Permanent Visibility - Viktor Kudrjašov, Valentin Malmgren
Opening 14.04 18.00 – 21.00
This collaborative project aims to subvert the relationship between observed and observer. When visiting an exhibition, one expects to be the person beholding the pieces, but in “Permanent Visibility”, the visitor finds themselves being just as watched as the artwork itself.
An investigation of the anthropomorphic nature of technology, the pieces employ clustering lights and movement to mimic a biological organism that one might find under a microscope. By using security cameras and a drone the viewer is forced to confront what could be called ‘surveillance psychology’; that is, the behavioural changes that come from constant scrutiny.
Ultimately, the project seeks to identify the humour in these dystopian encounters, not only the stress factor. The real-world, potentially sinister applications are straightforward to deduce, especially considering the interactive nature of the exhibition. However the lighter, more inquisitive aspects hold just as much value, aiding our understanding of how to interact with near-sentience in a controlled environment.
The exhibition represents a contained, controlled environment where the viewer can understand how this type of technology could be scary if used on a wider scale (the chasing, the fact that it sees and responds to you). However, it also gamifies the concept, because the responsiveness of the piece makes people more keen to interact with it, since it can ‘see’ them, which is a novel concept at this stage.
This concept – that the pieces see you, interact with you, and respond to you – means that the project coexists on two levels – a level of fear and a level of entertainment. This single conceit allows an understanding of the dystopia and an enjoyment of non-human interactivity to completely co-exist.
Valentin Malmgren is studying a Bachelors in Fine Arts at the Royal Art Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. His primary focus is digital art and the intersection of the digital and the intimate. Additionally, Valentin has an interest in purposeful development of certain technologies, and the fear vs fetish dynamic that exists in the way we interact with those technologies. His direction of work involves combining and exploring the potential of different softwares, and collaging digital assets to produce eerie, familiar-yet-uncanny worlds. These worlds are evocative of the present but also nodding towards a complex and dystopian near-future. Valentin finds artistic expression in collaboration, frequently working with performance artists and soundscape artists to produce immersive, theatrical experiences that force the viewer to be both observer and participant. In participating, the question arises – is the viewer also complicit in changing the face of intimacy in today’s world?
Viktor Kudryashov is an interdisciplinary artist, working at the junction of mediums. He is studying a Master in Contemporary Arts at the Estonian Art Academy in Tallinn, Estonia. Viktor builds composite works that include sounding sculptures, date-driven installations and institutionally critical interventions. Victor’s main technique is to take a foreign language from installations and make him a medium in his works. He presented his works in various museums and galleries in Berlin, St. Petersburg, Moscow. In addition, he is the curator and founder of the media art gallery 24×4 gallery. His works are in private collections and museums in Russia. Shortlisted in 2021 for the Kuryokhin Prize as the best media art object.