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A small crowd had gathered inside of Site:Lab to watch the livestream of the 2012 ArtPrize Winners Announcement. A number of works being shown (and the venue itself) were in the running to win the coveted Jurors' Awards, and as the time drew near to hear the winners the excitement was palpable.
The first award was for Time-Based and Performance work. As "Three Phases" by Complex Movements, a Detroit-based art collective, was announced the group inside the former Public Museum let off a flurry of hoots, hollers and applause. And it was only the beginning.
"Habitat" by Alois Kronschlaeger soon landed the award for Two-Dimensional work with Site:Lab's award for Outstanding Venue coming shortly after. Both awards excited the crowd, yet the real cheers came when the $100,000 Grand Prize was awarded to "Displacement (13208 Klinger St)" by Detroit-based Design 99. An entry that had received relatively little buzz before the announcement of the winners, the entry will surely be a must-see in the days to come.
Grant Carmichael, Technology Coordinator for Site:Lab, says the "Displacement" win was an utter surprise but that he and the team were elated seeing the piece recognized for what it was.
"We have a saying: 'something's going to happen.' And something did happen," Carmichael says.
Carmichael says he thought having the jury's voice present early on in the event helped people find things that weren't just leaders in the popular vote.
"This was a pretty ingenious way," he says, "to help motivate more momentum outside of the core downtown area."
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