Not Random Art - Page 21

Hello preMADE team and welcome to NotRandomArt. Let me start with a brief opening question: What in your opinion defines a work of art? And moreover, what could be the features that mark the contemporariness of an artwork?

Hello, it’s a really awesome opportunity, thanks a lot!

Human life for thousands of years has been accompanied by art. Every piece of work created throughout history has its own mark and these marks usually reflect the problems within their respective cultures. It takes a certain amount of artistic sincerity to really break through and understand the connection, or the soul of these problems. Fundamentally, we think that art is something that connects the artist and the audience to the world. The artist creates a world, the audience views the world and both sides develop a better understanding of each other's world and the real world. Art is always a fine line between value, exhibition and success.

I think to start to answer the further question, we should ask the question of the contemporary problems we face. Humans tend to want to fill a void when one exists and, when beauty, relationship and nature in its purest form are not present, we encourage things like consumptionism, overzealousness and superstitions. Contemporary art should be a small break from these negatives and should give one a sense of awe that could challenge their very being. Art should be a reminder. For us, art shouldn't just rebuke and criticise, that's too forceful. Contemporary art should be a positive that shows a certain warmth in its expression.

Secondly, artists in the 21st century have some of the greatest opportunities because of the sheer amount of technology and development in the computer sciences especially . We can work with new ideas and tech and change or further understand the value of values. In our installations, for example, we combine ideas of philosophy with Kinects and software and animation. We think that one of the most unique features of the 21st century is the instant feedback an artist can get from their whole audience with the use of social media. This essentially gives an artist a realtime display of the mood and how the art is received. The technological resources for art are becoming easier to access and more progressive in its nature, we think that the arts should naturally accommodate these possibilities. It gives us a much grander discipline when we have oil paintings and sculpture as well as drones and GoPros.

The biggest value of technological art, however, is not how it looks, but actually how people receive it. The interaction we previously mentioned is also a good way to test how successful we have been in conveying a message. Art should not be just about the artist, it should be about the audience, the people and their interaction. We think that art must accommodate generally to stay physically and philosophically important. Meaning, idea and conception, if it is sincere, will always be the marker of a successful contemporary art scene.

Would you like to tell us something about your artistic as well as life background? What inspired you to be in this artistic point in your life when you are now?

Our art journey started when we first met at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. We studied together in the same year and shared all of the same workshops. By the second year, we had started working together on an assignment and we seemed to have clicked. We began to exchange ideas and get to know each other better and, after the assignment we decided to continue to work as a collective which resulted in the creation of the PreMADE team we are now. Since both of our names are Aleksandra (A weird coincidence), we like to use out nicknames to avoid confusion. Aleksandra Dutkowska is "Dudorz" and Aleksandra Łukasiak is "Xilus".

Xilus:

My life has always been connected with art and I've always felt that it holds a great importance for me. My father is a graphic designer and an artist himself, so art has always been with me. Being surrounded by art influenced me and I had no real choice but to draw and practice, it is just the natural state of things. I've always been drawn to newer technology and ways of implementing them into art and wanting to push the boundaries of well established art canons. I happened to have a kinect at home one time and the idea of using it for an interactive piece of art was very tempting. It didn't take much explaining to Dudorz to know that she really enjoyed the idea and we spoke about how to present it. After that, I tried to convince her that we should start learning programming and computer languages. This was a nervewracking part of our art, as their aren't many books on coding in Polish, and there are even fewer books on coding that is relevant to art. It was discouraging at first so, what we did was, we sat down and devoted a whole year to it, reading all of the available material online. Gradually, we got there. Starting with a few simple lines of code that moved a circle on a screen, to developing complex code that is relevant to the interactive parts where we could use Kinects. The idea of creating bigger and bigger projects with these kinds of tools was, and is, always in our minds. Our first fully interactive project was presented as a part of our bachelor degree. It was the first time we showed this type of work to our professors, as well as our friends and family. It was a really valuable experience to see how people react to these type of things. We learnt a lot from it and it gave us more inspiration and means to explore interactive art further.

Dudorz:

Art was never an active part of my childhood, but I was a curious child who'd very carefully examine the most minute details of her colouring books and stare for hours with great interest at the cross sections of buildings and boats, looking and noticing and delicately searching. I think this childhood habit is what taught me to see the world differently. I was, in a sense, drawn into the artist's world by virtue of this habit. The real turning point, though, was a very clear memory I have of being taken to an exhibition as a kid. I don't exactly remember the imagery, but the smell of ink and painting oils is still very vivid in my mind, it was then, that I knew that art was my greatest want. I wanted the smell of oils and inks in my life. With years of excitement and a continuing curiosity, I began to draw and read and paint, struggling with the idea that art might not actually be a part of my character. I mixed these hobbies with philosophy, literature, languages, photography and windsurfing and realised that, unintentionally, the creative path was the one I was already on.

