Artwork’s Title: Hypercute 10
Materials Used: Retouch dye on polar fleece
Studio Based: Vienna
Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
For example, the digital retouch on polar fleece or the digital retouch dyed on silk technique seems to dominate your artistic approach on canvases. In general, my work is dedicated to the relationship between humans and technology. In my canvas works, I refer specifically to hypes and trends that are widely disseminated, especially through instagram and tiktok, and as a result contribute significantly to the self-image and self-perception of a (my) generation. Based on self-portraits I edit my own digital body to align it with my feed suggestions. It is mainly a statement to a kind of “gentrification of the face” and the generic beauty hype of an internet-based society. The blurriness in my images results from the excessive use of filters and optimization tools, actually the softness is a glitch and happens as an error of over-optimization. Using silk as a carrier for my images was a logical consequence, the material’s reference to the human skin, its fragile and delicate characteristic is a beautiful contrast to the hard surface of the touchscreen. Same as the polar fleece, which evokes touching the works, getting very close to the image. Both materials appear significantly different when seen afk in an exhibition whereas to discover them through a screen. This ping pong game between virtual and gravity world is very essential in my process.
Could you share with us some insights on your ‘Hypercute’ painting series, (2023) ? Is there any particular story behind these new works?
Hypercute is the result of a long summer obsession with animal reels that entered my algorithm on IG. I kept collecting screenshots of them, first only for Inspo, but rather soon it turned out that I’d need to bring them back on the other side of the screen. So I applied the same process I do on my self-portraits to the dogs, creating this inter-species process of optimizations. This series is produced on polar fleece as it underlines the softness of the subjects. For this series I also created 2 sculptures rendered out of the final portraits that were later 3-d printed in life-size.
In your statement you point out that ‘interacting with near-body technologies such as smartphones, I explore the “hyper-ego” by using the surface of touchscreens to create experiences at the intersection of technology and cosmology’; according to your creative motivations, do specific artworks have been created by random experiments in your studio or do you usually come up with a particular concept or narrative in the very beginning of your artistic process?
Both my portrait works and my installations are fetches of my observations online and in my gravital surrounding. Specially the immersive installations I’m creating for institutional shows often feel like „channeled“ rather than resulting of an extensive experimental process in my studio. I have very clear ideas on how my installations should look like, which emotions they should evoke at the audience etc. I am blessed with an amazing team of talented human beings that help me get my visions out. Sometimes I wish to have more time experimenting in the studio, but working on several projects at a time won’t leave enough space for that.
Do you think that more and more people, nowadays, are getting more interested in innovative and interactive exhibitions related to new media and technology based artworks?
Definitely. The pandemic left us with a huge desire to reconnect, experience, inhale life to the fullest and spend time more and more immersed. This trend is slowly entering museums and curators are increasingly willing to take a new experimental and immersive approach to exhibitions. The digitalization of our lives is becoming more prevalent every day, and institutions have to keep up in order not to lose touch, especially with younger visitors. as much as i welcome the trend towards immersion, i certainly hope that this doesn’t lead to them turning their focus away from content in favor of entertainment. at the moment, new technologies are largely being utilized for entertainment, which is a pity, as there are so many fantastic projects and potential usages that go beyond simply entertaining visitors.
Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?
Oh this question always makes me nervous as I’m really bad with names and also because I take my main inspiration from outside the art world. One artist I’m always drawn back to is Mit Borras. I have a huge admiration for his holistic approach that is uniquely merging spiritual, conceptual, aesthetic and acoustic worlds. Definitely worth to dive into his worlds.
What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?
Last year I moved my studio back to the center of Vienna after spending 3 exceptional years in a castle on the outskirt of the city. now I work in a 2-story studio, a former textile factory, which we have extensively renovated in the last months. the interior is very spatial providing enough space to contemplate. the walls are tinted in soft light grey, windows facing the crowns of an old massive tree. I prefer to work in silence, and even though the studio is very central you can’t hear any urban noises.
Which are your plans for the near future?
I’m currently preparing my upcoming installation NEOTOTEM for a big group show at Künstlerhaus in Vienna opening on 4th of October. This installation places the individual visitor at the center of a hyperreal environment. References to club and internet culture meet the human phygital system. I’m using rhythms, frequencies, and radiations, physical blockages are released and self- awareness is facilitated, stimulating a reboot of one’s own system. 2 weeks later, on 17th of October I’m opening my first solo show in New York at DIANA. The show titled LIMINAL GHOSTS is a series of portraits on fleece, oscillating around the topic of identity fatigue and the overstimulation of an internet driven society. The project space in New York City will be transformed into a temple of identity crisis that invites visitors to worship to a variety of identity transformations on the verge of human’s digital succession.
All images courtesy of the artist