27 August – 10 September 2020
Thinking about the relationship between science and culture at a time when both art and its value are based on measurability seems reasonable. The discourse is not new, but Staš Vrenko thinks in a fresh way about the field of the so-called media and technological art in which he is involved. He is interested in the relation of the work of art to the world and the proximity of scientific models as forms of representation. The installation, which represents the central part of the exhibition, stems from a well-known question or philosophical thought experiment: “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”, which is often used to illustrate the dichotomy of objectivist and a constructivist view of the world. In addition, the author introduces the relationship between technology and nature and signification, when he ironically turns thought into the question: “If an acorn falls on a lying branch in the forest, is it already a lever?”
The work consists of a glass pot containing a section of the top layer of forest ground. The (eco)system is equipped with various technical accessories – mechanical arm, laser, pulleys and weights – which enable the simulation of a thought experiment in controlled conditions. Individual elements serve as a mechanism that allows the visitors to indirectly interact and activate the “model” in the adjacent room. Although the visitors can observe the result of their activity via video transmission, they do not physically witness the actual event. The installation confronts us with the dilemmas of representation and exposes the uncertainty and incompleteness of the world. The complexity of observation happens on so many levels that we cannot ignore the question of what mental biases determine our view and perception, and what we can we label as real.
Staš Vrenko (1991, Ljubljana) is a media artist, musician and designer of electronic instruments. He holds a master’s degree from the Department of Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. For his master’s thesis, he received the Prešeren Award for Students. His artistic practice combines different fields of art, with an emphasis on research into sound, electronic media and technologies, kineticism and performativity. In recent years, he presented his work in several solo projects: Record, Kino Šiška, Ljubljana (2019), Loops in Transmission, osmo/za, Ljubljana (2018), Adoption Techniques, P74 Gallery, Ljubljana (2017), and Connective, MoTA, Ljubljana (2016). He has also exhibited in several group exhibitions, for example at the International Festival Agora Creative, Grenoble, MFRU_25, Kiblix (2019), the International Lighting Guerrilla Festival (2016), as part of the Liminale Project at U3 | 7. Triennial of Contemporary Arts in Slovenia (SCCA Ljubljana, 2013), in the Match Gallery (2012), the Škuc Gallery (2012), and elsewhere.