group exhibition, 2016
Curators: Albena Baeva and Rene Beekman
Artists: Albena Baeva, Rene Beekman, Nicoleta Boncheva, Petya Boyukova, Stefan Donchev and Ivan Shopov.
In a world full of smartphones, smart television sets, and smart refrigerators that tell us when we’re running out of milk, the exhibition Friendly little creatures shows a series of smart art objects.
American philosopher Graham Harman has argued that there is no reason to view the world only from the point of view of humans. Every object around us understands the world from their own perspective and point of view. And that same world looks fundamentally different for each object.
The exhibition shows works in which artists have tried to get away from our usual anthropocentric view, to take the sides of small creatures that we share this world with and to look at things from their perspective.
Albena Baeva created the kinetic sculpture A = F*S especially for the exhibition. The work is a comment on the process of creating art. The sculpture consists of a stylised head made of wood, that sits on a long rod. The head slowly moves backwards and suddenly falls forward, hitting into one of the walls of the gallery. The result of this slow and methodical process at the end of the exhibition is that the wall or head are damaged.
The artist participated in two more works that are part of the Friendly little creatures. These works are Concert for CPU in RAM major, a collaboration with musician Ivan Shopov, and Aya, a robot-in-love that was created together with Rene Beekman.
Concert for CPU in RAM major consists of a computer which opens and closes different videos, photos and texts, moves the mouse cursor, and, in short, lives its own life. The computer is enclosed in a plexiglass cube. The audience can listen to the sounds that are produced as a by-product of the object going through its activities. What at first appears as merely chaotic noise, turns into a concert as the activities regularly repeat themselves, creating melodies and rhythms.
Aya is a collection of redundant equipments with a webcam attached. The camera searches faces in the audience. When it finds someone, it follows the visitor around and attempts to declare its love. Aya’s words are based on texts by Serbian writer Milorad Pavic.
At the exhibition the audience also can pet grass that purrs, get stung while trying to make the right choice with the aid of Helpy, or try to understand the problems that mobile applications have to live with and why they refuse to function “normally” оr get hit by a stubborn car.
photos by Ivan Peykov