On Nodes

This essay is one part autopoetic introduction to Hrvoje Hiršl's sound installation Nodes, and one part critique of a system that exploits artists' work.

Nodes are by definition devices or data points on a larger network. In computer science they are physical objects like servers, cell phones, printers… in network science they are abstract entities representing connection points, redistribution points or communication endpoints - meaning something that is merging, branching or intersecting.

From On Distributed Communications by Paul Baran, 1964 – This draft represents three types of networks: the star (centralized), the tree (decentralized) and the mesh (distributed) network. This was the basis for ARPANET developed in 1969 that later served as technological foundation for the Internet.

Networks represent interconnection between things and a study of those networks is called network science and examines telecommunication networks, computer networks, biological networks, cognitive and semantic networks, and social networks in search for different patterns and behaviors. It has been present since the 18th century but the field has exploded since the 90s when important discoveries were made on how many things in nature and society function according to different principles and those principles enable to predict, construct and run (cybernetics) different systems, or at least give an illusion of doing so…

In Second order Cybernetics it is stated that the observer is always a part of the system and therefore unable to understand it. The viewer is always influenced and is influencing the system. The system is not something separate from us, we are always a part of it. We don’t have a possibility of stepping outside of it to study it from the distance. There is no objective truth, no right point of view.

This becomes perfectly clear in case of www, a system we are intrinsic part of. We get daily crowd sourced, data mined, quantified, analyzed. We input data and interact with humans and machines, we teach algorithms how to perform better, we are feeding them so they could develop and grow, and we are very rarely aware of it, and what this really means, or where it is leading.


The work Nodes from 2015 represents a modular system, a set of devices transferring intangible information onto a physical space. Nods project invisible structures and networks and materialize them in the form of impulses. Those impulses represent stream of data that otherwise would be only perceivable as an abstract idea but not really experientially tangible. The goal is to connect the intangible data with action, to understand the relation of numbers, not only as symbolical value but also as objects. The Nods are converters. They translate the stream of data into a physical form and project it onto the space of the reality.

There is a division, a wrong perception of the relation between the physical and the virtual even though they are intrinsically linked, they are a part of the same system. The virtual is the abstraction of the real, an abstract representation that is not limited by the restrictions of the physical and can be freely manipulated with. All the information that are distributed, traded, mined and processed have a tendency in a basis of the physical world. They float in the cloud until they land and convert into action. In the world of ubiquitous computing that entered in every pore of our society we can’t pretend that if we ignore it, it will not apply to us.


The first incarnation of the work Nodes was constructed during a residency in Dordtyart centrum, a converted former Biesboschhal shipping yard located in Dordrecht, a small city in the province of South Holland. The residency extended over a period of three months, an appropriate amount of time for developing a new and complex work. The work transferred the fluctuations of the financial market of top ten biggest shipyards, all of them in Asia, onto the structural steel columns of the Dordtyart building. The aim was to symbolically connect the past, the previous function of the Dordtyard building (the shipyard), and the present, the influence of the financial market onto the physical space and the distribution of labor.

The characteristic steel construction of the early 20th century industrial space and the historical context of the building immediately resonated acoustically and conceptually as the main theme of the project. The space, because of its huge size, mostly hosts works of larger scale that are commissioned by the organization annually. My budget, as a resident, was drastically smaller then the one from the commissioned artists and that imposed a serious consideration for a strategy that would enable me to do a work that would maximally engage the space and its history and at the same time would work inside the budget constraints.

Another important factor was transportation. I had an ambition of constructing a big size work, which would to be scalable. The scalability of the Nodes is another connection with the Network science. In 1999 Albert-Laszlo Barabási discovered the low of scale free networks, which says that the structure of the network is the same at all the possible scales. This applies to Web, economic exchange networks, social networks, ecosystems… It was only logical to apply the same rules of the network in the work about those networks.

In this venture I had an extensive contribution of labor and knowledge from a fellow artist Luis Rodil-Fernández, who, besides being an excellent artist and a thinker, is also a software expert and knows his way around electronics. Our conversations during the past two year of our friendship stimulated me greatly. One of the reasons for choosing a residency in Netherlands was to have an opportunity to continue our conversations and finally lay the foundation for our collaborative project, a platform dealing precisely with the same subjects that Nodes represent.

The Labor-Paradox

In the world after ready made, conceptual art and so many “posts” and “post-posts”, it is simply impossible to list them all, not to mention more than 60 years of computer science and network-science, it is ridiculous to think about the work in the sense of a stable form or a final piece. The abstraction of physical is so present in our daily lives that we even find our being extremely limited and annoying. The fact that we can’t be copied, easily repaired or duplicated is an object of frustration announcing our obsolescence. The soul has been replaced by consciousness and our consciousness wants to be free, it is envious of our digital selves.

Why then the art should limit itself to the 19th century way of thinking and acting!?

