Flanagan has received $40,000 for her sustained dedication to the field, and Chan has received $20,000 for showing exceptional promise as an arts writer.

Mary Flanagan and Dawn Chan. Source: Artforum.com

The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation has announced that writers Mary Flanagan and Dawn Chan) became winners of the 2018 Arts Writing Awards in Digital Art. Flanagan will get $40,000 for her sustained dedication to the field, and Chan will receive $20,000 for showing exceptional promise as an arts writer, Artforum reports.

The Arts Writing Awards were founded in 2015 to support writers who advance research, scholarship and dialogue about digital art. Among the winners of previous years are Rudolf Frieling, Ed Halter, Nora Khan and Christiane Paul. This year’s winners will be able to participate in five- or six-week Robert Rauschenberg Residency on Captiva Island, Florida, in 2019.

Flanagan and Chan were chosen from 30 nominees by a selection committee that included Stuart Comer, MoMA’s chief curator of media and performance art; Kathleen Forde, the artistic director at large of Istanbul-based Borusan Contemporary; and Dan Fox, Frieze magazine’s editor at large.

Flanagan has been writing about digital art since the 1990s, focusing on virtual spaces and games. She teaches at Dartmouth College and leads the design research laboratory Tiltfactor.org. She is the author of the book Critical Play: Radical Game Design (MIT, 2009) and a co-author of the books Values at Play in Digital Game (2014)" and Similitudini. Simboli. Simulacri (Unicolpi, 2005).

Chan confronts the identity politics embodied in digital art using art criticism. She highlights that technological progress is not a purely inclusive social force. “Digital art always seemed both like a natural starting point [for me], and like a crucial yet too-often-overlooked area of contemporary art,” Chan said.

Her works are published by Artforum, where she was an editor from 2007 to 2018, Atlantic.com, the New York Times, NewYorker.com, the Village Voice and other publications.

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