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Katja Novitskova

*1984 Tallinn, lives and works in Amsterdam http://www.katjanovi.net/

  • Microbial Oasis: mutation 0, 2021
  • Screen printing on aluminium
  • Edition of: 22
  • Dimensions: 43,00 cm x 47,00 cm x 0,20 cm
  • Production: Lorenz Boegli, Müntschemier
  • CHF 960.00
  • available
  • Inquiry

Katja Novitskova's edition exemplifies her new body of work called Microbial Oasis. The seven-color fluorescent screen print is based on photographic representations of synthetic proteins and viral assemblages. The speculative depiction is created through the new StyleGAN2 – generative adversarial network – model, named after a machine learning framework, that can create new imagery out of image databases. Novitskova uses an open-source database of 12,000 images of molecular and cellular structures based on microscopic photography of actual proteins and viruses. The artwork created approximates a possible organic form, or to put it into more common language, it is an actual colorful and aesthetic deep fake. The visual representations of the artist's current project could not be more realistic, as medical research and biotechnology produce incredibly accurate knowledge on viruses, based on computational models and visual representations. Even though most of the generated information and visual material do not have an aesthetic aspect, Novitskova converts and re-creates this found imagery in borrowing and transforming it for her artistic exploration of the digital and microbial visual world.

Novitskova's interest lies in lifting the images from their natural habitat. In this she plays with the original transformation of organic bodies into images and digital data, to then reproduce them again on a larger scale. Therein, Novitskova is mapping the analyses of big data, genetic engineering as well as artificial intelligence in creating a new form of photography. In reassembling and recombining this imagery the artist creates potential worlds, that often are reminiscent of perfectly blended atmospheric and colorful pictures that we know from science documentaries. But beneath the surface there is the constant inquiry of human exploitation of other species, the flow and development of capital based on new scientific discoveries and possible interpretations. This implies the game of managing the oceans of signs we have to deal with every day. Tackling contemporary topics of digital possibilities, the artist scrutinizes in her work the direct relationship between the complex ecologies of image, information, matter, and value, which are not only bound to human understanding. It is about the work's poetic possibilities and about the necessity to disrupt the dichotomy between the perspective of human representation of forms engaging in a new system of vision. The hypothetical larger than life matter that enters our life is present not only in the invisible digital or neurobiological realm but also takes center stage in our visual perception and understanding of the world around us. DK

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