Over the past few years, intermedia artist Marko Batista has conceived a series of experimental performances and installations whose common denominator reveals itself, above all, in the analytical exploration and development of abstract sound and video structures, usually established in relation to various electrochemical or improvised, DIY, as it were, electronic processes. In his projects, Batista usually uses such processes in the sense of entry variables, that is to say, as a sort of immaterial and, at the same time, unpredictable, yet, still malleable matter, which – via various modular interfaces and return loops at the exit from the system – generates dynamic frequency compositions, which travel to the spectator’s senses in the form of audible or visual signals. In devising these complex installations, which inhabit the intersection of technology and art, the author thus explores the phenomenology of sound and image in relation to their mutual correlation and, in doing so, he paves the way for new experiential and aesthetic potentials in the context of contemporary techno reality. Batista’s intermedia projects are also characterised by the movement through the spaces of liminal situations, which occur in chaotic, unstable systems; the author makes the most of the changes in physical quantities of matter, interferences and mutations generated by his audio-visual “machines” and he fashions them into an environment of rhizomatic entities; in this manner, he populates the emergent audio-visual landscape with moments of the unpredictable and the inimitable.
An important element, which is increasingly present in the artist’s work, is the relation to the concrete spatial architecture as regards its acoustic attributes. The well-considered spatial set-up of sound bodies, which uses the existing elements of the industrial legacy of the Old Power Station, points out, yet again, the author’s exploration of the changing perception of sound and its hapticity within a specific spatial configuration. Therefore, the experiential and aesthetic potentials of Optolyth are not dependent solely upon the used technology and the audio-visual stimuli produced by it; rather, they are also conditioned by the very architecture, in which the performative act is being carried out, and by the very position of the spectator within the spatial conglomerate.
At the heart of the performance Optolyth, with which Batista remains true to the established line of his creative inquiry, there are high-voltage generators, whose operation releases a lot of energy or heat and thus affects the material characteristics of purposefully used materials. Such operation of high-voltage generators facilitates the emergence of a specific architectonics of signals, whose mapping, manipulation and distribution within the system result in the audio and the visual fields of the spectator, confronted with real-time projections, accompanied by synchronous soundscapes. The repetitive, mutating structures of audio and video elements produce unpredictable effects at various psychosensorial levels of the spectator’s perception.
Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2013
Artistic Director: Janez Janša
Executive Producer: Sonja Grdina
Public Relations: Mojca Zupanič
Technical support: Primož Juvan, Urška Batista, Brane Ždralo, Miljenko Kadič, Matija Praznik,
Partner: Zavod Bunker
The programme of Aksioma Institute is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana.
Sponsor: Datacenter d.o.o.
Thanks: Zavod K6/4 - Kapelica Gallery
Aksioma | Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana