EARLY WORKS 1996-2002

Inspired by medical anthropology, biopolitics and information theory, my early works phase (from 1996 to 2000) consisted of objects, drawings on paper, wall drawings, and video installations. Through these works I analysed daily rituals, phenomena from visual culture and pictograms from various sources that were used as material of visual exploration. Here I studied a multiplicity of notions present in the visual culture of instructional messages related to technologies and body. I have created site-specific installations, temporary wall drawings, paintings, and drawings by modifying, copying, or enlarging pictograms. The Perfect Frequency installation consisted of two versions of the video work Deadlock and an array of loudspeakers wrapped in black cloths as repetitive units within a minimalist structure.

The exploration of the poetry of noise is one of the most significant aspects of my work, where I explore the structures of noise or randomness that here serves as a vehicle towards mutations and unexpected.
Noise might be seen as a vehicle towards mutations and poetics within the digital and electro-acoustic world, where, as some sort of an agent of serendipity, it enables new discoveries. Noise as a primal principle, such as Brownian noise, is one of the structural rhythms of nature and social emergencies, and when transferred to the domain of the digital, it has long served as a tool in forms of various algorithms for countless generative tasks that might resemble organisational principles from real life domains of natural or social fields. Within artworks, noise appears as both the substance and as an organizational principle of various digital or physical elements. Noise can be understood as the specific part of the signal that is generated by the communication mechanism itself. The relationship between noise and signal, also inspires my work in a sense that all accidental discoveries and occurrences in previously defined routes of channel processing might represent a new road of development for the whole work or additional substance that adds to the richness of the structure.

Noise occurrences are an intrinsic phenomenon of every channel, virtual or analogue.
Within media arts the elements of noise are the side effect of each tool used, and sometimes they appear in works as either traces, substantial formal elements, or distinct accents with discursive roles.

Vilém Flusser acknowledged that the tendency of all information in nature is towards its diminishment. All information floats on the way to its own extinction. According to him, an impressive example of anti-entropic activity is biomass re-emerging in various shapes and forms, and through these processes of the reproduction of biomass, mistakes, which we can also understand as noise, occur occasionally and grant evolution through the mutation of copies.

Noise, as the negative pole of information, might serve an agent’s critical questioning of the quality and availability of information and its carriers within media arts and society in general. Taking into account the entangledness of information and its material base, the communication noise generated by both the material base of information as well as its users might lead towards a mode of liberation from destructive "techno-nihilism" through letting in the unknown, the instinctual and experimental content, and openness towards the not immediately perceivable.

As Arthur Kroker proposed, the essence of new media art lies in reversing the technological field. The theory of electronic art becomes the art of electronic theory and manifests itself through three "anti-codes". The aesthetics of "digital dirt" becomes the ontology of art, "technologies of otherness within everyday cybernetics" become the political focus, and "digital incommensurability" an antidote to the age of "ubiquitous" and "calm" technology. The resulting digital art, with its technologies of otherness, opposing the "will to virtual hygiene" evokes shocks of excitement through the cracking, humming, and digital static of microcircuits. As a leading and animating force of digital life, the art of "digital dirt" brings about, as Kroker puts it, waste, accidents, and liquid distortions in systems and mutations, data crashes, and noises in the machines.


Fictional Dictionary, second part

(excerpt from the text by Jasmina Čubrilo, Fictional Dictionary, second part, "Perfect Frequency" exhibition catalogue, DOB Belgrade, Belgrade, 1998.)

“[…] The poetic moment in which an image is dimmed until it can no longer be recognized, in which, in the electronically defragmented structure, the contours of given elements are barely outlined, is repeated as unpleasant sound vibration of mixed radio-stations. For a message to be comprehensible, it has to refer to a reality shared, at least in part, by both a sender and a receiver. This reality creates context. An ideal situation is considered when a message gets undamaged to its destination, and read according to the intentions of its sender. However, just as a sender is unaware of all the aspects of his/her message, a receiver reacts to messages sent from his/her own reality/context and preoccupations. The “Perfect Frequency” is an affirmation of theses that what we perceive is not always that what we see, and that what we hear is not always what we listen to. In both cases, positions establishing a platform of our speech are important, and they condition the final selection. (Im)possibility of decoding of the read-in contents make communication more difficult or easier. Thus, broadcasting difficulties are not just conditioned by technical limitations only of transmitters and/or receivers, but their origin and existence can be an effect of various levels of needs, demands, wishes, concentration, information, interest, permissiveness... So, “Perfect Frequency” is the moment of the perfect noise deconstructing all ideologies, that is to say, a critical field induced by thee actual network over-burdening, as well as by an impasse through its dense plexus. Anyway, the very collages of the stills taken from the video project, suggest that these circumstances have transformed each and everyone of us into incomplete sentences, hovering around, mostly, parallel contexts."

Jasmina Čubrilo