Processes, not statements

One can see from your work that you make art directed at specific applications and at galleries. Conceptual art loses its meaning if it is confined to artistic circles and galleries. I try to find ways of communicating with the world. That is why I make interactive works. They are not works that try to make statements but processes. But technology always plays a decisive part. Every form of technology goes through new perceptions and forms in art. It’s the nature of my means, my era, nothing more. What is Robovox? It is a nine-meter installation that presents the phenomenon of Hyde Park in London. In the park you meet people who read out their manifestos or their political statements. Here again, everyone is able to express their views, simply by using their mobile telephones. They send text messages which the robot-monument turns into artificial sound and announces to the whole city. Why did you choose a robot and not a computer, for example, if your subject is machines? Most people think that robots are part of Japanese culture. In fact there are Western and Eastern concepts of their shape and meaning. Robots symbolize the tools of the system. They also symbolize the working class. They are revolutionary. I also want to show that the word «robot» is Slavic (from bot, which means «hard work»), and to reconnect contemporary mythology with its Slavic tradition. Robots and technology are the fetishes of our era. What about the machine? You put a large monument in the middle of a square where anyone can go, but at the same time it’s as if you are telling us that machines rule. Everyone can become the monument of their city for a while. That is the main element. It starts with the desire to enable everyone to exits in public space. It’s utopian. In «Memoryplay» you have created an educational tool with a clear direction, but which also possesses artistic value. You take a classic game and make a digital version of it. How are the boundaries between different arts and applications lost? At some point, I was asked to take part in a digital photography exhibition so I shot some scenes in the city, graffiti and other urban details. I thought it wasn’t worth hanging those photos on the wall in the usual way. They were my memories of the city, which I had put on a digital memory card. The best thing was to make a memory game. I set it up on a flat digital screen that you touched to play. Then we put it out on the Internet. Later, when I took part in a competition to promote new Slovenian architecture and graphics, I thought how it would be interesting to show the history of the Slovenian graphics tradition through that game. Though it is a rich tradition, it is unknown to countries that have not been through socialism. It was a great success and it led us to make another, this time on the industrial tradition of Slovenia. Did you have the support of the Slovenian government for that? Certainly. We had generous support from the Foreign Ministry. Otherwise, I don’t think I could have done it. Now we are making a project at the invitation of the German government for scientists in Central Europe. It will show, conceptually, that we all come from the same culture. The game asks the player to link the scientist with a scientific discovery. It’s difficult, but the players love it.

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