"The Real Life in the Wrong One": Transmedia art project against capitalism wins NICE Award 2014

From 10 to 12 June, in the Creative.Quarter City Nord.Essen, about 200 cultural and creative artists, as well as representatives from politics, research and the economy from 21 countries met for the third time at the 3rd Forum d'Avignon Ruhr and the exhibition of the European Innovation Award for Culture, the NICE Award.


Die Gewinner des NICE Award 2014 bei der Preisverleihung.
© Vladimir Wegener/ecce

NICE Award 2014

The winners with Garrelt Duin (third from the left), NRW-Minister of Economic Affairs Garrelt Duin (third from the left)

RLF, first place, with Garrelt Duin, NRW-Minister of Economic Affairs Garrelt Duin
© Vladimir Wegener/ecce

RLF, first place, with Garrelt Duin, NRW-Minister of Economic Affairs Garrelt Duin

RLF, first place, with Garrelt Duin, NRW-Minister of Economic Affairs Garrelt Duin
© Vladimir Wegener/ecce

RLF, first place, with Garrelt Duin, NRW-Minister of Economic Affairs Garrelt Duin

URBANAUTS,  third place of the NICE Award
© Vladimir Wegener/ecce

URBANAUTS,  third place of the NICE Award

In total, 108 projects from 22 countries applied for the NICE Award 2014. The international jury headed by Charles Landry nominated 10 projects and invited them to the exhibition at City Messehalle in Essen, which was opened in parallel to the Forum d’Avignon Ruhr. Following one-on-one interviews with the nominees at the exhibition, the jury consisting of Charles Landry, Prof Kurt Mehnert, Pia Areblad and Janjaap Ruijssenaars announced the following four award winners.

The winner of 5,000 € is the project "RLF Richtiges Leben im Falschen/The Real Life in the Wrong One" of Projektbüro Friedrich von Borries in Berlin, a transmedia art project in cooperation with ARTE, Suhrkamp and UFA.

It is a playful yet serious critique of capitalism. The jury honoured the multi-media campaign as a cultural innovation. Based on an open digital community, RLF systematically dissolves the thin line between reality and fiction. "A unique combination of media and non-media channels transforms RLF into a multi-dimensional weapon of revolution: it's a novel, an actual company, a game, a film that enters the real world in the shape of specific events and interventions," describes Projektbüro Friedrich von Borries the project. To experience and understand his statement, you just have to play it: www.rlf-propaganda.com

The second prize worth 2,000 € each went to Unperfekthaus in Essen and the Spanish project Conexiones Improbables from Bilbao.

Conexiones Improbables is a Network which brings artists and companies together, the Unperfekthaus affords artists of every kind a place where they can express their creativity freely. Another prize worth 1,000 € went to URBANAUTS Street Lofts from Vienna, which was also invited by Creative Business Cup Denmark to attend the Creative Entrepreneur Week in November 2014. The invitation was sponsored by Rasmus Tscherning, Managing Director of the Centre for Cultural and Experience Economy in Denmark.

The NICE Award 2014 was presented by NRW Minister for Economic Affairs Garrelt Duin on 12 June at the end of the Forum d’Avignon Ruhr. The NICE Award is funded by the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Cities of Bochum, Dortmund, Essen and Gelsenkirchen. 

Shortlist 2014

The [ID]factory conducts radical research in the area of non-linear, artistic thinking and action in extra-artistic areas and is a project of the Centre for Cultural Transfer at Technical University Dortmund's Department of Art and Material Culture.
NICE Award Shortlist 2014
Beautiful Trouble (BT) is a growing web toolbox and an international network of artist-activist trainers and finally a book whose mission is to make grassroots movements more creative and more effective.
NICE Award Shortlist 2014
Conexiones improbables' work is based on the observation that more and more artists are interested in applying their methodologies, thoughts and way of perceiving situations out of the artistic field.
NICE Award Shortlist 2014 Winner 2014

Jury 2014

Charles Landry © private
© private
Founder of Comedia
NICE Award Jury 2016 Jury 2015 Jury 2014
Prof Kurt Mehnert
© private
Professor, Folkwang University of the Arts
NICE Award Jury 2016 Jury 2017 Jury 2015 Jury 2014
© private
Director Strategic Alliances, TILLT
NICE Award Jury 2014
© private
Universe Architecture
NICE Award Jury 2014
The NICE Award since 2014
  • 2016 - Innovation in Migration, Economy and Urban Development

