19:30 (stacks), 2011 – Aleksandra Domanovic
been blogging for VVORK with Oliver Laric, Christoph Priglinger, and Georg
Schnitzer since 2006. How has working with this small collective affected your
own practice over the years?
I was just finishing my design studies
and was invited to post on VVORK. I wasn’t the only one, there was a couple more
who got the user password but posted only a few times. I got really into it,
posting all the time, eventually the guys had to give me the admin password. I
did not make art before VVORK, now I see it as part of my own artistic
In 2009 you
created Biennale (Dictum Ac Factum). The page on your site includes
anachronistic images, videos, and lyrics from throughout the 20th century and
mixes them with images and video from the 2009 Somali pirate attacks among
other contemporary moments. What was your conceptualization behind the work
and how, in your mind, do you link the varied sources, images, and stories
All of these materials relate to the video–a 3d
visualization of “Dogville” from Lars von Trier’s film–which is the
only component of the work that I produced. It was meant to be a piece by
itself but I did not think it was good enough. Sometimes the making-of is much
more interesting than the work itself or the piece makes only sense in the
context of it’s creation. As I was researching about the film, I found out that
the inspiration for the script was a song called “Pirate Jenny” performed
by Nina Simone, which Trier had accidentally heard. The song was written in
1928 for Bertolt Brecht’s Threepenny Opera. It’s about a wash-girl who is
ignored and abused by society. One day, pirates arrive and take over the town.
Jenny is placed in command and she orders the pirates to kill everyone. Everything
went form there on. Digging deeper into research, tracing back the sources and
influences, inspirations, past and current connections, technical tools, the
biennial as the exhibition context, etc. The ocean was added at the end, after
I had a dream about it. On the finished website, no hierarchy was applied to
the sources, that’s how things exist online.
in the source code for your site includes a quote by Archbishop Wulfstan from
1014 about the world “getting closer to its end.” What inspired you to include
this quote and how does it relate to your work?
they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did
they produce? The cuckoo clock!”
You’ve worked with
ideas of dislocation, erasure of history, and political inequity.
In Turbo Sculpture you present VVORK’s 2009 IMG MGMT essay as a narrated video slideshow.
Outside of this specific historical phenomenon do you think the concept of
Turbo Folk extends beyond former Yugoslavia and occurs currently in other countries?
VVORK got asked to write something for Art Fag City, and
since none of the guys had time and I was already researching this subject, I
ended up writing the essay, which I later turned into a video. One can find Turbo-Culture
everywhere from Las Vegas to Macau, but Turbo is much more politicized in former
Srđan Jovanović Weiss writes the following about Turbo Architecture:
“The condition that further separates Belgrade architectural doom from say Greek
or Florida kitsch, is precisely the political and social context in which the
constructions occurred.” He goes on: “What differentiates Serbian Turbo from
architectural amassment of kitsch in California, Florida or Long Island is that
the latter is quintessentially apolitical. Neither official nor public
resistance is projected over these mansions in the US; while in Serbia, urban
and intellectual resistance was immense, defiant and defining.” Of course he is talking about Serbian architecture
in the 90s and I came up with the term in 2009. Maybe the more precise name for
these sculptures would have been “Neo-Turbo”.
Turbo-Culture changed after the fall of Milošević in 2000. It lost some of the
negative characteristics like nationalism and xenophobia, while hanging on to
the same stylistic identity.
Your work often includes a multitude
of sources, often with limited or no attribution – unless an image
is watermarked, for example. In your opinion, should artists who source from
the internet be free to use any content they can capture?
They should do whatever they want. Recently, during a studio
visit, a curator was very concerned about the news tracks I gathered for my
“19:30” project. Since I only had the rights to play the tracks in a exhibition
context, how was I to make a party in a club where these tracks would be DJ’d?!
My answer was that if we had no choice but to listen to this music, sometimes
10 or more years hearing the same track on daily repetition, than we had all
the right to at least dance to it.
How long have you
been working creatively with technology? How did you start?
I joined a computer club at school when I was 8. I was the
youngest and the only girl, there. We were programing the computer to draw the
Olympic circles. I did not completely get it but I think I knew more about
programing then, than I know now.
experience with the tools you use. How did you start using them?
My older brother introduced me to computers and internet. I
don’t fetishize or love computers. They were there so I started using them,
also out of fear not to stay behind.
Where did you go to
school? What did you study?
I went to high school for design and photography in
Ljubljana, studied architecture for a year in Ljubljana and then graduated in design
media do you use, if any? Do you think your work with traditional media
relates to your work with technology?
None, or at least I can’t think of any. Maybe photography.
Are you involved in
other creative or social activities (i.e. music,writing, activism,
Drumming and lots of sports.
What do you do for a
living? Do you think your job relates to your art practice in a
I don’t support myself I am supported.
Who are your key
Yugoslav socialist cartoons and 90s music videos.
Have you collaborated
with anyone in the art community on a project? With whom, and on what?
With VVORK on curating shows and events.
Do you actively study
Usually only project specific.
Do you read art
criticism, philosophy, or critical theory? If so, which authors inspire
I read more fiction and history than theory. Some of the
recent inspiring texts I read were from Chris Kraus, Julian Assange and Renata
Are there any issues
around the production of, or the display/exhibition of new media art that you
are concerned about?
It should be exhibited more frequently in commercial
galleries and sold.