From the very start the terms and criteria of the residency were vague and at the service of the host. Finally the questionable competence of the organizers culminated on the final day when the artist is supposed to get an appropriate fee for its work. After three months of research, testing and building the system and after the hosts made it clear that they were satisfied with the site specific work that I had developed for them, I was informed that I would get just a fraction of the possible fee because I hadn’t worked enough with my hands. Apparently I didn’t portray enough of an artist stereotype: being dirty, smeared with paint, always cutting, welding or chiseling something…

This is the facebook post that I published on the 29th of September 2015 after being informed of this unpredicted and unfortunate development of events:

Another residency is finished and unfortunately a bitter taste has spoiled the final exhibition and the end of the residency that was already marked with constant struggle with the unsupportive institution. It was obvious from the start that something was wrong when they said that I would receive an artist fee depending on my “engagement”, assessed by no people from the media art field. I must admit I was blinded by the gorgeous exhibition space and great artists that have shown their work there, but I was just thinking I was paranoid.

Today, two days after the opening and on the final day of my residency they told me that they would pay me the minimum amount of €500 and not the maximum of €1500 for the artist fee of the residency because I worked a lot on my computer and not enough with my hands, according to their judgment. At the same time, ironically, they wanted to keep my work there until the end of the exhibition term because, as they said, they liked it. I am really sick of these exploitatory institutions that use artists for their promotion and public image without properly compensating artist’s work and masking it in some vague terms that enable them to do what ever they want.

Another huge irony is that my installation for the DordtYart institution is site specific and deals with the changes of labor and financial markets in the last fifty years. It is ridiculous that the digital work dealing with the physicality of the digital can be undervalued for being digital. Furthermore, DordtYart invited me and if they had looked at my application they could have known what kind of artistic practice I am engaged in, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise for them.

Dear colleagues and friends please let’s discuss this topic a bit more and please share your opinions and experiences related to the subject. I am sure we all have something to say because it affects us all! Edward A. Shanken,Josephine Bosma, Jon Cates, Wendy Coones, Jonas Lund, Natalia Fuchs,Wineke Gartz, Gabey Tjon, Luis Rodil-Fernández, Martijn van Boven,Domenico Quaranta, Robin Peckham, Venus Lau, Neural Revue, Peter Flemming, Swintak Swintak, TeZ Maurizio Martinucci, Marnix de Nijs, Paul Prudence, Manuel Beltrán, Guilherme Kujawski, Kelani Nichole, Jan Robert Leegte...

Of course I took my existing installation down. I would like to make another “site specific” work for the institution of DordtYart, a collaborative one, in the form of this post and share it publicly so these things don’t happen that often, artists are too often scared of these situations because they believe they will not be invited by other institutions if they complain.

In Galerija Nova, integrated in the exhibition Heroic Exhaustion (11.12.2015.-30.1.2016.), Nods took on a role of documentation and illustrated the gap in understanding of labor. I was presenting a work inside of a work. Along with the documentation of the development process of the Nods installation I presented a sub project ( reflecting on the different aspects of the economy of labor and the physicality of the digital.

I find it paradoxical and worrying how narrow the knowledge of the general public is about something that all of us are so much a part of.

Project uses mechanical turk workers, working for micro wage to get clicks that manifest themselves in the space of the gallery as physical hits. As the workers are concerned, the butttton could be just a button doing nothing, or collecting clicks, random number generator, a sociological experiment, an homage to Sisyphus, or maybe a morbid tele-murdering machine comparable to the drone attacks or an automated machine gun somewhere randomly killing people, or just a joke, or Santiago Sierra may have started doing net art…



Digital Romance

Digital romance is a longing for the irretrievable past, a way of treating a new paradigm of media through the prism of old ones, new systems through old systems, the inability to distance oneself from old ideas.

Are memes resisting the digital revolution by creating endless permutations of the appropriated content? By transforming historical styles to the level of absurdity they become deprived of any meaning, they become only the shells of the previous ideology – a lone ideology to which any other can ‘attach’ itself.

Memes as a strategy of cultural resistance, punk postmodernism, time without great narratives, nihilism of 4chan, the birth of Anon, Alt-right as a rebellion against Left Conservatism - all these are ‘meta-rebels’ lost in constant mutations. New right-wingers, libertarians, transhumanists, anarcho-capitalists, mimetic social orders… Our reality begins to look like Southland Tales, 99% of all information is irrelevant – bait and smoke screen – a binary diversion.

In the binary system, everything is constructed of two values, 1 or 0, YES or NO. Digital (binary) is in principle contrary to the romantic (emotional, impulsive ...), although in the age of Tinder, YES or NO are the only option, and that's a lot of YESES and a lot of NOS. Tinder is a practical example of implementing statistics in love relationships through the law of large numbers. Connecting two polarities into one results in neurosis, a struggle between ‘rationality’ and ‘emotionality’, between mind and impulse, between natural laws and the subjectivity of consciousness.

With the emergence of distributed networks, rapid infrastructures and enormous (and growing) numbers of users, millennia of cultural appropriation and gradual mutations accelerated exponentially, reducing the duration of the process of complete mutation from a century to a few hours. Metanarratives of pop culture, mixed with historical narrative, result in a rapidly developing pathogen, which spreads through digital networks faster than the Spanish flu.

