Vala: Nature, Love and Technology – The Revolution of the Mind
Your artworks seem to embody the present from a futuristic perspective. Due to your in-depth interest in the subject and subjectivity, your research of technology relates to communication, information and social interfaces. In the quantum world of mind preceding matter and by entering the virtually real space time matrix your art work seems capable of socio-political affirmation and critique, simultaneously. How do you see all that in relation to the irreversibility and change-potential of technology?
It became rather impossible to detach oneself from technology – therefore the simultaneously affirmative and critical position is inevitable. Tech opens up so many cultural, ethical, social and other questions. I am interested in how our perceptual experience changes through the fractured nature of one’s subjectivity (online), and the modalities and multiplicities of formats within which we communicate – especially the different layers and variables of interactions through which new forms of subjectivities are constructed. Historically, with every new technology introduced to society the human consciousness or psychology shifted or changed. These mental shifts have been affecting our existential ecosystem and social organism, as well as our creative production, and I find the emerging states of consciousness quite fascinating.
They compared your work with Maya Deren’s movies; I find elements of Matthew Barney’s and Mariko Mori’s art. However, in your art work all the technological hardware is reduced to phenomena of the screens. Even though your woman image resembles a gender less character, s/he is still a woman. What kind of the mindset represents the context of your work?
The screen is a reflective surface, serving purposes of dissemination, connectivity, and transcendence. In my work, the use of video renders the duration of transformation processes, and is essentially a medium which allows the exploration of the mental, inner, spiritual life. I employ the combination of video and screen-based technologies and cinematic techniques to depict these ephemeral phenomena of disembodied and virtual existence. It’s capturing the elusive modalities of being, defragmented and disembodied subjectivities and above all, the process of unfolding the mental self along a certain time axis. Usually, the unfolding of self in my works is represented through the language and is text based – be it in a dialogue, lyrics, or poetry.
For a long while, I’ve been interested in the voice as an indicator of presence and absence and its shapeshifting through tech. VALA, the video installation, refers to a demon in Vedic scriptures, female shaman in Nordic mythology, and finally to Vala in William Blake’s mythological system. Inspired by the “flood” of digital/virtual assistants and instructional contents/interfaces, I am addressing the notion of a (historic) female role as a consultant, a guide and an entertainer. The project stages the intertwining of the digital, entertaining and consoling female voice, out of which emerges a new hybrid voice that travels through various embodiments – a poetic voice tagging glitches, clicks and shifts of consciousness during the wandering and scrolling online.
In the epic poem Vala, William Blake creates a new law, a new antonym. Instead of the love hate phrase, now we can firmly live within the love nature paradigm, as love and nature present two flips of the same coin. To see how all this falls into the world of of techno abundance, VALA video installation opened at Kino Šiška on 12th of June, 2017.
Agnes Momirski is an interdisciplinary artist, living and working in The Netherlands and Slovenia, with MA in sculpture from Royal college of Art (London, 2014), and BA in Fine arts from Willem de Kooning Academie (Rotterdam, 2012). She works at the intersection of art, design and film, revisiting the relationships between body, technology and self. In 2016 she was awarded the Young talent award by Mondriaan Fonds, and Squeeze online award by Trieste Contemporanea in Italy.
Two channel video installation
In collaboration with Jesse Perlstein
Interviewed by Dunja Kukovecs; Photos: Agnes Momirski; Portrait: Eva Tkavc