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BABELGUM METROPOLIS ART PRIZE

Winners of the Art Video Competition Will Garner a Total of US $30,000 in Cash Awards and Have Their Videos Exhibited on New York City’s Times Square Monitors

Grand Prize Will Be Chosen by Jury Chaired by Isabella Rossellini
LONDON/ NEW YORK (September 28, 2009) – Babelgum , the independent web and mobile video content platform, continues its talent-scouting mission with the launch of the Babelgum Metropolis Art Prize, which seeks out art videos from the world’s best and edgiest artists. The competition is an open call to all artists active in any visual medium to submit videos of their works. Artists can direct the videos themselves, or bring in a filmmaker to direct. Entries will be evaluated by a jury of curators chaired by iconic art-house actress and video artist Isabella Rossellini, in addition to being voted upon by the Babelgum audience. Nine winners will have their videos broadcast on jumbo monitors in Times Square, turning New York City’s most spectacular space into an art installation site; three will also win cash prizes worth a total of US $30,000. The Prize is presented in association with SCOPE International Contemporary Art Show and Perpetual Art Machine.

Entries to the inaugural Babelgum Metropolis Art Prize are being accepted until October 18, 2009 at www.babelgum.com . Jurors and audiences will vote on the videos from November 2 through December 6, 2009. The special winner’s exhibition in Times Square will take place on December 17. Further information about submission specifications and regulations, including deadlines to submit, screen and vote, are available on the Babelgum website.

Metropolis publisher Laurence Billiet explains what they are looking for, “We’ve found that more and more artists are using video as a medium. Often it begins with a desire to document the ‘making-of’ their art - particularly when it is of ephemeral nature, such as graffiti or performance. But over time the video itself has become an extension of the artwork and it acts as a complementary or alternative form of self-expression. Once it’s uploaded online the video also allows the artist to reach a broader and more global audience, than say a specific gallery.”

“The Metropolis Art Prize is an invitation to artists to bring their art to life using video. And it is an opportunity to share their work and vision with a global audience. We are particularly interested in subjects and themes that explore and celebrate our urban environment in all its strange and wonderful permutations. The challenge, really, is for artists to think about interesting ways they can use video in conjunction with their work to create an exciting and entertaining experience”.

The Babelgum Metropolis Art Prize consists of the following awards:

The Metropolis Art Grand Prize: The winner will receive US $20,000, a dedicated artist channel on Babelgum Metropolis and will have his/her video screened on Times Square monitors.

The Best Street Art Video: The winner will receive US $5,000 and have his/her video screened on Times Square monitors. The Best Street Art Video will be selected by juror Cedar Lewisohn, curator of the 2008 Street Art exhibition at the Tate Modern gallery in London.

The Audience Award: The winner will receive US $5,000 and have his/her video screened on Times Square monitors. The Babelgum audience will vote for this award online and on mobile.

The Times Square Special Screening Awards: six runners-up (two from each prize category) will also have their videos screened on Times Square monitors.

Isabella Rossellini shared her enthusiasm about the competition: “We want to be inspired, challenged, excited, awed, moved, intrigued and weirded-out. Babelgum’s Metropolis channel explores and celebrates the city and the urban environment in all its gritty, strange and wonderful permutations. We’re looking for art that reflects this spirit.”

-End-

About Isabella Rossellini
Actress and video artist Isabella Rossellini launched her career modeling for Vogue in New York City, working with photographic luminaries including Helmut Newton. She achieved cult status starring in David Lynch’s art house classic Blue Velvet. A passionate supporter of experimental art, she recently wrote and directed the Green Porno video series for the Sundance Channel.

About Cedar Lewisohn
Cedar Lewisohn curated the groundbreaking Street Art (2008) exhibition at the Tate Modern gallery in London featuring the work of cult artists BLU, Nunca and Os Gêmeos. An artist and writer, he is the author of Street Art: the Graffiti Revolution documenting this fast-evolving international art scene (Tate Publishing).

About Babelgum (www.babelgum.com )
Babelgum is an integrated web and mobile video content platform free for users and supported by advertising available on-demand to a global audience. Babelgum Mobile is an original application currently available in the United States, UK, Italy, Germany, France and Spain which brings regionally tailored programming to smart phones – at present iPhone 3G, iPod Touch, Google Android G-Phones 1 and 2, Nokia (N96, N95 and 6210) – via 3G and WiFi.
Positioned between user generated video hubs and network TV-oriented destinations, Babelgum focuses on the third part of the ecosystem: innovative, professionally produced content on very specific passions – music, comedy, film, urban culture, nature and the environment – curated by experts in their fields. Babelgum’s programming is comprised of exclusive original productions as well as independent and mainstream titles.
Babelgum’s content partners include, among others, EMI, Sony BMG, the New York Times, PBS, BBC, VBS, Lonely Planet, Coolhunting, National Geographic, Funny or Die, T5M, Shine Limited, Cinetic Rights Management, Content Republic, Gong Anime, The Workbook Project, Cinelan, Power to the Pixel and Off the Fence as well as the Encounters, Los Angeles, and Hamptons film festivals.
The company has also set up a series of online contests to nurture independent film, music and art talent: the Babelgum Online Film Festival, the Babelgum Music Video Awards and the Babelgum Metropolis Art Prize chaired respectively by Spike Lee, Michel Gondry and Isabella Rossellini. Babelgum is an independent and privately held company with offices in the United States, UK, Ireland, France and Italy.

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