The one thing we have neglected to mention is our resolve. Brainstorming and talking about new projects is often annoying because we tend to have visions that are not yet possible. Sometimes because of technological limitations or a simple lack of resources, these projects are unreachable. But we know that they will be possible so long as the tech and the sciences continue to make new discoveries and find new paths forward and this will help us to push our art to even further limits. That's why we like to say that we make the impossible possible. Creating visually stunning, engaging art pieces for everyone that challenges people on various emotional, educational and physical levels is our call and we are intensely passionate about it. Reaching the limits and showing the world something important in a fresh, new way is the greatest inspiration for us and our resolve and commitment to it is what propels us forward. The most rewarding thing is to see other's reactions and, if they show and share their emotions and feelings with us, then we know that we have succeeded.

work.

Could you tell our readers more about the meaning of your ideas of presenting modern society?

“In the city space, the citizens are registered as information by texts and numbers on paper and we are defined and limited by this information collected.” This is exactly like analogue elements in the material world that are digitalised as signal and symbol by bits and pixels on data and they are controlled and recopied by big data formed.

Since we revolve around the issue of communication this time, we have one more question: in yur opinion, can art change the future for inter human communication? How can art help us make sense of these complex histories?

As I mentioned above, I think the most important and powerful feature of art is “to make people think.” Today in the modern society we are all exposed by overflowing information and medias. we say that internet culture is interactional but most of overflowing information in cyber network has already ‘answer’.And the one-way relationship between this ‘fixed answer’ and ‘accepting us’ is violent itself.

Art doesn’t have the answer. It’s publics role to find it. And if each one can have different answer, it means there will be a room to communicate. I believe that this uncertainty and obscurity of art can improve diversity of thinking and communicating and make the place not only for interaction but also interhuman communication.

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Darip. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

Urbanoiz is a project of making a “culture” not just for artworks. I’m interested in various fields like fashion, music and merchandising…etc. And if it’s story about our life in the city, I always hop on to work on this project regardless of any creation form. Recently I’m preparing for really interesting project, so that people can interact with my art work more closely in the city. I will make more efforts to let people find this “urban noise’ everywhere in the city. This is going to be very hard, but I am thrilled to continue this project.

t all started at the Academy of Fine Arts in Trondheim, Norway, in the mid 90's and with my research in Video Art and the History of Video Art. During that period, I experimented with the cameras available at the time, such as Hi8, Super-8, and DV. I learned how to edit using Avid and produced numerous small experimental art films. Conceptually, I was inspired by video artists such as Nam June Paik, Bill Viola, and Bruce Naumann amongst many others. I used effects and experimental sound in my films. It was a very exciting time for my development, and I explored all kinds of filmic work, from 80's video art to more experimental directors of the time, such as Peter Greenaway, Jim Jarmusch, and Hal Hartley as well as the greats such as Federico Fellini, Luis Buñuel, and Jean-Luc Godard. So my work was shaped by this strange hybrid of influences: everything from animated MTV shorts to deeply conceptual post modernistic cinema.

Later on, I started to build video installations, combined with photography, objects and performance. From this, I started to become involved with stage art and independent dance and theatre. Several directors have given me the time and space to experiment using multiple video projectors, and my work has become an active element onstage, sometimes interacting with the performers. Every project has been useful in some way for exploring and refining my ideas. Now in my capacity as film director, I'm able to call upon my experiences gained from working as a cross disciplinary artist.

Your artworks are revolving around the problem of social identity and cultural affiliations. Is there any particular way you would describe your identity as an artist but also as a human being in dynamically changing, unstable times? In particular, does your cultural substratum/identity form your aesthetics?

I belong to a minority group in society and that identity is always a part of me and my work. I don’t believe my artworks are changing due to unstable times but that I'm working my way through a theme and a method over time. The content of my work is becoming more and more personal and I think that is because I dare to be more honest with myself. What I find interesting to work with is in my immediate presence. When I collaborate with stageartists, we often focus on a current political theme. In these collaborations I work more as an art activist and have a broader openess for the aesthetics. My work is then more experimental with research on different ways to develop live presentations in the space.

Could you identify a specific artwork that has influenced your artistic practice or has impacted the way you think about race

and ethnic identity in visual culture?