A good example of neurotic subjectivity in history is Romanticism, including the ideas that developed under the influence of Romanticism in the later centuries. Romanticism is the European artistic and intellectual movement of the late 18th century, which focused on emotions, individualism, nature, history, and appropriated elements of different historical periods as a resistance to what is now called the Industrial Revolution. It is closely related to nationalism and is considered an introduction to the fascist ideology of the first half of the 20th century. After all, the artistic style of Nazi Germany was a combination of Greek and Roman art and architecture with elements of romanticism and heroism. The aesthetic notion of the millennial kingdom Third Reich, combining Christian with Ancient Roman and Napoleonic references, is the epitome of romanticism. The replication of certain periods for the purpose of false impression, always necessarily using simulation of materials and style and lacking authenticity, is also the definition of kitsch.

From the visual landscape of the margins of the internet, on forums (Reddit), blogs, imageboards (4chan) and social networks, we can see how in the rapids of the digital stream ideologies are defined, communities, hybrids of social systems and synchronicity are created, and social changes are triggered. In these nooks the monarchy connects with Silicon Valley (new feudalism), anarchism with capitalism (anarcho-capitalism) ... What is marginal today, might become dominant tomorrow (Alt-right - The Dark Enlightenment), but it might also not.

Not so long ago, the term ‘post-Internet art’ came in sway, a vague term supposedly gathering a wide range of practices and works under a single denominator. In principle, post-Internet art deals with the transition of the digital into the domain of the real, uses quotes of visual by-products of digital processes and transposes them into material form, material reality. Unfortunately, most of these so-called ground-breaking works refer exclusively to the sphere of the visual and rarely transcend formalism. As a consequence, these works are lost on the periphery of the system, instead of dealing with the system itself.

Let’s examine the pathogens, not their shells – systems, not forms – expose the structures that create visual parasites. Give us your trash, your visual saliva! Let's rip the pixels, accelerate the mutation! Let the visual reach its final denominator!



Entropia, prototopia, polytopia

Multiplicity of an idea

Throughout history utopia seemed so close and yet so far away, like a mirage that you see but is still not quite there. We had visions of utopia from the previous century that failed disastrously, where decisions made by the few ruled over many. Its biggest problem is how to harmonize structure with individual freedom. Any system needs order to operate but forced order limits the development of a system. It is just a question of time when it will self-regulate and overthrow the imposed structure. This phenomenon of adapting the structure to personal needs is called desire path[1]in urban planning. It is associated with the erosion caused by people, animals or vehicles in a spontaneous attempt to find the shortest route between two points instead of following the constructed path by urban planners.

Our reality revolves around certain natural laws. If you impose a structure that does not follow these laws eventually the system will fall apart. In nature nothing is permanent, everything is in constant flux. The possibility of change and adaptation enables the system to survive. Technology uses and exploits these laws but it cannot change them. It can only follow them. If it could change them, then it would be magic, not technology.

In this text I will try to outline potential problems (entropia), opportunities (polytopia) and recent historical sources of utopian ideas (prototopia) that came out of distributed networks, rapid technological advancement and collective authorship.

Francis Fukuyama said that we live at the end of history[2], in a time without alternatives. Lately we noticed that things have actually changed faster[3] than expected and we are on the verge of a new beginning. This new era that we are entering is not something that we willingly decided on, it was defined by a string of decisions and technological determinism. The only thing that we can do is to jump onto this technological wagon and catch the momentum that will propel us. They say that history repeats itself but this is a precedent and we have nothing to compare it with. This is a leap into the void where exponential growth will cause a rupture (technological singularity)[4] in the fabric of space and time and start a new history, the beginning of the posthuman[5] stage. Possibly it will not even be written by us but by machines. Maybe there is an opportunity in this big leap into the unknown to reconsider and revive an idea that seems impossible. The process of searching for it could yield some food for thought. We know that over the course of history things that seemed impossible at one point became possible at another. We know that there is no limit to human ambition and curiosity. Of course this comes with a risk, an existential one[6]. There is a term for it, a Great Filter[7], a hypothetical threshold in the advancement of a civilisation, with a high probability of self-destruction.


Entropia (Entropy + Utopia)

Utopia is defined as a society of great personal liberty and wellbeing. Utopia sounds good on paper but in reality it was impossible to achieve. The idea served as inspiration for different political systems that always ended up as dystopian. The same often applies to modernist architecture. The city of Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil, was a majestic vision that probably should have stayed on the drawing board. Built in the 60’s, the city was constructed outside of the human scale, as a city monument. A personal grandeur vision of the architects and politicians projected onto the inhabitants of the city. The city was built in a way that does not account for the fact that someone would live in it. The restrictive framework of the project is what caused the friction in the system. For a project to succeed there should be some possibility of adaptivity, an open framework, a set of parameters from which the city will emerge.

The search for utopia is similar to a search for a perpetual motion machine, the hypothetical machine that can run forever with the energy that it produces. With a perpetual motion machine you always lose more energy than you get from it, which is due to friction. In utopia there is too much friction between individual spheres and the collective one that holds them together. For it to really function, everyone should have their own custom-made “society”. That is why these projects had never lasted long before they failed. In recent discourse there has been an image of technological emergence that will cause complete automation[8] of all processes, a post-scarcity economy without labour.

The herald of this new economy is China[9]where more and more production is steered toward automation, where even the cheapest labour force is not cheap enough anymore. Webshops like Alibaba, Banggood or Dealextremesell cheap electrical goods with free postage. Even the infrastructure for such an operation is an engineering endeavour in and of itself. The profit is derived from the sheer number of transactions and money circulation. This is a real example of economic alchemy, how to make money where others cannot.

The other important factor for the revival and reconceptualization of the old idea is the unsustainability of the existing economic system that is coming to an end of its progress. Neoliberal capitalism is based on an ever-expanding competitive market. There is a limit to the growth[10], a breaking point when the constant striving for optimization and cost-cutting reaches a point where the whole process gets automated and substituted by machines. The race for ever-cheaper goods and labour will result in a lack of human jobs[11] and the old free market paradigm of money circulating in the economy will stop to function. Without consumers, the whole system fails. It is becoming obvious that we need to resolve a near future problem, how the lack of labour will influence the future economy and how to improve the human condition. What happens when the constant growth and progress stop, when work becomes unnecessary and scarcity is not an issue? We are entering a post-capitalist[12] era.

Prototopia (Proto + Utopia)

The new tools of this immaterial economy are smart contracts[13], decentralized currencies[14], and asset ownership in blockchain. DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization)[15] corporations are the future. We are all legal entities, individual companies, and corporations of one. We are traded on the market, based on our personal belongings, creditworthiness of our social profiles and the net worth of our data spheres.

In today's economy, speculating became the new production. This is the new capital and gossip is the new currency. Generating capital based on whim, a temporary trend, misinformation, social networking[16]... The capital is not generated by physical production anymore. Physical products are only the by-product of speculation. The real economy is based on belief, it is a construct, a personal projection made by participants. As long as you believe in it, it exists.

We generate content – the world of big data that is being mined, bought and sold, traded and protected. Most of the discourse of the last several years has been around privacy[17] and who is collecting what. At the same time our personal spheres have closed in one way (filter bubble)[18] and disappeared in another (social networks and data mining[19])[20]. Information is the ore of today. The more of it you have the richer you are. You just need to know how to use it. Anything can be valuable. It only depends on your abilities to interpret it. With this knowledge you can predict trends, see hidden patterns, natural laws that no one had noticed before, your personal “weather” forecast. These things are the World Wild West for the digital opportunists, for the ones that want to harvest as much of the e-gold as possible before others even notice it is gold.

It is becoming clear that in this post-work society there is no problem if there is no work. In speculative belief-based economy the flow of assets is the same as production. Businesses already rise and fall in milliseconds based on speculation or a technical glitch[21]. This is the paradigm of the future. The majority of money is made in speculation, not production. High frequency trading (HFT) established these rules some time ago. HFT uses supercomputers and algorithms to collect data and autonomously buy and sell stocks. Different companies compete with each other in speed and algorithm sophistication to gain advantage and make more money. These systems are completely autonomous.

Your browsing habits, your Facebook posts and your Instagram pictures influence the global economy, but the real enlightenment will come when we get rid of work altogether. In the near future all of us will be participants in this jobless economy. Just by existing you will be a market entity.

Can Utopia be collectively imagined and built

as a collaborative political project?[22]

As a by-product of this decentralization and new collectiveness, we have a number of theoretical and radical political think tanks that work on the edge of reason, anonymity and on the opposite poles of political discourse. Radical ideas of the post-scarcity economy like Fully Automated Luxury Communism[23]and Universal Basic Income[24](UBI) do not sound that far-fetched anymore.

  • Cybersin
One of the early examples of such a project was Project Cybersin[25], short for cybernetics synergy. Prominent cybernetician Stafford Beer worked for the government of Chile from 1971-1973 on the project of the first algorithmic city, the predecessor of big data, that was supposed to collect real-time data from factories around the country and display them in the operational control centre for coordination and production. It was imagined as a distributed decision system. The project never fully came to life and was destroyed after the military coup.

  • The Dark Enlightenment
The Dark Enlightenment[26]movement, an alt-right cluster of Internet-based political thinkers, calls for a new feudalism, a return to monarchy. They want to reverse the Enlightenment and go back to a pre-liberal democracy time, to the “good old days”.

  • Anarcho-capitalism
Anarcho-capitalism[27] advocates the elimination of the state and prioritizes the freedom of the individual, private property and the free market. Its proponents believe that without the state the system will self-regulate and achieve equilibrium. Because of the primacy of private property and of the “I”, this political construct is the highest realization of the self over the collective.

