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UCIRA Co-Director Marko Peljhan to present “Two Polar Visions” Lecture at UCLA ART/SCI center

UCIRA Co-Director Marko Peljhan to present “Two Polar Visions” Lecture at UCLA ART/SCI center

Thursday March 3, 2011  6pm

The lecture will present two large bodies of art, science and technology related works that Marko Peljhan has been developing in collaborations since the early 2000’s, focusing on the Arctic Perspective Initiative
and the polar m [mirrored] project.

The Arctic Perspective Initiative (API) is a non-profit, international group of individuals and organizations whose goal is to promote the creation of open authoring, communications and dissemination infrastructures for the circumpolar region. It’s aim is to empower the North and Arctic peoples through open source technologies and applied education and training. By creating access to these technologies while promoting an open, shared network of communications and data, without a costly overhead, further sustainable and continued development of culture, traditional knowledge, science, technology and education opportunities for peoples in the North and Arctic regions is enabled.

polar m [mirrored] follows the conceptual traces of the initial polar project, setup in the year 2000 at the Canon Artlab in Tokyo,  which was concerned with the assumption of the global communications networks as an intelligent matrix. Both “polars”  were a collaboration between Peljhan and Carsten Nicolai. The initial thesis of polar was that the human created networks, with their exponential growth in complexity, begin to mimic indeterminant phenomena as we find them in nature itself.  In that project the inherent intelligence of global networks and their qualities were analysed through a logical and deterministic system, based on the relationship between language, semantics and networks. The result of that analysis was then projected into an observation and events space and a dictionary of terms that grew over time. The visitors interactively affected the analysis system. In the first  polar  the matrix of cognition of the Solaris ocean was the inspiration for a human created communications and cybernetic system, whereas polar m [mirrored] ventures into a more in-depth understanding of the Solaris ocean.

The polar m [mirrored] landscape explores the noise intelligence present in ephemeral and apparently random radiation phenomena through micro and macro transitions. Its spatial setup questions the relevance of the viewer, her or his presence within the space, and potential influence on it through the indeterminacy principle.  The focus is on the work of art as an autonomous construction in a large, potentially infinite structure enveloped in an ocean of radiating particles.

The lecture will present the conceptual roots and decisions behind the projects and will trace their future path.

Marko Peljhan Bio: A native of Slovenia and a theatre and radio director by profession, Peljhan founded the arts and technology organization Projekt Atol in the early 90’s and cofounded one of the first media labs in Eastern Europe, LJUDMILA in 1995. In the same year, the founded the technology branch of Projekt Atol called PACT SYSTEMS where he developed one of the first Global Positioning Systems based participatory networked mapping projects, the Urban Colonisation and Orientation Gear 144. He has been working on the Makrolab, a unique project that focuses on telecommunications, migrations and weather systems research in an intersection of art and science from 1997-2007, the Interpolar Transnational Art Science Constellation during the International Polar Year (project 417) and is currently coordinating the Arctic Perspective Initiative art/science/tactical media project focused on the global significance of the Arctic geopolitical, natural and cultural spheres.  Peljhan has also been the flight director of ten art/science parabolic experimental flights in collaboration with the Microgravity Interdisciplinary Research initiative and the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, creating conditions for artists to work in alternating gravity conditions. He is the recipient of many prizes for his work, including the 2001 Golden Nica Prize at Ars Electronica together with Carsten Nicolai for their work, polar, and the  UNESCO Digital Media Prize for Makrolab in 2004. During 2008, Peljhan was appointed as one of the European Union Ambassadors of Intercultural dialogue. His work was exhibited internationally at multiple biennales and festivals (Venice, Gwangju, Brussels, Manifesta, Johannesburg), at the documenta X in Kassel, several ISEA exhibitions, several Ars Electronica presentations and major museums, such as the P.S.1 MOMA, New Museum of Contemporary Art, ICC NTT Tokyo, YCAM Yamaguchi and others. From 2009 on he is the one of the series editors of the Arctic Perspective Cahiers series (Hatje Cantz).He  holds joint appointments with the Department of Art and the Media Arts & Technology graduate program at the University of California Santa Barbara and was appointed as Co-Director of the UC Institute for Research in the Arts in 2009, where he is coordinating the art/science Integrative methodologies initiative.

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