The Michèle Whitecliffe Art Writing Prize seeks to foster vital debate about the visual arts of Aotearoa New Zealand. Supported by Michèle Whitecliffe and established in memory of her late husband, Greg Whitecliffe, the Prize’s aim is to draw out critical voices that refresh and strengthen discussions about New Zealand art at home, abroad and in conversation with international art. 

An independent judge selects the winner and two runners up. The winner receives a $2,500 prize and their text is published in the November 2024 issue of Art Toi. The runners up see their texts published on the Articles page of the Gallery’s website.

Each year a theme is set to prompt writers’ thinking. In 2024, the theme is: Artificial intelligence (AI) and the visual arts. 

Read more about this year’s theme and judge below.

Entries open Friday 1 March 2024 and close Wednesday 31 July 2024.

Download PDF entry form



Theme – Artificial intelligence (AI) and the visual arts

The widespread availability of AI technologies which can generate text and images have the potential to affect how we make and understand art. These technologies may not only influence the materiality of artworks, anchoring them deeper into the digital dimension, they also have the capacity to decentre the human ‘artist-maker’, affecting how we understand notions of creativity, authorship, authenticity and, even, human will, beauty and the value of mistakes in art making. AI technologies are also predicted to change the knowledge economy and the workers in it – including some artists. But surely not every change to art making and the perception or appreciation of art brought about by AI and its crowd-sourced ‘learning’ is negative? Photography, after all, did not kill painting. Perhaps AI might also help draw into clearer focus what it means to be an artist, the roles curiosity and creativity play in that, and what constitutes an artwork. 


Dr Mi You is a professor of art and economies at the University of Kassel / documenta Institute. Her academic interests are in new and historical materialism, performance philosophy, and the history, political theory and philosophy of Eurasia. Her interests in politics around technology and futures has led her to work on ‘actionable speculations’, articulated in the exhibition Sci-(no)-Fi at the Academy of the Arts of the World, Cologne (2019). Dr You has curated exhibitions and created programmes at the Asian Culture Center in Gwangju, South Korea, Ulaanbaatar International Media Art Festival, Mongolia (2016), Zarya CCA, Vladivostok (2018) and, with Binna Choi, she is co-steering a research/curatorial project Unmapping Eurasia (2018–ongoing). She was one of the curators of the 13th Shanghai Biennale (2020–2021).