  • Transhumanists / Extropists
Transhumanists, or their older siblings, extropists, desire to prolong their lifespan to a near-immortal state and exist in a world where artificial intelligence and robotics have made work irrelevant. Their purpose in life is to increase the overall happiness of all creatures on Earth through cooperation.[28] In that sense it could be perceived as very utopian. The extropists are fighting entropy with technology, trying to defy death and project humans into the new realm of posthumanism, where we would be free from our bodily limitations as a species.

Polytopia (Poly + Utopia)
Maybe the realization of a personal utopia will appear soonest in the form of Virtual Reality. Virtual reality is not limited by the laws of physics and can be customized to individual preference. It is the perfect polygon for the realization of a personal utopia. The word utopia comes from the Greek οὐ("not") and τόπος("place") and means "no-place". What is more of a non-place than VR, better yet, a UR - (U)topian Reality / (You)topian Reality, a space of absolute personal freedom, without any limitations or concerns for others, a space of You, an ultimate realization of the Ego.

Extropy vs. Entropy

Extropy is the opposite of entropy. Extropy is life, entropy is decay. Life is organization, collectiveness. Society organizes individual spheres in a collective machine through a set of rules organized in a system. An individual is a part of the collective, but not above it. A fixed set of rules in a world of exponential change is not sustainable. Pure utopia could only exist if there were complete freedom for all individuals of the collective. When one of the cells in our body starts to follow its own path and starts to multiply, we call it cancer. The paradox with utopia is that it is only possible through a system. But in order to really become polytopian it has to be divided into autonomous individual cells. The friction of the personal spheres decomposes it and transforms it into entropy. It has to decompose to realize itself fully, and yet, to decompose means to die.

[2] Francis Fukuyama - The End of History, 1989
[3] The Acceleration of Acceleration: How The Future Is Arriving Far Faster Than Expected
[4] Ray Kurzweil - (accessed 8.8.2016.)
[5] Hayles, N. Katherine - How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. University Of Chicago Press. (1999).
[6] Nick Bostrom - Existential Risks - Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios and Related Hazards,
[8] Why Everyone Must Get Ready For The 4th Industrial Revolution
[9] China's Manufacturers Are Shifting Towards Zero-Labor Factories
[10] Club of Rome - Limits to Growth, 1972
[11] Self-Driving Trucks May Hit the Road Before Google’s Cars
[12] The end of capitalism has begun
[15] The Tao of “The DAO” or: How the autonomous corporation is already here
[16] How Does One Fake Tweet Cause a Stock Market Crash?
[19]Top 10 data mining algorithms in plain R
[21] Error by Knight Capital rips through stock market
$617 Billion in Japan Stock Orders Scrapped After Error
[22] Stephen Duncombe - Thomas More Open Utopia, Minor Compositions, 2012
[23]  Fully automated luxury communism (
[24] After Robots Take Our Jobs, This Is What the Economy Will Look Like
[28] Nick Bostrom - A History of Transhumanist Thought, 2005
Utopian collective
London design biennale 2016

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Vizualno je nusproizvod koncepta i smatram da nema preveliku vrijednost

Tvoje područje djelovanja u umjetnosti dosta je specifično i zahtijeva određeno predznanje kako bi se rad razumio. Kako uspijevaš dokinuti taj vremenski prostor između rada i publike koja u današnje vrijeme ima sve kraću razinu pozornosti pri posjetu muzejskih izložbi ili pak sajmova / biennalea / triennalea?

Činjenica je, da bi se umjetnički rad u potpunosti razumio, potrebno je imati jednu veću količina znanja i odmaka. Ali to vrijedi za svaku profesiju, sve imaju svoju terminologiju i metanarative koje ih definiraju i odvajaju od amatera, od ljudi koji ne pripadaju tom krugu. npr. većini ljudi je dovoljno da im vodovodne instalacije funkcioniraju, a da ne moraju znati kako rade i kako ih postaviti. Zašto bi za umjetnost bilo drugačije? Rad je nemoguće promatrati izvan konteksta vremena u kojemu je nastao, može se jedino interpretirati. Čak i one kategorije koje ljudi najčešće povezuju, na žalost, s umjetnošću, poput ljepote, su konstrukti određenog trenutka te nisu univerzalne.

Moja strategija je gradnja koncepta u slojevima, kreirati radove koji komuniciraju paralelno s različitom publikom i na različitim razinama. Prvi sloj je usmjeren primarnim osjetilima te širem kulturnom narativu, obraća se ljudima koji nisu nužno preduboko upućeni u teoriju i povijest umjetnosti. Dakle, određeni osjetilni doživljaj, ne nužno u potpunosti ugodan. Drugi sloj je povezan s umjetničkim kontekstom te umjetničkom produkcijom dominantnog umjetničkog diskursa. Treći ulazi u područje interdisciplinarnosti te pristupa radu kao kompleksnom sustavu, s velikim brojem konekcija. Povezuje različite discipline, stvara novu tkaninu. Ako umjetnost ostane auto-referencijalna, bez obogaćivanja genetskog bazena novim idejama i disciplinama, izumrijet će.

