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The artist reflects on how the media shape culture, identity, body and man as a consumer by combining analog and digital media in her artistic practice.

Vanja Novakovic was born in 1992 in Novi Sad (SR). She completed her bachelor's (2018) and master's studies (2020) at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad at the Department of New Art Media. In her art practice, she researches the creation of a contemporary identity influenced by technological development and consumerism. The artist rethinks the way media and new media shape identity, body, and man itself as a consumer by combining analog, and digital media.

She has organized seven solo exhibitions and participated in many group exhibitions and projects in Serbia and Europe (Austria, France, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Germany). Held panel discussions (with Luka Janeš and Tanja Todorović): The Body as an Expression of Crisis, the Ambivalence of Postmodern Subjectivity (5th International Transdisciplinary Symposium “Bioethics and Aporia of the Psyche”, Croatian Bioethics Society, 2021); Aesthetics and Media: The World of Variation and Simulation or a Mediator in the New Forms of Education? (Second International Conference on “Why Still Education?", Institute of Philosophy and Social Theory, Belgrade, 2020). She exhibited at the International Biennial of Digital Art The Wrong in 2019. She organized a co-author workshop (with Jelena Gajinović, Tijana Jevrić, Luka Stojanović) "ID Places" at the Serbian Cultural Center in Paris. Winner of the "Dragan Rakić" award (2018) for the best work in the subject of Digital Painting and the field of new media art during studies (Academy of Arts in Novi Sad). Member of the Association of Fine Artists of Vojvodina.

Scroll it

Open the camera, scan the QR code to access the app. 

The Scroll it application suggests the bad habits of contemporary digital society, pointing out in an ironic way the automated and unconscious action of moving a finger, browsing internet pages most often on a mobile phone, in a modern language called scrolling. Time spent in the digital world of the Internet and social networks affects a person's physical and mental life, changing his perception and attitude towards reality, while at the same time losing his personal identity. A meditative place created within the gallery space, with an electronic device from which the application can be accessed, allows the user to communicate with the space itself, the environment, and other people around. The Scroll it application also offers visitors certain tasks, as well as a scoring system: the more you scroll, the higher result you get. After a certain number of points, you get a bonus, one piece of information created by a random fact generator. In this way, this application represents a kind of prototype of a digital tool that makes the time spent on devices more creative.

Interview

What is the language in common for the young people today?

I see common language as mutual understanding that does not mean exclusively speech. That understanding can be more than that.

What does the process of making one of your pieces look like?

The largest part of the process is occupied by extensive research of the selected phenomenon, reading and mapping determinants in the context of modern society, individual, identity, etc. After designing the main segments of the research, I think about the media that can best express my idea, and lately it has often been creative coding. I also write, and that is why most of the work processes are accompanied by texts in which I think about the topic.

Which challenges have you faced while making art as you know it?

Being an artist dealing with new media is in itself a great challenge, especially in this area.

Do you consider yourself an artist, and what does that word mean to you?

Sometimes I consider myself an artist, sometimes an archivist or a social doctor. Being an artist is a social responsibility. Art is essential for a healthy society.

What is your escape from reality? Do you even have a need to escape from something?

I have no need to escape from reality. To create I have to be fully present.

What does the word innovative mean to you?

The one who observes something in an unusual way is innovative.

Do you have a plan for the future? Where can your artistic practice take you?

I plan to enroll in doctoral studies and dedicate myself more to media theory and philosophy. I don't know where my artistic practice can take me, but so far these have always been nice surprises. 

What made the biggest influence on you to become what you are today and do what you do now?

I was most influenced by my love for the social sciences and aesthetics. 

How would you describe Serbian (Balkan or European-depends on where you live and work) contemporary cultural scene?

Alive.

In which way does your creative process shape you or changes you as a person, if it does at all?

I have changed a lot in my daily life due to some conclusions that came out of the process. Because of that, a great desire was created to educate my environment about some things, which I do.