    NICE Award 2016 honours innovation in migration, economy and urban development

    The Minister of Economic Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Garrelt Duin, singled out three projects as models for addressing urgent social issues by honouring them with the NICE Award 2016. The jury under the chairmanship of the prestigious urban researcher Charles Landry reviewed 105 applications from 25 countries and selected twelve projects from France, Georgia, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Spain for the shortlist, which were presented at the Philharmonie Essen on 24 August 2016.


    Two projects take the top spot this year.


    "Makerversity" and "Refugee Open Cities" each received EUR 8,000 prize money. Based in London and Amsterdam, Makerversity is a platform for creative young entrepreneurs within the global maker movement. With the Maker Campus as its distinguishing feature participants benefit not only from the knowledge of others, but also pass on their own experience. The Berlin Refugee Open Cities project improves the quality of life in refugee camps through personal involvement. What makes it special: Refugees become designers of their own lives, using their creative talents to build a liveable community.


    Jury Chairman Charles Landry: "Both address vital questions, but they are so different."


    The second prize (EUR 4,000) went to the Dortmund based project "Public Residence: the Chance", in which the creative currency "Chances" has transformed citizens of Borsigplatz in Dortmund into innovative shapers of their neighbourhood. What makes it special: The residents themselves organise creative and artistic projects and therefore become beacons of hope for the revitalisation of Borsigplatz.


    The jury honoured the London initiative "Julie’s Bicycle" with the "Achievement Award", a non-monetary prize. For ten years now, this initiative has been committed to encouraging cultural and creative industries to contribute more actively to fighting climate change.



    Click here for all information on the NICE Award 2016

    The winner of the NICE Award 2016 with the jury.
  • 2015 - Improving the World with Creativity

    "Improving the world with creativity": the winners of the NICE Award 2015

    Garrelt Duin, Minister for Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia presented the NICE Award in Essen to five international projects in the course of the Forum d’Avignon Ruhr. 213 applicants from 29 countries had submitted projects to this year's topic "Solving the World's Major Challenges – A Call for Innovations".


    The project "The Machine to be Another" from Brazil receives the first prize (8000 euros). Using digital technology the installation makes it possible to immerse oneself in the body and thoughts of another person and to view oneself in the body of the other person.


    Jury Chairman Charles Landry: "The project is impressive due to its unique combination of art and science and employs technology beyond known limits."


    Further prizes go to "PlanEt" from Great Britain and the Netherlands (5000 euros), which evaluates data of plants in cities and is thus a component of future "Smart Cities". "WikiHouse" from Great Britain (3000 euros) revolutionises house building and enables citizens to co-design the city. Two further prizes went to "Home back Home" from Spain and "Creative Technologies in Classroom", from Sweden (2000 euros each).


    The Minister for Economic Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia Garrelt Duin: "The NICE Award is about visibility. The potential and performance power of creative persons is all too often overlooked. The prize and its presentation within the very special setting of the Forum d'Avignon Ruhr make sure that a spotlight is switched on which illuminates the innovative strength of the sector."


    Dieter Gorny, Managing Director of ecce: "The NICE Award distinguishes the Ruhr area as a location for cultural innovation – entirely in the tradition of the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010.“


    Click here for all information on the NICE Award 2015

    The NICE Award 2015 ceremony at GOP.

Über den Award

Der NICE Award fördert Innovation durch Kultur und Kreativwirtschaft und will sie in die breitere Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft einbringen, um die großen Herausforderungen unserer Zukunft in der Gegenwart anzugehen. Um dies umzusetzen, schafft der NICE Award Sichtbarkeit und Wissenstransfer für bisher übersehene Innovationen in ganz Europa, stößt Debatten und Impulse gleichsam in Gewerbe, Kultur und Politik an und motiviert Kultur- und Kreativschaffende dazu, innovativ und experimentell zu arbeiten.