Inače, na izložbama, sam sebe smatram najgorom publikom. Opisao bih svoj način konzumiranja umjetnosti najsličnije beskrajnom scrollanju tumblera, proždiranje slika.

Nemam previše poštovanja prema vizualnom, jer ga smatram nusproizvodom koncepta te ne mislim da ima preveliku vrijednost. Oduvijek me više interesirala dokumentacija umjetničkog rada od samo originala, tekst od galerijskog prostora. Vjerojatno zbog toga što su moji prvi kontakti sa suvremenom umjetnosti uvijek bili iz druge ruke, mali članak u časopisu, loša reprodukcija, umjetnički rad koji se pojavljuje na nekoj reklami, knjige sa zbirnim radovima…

Često u svojim radovima, kao sto je rad Swarm, tematiziras interakciju cestica, atoma, sitnih predmeta, ljudi, objekata, svemira pozivajuci se na prirodne zakone kao sto je Newtonov zakon ili fizicki procesi. U kojem omjeru su ti procesi proizvoljni, odnosno koliko su ljudi koji postaju objekti u tom procesu, proizvoljni u svom kretanju ili koliko je ta proizvoljnost kretanja i razmisljanja iluzorna?

Sve što radim je u odnosu veličine prema čovjeku, bilo to veće/manje/jednako. Te odnose ne možemo izbjeći. Kroz svoje radove prikazujem tu nemogućnost izlaženja izvan sustava, percipiranja samog sebe. Ljudi imaju problem razumijevanja svega što je veće od tuceta. To je evolucijska prilagodba. Uvijek smo bili u neposrednoj blizini ograničenog broja ljudi te samo s malim brojem ljudi možemo odjednom komunicirati. Ako se uzdignemo iznad osobne razine, možemo primijetiti da postoje određeni prirodni principi, prirodni zakoni koji su prisutni u različitim oblicima ponašanja zajednice, pojedinaca i općenito kompleksnog sustava koji nazivamo prirodom. Neki osnovni principi u ponašanju jata u određenom obliku su primijećeni u djelovanju ljudi na internetu, dakle kada smo lišeni tijela i svedeni na informacijske agente. Samoorganizacija ljudi i trenutak kada nešto postaje čista informacija, postane kvantificirano, mjerljivo, jako je zanimljiva cijelom nizu disciplina, od marketingaša,  do vlada te financijskog sektora… Taj pokušaj kvantificiranja i sistemskog razumijevanja svijeta je počeo kasnih 40ih godina pojavom kibernetike.

Zašto si uzeo baš primjer roja pčela za ispisivanje obrasca ponašanja individualca ili grupe ljudi u društvu?

Kroz primjere jednostavnijih oblika života te njihovog ponašanja možemo otkriti pozadinske principe djelovanja većih sustava. Ta djelovanja možda nisu toliko jasna na prvi pogled kod ljudskog ponašanja, ali to ne znaci da ne postoje. Možda ne možemo vidjeti cijelu civilizaciju kako se kreće, ali možemo vidjeti jato ptica, samoorganizaciju bakterija, kolonije mrava... To djelovanje je primjer kolektivne inteligencije, ne rukovođene pojedinačnom jedinkom, nije koordinirano ni jednim pojedincem, nego nastaje nesvjesnim skupnim radom.

Zanimljiva mi je ta ideja kolektivne inteligencije, dakle da nitko ne rukovodi, a da pritom postoji struktura, da nije kaotično, da je usmjereno, ali bez direktnog rukovođenja. Ima nešto deterministički u tome. MIT je prije par godina radio analizu 4chan foruma, za koji je karakteristično da su svi učesnici anonimni. Zanimalo ih je kako se stvara hijerarhija te zacrtavaju ciljevi unutar okruženja efemernosti i anonimnosti. Jedan od primjera samoorganizacije nastale na 4chanu je Anonymous grupa, koja je jedno vrijeme bila jako zapažena u medijima svojim kvazi političkim aktivizmom. Također, 4chan je imao prominentnu ulogu tijekom zadnjih američkih izbora, kada je jedan dio članova dao svoju potporu Trumpu te su «trolali» neistomišljenike i manipulirali socijalne mreže memovima i namještali rezultate pretraživanja na Google tražilici.

Možeš li nam više reci o svom projektu Lightcoin i zašto te upravo prijenos informacija posebice zanima kao predmet proučavanja?

Lightcoin je projekt koji se sastoji od tri dijela: fizičkog objekta (stroja za kvantnu isprepletenost), virtualne valute (Lightcoin) te online platforme, na kojoj se mogu pratiti transakcije Lightcoina (naravno, bez informacija o korisniku) te tekstovi i video predavanja vezana uz projekt. Pokušavam stvoriti jedan ekosustav, s naglaskom na diskursu među disciplinama te s mogućnošću proširenja rada izvan početnog formata.

