Noise Machines Bring an International Award to Sound Artist Arturas Bumšteinas

2020 11 12

Another award in the field of Lithuanian contemporary art – recently it was announced that the performance of Baroque noise machines Navigations (from the Bad Weather series) by Arturas Bumšteinas was awarded first prize as the best piece (Open category) at the international Carapelli for Art competition organised by Carapelli Foundation. The piece competed against more than 1700 works of contemporary art presented by artists from 80 countries. However, this appreciation was followed by some unpleasant surprises that nearly led to refusal to accept the award.

The Carapelli for Art competition consists of two categories – Academy and Open. The former serves as a platform for competition among students enrolled in the Academies of Fine Arts, whereas the latter category (where the piece by A. Bumšteinas was awarded) is reserved for professional artists. The theme of this year’s competition was Roots, which, according to the organisers, ground and provide for growth – it is our identity, history and tradition. Another award at the Open Category went to the artist Sergia Avveduti for her work Freccia Esplosa, while the awards at the Academy category were garnered by Silvia Bertoldo and Carlos Casuso, respectively.

Performance Navigations is a result of A. Bumšteinas’ lasting interest in Baroque theatre noise machines. Perhaps many have at least seen the photos of impressive noise machines recreated together with reconstruction master Ernestas Volodzka. Attractive to the ear and to the eye, the machines and their performance clearly impressed the Italian Carapelli Foundation, which was hoping to acquire the copyright to the piece and the machines themselves.

“The Foundation expected to take over the rights to my work and to add our noise machines to its art collection. Naturally, we could not agree with such terms and conditions and were prepared to refuse the award together with related monetary prize. However, after negotiations we have managed to reach a compromise. The performance remained the laureate of the competition, no copyright was transferred and we have obligated to manufacture one new noise machine specifically for the Foundation, which will be produced by the original maker of machines E. Volodzka. The new wind noise machine is complete, now we have to safely deliver it to Florence,”

said Ana Ablamonova, producer at Operomanija.

Laureate of the prize, A. Bumšteinas, was fairly laconic in his comment about the award:

“Carapelli for Art was an interesting personal challenge, a professional inspiration. At the same time it was an interesting lesson about a competition.”

Due to the pandemic, the opening of the exhibition of works by laureates of Carapelli for Art competition and other art pieces from their collection, as well as the award ceremony, have been rescheduled and should take place in 2021.

The Carapelli for Art award in the field of visual arts, seekis to enhance, promote and support contemporary art. In 2020, the competition received 1720 applications from 80 countries. For more information please visit: