CultTech × Ars Electronica Award

Award for Social Impact Projects in Culture and Technology goes to the South African-born app, Art Meets which connects visual arts ecosystems.

The award ceremony took place at Ars Electronica festival in Linz, Austria,
on the 7th September 2023.
The CultTech x Ars Electronica Award is a collaborative project between the CultTech Association and Ars Electronica.

Please welcome the winner: Art Meets — a South African-born app, which connects visual arts ecosystems.

We received 278 applications (118 qualified) from 53 countries overall. The selection process was handled by the jury, consisting of Ars Electronica x CultTech experts and independent members.

Award for Social Impact Projects in Culture and Technology

This distinguished CultTech x Ars Electronica Award supports endeavors that harness the power of innovation and creativity to drive positive social change through culture and technology, not only on a local or regional level but also on a planetary scale. By spotlighting outstanding initiatives, this award underscores the need to responsibly utilize technology and resources, fostering inclusivity and promoting positive transformations.

Through this recognition, we seek to amplify the importance of social impact within the realm of culture and technology. We invited individuals, collectives, and organizations to submit their groundbreaking initiatives that exemplify the transformative potential of the arts while addressing critical issues, fostering inclusivity, and promoting positive change.

We received 278 applications from 53 countries. Then, the international jury, consisting of Lucrecia Vanni (AR/IT), Dmitry Aksenov (RU) and Gerfried Stocker (AT) evaluated the submissions and assigned the Award to a project from South Africa. The name of this project is Art Meets.

Art Meets / Michaela Limberis (ZA), Precious Mhone (MW), Tammy Langtry (ZA)
Art Meets app is a tool for networking artists, curators, cultural institutions and art lovers in Africa. Geodata, chats, and event information create a social network that connects the cultural scene across cities and countries on the continent. The application was established by the Art Meets collective, which since 2013 has been pushing the basic idea of a digital infrastructure for actors in the cultural sector in South Africa and beyond with diverse projects – exhibitions, videos, podcasts. Around 55 media designers and experts from the arts and culture scene from South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Kenya, Botswana and Ghana have designed the digital application remotely.

At the center of the digital ecosystem is the exchange between artists and organizers, between curators and art spaces; via a virtual map, locations and events can be marked and personal contacts can be maintained via the messaging function. In the future, Art Meets app will digitally connect art communities and help users to build professional networks and acquire a sustainable audience.

Tammy Langtry, Art Meets: “The Art Meets App accommodates varied levels of arts infrastructure, with the aim to override systems of economic exclusion to build local and international audiences and professional networks beginning locally. The project will be launched in South Africa as a testing ground to further research and expand through partner locations in other regions in Africa".

The Honorary Mention of the award is Pavel Ruzyak (CZ), a filmmaker who created a project Filming in the Dark. It uses innovative AI applications to enable people with visual impairments to make their own films — even in the production phase.

This requires innovative technical solutions: One of them is a special camera that, with the help of AI, operates a chatbot that describes objects in the image in speech and provides assistance via a loudspeaker. In this way, video recording becomes an interactive work and visual impairment becomes irrelevant, as the camera – as well as appropriate hardware and software design – becomes a co-producer through communication with the person filming. The new camera technology should enable people who cannot see to produce audiovisual content – for their own social media presence or YouTube channel, for example.

The winner gets
€ 10.000

for project development
Award Ceremony Invitation
at Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria, September 6-10, 2023, covering travel expenses
CultTech Accelerator Participation
the leading international accelerator for tech startups in the cultural sector
Important Dates
  • May 30, 2023

    Announcement and call for submissions
  • June 26, 2023

    Final deadline for submissions (by 11:59 PM CEST)

  • July 2023
    Announcement of the winners
  • August 2023-August 2024

    Mentoring and CultTech Accelerator Program

  • September 6-10, 2023

    Ars Electronica Festival  in Linz, Austria

The full description of the Award
and all the conditions can be found
at the dedicated
CultTech x Ars Electronica Award webpage.