A+A Gallery, Venice, Italy
(Slovenian exhibition venue)
Opening of the exhibition: Friday, 11 May 2012 at 18.00
Authors: Stefan Doepner, Srečo Dragan, Luka Drinovec, Luka Frelih, Sanela Jahić, Boštjan Kavčič, Nika Oblak & Primož Novak, Borut Savski, Sašo Sedlaček, Maja Smrekar, son:DA, Zoran Srdić Janežič, Robertina Šebjanič, Igor Štromajer and Branko Zupan.
Emobot, Igor Štromajer, 2011, ready-made
After successful presentation in Maribor exhibition Robot Museum will take its place in Venice. The exhibition includes fields such as interactivity, robotics, informatics and multimedia. It’s the first comprehensive exhibition of this part of contemporary Slovenian art. The project involves exploration, production and exhibition of robots and their cultural content, as well as software-art, intermedia installations and performance. The word robot means a machine controlled by computer and programmed to move or perform specific tasks. This universal term was first used by Czech writer Karel Čapek (suggested by his brother Josef Čapek) in his play R.U.R (Rossum’s Universal Robots, 1920). In industry robots perform repetitive tasks or carry heavy loads. Some are designed to work in dangerous situations or they explore space and sea depths. They are equipped with sensors or video cameras and are even programmed to make decisions.
Until recently Slovenia hasn’t devoted much attention to robots and their contextualization in fine arts. This exhibition is based on previous researches and theoretical placements, and presents a transition from kinetic to cybernetic art. It also raises questions about placement of robots as new media products in the field of arts. At the same time it establishes a bridge between science and art which are subjects of separate disciplines, but in the case of robots they represent an indispensable link.
In the Slovenian arts for the last twenty years robots appeared in artwork of artists like Srečo Dragan, Dušan Bučar, Luka Drinovec, Borut Savski, Stefan Doepner, Boštjan Kavčič … So far there have been fifteen projects related to robots (Sašo Sedlaček, Robertina Šebjanič, Luka Frelih, Maja Smrekar, Igor Štromajer, Nika Oblak & Primož Novak, Zoran Srdić Janežič, Branko Zupan, Sanela Jahić…). Most of the artists were participants of the International Festival of Computer Arts (1995-2008) and unfortunately some of their older artwork is lost. The exhibition aims to encourage connection and dialogue between technical culture, its development and artwork, while developing innovative transfer of knowledge and skills.
Concept by: Jože Slaček
Curator: Meta Kordiš
Co-production: MKC Maribor
Borrowed works from the UGM collection: Srečo Dragan, Telerobot Leonardo, 1997, interactive spatial installation, 2001, conceptual panel; Luka Drinovec, The Bug and Lighthouse, project The Dance of Neurons, 1999-2000, responsive cybernetic installation; Boštjan Kavčič, Rombot 1.0 and Cubot 2.0, 2002, kinetic sculptures; Zoran Srdić Janežič, Trash Robots (Make a photo), 2009-2011, spatial installation; Igor Štromajer, Emobot, 2011, ready-made.
Štromajer has placed Emobot, an emotional robot, in the gallery. Emobot is not a work of art nor does it produce art. Its only artistic value is absence (of production) of art. Emobot produces art by not producing it, by active omission of production. It is (and it isn’t) an artistic action, performed by not being performed. In other words – it is created by not being created. Emobot is an art work actively absent from the exhibition: the most radical artistic action is the one performed by not performing it. Emobot functions by not functioning, by omitting its functioning. And when it is active, we are not aware how it functions, and actually we don’t want to know. Emobot is omissive art: “Philosophers have so far only changed the world, this is about interpreting the world!”
The work was created in the context of exploring omissive art, the status of art in contemporary society as well as of the value and impact of an artistic action.