Innovative Digital Street Art Project Selected for Estonia 100 & Estonian EU Presidency Program

On 22 August, winning designs in the Estonia 100 and Estonian EU Presidency international programme competition for creative solutions in the public spaces of foreign countries were announced. The competition was organised in cooperation with the Estonian Academy of Arts to find the best creative solutions for promoting Estonia in public spaces abroad.

The jury selected the design ‘Digital Street Art’ as the winner of the competition. Created by well-known Estonian artist, ‘Estonian Banksy’ Edward von Lõngus and Kadri Uus, founder of the NOAR.eu art platform, the winning design combines street art with digital technologies. Negotiations have begun with the artists for the implementation of the design which will be displayed from the second half of 2017 when Estonia holds the EU Presidency until the end of 2018 when Estonia celebrates its centenary.

Edward von Lõngus has been active on Estonia’s art scene since 2007 and has become one of the hottest artists in the country, using stencils as a base for his art.

The most effective designs were those that could stand out in a cityscape. They might even be considered insane or absurd . . .

Second place was awarded to ‘Pollen’ (OÜ Kaos Arhitektid, author Marceau Couve) a design which involves placing scarves and hats in the colours of the Estonian flag on prominent sculptures and other cultural objects in European capitals.

Third place went to ‘Music Forest Sea’ (Orangetime Event OÜ, authors Alo Puustak, Margus Triibmann, Magnus Müürsepp, Kristo Rosenvald, Katri Gailit, Hendrik Kaljujärv and Jüri Luud), a design that calls for the creation of a ‘musical forest’ made up of multiple letter ‘M’s which make sounds when passers-by touch them.

The jury also awarded a special prize to the design ‘Tiger’ (OÜ AB Kontekst, authors Karli Luik, Eik Hermann, Raul Kalvo) for the construction of a monument depicting a tiger made of pixelated wooden cubicles. Anyone can climb this monument which symbolises Estonia as a country where everyone has the opportunity to take the reins.

The winning design ‘Digital Street Art’ questions whether a country can create graffiti and what happens to graffiti if it is created officially.

Jaanus Rohumaa, chairman of the jury and head of the Estonia 100 organising committee, praised the submitted designs as being humorous, fresh and future-oriented, depicting a ‘smart’ Estonia as we all want to see it. A total of 25 designs were entered in the competition.

Hannes Praks, member of the jury and professor at the Department of Interior Architecture at the Estonian Academy of Arts, noted that the ideas that were selected were those that lay somewhere between architecture and art. ‘’The most effective designs were those that could stand out in a cityscape. They might even be considered insane or absurd, but the most absurd ones were the ones I liked the most. The topic was wonderfully freely interpreted, there was a lot of playfulness and imagination in the ideas presented. I saw a lot of development and implementation potential in many designs. The winning design ‘Digital Street Art’ questions whether a country can create graffiti and what happens to graffiti if it is created officially. Estonia at only 100 is like a teenager in comparison with older countries. That is why graffiti, inspired by history, suits us even very well.’’

The jury also included Katrin Koov from the Estonian Association of Architects, Ene-Liis Semper from NO99 Theatre, Erik Moora from the weekly newspaper Eesti Ekspress, Aino Lepik von Wirén from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and architectural historian Ingrid Ruudi.

The authors of the winning design will receive a prize of 5000 euros. The prizes for the second and third best designs are 3000 and 2000 euros. The design that was awarded the special prize will receive 1000 euros. A procurement contract will be signed with the authors of the winning design in the amount of 100 000 euros.

The 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia will be celebrated from April 2017 to February 2020. More information about the jubilee programme and gifts to Estonia can be found on the Estonia 100 website at ev100.ee/en.

Estonia will hold the presidency of the Council of the EU for the first time in the second half of 2017. More information about the Estonian Presidency and ongoing preparations is available at www.eesistumine.ee/en.

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