Ed Halter and Rudolf Frieling have been awarded a total of $60,000 for their writing and scholarship in the field of digital arts from the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation. Frieling will receive a $30,000 unrestricted award along with a $10,000 project grant, while Halter will be given a $15,000 unrestricted award and a $5,000 project grant. The jurors for this year’s awards were Michelle Kuo, Artforum’s editor in chief; Kathleen Forde, artistic director of Istanbul’s Borusan Contemporary; and Michelle Puetz, curator of collections and public programs at the Chicago Film Archives.
Halter, a longtime contributor to Artforum, is the founder and director of Brooklyn’s Light Industry, a venue for film and electronic art. With Hessel Museum chief curator and director of Bard College’s graduate program in curatorial studies Lauren Cornell, Halter edited the anthology Mass Effect: Art and the Internet in the Twenty-First Century (2015). In addition to Artforum, Halter has written for the Village Voice and 4Columns, among other publications. He is also a critic in residence at Bard.
Frieling is a curator of media arts at SFMoMA. Among Frieling’s most significant publications are Media Art Action (1997), Media Art Interaction (2000), and Media Art Net (2004–2005), all coauthored with Dieter Daniels. At SFMoMA, he published The Art of Participation: 1950 to Now (2008) and, most recently, Bruce Conner: It’s All True (2016) with Gary Garrels. Of the Bruce Conner exhibition Frieling organized with Garrels, Stuart Comer, Laura Hoptman, and Rachel Federman, critic Vince Aletti said in the December 2016 issue of Artforum: “It was all too much—but I kept going back for more. The show hit a high point immediately with a series of alarming witch’s-brew assemblages, barely held together behind torn stockings. But Conner, who clearly blissed out more than once, never let up, ricocheting between the many media (film, photography, drawing, construction) that the exhibition allowed to bleed into one another. The result was overwhelming and deserves to be on permanent display.”