Media art exhibition connecting through empathy in real time Timișoara and Linz.
National Museum of Art Timișoara and Ars Electronica Center in Linz are simultaneously hosting, during July 23 – September 17, 2023, the installation I, HUMAN by Saint Machine, as part of MNART BAROQUE RELOADED, a multiannual project of Timișoara 2023 Cultural Programme –European Capital of Culture, financed by Timiș City Council.
I, HUMAN is conceived as a modular media sculpture resembling a neural network that detects the emotions of its visitors and converts their empathy into coherent light to influence the vital biological processes of microorganisms, as a symbol of the fragility of our planet’s ecosystem, whose survival depends on human cohesion.
Visitors in National Museum of Art Timișoara interact in real time with those in Ars Electronica Center in Linz (Austria), the sculpture transferring their levels of empathy into laser light pulses to symbolically connect the two cities. The artwork uses human emotion as content and coherent light as content carrier to influence the feeding conditions of a population of Euglena in a bio-photonic at the Center for Advanced Laser Technologies in Măgurele. The visitors thus become both subjects and observers of the experiment. In a society polarized by war and political discourse, we are reminded that our emotional cohesion also impacts the ecosystem we are all part of. I, HUMAN is a metaphor of our evolution as species, whose survival may depend on our capacity to care of the collective organism that we form with our planet.
“MNART BAROQUE RELOADED creates an opportunity to present innovative contemporary art forms in the context of partnerships with museums as well as networks of artists and curators at an international level, thus contributing to augmenting the museum experience through eclectic means of artistic expression, promoting the permanent collections and highlighting the architecture of the Baroque Palace through participatory and immersive sensory experiences at the intersection of art and science. The curatorial selection of the artist Saint Machine, whose artworks we chose to open this multi-year project, is opportune because her installations correspond to the interference between the baroque formal principles and the new synesthetic artistic genres specific to the relationship between art, science and technology, but also through the collaboration with Ars Electronica from Linz, where the National Museum of Art Timișoara was also present in 2022 within the DOORS project – Digital Incubator for Museums.” (Aura Bălănescu, curator of MNART BAROQUE RELOADED)
“Our emotions produce effects, feeding or destroying our environment. We are responsible for our traces. Even after our death, our emotions do not disappear, they remain active, sedimented into the membrane of our collective identity. Consciously or unconsciously, we leave behind emotional residues that compose the affective soil for the growth of our children. What we leave behind is how much we love each other." (Saint Machine, artist)
The official opening of the exhibition is on July 23, 2023 at 18:00 in the Baroque Hall of the National Museum of Art Timișoara. Until then, an intro of the exhibition can be tested by the public in Timișoara and Linz, in the foyer of Ars Electronica Museum in Linz and at the National Museum of Art Timișoara (Mercy Gallery underground).
During September 18 – November 30, 2023, I, HUMAN installation will be continued at National Art Museum in Timișoara as part of MNART BAROQUE RELOADED by the consecutive display of a series of media works, such as Incremental God, an interactive environment already presented in international exhibitions, as well as new video works and performances such as Emotional Sediments, Feast or Her Voice, signed by Saint Machine in collaboration with 3d artist Sergiu Negulici and composer Micleușanu Mitoș.
SAINT MACHINE (aka Marilena Oprescu Singer, b. 1979, RO) is the pseudonym of a Romanian experimental artist. She is the author of immersive, real-time responsive installations that investigate biological processes and study the notion of space as living structure. Her works are organism-like sculptures that carry a virtual core, use the human body to function and question the human willingness to cede physicality and biological needs in exchange for digital content. In the interaction with these hybrid organisms, one’s success in controlling them is always equivalent to letting oneself assimilated by them. Her works have been presented at international media art festivals, such as Ars Electronica Festival (AT), Athens Digital Arts Festival (GR), Madatac (ES), but also in the context of international prestigious exhibitions such as Recto-VRso (FR) or Changwon International Sculpture Bienale (KR), where her works were presented next to those of artists like Nam June Paik, Julio Le Parc or Seung-Taek Lee. Since 2020, one of her works is present in the collection of MNAC – Romanian National Museum of Contemporary Art.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ART TIMIȘOARA (RO) (Wednesday – Sunday, 1pm – 9 pm)
ARS ELECTRONICA CENTER (AT) (Tuesday – Sunday, 9am – 17pm)
Organiser: National Museum of Art Timișoara
Co-organiser: Ars Electronica Center - ART, TECHNOLOGY, SOCIETY.
Science partner: Center for Advanced Laser Technologies, Măgurele (RO) (Dr. Phys. Marian ZAMFIRESCU)
Artistic producer: Tumult Space
Curator Baroque Reloaded by MNART: AURA BĂLĂNESCU
Curator ARS ELECTRONICA CENTER : VERONIKA KRENN