Smatram da se umjetnički rad mora doticati recentnih zbivanja, kako bi vršio društvenu ulogu refleksije/interpretacije/anticipacije društvenih zbivanja, kao jedne od glavnih uloga umjetnosti. U tom kontekstu želim proširiti dijalog među disciplinama, a upravo je umjetnost ta disciplina koja može slobodno dokidati granice te se ne mora držati rigidnih pravila eksperimentalne metode.

Cijela naša egzistencija se može svesti na prijenos informacija. Evolucija isprobava različite modele te one uspješne prenosi dalje. Prenosimo genetsko naslijeđe na svoje potomke, putem osjetila prikupljamo informacije iz okoline te reagiramo na nju. Greške u informaciji izazivaju mutacije, uspjele mutacije se prenose dalje, dok se one koje nisu uspjele ne prenose.

Dakle najosnovniji principi naše realnosti su informacija i entropija. Blaga entropija pomaže u formaciji živih bića i nalaženju optimalne stabilnosti sustava. Prevelika entropija, disipacija informacija, izaziva raspadanje sustava, odnosno smrt.

Kako gledaš na suradnju umjetnika i znanstvenika u suvremenoj umjetnosti i koliki je takav nacin rada uobičajen na suvremenoj hrvatskoj umjetnickoj sceni?

Ne interesira me stara modernistička paradigma novoga niti «peglanje» do besvijesti određenih vizualnih elemenata u svrhu prepoznatljivosti te građenja kulta ličnosti. U takvom kontekstu umjetnost je isključivo proizvod koji umjesto kulturološke vrijednosti razmeće se financijskom, koja mu je potrebna da se kontekstualizira unutar svijeta potrošačkog društva. Na žalost, javnost zbog toga umjetnost percipira kao isključivo takvu, kao materijalno dobro, a ne kulturno nasljeđe koje ima veću vrijednost od financijske.

Moje polje interesa je jako široko te se smatram svojevrsnim renesansnim amaterom, znam o svemu pomalo ali ne ulazim u uže niše određenih područja. Zanimaju me osnovni principi funkcioniranja stvari, ograničenja određenih disciplina te povezivanje istih u svrhu pronalaženja univerzalnih principa funkcioniranja sustava, kao i nalaženje novih rješenja u tome procesu. Za razliku od znanstvenika koji djeluju unutar uskog kruga određene discipline, a najčešće još užeg kruga specifičnog područja, umjetnik nema tih ograničenja jer može djelovati na razmeđu disciplina i unutar više njih paralelno.

Znanost je utemeljena na znanstvenoj metodologiji što se ujedno i u sve češćem diskursu naziva ograničenjem znanosti (Limits of science) te motivom za razmatranje stvaranja nove discipline koja će je zamijeniti. Možda je umjetnost u svojim rubnim oblicima upravo model za stvaranje te nove «znanosti».
Arteist magazin

Jelena Tamindzija




Prelaženje zadanih granica

Nedavno ste sa Davorom Branimirom Vinczeom predstavili zvučnu instalaciju „Strune“, kako je nastao ovaj projekat?

Projekt Strune je nastao kada sam čuo neke Davorove kompozicije i primijetio da dijelimo zajedničke interese. Brzo smo shvatili da bi smo trebali surađivati na nekom projektu, u svrhu proširivanja obostrane umjetničke prakse. Moje područje je konceptualna umjetnost, iako bi većina to nazvala medijskom umjetnošću zato jer koristim «novije» tehnologije.* Davor je kompozitor suvremene klasične glazbe, discipline koja izlazi izvan okvira klasične glazbe, ali se i dalje referira na njeno nasljeđe. Mislim da konceptualna umjetnost i kompozicija imaju zajedničku osnovu. Oboje se bazira na instrukcijama/uputstvima za izvođenje te interpretaciju. Strukturiranje je ispred materijalizacije rada, ispred fizičkog objekta/izvedbe. Sam rad/izvedba može varirati i preuzeti različite oblike.

U posljednje vrijeme sam se orijentirao prema suradnjama s različitim profilima ljudi/organizacija. Smatram da živimo u vremenu kompleksnosti u kojem ni jednu disciplinu ne može u cijelosti pojmiti jedna osoba pa tako i strojevi/sustavi koji se danas grade nisu proizvod pojedinca nego tima ljudi, ponekad stotine ili tisuće. Interdisciplinarna suradnja omogućuje prelaženje zadanih granica određene discipline te stvaranje kompleksnog projekta koji ne bi pojedinačno bio moguć. Također, zanima me aleatorski (nasumični) element, odnosno, na koji način će se kolaboracija odraziti na moj rad.

*Imam lagani problem sa nazivom medijska umjetnost jer smatram da je to vrlo generalizirajuća podjela s obzirom da je tehnologija od prapovijesti bila neodvojiva od umjetnosti a sve tehnologije koje ja koristim su prisutne barem 50-100 godina. Mislim da ne bi trebala postojati podjela na suvremenu i medijsku umjetnost.

Dovodite u okviru ovog rada u vezu teoriju struna i Pitagorinu teoriju harmonije, kakva veza tu postoji i kako je objašnjavate?

