“SOFT CONTROL: Art, Science and the Technological Unconscious” an exhibition at Koroška Art Gallery in Slovenia demonstrate various patterns of the use of new technologies in the current artistic process, and also present works of art that subject the role of technology and the media in contemporary civilisation to critical analysis.
Eye-Tracking Informatics is by Seiko Mikami. Since the 90’s she has been making interactive interface pieces incorporating human perception, working on various projects by researching and producing from each point of senses of the complicated and broad themed ‘perception’ such as visual sense, acoustic sense, tactile sense and gravity sense. In the installation participants’ lines of sight are visualized in a three-dimensional virtual space through eye-tracking. Based on the concepts of “observing the act of observation” and “sight enacted through chains of consciousness and unconsciousness” behind Seiko Mikami’s 1990s work “Molecular Informatics”, this installation incorporated current technologies making significant updates to the original work’s expressive elements. Arranged in the exhibition space were two large screens and chairs equipped with “The EyeWriter 2.0” eye-tracking devices connected to the screens. Sitting on these chairs, the participants faced images of a three-dimensional virtual space projected onto each screen. In response to the direction of the participants’ lines of sight, line structures were generated within the virtual space, the growth process of which conveyed to the participants the haptic qualities of vision that we aren’t usually aware of.
Seiko Mikami is an artist operating on the forefront of the international media art scene. She has been showing several large-scale installations dealing with the human body and the information war since the 1980s.
The international contemporary art exhibition SOFT CONTROL was held as part of the Maribor – European Capital of Culture 2012 programme. The project presented at two sites: at the KIBLA Multimedia Centre (Maribor) and the Koroška galerija likovnih umetnosti (Slovenj Gradec). Curated by DMITRY BULATOV, artist, new media theoretician and curator of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (Kaliningrad branch, Russia). The exhibition will feature the work of thirty artists from eleven different countries.
The status of European Capital of Culture provides a powerful impulse towards the realisation of new ideas and projects. This helps to draw in both local experts and internationally renowned professionals to participate in the cultural life of the city. Devoting special attention to contemporary readings of culture and the exchange of innovative ideas, the KIBLA Multimedia Centre (Maribor) and Koroška galerija likovnih umetnosti (Slovenj Gradec) have initiated a large-scale international project focused on the latest forms of artistic creation that have emerged at the intersection of art, science and technology.
“The KIBLA Multimedia Centre is one of the most important organizations involved with contemporary art in Slovenia and Europe today”, remarked MMC KIBLA president and project director Aleksandra Kostič. “For the past fifteen years we have built up a great deal of experience in conducting various art projects and festivals.” The current project seeks to analyse the impact of the development of advanced technologies on the modern individual, and to elaborate cultural strategies for re-establishing people’s sense of engagement in the technological processes under way.
The capacity of an enterprise to both make a memorable impression on the audience and become a significant cultural event is largely determined by the cooperation of major curators, artists, philosophers and art theoreticians. In order to impart a universal format of artistic expression to the collective efforts, MMC KIBLA and Koroška galerija likovnih umetnosti Slovenj gradec invited Dmitry Bulatov to curate the exhibition. Aleksandra Kostič commented on the choice: “Dmitry Bulatov is a well-known expert in the field of new media. As curator of the National Centre of Contemporary Arts (Russia) he has brought about more than twenty major international exhibitions and publishing projects devoted to various aspects of the interactions between art and high technology.”