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.
Expert jury for the selection of the best MFRU 2022 student intermedia projects
– Ida Hiršenfelder, Robertina Šebjanič, Miha Horvat, Igor Štromajer