Humanizing Art & Technology

Nika Oblak y Primoz Novak

Slovenia

Nika Oblak y Primoz Novak

Slovenia

Biography

Nika Oblak & Primoz Novak have been working collectively since 2003. They have exhibited worldwide, in venues like the Sharjah Biennial (UAE), Japan Media Arts Festival, Tokyo (JP), Istanbul Biennial (TR), Biennale Cuvee, Linz (AT), Transmediale Berlin (DE), FILE Sao Paulo (BR)… Oblak & Novak received numerous grants and awards, including the CYNETART Award (DE), an honorary mention at Biennale WRO (PL), White Aphroid Award by MMC KIBLA (SI) and Rihard Jakopic honorable mention (SI).

 

ARWORKS

 

INFINITY (DIGITAL)
Video installation

Infinity (digital) shows the motif of running, symbolised by an ordinary man involved in the multilayered mechanisms of today’s neoliberal reality. The image of the protagonist running in an infinite and senseless loop from screen to screen can thus be seen as a manifestation of the myth of Sisyphus who, by means of divine punishment, was condemned to repeatedly roll a boulder up the same hillside. With this gesture, the artists point out people’s self-evident attitude to technological progress, show the imperative of adapting to all kinds of changes and call attention to the loosening of basic humanistic values.

     

 

REALITY IS OUT
Video installation 

Reality is Out is an installation, which combines Nika Oblak & Primoz Novak’s performance video, pneumatic mechanism and the actual cardboard sign, which appears as if exiting the video frame and literally entering the exhibition space.

The work is a continuum of Oblak and Novak’s exploration of the relationship between reality and fiction. As according to Zizek, today’s reality has appropriated a fictional structure.

     

 

WHERE DO WE COME FROM? WHAT ARE WE? WHERE ARE WE GOING?
Video installation

Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? shows a situation of performer being caught inside the screen, walking endlessly as if he is spinning a giant wheel, but awkwardly enough spinning a rectangular, a 16:9 LCD monitor, a screen among countless screens, information boards, smart phones, which flood our contemporary existence. Unconventional device appears like perpetum mobile, but alludes to contemporary definition of a rat race, an endless, excessive or competitive work, a pointless pursuit without a purpose. The title of installation is taken after one of Gaugin’s final and iconic work D’ou Venons Nous / Que Sommes Nous / Ou Allons Nous, painted in Tahiti. Like Gaugin’s painting the installation proposes a fundamental question where the world is headed. It is an introspect of human condition.

     

 

ENDLESS COLUMN
Video installation

Endless Column deals with the idea of expanding two-dimensional video into spatial installation by using advanced technological means. On one hand it is influenced by constant exposure to mass media messages and inability to avoid its effects and on the other it attempts to disrupt perception and self-evident status of contemporary technology.

The protagonist appears to balance several monitors on her head. While installation’s title refers to endless amount of media content, the balanced monitors show an ongoing video loop of Nam Jun Paik’s visionary project, first international satellite “installation” Good Morning, Mr. Orwell, which he saw as a rebuttal to George Orwell’s dystopian vision of 1984.

   

 

Links to artworks:

INFINITY (DIGITAL)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lTKVqJOMr0

REALITY IS OUT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvg797uZx-c

WHERE DO WE COME FROM? WHAT ARE WE? WHERE ARE WE GOING?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLHUS18TjVE

ENDLESS COLUMN
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze6p54U6SYs&feature=youtu.be