Pitagoru smatraju proto-teoretičarem teorije struna. Govorio je da je jezik svemira matematika te da svemir vibrira te stvara nebesku glazbu, glazbu sfera. Proučavajući žičani instrument liru, gledajući gibanje žice, otkrio je harmoniju, da jednako napeta žica proizvodi harmonične tonove ako je omjer duljine dvaju žica cijeli broj. U neku ruku govorio je da se sve sastoji od vibracija, što je poveznica s teorijom struna.

Teorija struna govori da se sve sastoji od silnica koje vibriraju u 10/11/24 dimenzije, ovisno o teoriji razlikuje se broj dimenzija, ali u konačnici osnova je vibracija/gibanje. Od tih silnica sastoji se sav materijalni svijet.

U projektu Strune povezujemo iskustveno, opservacijsko Pitagorino saznanje o svijetu, do kojeg je došao proučavajući vibracije žičanog instrumenta, s recentnim hipotezama suvremene fizike, koja koristi kompleksne matematičke modele kako bi interpretirala materijalni svijet. Mi prenosimo informacije dobivene od fizičara koji se bave simulacijama teorije struna, na žicu koja je slična onoj koju je Pitagora promatrao na liri. Naravno, ovo je poetično istraživanje te nije bazirano na znanstvenoj metodi i ne mora imati precizan ili fiksan rezultat. Iskustveno je te može imati različite manifestacije. Namjeravamo nastaviti na projektu i potencijalno istu ideju realizirati u nekom drugom proširenom obliku.

Do kakvih ste rezultata u konačnici došli u okviru ovog istraživanja?

U našem projektu mi koristimo jednu jako dugačku žicu koja zbog svoje dužine proizvodi «nečisti» zvuk, odnosno klaster mikroskopskih frekvencija te različite zvučne fenomene. Sama konstrukcija rada je otprilike ovakva – impuls koji šaljemo na aktivator zvuka pobuđuje strunu na vibriranje. Vibracija se zatim pojačava u rezonantnoj kutiji. Ovaj naočigled vrlo jednostavan ulazni zvuk provlačimo kroz računalo i povratnom spregom izvlačimo brojne frekvencije koje prostim uhom ne čujemo kao zasebne frekvencije. Te iste prolaze algoritam tijekom kojeg se zvuk modificira (zaostaje, transponira, poglašnjuje, filtrira, …). Cijeli algoritam koordinira se putem seta podataka koje smo dobili od kolega fizičara koji se bave simulacijom teorije struna. Isti je podijeljen u nekoliko modula, od kojih svaki ima sasvim drugačiju vrstu manipulacije ulaznog zvuka i time različit rezultat. U trenutku kad određeni proces dosegne stanovit prag, aktivira se idući modul. Obogaćeni kroz postupke u algoritmu, zvukove projiciramo nazad u rezonantnu kutiju.

U konačnici stvaramo određeno soničko iskustvo koje ima izrazito fizičku prisutnost što kroz gibanje žice u prostoru, gdje se neposredno mogu vidjeti frekvencije žice, do samog akustičnog doživljaja koji na trenutke zvuči kao «jahanje» vala povratne sprege (feedbeck-a).

Takođe, zanimljivo je u tom pogledu što je ovo duo projekat, kako je tekao cijeli proces rada i kako vidite ono što su rezultati „Struna“?

Smatram da su u umjetnosti u današnje vrijeme, kao i u bilo kojoj drugoj disciplini, ključne suradnje kako bi se stvorilo novo znanje te razbili kanoni. Naprimjer, Davor i ja funkcioniramo unutar više različitih disciplina. Ja se osim umjetnošću bavim i grafičkim dizajnom te istražujem/pišem o implikacijama tehnološkog razvoja na pojedince i društvo. Studirao sam Dizajn vizualne komunikacija na Umjetničkoj akademiji u Splitu a potom Master studij MediaArtHistories na Donau-Univerzitetu u Kremsu. Davor je završio studij medicine te potom studirao kompoziciju u Grazu i Stuttgartu te elektronsku Glazbu na Ircamu u Parizu, trenutno je na doktorskom studiju iz kompozicije na Stanfordu. Mislim da nam je interdisciplinarnost bliska.

Projekt nije samo realizacija unaprijed definiranog koncepta, nego i istraživanje te razmjena znanja i vještina. Polja suvremene/medijske umjetnosti te suvremene glazbe disciplinarno su odvojena te im fali mobilnosti unatoč povremenim preklapanjima kroz povijest što je vidljivo iz primjera Johna Cagea ili Le Monte Younga. Specifično, medijsku umjetnost definira interdisciplinarnost, kao posljedica kompleksnosti izvedbe tehnički zahtjevnih projekata te getoizacije od strane suvremene umjetnosti. Suvremena glazba, polazi iz okruženja klasične glazbe te je sputana istim konvencijama. Smatramo da su ovakve suradnje prijeko potrebne kako bi se povećala raznovrsnost te probile granice ustaljenih normi.


Đorđe Krajišnik