DIVA Presents No 3

Video program DIVA Station Presents III (2016)

The program consists of 17 video works and is divided into three sections.

FROM ANALOGUE TO DIGITAL presents various ways the artists involve in the topic of television, either as institution and mass media or its space, frequencies and aesthetics. Performative video using the method of measuring the edges of the screen was often used by video artists questioning television that captures reality. With the help of technical means and performative action, two artists from the program play with the perception of space and reality. Miha Vipotnik moves around the four edges of the screen, defying the laws of gravity and talks about television’s disapproving attitude to video and video makers (Space 2, 1986) and Ana Čigon tests a limited space and plays with our perception of reality (One More Kick, 2009). Sašo Sedlaček, the author of initiative to establish an autonomous media zone that has called attention to the opportunities made available with the transition to digital television, proposed to occupy a part of the newly released spectrum of the “public frequencies” before it falls prey to capital, and allocate it to art and culture. Unsuccessfully. Subsequently, he organized a happening in which analogue TV sets were collectively thrown out of the windows in one of Ljubljana blocks of flats (The Big Switch Off, 2011). Another area of particular interest in relation to TV aesthetics has been disruptive uses of the technology that turn things upside down: introducing error and noise into the codified world of protocols and interfering with or altering the signal, either mechanically with magnets or instrumentally with synthesizers and computers. This concept of “interference” underpins Luka Dekleva’s experimental practice, developing new methods of work in the process (Singing Bridges, 2008). Important News (2003) is a short and effective commentary on TV News and mass media manipulation. Vesna Bukovec makes it with humour and without words. On the other hand, Nika Špan has turned to Internet in search for material as a trigger for her witty animations. She downloaded found footage – an assortment of simulation-films and transferred it to the context of art (How to Socialise the Blues?, 2007).

FROM MEMORY TO FICTION presents various modes the artists cope and play with memory, personal or collective, and make narratives that are in-between reality and fiction. Marko Kovačič is questioning the present through designing the fictitious Plastos civilisation that can belong to the past or future and he presents it in different formats and forms, as art installations, performances, publications and videos (Forth into the Past, 1995). Distant Memory (2014) by Valérie Wolf Gang is a video poetry, which speaks about the times that once were, about Yugoslav President Tito’s ship Galeb in between reality and the imaginary world of poetry. Through a structure of an interview, the video Path of Crazy Wisdom (1993) by Miha Vipotnik explores the life of an American sculptor Eric Orr. Questions about his work exchange with personal topics and in some moments reach the point of absurd and complete fiction.

FROM IMPRESSION TO DIGRESSION presents video works based on impressions that quite easily turn to digression, from cityscapes and highway walls to body and urban noise, control and photon noise. 1983/Blue movie is an intimate narrative of Emil Memon made immediately after his arrival to New York. In the formal meditation on the terms of Artist Cinema, non-narrative film and performance art, he records the streets and buildings and situates his body in a relationship with the city by sitting in a small room overlooking the cityscape. The Noise Factor (2012) by Nataša Prosenc Stearns is a meditation on personal space and time, surrounded by constant urban noise. The video, composed only by reflections in the windows, slowly proceeds from a poetic approximation and sharpening of the view to the city to the interior of a room and turns to white noise of television. The work by Urška Djukić, designed as a video painting in one sequence shot, initiates the question of persistence of man and nature in everlastingly exchange of power (Persistence vol.2, 2014).

Accompanied by a melodious music, An Autumnal Still Life (2002) by Neven Korda shows movement of the clouds, city vedutas, male masturbation and falling of leaves. Poetic and contemplative atmosphere is accompanied by electronic textures and reflections on the artist’s early video practice from the 1980’s. A vibrant video Broken h-h-h…egg (2000) by Zvonka T Simčič talks about the traps of mother’s love and problems with insemination through a gently erotic scene in a sensitive and painterly manner.  Two artists from the program reflect on physical boundaries. Ana Čigon is commenting on the austere customs control in U.S. by a video paraphrase of fingerprints (Finger in U.S., 2010). Whereas, the austerity measures against refuges in Slovenia is exposed by the granular photon noise, a video effect through which already anonymous persons gradually completely disappear (Jasna Hribernik: Tense Present – Photon Noise, 2015).

In Eight Minutes Around the World (1990-2000) is original documentary video patchwork with shots from various places in the world that Andrej Lupinc visited in the span of ten years. This exquisite video travelogue would work as an ideal visualisation of Levi-Strauss’s anthropological theory.

Barbara Borčić