The Emerging Digital Artists Award (EDAA) was established in 2015 by EQ Bank to shed light on emerging digital practices in Canada, in part out of recognition that artists working exclusively on screen are up against some unique challenges. Presented in partnership with Trinity Square Video, the award celebrates up-and-coming artists who are not only innovating with digital technologies, but also holding a critical lens to our increasingly digital world.
2020 has been anything but ordinary, which is why this year’s award is breaking with tradition: rather than declaring a single winner at an awards ceremony, all five of the shortlisted artists will receive a grand prize. With our restricted ability to physically gather, the importance of works created in the virtual realm has never been more profound. By shifting the structure of the 2020 award, we can celebrate a dynamic collection of artworks that, despite being created in a pre-pandemic world, are all particularly insightful in our current moment.
The 2020 EDAA Exhibition brings together five exceptional works by this year’s award winners: Jawa El Khash, Kanika Gordon, Alison Postma, Camila Salcedo and Lisa Smolkin. Each artist receives a grand prize of $5,000 and a one-year Production Membership to Trinity Square Video.
Through rigorous acts of recreation, and even resurrection, Jawa El Khash’s The Upper Side of the Sky and Camila Salcedo’s Alternate Reality (Santa Paula, El Cafetal, Caurimare, Caracas) exploit the possibilities of digital media to render sites of significance that either no longer exist or cannot be physically experienced. Meanwhile, Kanika Gordon’s Welcome to the Alter-Ego Citadel and Lisa Smolkin’s Life’s lil Bitch expose the various threats to our online autonomy and the vulnerabilities created through cyber surveillance or journeys of self-discovery. Alison Postma’s A Point, A Line, A Surface, A Solid furthers the case to approach the digital realm with a certain degree of scrutiny as she subverts the trompe-l’oeil technique to examine the most basic digital building block: the pixel.
Full artist statements and biographies can be found here.