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Prix Mobile award seeks stars of the web art world

Fri, 10/21/2011 - 12:40pm
Julie Mollins, Reuters
A new global art-prize competition for pictures created using a mobile device opens on Friday to any competitor bold enough to subject their work to scrutiny by a jury.

The two-stage competition calls for contestants to submit an online stream of original images created and shared on a social network using a mobile device, smartphone, or tablet. An international jury will choose a shortlist of 30 contenders, who will then be set a challenge tobe in the running for a prize.

The winner of the 1,000 euro ($1,389) Prix Mobile, will be announced at the annual LeWeb conference in Paris, a gathering of 4,000 of the world's top digital experts and entrepreneurs from 60 countries.

This year, the focus of LeWeb from December 7 to 9, is on the social, local and mobile (SoLoMo) aspects of the Internet.

"What people can do with their mobiles is absolutely amazing," said LeWeb founder Loic Le Meur, whose LeWeb Startup Competition will award three firms creating state-of-the-art applications and products for the SoLoMo marketplace. "You can understand an image, you don't need translation, you don't need to read."

The Prix Mobile, sponsored financially by the art-sharing application Artspotter, is the brainchild of Dean Whitbread, an artist, author and entrepreneur with an egalitarian view of art-creation.

"Anyone can be an artist on the Internet," Whitbread said.

"If you strip away the snobbery which says it can't be art and look with a fresh eye, some of it is truly remarkable art."

Web tools which competitors might use to create and share their images -- some of which will be exhibited by Digitalarti in Paris from December 7 to 9 -- include the Instagram, Streamzoo and Molome applications.

Prix Mobile judges will look for evidence that contestants are contributing to the development of mobile art, Whitbread said.

"The power of images, is that they speak directly to the heart in a way that words sometimes fail to do," he said.

(Writing by Julie Mollins, editing by Paul Casciato)

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