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Aqua Contest

johannes p osterhoff - Aqua Contest

The world’s first graphical user interface art contest ever!
Readers of Maclife magazine were asked to produce Interface Art out of OS X GUI elements.

The Aqua Contest defines Interface Art as “digital paintings made out of the graphical user interfaces of modern operating systems. And only of these. Interface artists combine, mismatch and remix existing elements of interfaces. They draw new pictures with the images we see everyday on our computer screen. Thus these brave artists offer a valuable different view on our everyday virtual environments.”

Interface Artists all over the world (and readers of Maclife magazine in particular) could submit their works until December 1, 2007. With submitting their work the brave artists also vowed to stick to the rules for Interface Artists. This vow reads as follows:

“I have become a maker of graphical user interface art. I believe that the graphical user interface recently has been enriched not only with true color. Depiction of utopias, of progress and lifestyle have joined the metaphors (indeed necessary) to machine-interact. To raise awareness of this issue I will follow these rules.”

For a long-winded text on rules and Interface Art please refer to the page of the Aqua Contest (readers of Maclife magazine in particular). In short the rules were:

  1. only OS X interface elements were allowed
  2. maximum size of 400 by 300 pixels
  3. only OS-X-like effects were allowed; like drop shadows, layer transparency (and simple filling with paint bucket, of course)
  4. imagery from OS X could only be used by pasting screenshots or by copying of real OS X image data (PNGs in the Application folder for example)
  5. Creative Commons, share-alike license and allowance to Maclife for publication

Interface artist Julian Raschke won the Aqua Contest with his great work The Last Supper and was awarded with a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS3 to continue his career as an artist with up-to-date software.

For his work Gardens artist Stefan Albers received an honorable mention for creative interface artistry and won a LaCie hard disk to become a real preserver of interface-related art.

 

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