The Maribor Youth Cultural Centre, in the framework of the 28th International Festival of Computer Arts (MFRU), in collaboration with five Slovenian educational institutions (Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana, Academy of Arts, University of Nova Gorica, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Maribor, Faculty of Education, University of Maribor, and AVA Academy of Visual Arts, University of Ljubljana), has launched a call for student inter-media art projects for the MFRU 2022 Student Prize in the framework of the 28th International Festival of Computer Arts (MFRU).
The selected educational institutions could submit up to three projects to the call, while students also had the possibility to apply independently.
The jury of experts selected the three best projects, which also received a cash prize and the opportunity to present their projects at the Media Nox Gallery during the MFRU Festival in October.
The grand prize winner also gets the opportunity to have a solo exhibition at the Cultural Incubator on Koroška cesta in 2023.
The awarded students and projects are:
1. Nika Tomažič, Automata - 1st prize for student work at the 27th MFRU
2. Hana Zadnikar, Glej me
3. Lara Žagar Re-teraformiranje
Nika Tomažič: Automata (AVA Ljubljana)
Nika Tomažič is a visual artist who studies and works in Ljubljana. She is currently completing her undergraduate studies at the Academy of Visual Arts AVA.
Nika Tomažič's inter-media installation Automata is about the perception of infinity, which the artist understands not as an (infinite) entity, but as an (infinite) process, as an (infinite) loop of a finite state. The human brain, and probably also the non-human and beyond-human brain, of course, cannot grasp infinity, because infinity is beyond physical, that is to say experiential, but also philosophical understanding and perception of time, as the Italian quantum physicist and philosopher Carlo Rovelli says in his book the Order of Time.
Time - and with its infinity or timelessness as its constituent part - always depends on the individual observer or the point of observation. Each point in the universe is different from another, and therefore time and infinity flow (infinitely) differently. Nika Tomažič puts this into practice by using sensors that activate the processing of infinity only when the visitors interact directly with the artwork; without interaction, without the activation of the observers of the time, time and infinity do not happen, they do not exist.
The jury was convinced by the clarity and focus of the artwork on the - at first glance abstract, but rigorously and to the very essence exposed core of the question of time, which is formulated in the gallery space in an accessible, clear, and communicative way with the visitors. Automata is programmed in such a way that it really works and runs automatically, yet it depends on our presence or (inter)activity. The artwork also has potential for its possible further development, even though in its basic form it already works in a sophisticated and extremely convincing way: with the smallest possible means of expression, it shows, tells, and explains to us exactly what we can never comprehend, which is why it keeps us, the observers, in an (endless) loop of discomfort and an unbearable dichotomy between the questions we ask about the world around us and the unsuccessful, impossible and never deciphered answers.
We sincerely congratulate the artist Nika Tomažič for the first place and wish her a successful (endless) realisation of her work!
Expert jury for the selection of the best MFRU 2022 student intermedia projects –
Ida Hiršenfelder, Robertina Šebjanič, Miha Horvat, Igor Štromajer
Hana Zadnikar: Glej me (ALUO Ljubljana)
Hana Zadnikar (2000) is a student of Video and New Media at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. She works with intermedia art, video, and animation. Her work explores themes of existence linked to subjective experience, the socio-political environment, and the art world itself.
Hana Zadnikar's work Glej me establishes a direct, almost intimate communication with the audience and invites them to follow her personal, private life. She does this through her phone, a device that has long since ceased to be an interface but has become a central, invisible, all-absorbing wall between us and the world around us.
The work's simple and open structure allows for many complex interpretations and derivations, which is its distinctive quality. The subject matter refers to the excellent previous works of, for example, Kyle McDonald, whom the artist herself mentions as one of her references, and we can add the legends of classical web art, Eva and Franc Mattes, with their canonical work Life Sharing (2000-2003, Walker Art Center), in which for three years they made the contents of their home computer (files, emails, bank statements, etc.) available in real-time to the public for reading, copying, and downloading in the public domain.
The artist has set herself a difficult, radical, and also dangerous task that requires uncompromising and holistic execution. It will be interesting to follow the implementation and development of the work, the reactions of the audience, and the artist's struggle with the continuous exposure of her privacy. It can be said that this is not a work of art primarily aimed at the audience, but herself, which places it in a specific post-artistic contemporary practice. She is facing great intimate, personal, as well as legal, and public challenges.
The jury was convinced by the directness of the submitted work, which stands in front of us without additional ballast, without embellishing moments, and thus truncates the communication between the artist and the audience to the bare minimum, to the most radical - in its ultimate consequence, to the artist herself.
We congratulate the artist Hana Zadnikar and wish her a successful realisation of her work!
Expert jury for the selection of the best MFRU 2022 student intermedia projects
– Ida Hiršenfelder, Robertina Šebjanič, Miha Horvat, Igor Štromajer
Lara Žagar, Re-teraformiranje (ALUO Ljubljana)
In Re-tereforming, the artist will design independent landscapes as mise-en-scenes of abandoned architectural remnants of the consumer age. She will place pioneering species such as algae and moss in the ecosystems to rewild the desolate and uninhabited post-apocalyptic urban ruins. She draws her installation materials from objects of today saturated with artificial materials and places them in organic matter with the potential to regenerate and grow a new and autonomous ecosystem that, unlike cities, can exist without human intervention.
The author's research resonates with contemporary ecological paradigms, although she does not directly mention philosophical concepts such as dark ecology, ecology without nature, or going wild, her thinking process and hybrid non-categorical use of artificial and organic materials expresses the practical application of these very interesting concepts, which open up a problematic approach to ecology. The author mentions the urban landscape as part of her research stream of thought, but it is not directly illustrated in her works, which we see as an advantage. She does not limit her thinking to appearances but recognises them above all in the immediate material reality of man-made materials. Her merging of the artificial and the biotic goes beyond the binary distinction between culture and nature, which is in line with contemporary ecological thought and practice. At the heart of her work is a reflection on potentiality rather than a pessimistic view of the apocalypse, which she calls prototype after ecologist Kevin Kelly. We believe that her setting is also an expression of a wildness that tends not toward an idealised image of nature, but towards the potentiality of organisms to reshape the earth (terraform) without an anthropocentric preoccupation, which we recognise as an exceptionally poetic idea.
The jury was convinced by the work submitted, especially the visual material. We are confident that the spatial layout of this project will be of interest to the public, and that the artist will present a visually very coherent work in the exhibition at Media Nox gallery.
We would like to congratulate the artist Lara Žagar and wish her a successful installation as well as positive results of further experiments.
Expert jury for the selection of the best MFRU 2022 student intermedia projects –
Ida Hiršenfelder, Miha Horvat, Robertina Šebjanič, Igor Štromajer