New technology artists Cindy Bernard, Russet Lederman and Patrick Lichty are winners of
the Smithsonian American Art Museum s New Media-New Century Award to create art for
the Web. Their work will be posted on Helios, the museum's online American photography
center, through its award-winning Web site, AmericanArt.si.edu, in early 2001.
We are thrilled to award this prize to three outstanding artists, said Elizabeth Broun, the
Smithsonian American Art Museum's Margaret and Terry Stent Director. Remaining on
the cutting edge where art meets technology has always been one of our top priorities. We
continue to promote the infusion of technology into the art world by granting these New
Media-New Century Awards.
Richmond, Va.-based Dominion, one of the nation's largest energy companies, makes the
New Media-New Century award possible as part of an ongoing partnership with the
museum. The partnership is dedicated to supporting photography that examines the
American landscape and, in this case, projects that bring new insight to the subject of
landscape as online art works. The award grants each artist $4,000 to create his or her
Bernard, of San Pedro, Calif., is collaborating with sound artist Joseph Hammer of Los
Angeles, Calif. Visual and aural information will be used to conjure iconic landscapes
found in cinema. Bernard has exhibited her work internationally, and her future plans
include a piece for the Los Angeles public transit system, also in collaboration with
According to Bernard, The New Media-New Century Award is the first grant I have
received for Web-based work. I am pleased and excited to have the opportunity to take my
exploration of landscape, cinema and memory to the Web.
Lederman is creating a collage of stories collected from various individuals about their
memories of, inspirations from and attachments to particular locations, using the programs
Flash and Shockwave. The piece will communicate personal, as well as eclectic views of
American landscape. Lederman is the principal of Russet Lederman Productions, an artistic
design company that creates interactive media for CD-ROMs and Web sites. She currently
teaches at the Pratt Institute of Art in New York.
I am very honored to receive this award, as it will allow me the means of pursuing an
ongoing personal and creative exploration of oral histories, said Lederman. Within my
work, the technical tools of the Web and the new media are not the main focus - they are
simply a very powerful and broad reaching vehicle for communicating with a larger
Lichty's project brings together online panoramic photography, streaming audio and video
and annotated texts to construct a story of the 1990s urban sprawl in his hometown of
North Canton, Ohio. A technological artist for nearly two decades, he has worked with a
variety of media.
As an artist and independent curator, it is good to see institutions like the Smithsonian
American Art Museum recognizing technological media, said Lichty. It is an indication
that digital culture has permeated our society at a very deep level. Artistic expression
through electronic media represents the impact that online technologies have had on the
Jurors for the award were Steve Dietz, director of New Media Initiatives at the Walker Art
Center in Minneapolis, Minn., and Jim Sheldon, associate professor of New Media at
Emerson College in Boston, Mass. The jurors worked with the Smithsonian American Art
Museum's senior curator for photography, Merry Forresta.