UNIVERSAL OBJECTS: Park1, Park2, & Garden
Tanja Vujinović 
Installations (interactive digital environments)

Production: Ultramono, 2016 

What type of the post-digital placeholders we use to get in touch and intervene into the panorama of the networked grid? What bio-political ideologies guide us in these processes? Are virtual spaces just a testing ground for the processes that will soon be available due to the proliferation of biotechnology and synthetic biology?

Universal Objects: Park1, Park2, and Garden are real-time 3D works built in a video game engine. They are large digital environments contemplative digital ecosystems occupied by mutated digital objects and bots that perform rituals. Park 1 & 2 examine the status of virtual spaces to host content that questions utopian and dystopian reading of technology. Avataric objects, generated locations,  virtual flora seem to be dependent and attached to one another. Contrary to the typical computer and video games, here there is no score, speed nor adrenalin fueled activity. Everything is slowed, and the only interactivity offered is the ability to move around the space. 

About the Universal Objects series of works

Environments from the Universal Objects series are endless surroundings made of three- dimensional objects. Some of them behave like automata and perform minimal gestures. Most of these works are made in game engines and refer to the many questions this procedural, generative medium opens regarding its usage and the content it usually conveys.

Infinite space, abstract objects, or humanoid representatives are constantly drawing us back to their origin of raw, generated, digital materiality. These objects are simultaneously actual, real, present, and absent through their ethereal being.
The 3D objects are dynamic, transformative objects holding the possibility of infinite performative action. They act algorithmically – whether to propagate site traffic, advertise, seduce or represent us – while being our own digital ghosts and fetishes.

The medium of game engines and three-dimensional objects within the Universal Objects series involves the exploration of the “matter” they are made of by opening them up, turning their structures inside out, and testing their clashing behaviors.
The exploration of noise has been present in my work for the last twenty years. Over that time the scope of approaches to analysis has expanded – from information noise as a cultural phenomenon to the materiality of analog noise to noise versus signal in relation to anthropomorphism.

Various algorithms of noise might be understood as the base of the many elements of the digital world. Noise might be a tool that leads to new discoveries and mutations, subversively enabling insight into otherwise invisible streams of signals. Contrary to some other works where noise is almost totally abstract, within the Universal Objects series algorithmic noises, broken objects, their deformations and mutations sometimes gain humanoid shapes in various situations and dynamic environments.

The name of this cycle arrives from archetypical objects that are readily available within databases of objects – how users approach them, how they change and are filled with projected consciousness, with functions, and what roles they are assigned within digital worlds, and how those objects perform within these constellations. One of the initial impulses for starting the series was the observation of humanoid bots within the social virtual surrounding Second Life, where in one particular stance they were placed in large numbers to mark a certain space, left in “idle” modes of behavior. This particular event, along with the experience from working on the video Mindfulness (recorded in Second Life) and Oscilo 2, where I used to generate new 3D objects from one archetype object, initiated the Universal Objects series.