The Webby Awards are here again, honoring the best of the best in all things internet, including websites, interactive advertising, online film and video, mobile software and apps, and the web's social realm. Looking for new experiences online? Just peruse one of hundreds of fascinating projects in the many of Webby categories. Art on the Web is a great place to start. It features emerging migrations of old art world institutions to new media platforms, grassroots arts projects picking up steam, and an independent galleries directory bringing eyes to small spaces.
The Webbys themselves are given out by a body of web experts and are highly coveted, but the People's Voice awards, voted in by the internet community, honor not only critical achievement but also audience pride. This year, winning both the Webby and the People's Voice award in art, was The Creators Project, an event series held in 2012 featuring "artworks and installations, screenings, a panel discussion and dozens of performances by creators from all over the world."
The Creators Project is a partnership between processor giant Intel and VICE Media, serving to promote artists' collaboration with technology. The project includes an online arts channel documenting innovative figures in art, music, film, design, and gaming. Their 'About' page certainly aims high, proclaiming, "The Creators Project features a slate of original artwork commissions, a music video series, featuring household and emerging names, tech-focused tutorials, and deep-reaching collaborations between Intel Labs and high profile artists within the program."
Why would Intel foot the bill for such a project? When more people are creating -- art or music or video -- they need faster computers than the consumers who just check email and watch YouTube. This generally means they require very fast non-Apple processors. The more creators the brighter the company's future. But it's a fine line between supporting and selling out. Has Intel stepped up to the plate as an art benefactor of the new era or will The Creators Project become Intel sponsoring alternative artists just like Red Bull sponsors alternative sports, fully branded?
The Creators Project topped the Webby list, but also nominated in this category was MoMA's simple and satisfying Cindy Sherman gallery. The site was made as the web arm of the museum's physical retrospective. It's a great view for those who couldn't see the show in person. The easy navigation and minimal page reloads make Sherman's photographs easily viewable as whole set and as a life's work, instead of piecemeal via the algorithmic curation of an image search. The gallery might, and this is only an opinion, be better that going to MoMA. It feels more intimate, more about the looking at art and less about going to a museum.
Other nominees included the Guggenheim Blogs, focused not just on contemporary art but on the context, meaning, and global society making it; and fellow public media outlet KCET's online art magazine Artbound. All the nominated projects expand art's online presence, brining new functions and possibilities to the table. The Webby nominees are a must-see for any art lovers looking for the newest and best, but they also provide a glimpse of the art world's more digital future.
Winners of the 17th annual Webby Awards were announced April 30, 2013, but the real-life ceremony will occur later this month on May 21, to be hosted by Patton Oswalt. For more information visit webbyawards.com.