objects created through the synthesis of fireworks blasts, ballistic explosions and percussion from the rave culture lexicon. 

Francisca Aires Mateus (Lisboa, 1992)

Musica Humana

Musica humana  is a sound installation that brings together twenty-four musical compositions, each of them based on the emotional characteristics and personality of an individual. The project began by carrying out interviews with twenty-four people. The questions were inspired by the Proust Questionnaire, but also by questions frequently used in job interviews. At the same time, a method for quantifying the answers and converting them into specific musical properties was developed. The data was used to produce a composition. In the installation, sound becomes the immaterial element that fills the void, conjuring up a sensory and emotional atmosphere that will decisively characterise the way that each spectator individually assimilates the place. What we hear is a variable and organic mass of sound, vibrant and dynamic in time and space. Sometimes one of the compositions will dominate before quickly giving way to dialogues, confrontations and tensions, or even collapsing in a cacophony.

Rudolfo Quintas (Porto,1980)

Keystone I, II, III, IV

Keystone I, II, III, IV are four new-media sculptures that confront the viewer with objective analysis by an AI entity of the way Portuguese society writes online. The artwork presents this information by re-creating the network of complex interactions, translations and endless feedback between the digital and the non-digital

Over a period of three months, the artist and his team trained the AI entity to be  capable of reading and speaking about what it has experienced. This system, inspired by the neural networks of the human brain, has collected, analysed and evaluated the sentiment of more than 100,000 tweets from the most followed Twitter accounts in Portugal (politicians, newspapers, political parties, etc.). The Keystones construct both a short and long-term memory data universe of the most emotionally charged words of each day and speak about them, basing their interpretations strictly on what they have learnt on Twitter.


Coletivo berru [Bernardo Bordalo (1991), Mariana Vilanova (1996), Rui Nó (1993)  e Sérgio Coutinho (1992)]

Systems Synthesis

A biological system made up of invasive plants and other organisms was transported to the exhibition space. In the exhibition room, a machine replicates the environmental conditions of the plants' native habitat, a forgotten place where nature grows without human intervention. 

Systems Synthesis proposes a symbiotic relationship between Nature and Technology, where sound spatialised in seven channels is the result of the relationship between both.

The work undergoes constant visual and sonic change at a biological and natural speed and in a state of inherent dynamic balance.

Coletivo Tiago Martins (1990), João Correia (1986) e Sérgio Rebelo (1993)

Retratos de Ninguém (Portraits of No One)

The boundary between the real and the artificial has recently been the subject of debate, fuelled by the emergence of computer systems that create false content, often for the purpose of propaganda and influence. Nowadays, we know that what we see, read and hear can be false. As a result, we have begun to challenge that which we would have previously considered to be unquestionably true. Retratos de Ninguém (Portraits of No One) is an interactive installation that explores the creation of content at the intersection between the real and the artificial. In the space of the installation, portraits featuring the faces of no one are created and displayed, generated from all of those who visit and feed it.