“Revolted by the Thought of Known Places… Sweeney Astray” by Joan Jonas was one of the first performance installations that really made a huge impact on me. I was living in Paris during this time, in the early 90s, with a lot of influences from different cultures. It became the starting point of my own work. Joan Jonas practice has explored ways of seeing, the rhythms of ritual, and the authority of objects and gestures. Jonas continues to find new layers of meanings in themes and questions of gender and identity that have fueled her art for over thirty years. She is a great inspiration still today.

It is impossible to avoid the topic of body consciousness, embodied emotions and the image of body and personal identity that we see in your practice. What is the function of the identity appearing in your artworks – is it a canvas used to present your ideas or rather the subject of the art? What inspired you to use this as a theme in your practice?

I have been developing my visual imagery since I began studying art and film - from conceptual thinking, composition, using light and colour in different ways, through all the different techniques I've utilised over the years in my work and in my collaborations with stage artists such as dancers, musicians and actors. My approach is always developing through exploring these things. Visual imagery in essence is your way of experiencing what you see and transforming it. This is my world that I want to share and express through my art. The body consciousness, embodied emotions and the image of body and personal identity is part of this visual imagery, the emotional essence in my practice. Always present and always developing in different themes and projects.

Marina Abramovic stated: You see, what is my purpose of performance artist is to stage certain difficulties and stage the fear the primordial fear of pain, of dying, all of

which we have in our lives, and then stage them in front of audience and go through them and tell the audience, 'I'm your mirror; if I can do this in my life, you can do it in yours.'Can you relate anyhow to these words?

de-identify myself, by losing my roots, my culture, I would be very happy. Unfortunately the human being does'nt choose the place where he is born. He grows up in a society that automatically identifies, through education, culture, family... More than ever I think it's more important to go on a way of self-knowledge with the aim to meet “the other”.. This other without which we can not exist. It's the same for the artist. It is more important for me to be focused on my practice than to try to define it according to esthetic criteria of identification. It's probably the reason i like to remember the painter Matisse who said or wrote that an artist must never be prisoner of himself, prisoner of a style, prisoner of a reputation.

Would you like to tell us something about your background? Could you talk a little about experiences that has influence the way you currently relate yourself to your artworks?

All my way is influenced by encounterings.

It began by the meeting with my professor of literature at school. More than giving French or Literature classes, she brought us to discover texts, movies, plays, visual artworks and to think about on what we saw or read.. Thanks to her that I met Pierre Vincke, a theatredirector who was worjink in the tradition of Grotowski ... Both of them have led me to go to theater school. In this school I had meetings. Meetings with artists but also and especially human beings that made me discover. I always need o discover rather than to master a practice. It's probably the reason my encounter with Monica Klingler and Boris Nieslony was decisive for me and led me on the path of Performance Art which is a form still difficult to define. Each performance artist has a different definition of what it is...

Could you identify a specific artwork that has influenced your artistic practice or has impacted the way you think about race and ethnic identity in visual culture?

No I don't have a specific artwork that has influenced my artistic practise but many.

I'm influenced by some philsophers as well as poets or musicians or dancers or visual artists but also by some places or landscapes or atmospheres ... For some years, I was used for example to go to India where I was used to follow some traditionnal muscians or to learn bharatanatyam and practice vipassana meditation... Of course this experience has impacted my art work.... This brought me to think and work differently... My experience in India brought me to discover traditionnal strong art and paradoxally to the way of Performance Art. But there I see one common point: to make no separation between art and life and to be here and now, without projection on the future.

It's difficult for me to speak about race and ethnic identity. But I can say that today we miss more and more this notion of “to be here and now” which is more present in some cultures ... By practising Performance Art, it's my way to be connected to this way of thinking. And even in this field actually it's more and more difficult. The society and the art world brings us more and more to plan in advance, to define our work, more than to do. Just to do. To do what we deeply need.

And of course, my encountering with Black Market International and later the notion of Open Source or Open session via PAErsche have also a big impact on my work. When we go on that, each of us perform by sharing time and space but without trying to convince each other on some common way. This is for me a wonderfull way how we can meet each other, regardless of our origin, our race or our “identity”...

Many of your works carry an autobiographical message. Since you transform your experiences into your artwork, we are curious, what is the role of memory in your artistic productions? We are particularly interested if you try to achieve a faithful translation of your previous experiences or if you rather use memory as starting point to create.

My memory is clearly a starting point to create. I don't have any autobiographical message. I use my personnal experience ( what I feel , what I see, what I learn, what I ear...) to work. It's a motor or a material. I'm not able to paint, so I can't do something with red or white or yellow or black colors. All I have is life, a body alive. And I need to do something with that...

My sensation about life sometimes is too intense then I need to transform this intensity in some action. Some artistic action... If people can take something from this action this is great... but I don't want to give them “a specific message” or to control the translation of my experience.