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How do we create in times of crisis? Three S+T+ARTS projects on the radar

How do artists, creative minds, but also researchers and companies react to social change? They find resilience, as we all did the past two years. But resilience is not only needed when facing a global sanitary crisis, it is also essential today in view of the greater changes our world is facing.

By collaborating, artists, researchers and technologists find solutions for today and tomorrow’s challenges. And this is what the STARTS Prize is about: rewarding innovative Thinking and Making on present and future challenges through art & design, with technology, for society.

“[…] Many [of the projects] addressed the important issues of today in Europe and around the world: social injustice and climate change. Some chose to approach our ever-changing present with hope while others took a more journalistic approach of documenting our present in creative ways.” STARTS Prize ’21 Jury Statement

Every two years, Bozar showcases the winners, honorary mentions, and nominations of the STARTS Prize. We’ve selected a couple of STARTS projects with whom we invite you to dig deeper into the world of deepfake, fighting against Data Warming and co-design practices in the circular economy.


In Event of Moon Disaster
Halsey Burgund, Francesca Panetta
STARTS Prize ’21 Nomination

“Lots of people have asked us, as the directors, why our project—a video that purports to show an alternate reality in which the 1969 lunar landing failed, and President Richard Nixon mourned the loss of two iconic astronauts—isn’t misinformation itself. Aren’t we just adding to the many conspiracy theories about the moon landing?

©Caroline Lessire/Bozar

Our answer to this is an emphatic no. As multimedia artists and journalists who have worked for a decade within a shifting media landscape, we believe that information presented as not true in an artistic and educational context is not misinformation. In fact, it can be empowering: Experiencing a powerful use of new technologies in a transparent way has the potential to stay with viewers and make them more wary about what they see in the future. By using the most advanced techniques available and by insisting on creating a video using both synthetic visuals and synthetic audio (a “complete deepfake”), we aim to show where this technology is heading—and what some of the key consequences might be.” Halsey Burgund & Francesca Panetta

©Caroline Lessire/Bozar

Read the full interview and get some extra insights into the project on
Watch the video How to strand astronauts on the Moon – Ars Electronica AI Lab Journey 2021 which was originally presented during Ars Electronica Festival 'A New Digital Deal' in September 2021, as part of the AI Lab Journey.

The Data Garden
Grow Your Own Cloud (GYOC)
Honorary Mention

“Our data consumption is growing at an exponential rate. Almost everything we do produces data, from swiping credit cards to emailing, requesting directions to dating. All this data flows into an invisible 'cloud'. Today global data centers use more energy than the entire UK, and by 2025 they will use more than 20% of our Global Energy. 

©Caroline Lessire/Bozar

In our work, we are asking “should we?” at the same time as we ask “can we?” - What would the world look like if all technology companies did the same? The work raises more questions than it answers, inspiring us to collaboratively develop more desirable data futures. Imagine if trees could store all of our data? Then we would certainly plant a lot more of them! That's why our ambition is to help inspire a transition from dirty data farms to truly green data facilities. Rather than cutting down trees and clearing green spaces for yet more urbanization, we seek to create a rationale for the regeneration and proliferation of nature.” Grow Your Own Cloud

©Caroline Lessire/Bozar

Read the full interview and get some extra insights into the project on Watch the video presentation of the project.

Remix El Barrio, Food Waste Biomaterial Makers
Anastasia Pistofidou, Marion Real and The Remixers at Fab Lab Barcelona, IaaC (INT)
STARTS Prize ’21 – Grand Prize for Innovative Collaboration

Remix el Barrio is a project by Fab Lab Barcelona at the Institute of Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC). Fab Lab Barcelona promotes circular economy, co-creation and distributed design practices in the local community to advance the productive ability of a city through bottom-up innovation.

©Caroline Lessire/Bozar

Remix El Barrio was developed in collaboration with stakeholders from the district of Poblenou, Barcelona. A group of 12 local designers identified, analysed and co-produced nine solutions to collect and process the waste from local businesses into new materials or products. They were mentored by Anastasia Pistofidou, who leads the Materials and Textile research line at Fab Lab Barcelona. The solutions included the creation of packaging from coffee husks, soap from used cooking oil, furniture from olive pits and garments from orange peels.

Beyond the pilot, Remix el Barrio has transformed into a collective called ‘The Remixers’. They are now exploring further opportunities to employ co-design practices to the circular economy. “We are exploring new practices to stop wasting our time and our resources and act at a local scale, to foster more social circular practices. We claim the need to imagine new models and techniques to innovate with what we commonly call ‘waste’” says the collective.”

©Caroline Lessire/Bozar

Find out more about the project on
Watch the video interview with The Remixers.

The international jury this year was composed of Francesca Bria (President of Italian National Innovation Fund, and Honorary Professor at Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at UCL London, as well as Senior Advisor to the United Nation on digital cities and digital rights), Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino (Internet of Things author, consultant, and entrepreneur in industrial and interaction design), Alexander Mankowsky (Futurologist, researcher at Daimler Mercedes-Benz Group), Nicola Triscott (PhD curator, writer and researcher specialized in intersections between art, science, technology and society, and Director of FACT, Liverpool, UK), and Fumi Yamazaki (Senior Marketing Manager at Niantic Japan, previously at Google Advanced Technology and Projects).

Discover here the STARTS Prize ’21 Playlist.