Year after year humans hand out awards and prizes to each other. Every year thousands of award shows are organized worldwide; tens of thousands of awards are handed out. It’s becoming more and more. Like we live on an ever expanding amount of success. But what do awards tell us? What do we celebrate? Who decides who wins? Who defines success?

Awardvanderlinden 2012 is a project to question the idea of success and the meaning of awards. For the third year in a row (a fragement of 2010 and a summary of 2011) we made a movie to show the endless repetition of “success”. For 5,5 hours we read 2012 Award-winners in 2012. Repetition makes things meaningless. Repetition destroys concepts. Concepts are not true. Success is a concept. It’s not real; it is not eternal; it depends on time and space. The more categories we have, the more likely it is to win an award and the emptier the concept gets.

While growing older we have experienced success is a deceitful concept. Being successful in a certain field does not mean that you are good at life or that you know the true life. The idea of short term succes even triggers people to take irresponsible risks, Lance Armstrong and Bernard Madoff are just two examples. The personal interest to be successful in the short term and the common good in the long term conflict quite often. We, human beings, have to broaden our worldview to become full and to keep society liveable. So, we should ask ourselves (even if we win an award): is our success a real contribution to society or a delusion to satisfy our own needs?

Roel and Martijn van der Linden

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Een gedachte over “Awardvanderlinden 2012

  1. Great initiative & I couldn’t agree MORE! Awarding prizes for science (or contributions to society) makes no sense at all! Science is not a contest and the outcomes can not be measured by any objective unit!
    Hats off for this effort and NO PRIZE for you guys, but a lot of recognition!!

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