Der erste NICE Award diente als NICE-Auftakt während des zweiten Forum d’Avignon Ruhr in Essen. Die Veranstaltung fand zwischen den KonferenzteilnehmerInnen statt, und die Aufgabe der Ermittlung eines Gewinners oder einer Gewinnerin wurde dem Publikum übertragen. Vier Gruppen aus je zehn Menschen aus verschiedenen Projekten, mit verschiedenen Hintergründen, aus verschiedenen Altersgruppen und Ländern wurden gebildet. Die Mitglieder des Teams kannten sich nicht, aber alle hatten Erfahrung in Spillover-Projekten. Jedem Team wurden andere Themen überantwortet, außerdem bekamen sie die Aufgabe, in fünf Stunden einen groben Entwurf eines Spillover-Projektes im Zusammenhang mit Stadtentwicklung, Wirtschaft/ Neuer Arbeitswelt, Energie/ Klima oder interkulturellen Beziehungen zu entwickeln. Am Ende präsentierten die Gruppen ihre Projekte in einer kleinen Darbietung. Gewinner war das Projekt „Shaking Hans“.


Im Jahr 2014, nach einer ersten Zeit des Wachstums für das Netzwerk, gestärkt durch verschiedene Treffen und Workshops, wurde eine neue Ausschreibung für den Award 2014 veröffentlicht.

Die Ausschreibung zielte in einem breiten Rahmen auf Kultur- und Kreativprojekte, die Spillover-Effekte hervorbrachten. Der Preis ging an den innovativsten Spillover-Effekt, der von einem Kultur-, Kreativ- oder Forschungsprojekt respektive von einer politischen Strategie oder Maßnahme ausging. 108 Bewerbungen von KünstlerInnen und kreativen UnternehmerInnen, WissenschaftlerInnen, aus Politik und von Städten aus insgesamt 22 Ländern wurden eingereicht. Die Jury bestand aus Pia Areblad (TILLT, Schweden), Charles Landry (Comedia, GB), Prof. Kurt Mehnert (Folkwang Universität der Künste) und Janjaap Ruijssenaars (Universe Architecture, Niederlande), und sie erstellte eine Bestenliste aus zehn Projekten in der engeren Auswahl.


Die Projekte der für den NICE Award Nominierten wurden in der eigens eingerichteten NICE Ausstellung in der City Messehalle in Essen präsentiert.

Am 12. Juni 2015 verkündete Garrelt Duin, nordrhein-westfälischer Minister für Wirtschaft, Energie, Industrie, Mittelstand und Handwerk, das Gewinnerprojekt des Preises beim Forum d’Avignon Ruhr im GOP Varieté. Die Gewinner waren: RLF / Richtiges Leben im Falschen (Berlin), Conexiones Improbables (Bilbao), das Unperfekthaus (Essen) und die Urbanauten (Wien). Der N.I.C.E. Award 2014 war insgesamt mit 10.000 Euro aus Mitteln des Ministeriums für Wirtschaft, Energie, Industrie, Mittelstand und Handwerk des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen sowie der Städte Bochum, Dortmund, Essen und Gelsenkirchen dotiert.


Der NICE Award ist nun ein wesentlicher Teil von NICE und der erste Aspekt in einer Reihe von mehreren Instrumenten und Diensten, mit denen NICE Innovation in der Kultur und Kreativität als Ressourcen für wirtschaftliches Wachstum und politische Entwicklungen fördern möchte.


Im Jahr 2015 ist der NICE Award weiter gewachsen: Zum Thema „Rettet die Welt – große Herausforderungen“ wurden 213 Projekte aus 29 Ländern eingereicht.

Am 23. September 2015 verkündete Garrelt Duin, nordrhein-westfälischer Minister für Wirtschaft, Energie, Industrie, Mittelstand und Handwerk, den Preisträger beim Forum d’Avignon Ruhr in Essen. Die Gewinner waren: TheMachineToBeAnother (Barcelona/Sao Paulo), PlanEt (Totterdam), WikiHouse (London), HOME BACK HOME (Madrid) und Creative Technologies in the Classroom (Malmö). Der NICE Award 2015 war mit insgesamt 20.000 Euro aus Mitteln des Ministeriums für Wirtschaft, Energie, Industrie, Mittelstand und Handwerk des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen sowie der Städte Bochum, Dortmund, Essen und Gelsenkirchen dotiert.

The NICE Award is funded by: