• From an artistic and technical point of view, how would you describe and define your work?
Jiska: My work is a reflection on the world’s coexisting realities; how everything is relative and in constant change. It contains a sense of searching and of wandering and it questions the way we perceive things and our surroundings, using various media including sound, photography, books, drawing, text and hikes. My practice consists of several projects that interconnect through an interest in how we create systems and structure in order to reach a level of understanding, while they inherently contain certain instability as well. Based on this I build collections, often with changing structures, which are activated by the viewer. The flexibility and openness offer space for curiosity, like blanks on a map.
Sara: In my work I am trying to betray the media – to transform it, reshape it, reuse it, constantly trying to develop different conditions of and for it. That is the basic approach and the idea behind everything I do. Whether in more topic related works such as “Border Objects 1” (2015 – 2016), site – specific interventions on border crossings in Italy and Slovenia in which I transformed those weird and traumatic architectural objects into family houses; or “extreme materialism” such as in “soft objects” (2018), sound installation and artistic research of sound recording and reproduction in unexpected media done with Hrvoje Spudić in which we recorded and reproduced sound into paper without any electrical amplification. From the technical aspect of my work I can say I really enjoy making changes in the smallest part of the media, such as a frame in moving image, electromagnetic charge in metal, fold (wrinkle) in paper.
My works are often shaped as installations and realized as collaborations. Collabs are very important to me, as they always bring something new in the picture,. I can hardly imagine new media artistic practice without it. Thanks to the hybrid work and freelance environment I extended my practice into other fields of theatre and film. My ultimate inspiration is collective wilderness.
• How the first part of the lab (training session, collective experience) impacted your performances in Zagreb and Rijeka?
Jiska: It made me more focused on the goals that underlie my practice and the balance you need to find as an artist juggling with all these different things. It also reminded me of why I started the project that the performances are a part of in the first place and where I would like to take it, and doing these performances in Zagreb and Rijeka was part of the projects progress.
Sara: Thanks to Kontejner Lab held in January in Zagreb where we learnt a lot on planning, networking, promotion, applications for grants, residencies and defining scope of work. These new skills helped me a lot on regular daily basis. As a young artist I have to say I never heard of some things in my formal education and it was amazing learning it from experts like Jadrana Ćurković and Robertina Šebjanič. The greatest impact is that I am more focused and organised which results in a little less stress while making art and freelancing. During the workshop I started making my own website. To sum up, it was a workshop on everyday survival kit for young artists.
•What are the main challenges you feel you overcame thanks to this experience?
Jiska: To realise that you do not have endless amounts of time and energy, which means you have to choose what you will focus on and keep a good balance between work and time off. On one hand I find this is annoying, because I always want to do more than I have time for, but it is good to realize this, because you are in it for the long run, not for a very intense short sprint after which you have no energy left. And choosing to not do things, also means the things that you are doing, will get more attention and become better.
Sara: How to not get lost in a day that has to have 40 hours and the great decision of making my own website.
• What are your learnings or the things you would have liked to explore more?
Jiska: I think that the artist lab was set up in a good way in relation to its focus and the limited time we had. I don’t think that we could have pressed in more. So maybe the only thing I wish for is that we had even more time with the group to talk about our practices and get to know each other. But I guess that just means we have to meet up in the future again!
Sara: I think the Lab was great and that we, participants, got a lot of materials to work on afterwards. It was a workshop for long term learning and my exploration is still on going. I would definitely recommend it to everybody. I still have some issues with everyday planning but I’m working on it.
• If you had to pick a strong moment during the lab, which would it be?
Jiska: It was really inspiring to meet this new group of people and be able to exchange ideas, and also calming to realize that they are dealing with similar things as you are. Especially great in relation to this was the masterclass by Robertina Šebjanič. All in all, the combination of the workshop, talks and performances, gave us various practical tools for dealing with some of the more difficult sides of being an artist and it highlighted the importance of sharing and helping each other.
Sara: It is hard do choose one. I am thankful to all my colleagues sharing their practices and tips and tricks with me and Jadrana Ćurković for guiding us with planning. The strongest moment was Robertina Šebjanič showing us her tech rider for exhibitions and festivals which really changed professionnal work ethics among us.
• What evokes the notion of Future DiverCities to you and what would be your wish for a future city to be more diverse?
Jiska: The name Future Divercities reflects the aim to work towards a future where cities will be places with more diversity and with opportunities for a whole wide range of diverse people. I think for these opportunities to exist and to be accessible to a very diverse range of people are really important, plus the existence of a support system that enables them to grab them.
Sara: To think about future diversity cities is to embrace the idea of basic heterogeneity of contemporary society and citizens as moral agents. It seems to me that diversity and equality come together hand in hand. Globalisation shrank the space and made the migrations of goods, ideas and people possible, and our lack of adjustment can be noticed, for example, in ghettoisation or on a bigger scale in disbalance of food, medication, gas etc. quality for different groups of people. To think about future diversity cities is kind of a utopian act spreading from economy, politics, technology, ecology to social questions, educations, housing and working conditions.
Accepting diversity should result in everyones possibility to choose and to act freely. For future cities I want to be more diverse in civil and cultural production and creative technology integration. I am looking forward for good remixes.
The Lab TRANSMISSIONS has been developed in the framework of the sixth Device_art festival, exhibition “Machines Are Not Alone” curated by ZHANG Ga (US/CN). It roots itself in the local milieu and surroundings, and envisages a machinic ecology – a unity which endorses giving every thing its due place as equally significant and worthy with respect and care.