Device_art was first initiated by the Croatian independent organization KONTEJNER | bureau of contemporary art praxis in Zagreb in 2004 in the form of a group exhibition, bringing together artists from Croatia and the region (Slovenia, Serbia, and Montenegro). The main intention was to map, explore and encourage the contemporary art production at the intersections of art, science, and technology on the local and regional art scene. Device_art 2004 was a highly successful project, resulting from its innovative conception and enthusiastic response by participating artists. Recognized as a unique project in the local and regional context, it attracted many visitors and gained an excellent response from the media. Furthermore, Device_art is the only art event in Croatia dealing on the more complex level with technology-based art. Device_art 2.0 offers a new way of understanding technology and its relation towards art.
To produce an even more interesting event and broaden knowledge in that field, this year KONTEJNER started to collaborate with Multimedia Institute from Zagreb which is for some years now investigating art and skills in that field. American partner – Blasthaus Gallery from San Francisco is also oriented to technology-based art, and the goal of this collaboration is to present device art from the region where it is the most development.
From the project publication:
"You’ve stumbled upon Device_art 2 ... a sequel which is more ambitious than ever before! Even more ambitiously than the prequel. When conceived in 2004, the project was envisioned as a collaborative and comparative setting, as an exhibition. Back then, the Zagreb exhibition featured Slovenian device artists, while the Belgrade exhibition featured Slovenian, Croatian and Serbian device artists. This year the drill is replicated, however it’s no longer a comparative exhibition, but we could rather call it a true exchange flirting even with the designation of festival.
Along with KONTEJNER’s partners - Klaudio and Gallery Galženica, Sandra from Kapelica, and the Belgrade gallery O3one, this year we collaborate also with MAMA - to be more precise, with Marcell and Tomi. Due to their fetishistic interest in techno-cultures, and not necessarily techno-art, the Device_art 2.006, which initially lacked a unifying theme, got a new thematic direction
- geek culture. Who and what are geeks? What defines the geek culture? Are the geeks überkapitalist fetishists emancipating technology from the stranglehold of consumerism? These are some of the questions an international roster of participants in the two-day g33koscope will be posing.
A second track of the event, somewhat different from the geek track, comes as a result of collaboration with Will from the blasthaus gallery in San Francisco. A brutal and dauntless robot-making gang, raised on the Survival Research Laboratories’ parking lot robot mayhem events, arrives from the Bay Area. Their noisy and ∫re-belching machines that the California techno-art scene is so famous for, will dance their interactive choreographies around Močvara (kudos to Kornel and Marko).
This year local artists could rely on the support from the DIY ARTLAB production platform, so we can expect that the expert assistance they received has enabled them to create more complex works which will be exhibited in a regional context. As you’ll notice, the California scene and the Balkan scene cannot be compared, and yet interestingly they both mirror two different
realities. Guess whose works are conceptual and whose spectacular.
BTW, since the 2004 exhibition, Device_art has caught on as a concept, however completely independently of our own efforts - and of all places, in Japan! In Japan, device art has come to mean a form of new media art integrating art, technology, design, with entertainment and popular culture. A good illustration is the incredible “manufacturer-music performer” art unit
Maywa Denki with their strange device-instruments. We would so like to invite them to Zagreb - if it only wasn’t too damn expensive.
The KONTEJNER team wishes you lots of fun!"