klaudio stefancic
Since 2006
Works in Zagreb Croatia

At the moment I run a small non-profit gallery of contemporary art in velika gorica/zagreb and work on phd thesis dedicated to the relation between science/technology and croatian contemporary art. I'm a member of Multimedia institute mi2 from Zagreb <http://www.mi2.hr/> and correspondence scholar at the Centre for Visual Studies <http://www.vizualni-studiji.com/>
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Sandro Djukic, arch_001_089_output/2008

Wed Dec 03, 2008 00:00 - Tue Dec 02, 2008


Sandro Djukić was born 1964. in Zagreb. He graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1989. In period from 1989 to1993 he attended Art Academy in Dusseldorf (class of prof. Nam June Paik and prof. Nan Hoover). At the same academy he attended postgraduate studies (class of prof. Nan Hoover) in period from 1993. to 1994. Exhibited in Slovenia, Germany, USA, Italy, Serbia, Austria and Croatia and lectured at the numerous conferences dedicated to media art (Rijeka, Zagreb, Plasy). In 1991. he received Croatian Artist Association Award.

Taxonomy of technological transformation (by Igor Markovic)

The exhibition of Sandro Djukić is demanding. It’s demanding for the author, but even more demanding for the audience. Not as much by its form - although certain level of technological and visual literacy is requred - as by its content, more precisely by the issues it inquires and their heaviness. One of these issues is the nature of photography as a form of art in this, more and more, digitalized world. Althoug digitalization of photography began (in its rudimentary form) more than half a century ago, recent development of technology, with particular relation to lowering costs of personal computers, storage media and digital cameras, results in two important things.

Photography does not go through chemical processing anymore, which change its values. Not necessary in positive or negative way, but in its essence. Increasing megapixels are not necceserily technologically improving the quality of photography, but adversely excluding numerous possibilities the classic, anolog photography has to offer: from the moment of taking a photograph to developing and processing it. Of course, speed is obtained, as well as authenticity to some degree, but the question which remains unanswered (and often unquestioned) is what is lost. Question raised in mid-nineties by Critical Art Ensamble i Geert Lovink refering to information technology and digital communication is emerging in its new variant. The speed of information transfer, as well as its quantity and accessibility, is rapidly increasing, but time needed for processing remains the same - limited by human cognitive ability. Does the limitation go toward superficiality and prefering quantity over quality? In photographic discourse this question may be: Does increasing quantity of digital photographies leads to less time to observe, analize and process it visually and/or intelectually?

Sandro Djukić is going even further. In a way he is reversing the question that Benjamin asked in the 1930s (how has photography changed art?) to make it: how has technologicaly mediated art (applied as in graphic design, but also the art market) changed photography? More and more common artistic practices transformed what was essentially an art born in print into a salon art of single pictures on walls, often incorporated in some multimedia instalation in which digitaly taken photograph is digitaly presented or screened - never getting a chance to be present in its intrinsic medium.

What is in that proces changed in visual economy? The very notion of visual economy is developed from the work of Deborah Poole, and places emphasis on the organization of the production and exchange of images, rather than relying simply on an analysis of their visual content: The word economy suggests that the field of vision is organised in some systematic way. It is also clear that this organisation has as much to do with social relationships, inequality, and power as with shared meanings and community ... For Poole, a visual economy has three levels: the organization of production, encompassing both the individuals and the technologies that produce images; the circulation of ... images and image-objects; and the cultural and discursive systems through which graphic images are appraised, interpreted, and assigned historical, scientific, and aesthetic worth

By removing the images from their original contexts of production and circulation, and placing them into a gallery, the visual economy that produced these images is negated or obscured in favour of a more neutral sense of the photograph as raw material or a window onto history. Whit such an action single photographs, but also their whole (in the form of photography data-base) becomes repositioned in relation to the time/place of thir origin, and at the same time in relation to the time/place of their initialy intented purpose. That is leading us to (maybe) the crucial problem of digitaly mediated photography: the question of clasification, of taxonomy. That is the question more and more essential in many branches of information and library sciences (especially in the theories of so-called semantic web), but also unavoidable one for consuments of visual images, ranging from pornophiles probing the Net in search for a distinct fetish, marketing experts deciding on media campaign’s visual images, or common people trying to handle ever biger family albums. How to find what one is looking for in the seemingly endless piles of photos (not to mention that very often they are incredibly alike each other)?

Analogy with another problem of classification of visual material is almost inevitable. Every human fingerprints is unique (although the final scientific verdict is still awaited), but the clasification of them is a problem yet unresolved. In case of photohgraphy confirmation is much easier. Acoording to the laws of physics two objects can not occupy the same space in the same time, therefore, no matter how short exposition is, even bursted shooting allways will result with a set of very similar (to the point of concealment), but not the same photographs. System of clasification, however, can not benefit from such evidence, as analogy with the history of dactiloscopy unmistakably shows.

An important first issue is that any one image has varied content, which may be available either consecutively or concurrently to the same or to different viewers. These multiple ways of seeing have been discussed over the years, but it’s still a very open field. It is worth noting here the contrast with textual data. While textual data can have a multiplicity of content and meaning, in terms of the discrete elements of a query, the visual and linguistic content are homologous. The fundamental building blocks of text databases are ASCII character strings representing words that have a direct semantic interpretation.

