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Dec 1, 2021 | Edition VFO

Podcast with Katja Novitskova

Katja Novitskova, Microbial Oasis: mutation 0, 2021, Silkscreen on alu dibond (laser cut), plate: 43 x 47 x 0,2 cm.

We are pleased to present the second podcast in the framework of the exhibition "On Photography - New Perspectives". In it you will learn more about the new work of Katja Novitskova and her creative and inspirational process. Listen to the podcast on our Soundcloud profile.

Katja Novitskova's edition exemplifies her new work Microbial Oasis, which was first presented at Kunstfort Amsterdam this May. The seven-color fluorescent screen print is based on images of synthetic proteins and viral assemblages. The speculative image is created by the new StyleGAN2 model - generative adversarial network - named after a machine learning framework that can generate new images from image databases. Novitskova uses an open source database of 12,000 images of molecular and cellular structures based on microscopic images of actual proteins and viruses.

Installation view «On Photography - New Perspectives». Foto: Bernhard Strauss.

The visual representations of the artist's current project could not be more realistic, as medical research and biotechnology produce incredibly accurate knowledge about viruses based on computer models. Even though most visual materials do not allow for aesthetic viewing, Novitskova converts and re-creates found images, borrowing and transforming them for her artistic exploration of digital and microbial imagery.

Installation View «Potential Worlds 1: Planetary Memories» im Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, 2020. Foto: Stefan Altenburger.

Katja Novitskova's interest lies in lifting images out of their natural environment. In doing so, she plays with the original translation of organic bodies into images and digital data, only to reproduce them again on a larger scale. In this, Novitskova maps analyses of Big Data, genetic engineering, as well as artificial intelligence to create a new form of photography. By reassembling and recombining these images, the artist creates potential worlds that often resemble perfectly blended atmospheric and colorful renderings we've seen in science documentaries.

Installation View «IF ONLY YOU COULD SEE WHAT I'VE SEEN WITH YOUR EYES» im Estnischen Pavillon der Venedig Biennale, 2017. Foto: Anu Vahtra.

Listen to the conversation with the artist, in which she discusses different aspects of her work and our everyday life, such as the flattening of images in our digital world or the unknown unknowns in research and politics. She also reveals that her art installations are significantly influenced by film, theater and the philosophy of science instead of art history.