Technology is everywhere. Digital devices, gadgets and machines have made their way into every aspect of everyday life. At every moment we are surrounded by devices that connect, measure or monitor, but unaware of the dependence and control that is imposed on us. The rapid development of technology leads to the fact that what is considered to be an innovation today, might be an outdated trend tomorrow. New technologies are redefining our lifestyle and its dynamics, and due to the speed of the world being changed by innovations, demand for new informational and communicational technologies increases, primarily with the aim of improving, accelerating the living space.
Since the middle of the last century, technology has also affected artistic production and in fusion with science, it has become an indispensable part of contemporary art and artistic practices. Artists turn to technology for several reasons. On the one hand, to advance their creative processes with technological innovations and tools and to push boundaries of visual creativity and perception through various experiments. On the other hand, they approach technology in a critical and subversive way, questioning and deconstructing the consequences of technological progress and its impact on society.
Slovenian artists Nika Oblak and Primož Novak, in their collaborative artistic work start form the latter, using technology as a tool to explore different and the most controversial aspects of the contemporary way of life: physical and virtual borders and equivocal relationship between reality and fiction, consumerist capitalism and its consequences, routine life as well as skepticism towards uncritical and excessive use of technology.
The exhibition And Now For Something Completely Different 15 is a small selection of the extensive artistic work of almost twenty years. It presents one video and three kinetic video installations created between 2011 and 2019. The artists explore and play with the medium of video, which in their works pushes the static frame of the screen and moves into the exhibition space. Border Mover, Where do we come from?, What are we? Where are we going?, Sisyphus Actions and The Scream reflect the way Oblak and Novak approach and use technology, as a kind of tool for self-reflection. With a large dose of humor and self-irony, the works presented in the exhibition highlight, in a very direct and visually impressive way, the absurdities of modern life, people in continuous and mechanical actions that do not lead forward but back to the beginning or in a circle, caught in a global technological spectacle that is increasingly difficult to resist.
The exhibition is part of the annual programme marking the 20th anniversary of KONTEJNER | bureau of contemporary art praxis.
Nika Oblak & Primož Novak (SI) have been working as a collective since 2003. They examine contemporary media and capital driven society as they dissect its visual and linguistic structure. Their works were exhibited worldwide, in venues like the Sharjah Biennial (UAE), Japan Media Arts Festival, Tokyo (JP), Istanbul Biennial (TR), Biennale Cuvée in Linz (AT), transmediale Berlin (DE), FILE Sao Paulo (BR). Oblak & Novak received numerous grants and awards, including the CYNETART Award (DE), ACC_R Creators in Lab Grant, Asia Culture Center (KR), an honorary mention at Biennale WRO (PL), White Aphroid Award by MMC KIBLA (SI) and Rihard Jakopic honorable mention, the highest national award for visual arts in Slovenia.