In contrast, the pixel values making up digital images have no inherent significance. Considerable processing of the image is necessary even to infer the presence of a simple shape like a circle, let alone a complex object such as a tree. Direct comparison of image bitmaps can tell us only one thing about a given pair of images - whether they are identical or not. Nothing can be deduced about their similarity in terms of the objects they contain, or scenes they represent.
Art history and its pertaining theories are rich in narratological, iconographic, multidiscursive and other attampts of clasification of visual material, ranging from already classics like Panofsky to contemporary, technologicaly highly sofisticated theories of Ornager and Rasmussen (among others), however there is still no universaly applicable method of catalogizing photographies, other then on a very basic, bumpy level. Neither contemporary catalogization of image types nor more traditional iconography just aren’t a match to the problem.

Maybe the premier value of Sandro Djukić’s exhibition lay in the fact that, thorough playing with his own archive, thorough permutations and variations of its parts, excessing from one media to another, from one technique and technology to another clearly pointing to the problem itself.


Dan Oki, The Last Super 8mm Film

Wed Oct 29, 2008 00:00 - Mon Oct 27, 2008


(...)What is the message of this re-archiving? Does Oki’s digitalization of already existing archive discover something new or just cast a slightly different light on what has already been known about his artwork, art culture and media art in general? When compared to other examples of self-archiving in contemporary art and history of art criticism suggested by Dew Harrison, the first difference is the content of the systematized material. All the examples given by Harrison have been the attempts to systematize particular super-individual areas of life labeled as “culture”, “the spirit of the times”, “imaginary”, “dictionary” etc. (the title of Warburg’s project “Mnemosyne Atlas ”(1927-1929) illustrates this quite well). On the other hand, Oki’s systematization is focused on his own private and professional life that through the process of revalorization of personal history offers new contents and methods for future art practice (unlike typically (post) modern goal to correct the dominant discourses of art criticism, as was the case with Art & Language’s artwork “Indexes”). In the context of media art, where Oki’s artwork is at home, such revalorization becomes remedialization. Remedialization of “The Last Super 8 mm Film” refers to two things. First, at the level of artistic poetics his Super 8 mm films refer to often neglected thematic aspect of his works. He uses subjectivity, romantic preoccupation with himself as an artist to “soften” media art, determined by technological, economic and political factors. Many of his works support this thesis (Housekeeper (1997); “Forget, Remember and Know” (1998) etc.) Finally, his need for continuous recording of everyday life affirms the filmmaker (artist) as a centre of representational view (universe) (another possible reference to Oki’s films is Jonas Mekas’ film “Lost, lost, lost” (1976)). “The Last Super 8 mm Film” also refers to contemporary culture and the situation in which extremely personal information (birth of a child, summer holidays, daily routine including resting, eating or reading, love and marital relationships etc.) become socially relevant.(...)" (Klaudio Stefancic)

Dan Oki (Slobodan Jokic, 1965, Zadar) is a media artist and film author. In his work he uses the media of film and video, installation, computer arts and the Internet. His works are based on the process of researching personal, visual, and narrative contents, which demand various media forms and the ways of their presentation. During a few latest years, he has focused his interest on hybrid feature-length film and cinematographic database in the context of the new media. He realised his first exhibitions and experimental films in Zagreb between 1987 and 1989. From 1991 to 1993, he studied film and video at De Vrije Academie in Den Haag as one of Professor Frans Zwartjes’ students. In 1996 he completed his graduate (M.A.) studies in media arts at Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Arnhem. From 1997 to 1999, he studied at the postgraduate studies in film directing and screenwriting at Maurits Binger Film Institute in Amsterdam. He belongs to the generation of artists who in 1990s worked on cinematographic databases, interactive video, CD ROM's, web art and computer animation. He teaches as Associate Professor in the field of film and video art at the University of Split Arts Academy and the University of Zagreb Academy of Drama.

more: www.galerijagalzenica.info/english.html


db:ae - aesthetics of data basis

Mon Sep 22, 2008 00:00 - Mon Sep 22, 2008


The international exhibition "db:ae - aesthetics of data basis" deals with works of the artists who use new ways of systematic analysis and presentation of digital media with the help of computer data basis.Michael Aschauer (Austria), group UMATIC (the Netherlands), Robert Luxemburg and Jan Gerber (Germany) use archives (primarily of sound and video) and their metadata (descriptions and frames of references) in order to extend the perception boundaries from linear and chronological to systematic and hypermedia. However, the results of questionnaires applied to their data basis are not presentations of financial transactions’ statistics, business trends or material resources. They are sounds of imaginary journeys, images of non-existing landscapes or abstract graphics emerged from overlapping of the film materials.

Michael Aschauer exhibits works about systematic filming of the banks of the river Nile and computer-generated landscapes that resulted from daily and weekly changes’ observation .

Jan Gerber and Sebastijan Lutgert present their artwork on film basis created for the needs of Berlin pirate cinema program and on Pad. ma web application used for manipulation of the Indian activist documentaries’ video archive.

Group UMATIC i.e. Derek Holzer presents the web project of DIY virtual sound space journey through
the web metaphor of an aeroplan flight as well as gallery-based installation of slides,images and sound recordings.

The additional introduction to the artists and the concept together with the open discussion will be held at net-club Mama (17 Preradovićeva St., Zagreb) at 7 p.m. on 23rd September 2008. Furthermore, the projections of Pirate Cinema.org. will be held at the same place on 24th September 2008.


New Media - New Networks

Fri May 09, 2008 00:00 - Sat May 10, 2008


The exhibition entitled New media - New Networks is the first retrospective dedicated to the new media art and culture in Croatia. The exhibition is a result of last year’s research on new media art in Croatia proposed by Ljiljana Kolešnik (Institute of Art History from Zagreb) and conducted by Klaudio Štefančić (the research results will be soon available for download).

The new media art in Croatia is presented as a practice of social and artistic networking in the wider context of applying new communication technologies to old institutions of civil society, public and mass media, art and higher education. Instead of the best of presentation of the artists who have experimented with new media, we decided to represent the new media art in relation to concepts of chronology and social network.

Distinguishing the three chronological lines - political, informatical and artistic - that began in 1990 and ended in 2005 as a background, we hope to point out particularity of new media art in Croatia in relation to international events and contemporary art. Overlapping of these three chronologies forms temporary social structures: cultural and artistic networks in which new media art has been created, produced, presented and interpreted.

Three networks are presented with the help of four hubs.

o BBS (Bulletin Board System) of citizen’s initiative Anti-war campaign and Zamir Transnational Net are parts of the first network. Their activities are presented in the form of archive of the mailing list.
o Arkzin magazine and Multimedia Institute(1) from Zagreb are also parts of the first network but they are shown seperatedly: in the form of the magazine issues that can be photocopied and in the form of Marcell Mars' net artwork NRD Kit (2)
o Media Scape(3), the art festival that used to take place in Zagreb in the period between 1993 and 1999, presents the second network in the form of Darko Fritz’s telefax action 410 Gone, which is a part of the The Internet Error Messages series.(4)
o Department of Visual Communication Design at the Fine Arts Academy, University of Split(5), together with the International Festival of New Film(6) mark the third new media network in the form of Dan Oki and Sandra Sterle's work “Interstory.org“. (7)

The low budget and the gallery space had a direct influence on the exhibition layout. Due to both reasons, the presentation of artworks has been reduced to minimum. However, the limitation on the number of exhibits enabled intertextual links, of which the reference to Arkzin’s timeline is the most prominent.

New Media - New Networks is not a traditional retrospective exhibition. It is more appropriate to compare it to the function of hub, centre that enables connecting and participation in the network. Therefore, once you get connected the data can be added, corrected, copied, shared, deleted...

+ informatical timeline: Marcell Mars, Ognjen Strpić
+ political and artistic timelines: Klaudio Štefančić

(1) http://www.mi2.hr/
(2) http://nrd.picigin.net/t\_nrdkit/index.html
(3) http://www.mediascape.info/
(4) http://darkofritz.net/
(5) http://www.umas.hr/
(6) http://www.splitfilmfestival.hr/menu4.htm
(7) http://www.karma-multimedia.nl/interstory.org/


Globalization and Identity - Open Call for Artworks and Art Projects

Sun Jun 15, 2008 00:00


In the early 1990’s, two major changes were taking place in Croatia: political and territorial independence from ex Yugoslavia and the first wave of economic globalisation. As you may know, globalisation is the economic model that, after the break up of European socialist countries, with the help of the new technologies (the Internet, mobile networks etc.), created new ways of making profit. Two opposite social processes were the consequence of that: degradation of national economies and proliferation of particular cultural identities.

During 1990’s, the countries of Middle and southeaste Europe were in search of their position on the new map of Europe and thus found themselves in a paradox situation of parallel decentralization of economy and nationalization of culture. The more cultural practice seemed traditional and particular, the more it represented self-identification model for newly formed countries. Although impossible for the global application, the model of so-called traditional culture became the pattern applicable to national culture through various local and group identities. The expansion of local media, equality of dialects, World Music and lifestyle culture are only few of the phenomena that could not exist without tension between global and national.

The 2009 programme of the Gallery Galženica casts light on questions such as what the difference between Europe of nations and Europe of regions is. Are these countries, once “behind the iron curtain”, and their great national stories anachronism or last, though unrepresentative evidence that modernism is an open-end process (Habermas)?

Furthermore, is the issue of individual, local or national identity rather an interest of marketing and profit making than the process of personal and social development? Does globalisation actually encourage fundamentalism, chauvinism and xenophobia? If yes, what are possible reasons for multiculturalism? Where has the idea of cosmopolitism disappeared? Is the only choice we have the one between bad and worse?

We invite you to send your proposal for participation to galerija.galzenica@globalnet.hr by 15 June 2008.

Klaudio Štefančić, a curator and a director of the Gallery Galženica, and Ivana Hanaček, a curator assistant, will carefully review all the proposals. All submitters will be informed about their application by 1 July 2008.