Hidden Earth 2006 - Photo and Video Competitions
This year's caving conference - Hidden Earth - sees some changes to the well-established photographic and video competitions.
Instead of awarding first, second and third prizes, we shall be awarding an unspecified number of 'merit' and 'distinction' awards. There will still be a 'first prize' in each category, but the judges will distribute the remaining prizes amongst the competition categories, in order to recognise merit where it is seen. We hope that this more flexible way of awarding prizes will make the competition more interesting and challenging.
We have made other, minor, changes to the rules. These include, for example, removing the restrictions on the sizes of prints. Clearly, a very small photograph does not have the artistic impact of a larger one but we feel that this point is so obvious it does not need to be stated in the rules.
The rules and guidelines are still being drawn up. Further information will be posted to http://hidden-earth.org.uk/info.competitions.html by the end of July, hopefully.
Video Media Competition
For 2006 we have made some substantial changes to the Video and AV competitions, combining them under a new title, "Video Media". The term "video media" is intended to encompass all depictions of moving images and sequences of pictures. This broad definition of "video" means that, for 2006, there will not be separate competition categories for films and audio-visual presentations.
Traditionally, "films" and "AVs" were easily definable, the latter comprising a number of slide projectors showing stills and an audio soundtrack. The use of computers means that the distinction between these art-forms is blurred. If we take the view that this competition is to encourage innovation and fresh artistic ideas then it would be a mistake to try to circumscribe what constitutes each art form.
Most entrants will probably find that their work still falls into a "film" or "audio-visual" genre but they may, if they wish, mix moving and still images, or use pan and zoom effects on stills, and be confident that their competition entry will still be acceptable.
The skills involved in filming and creating AVs are different, so might judging them together in one category be to the detriment of both? In reality, the position is perhaps no different to that of other art prizes: the Turner prize does not distinguish between oil paintings and video installations. The Hidden Earth judges will award two equal-value "first prizes" and will give an unspecified number of distinction and merit awards. The judges will award the prizes in a way that best recognises the varied skills of the entrants and the merits of their work. This will probably mean that one prize will go to a "film-like" entry and one prize to an "AV-like" entry but, in the absence of sufficiently meritorious entries the judges could award top prizes to two films or two AVs, or to entries that exhibited the characteristics of both.
The judges will be particularly looking for artistic originality and innovation as well as considering the technical, artistic and aesthetic qualities of each entry.
This year, we will also be allowing longer duration presentations, of up to 20 minutes including titles. In order to allow us to plan the judging and screening of longer entries, competition entry on the day will be expressly prohibited this year. And if the presentation is longer than 10 minutes, the judges will be looking for clear evidence that the longer length is artistically necessary!
Further information can be found at http://hidden-earth.org.uk/info.competitions.html