Avatar

interactive animation, 2007
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VN Gallery, Eros shop Pigalle, Zagreb
 
Casting tarot or beans, divination from coffee sediments or cards, horoscopes, machines that are reading destiny from palm, I Ching, light-minded or serious crafts with fictional or less fictional outcomes, all these are ways in which people are trying to think through the future or fate. And thinking through future or fate is connected with knowing ourselves, with foreseeing the borders of our own aura.
In her new work, a performer by nature, Ksenija Kordic, is transforming herself into a digital witch. She does not tell future, but in a similar way as a witch, her 'living' picture is 'reading' visitors thoughts and answering them, trying to lead a meaningful conversation.
Even from the story of Pygmalion that was noted down by Ovidius, through history the motive is spread of an artist that is trying to create an artificial life. Contemporary version of that myth would probably be the story of an artificial intelligence. Although the most of the people do not believe that such intelligence as human one could be 'caught' in silicon compounds, the majority of artists that are using new technologies has at least once tried to create an intelligent interactive installation.
Work of Ksenija Kordic doesn't have an ambition of creating a master-piece of sophisticated technology, and not even a completely literate realization in the field of interactive software (in a similar way in which video-art often does not have mastery of movie language).
That which this artist is mostly concerned about in technology is overlapping of the machines and humans in a sense of unreachability and unpredictability. The point of interest of work 'Avatar' is in its witty attempt of inscription of personality into the technology. The dark (goth) image of Ksenija Kordic, who has in her time painted and exhibited the Tarot cards and who has brought the mighty symbols like Bible and Koran in the same context with phallus, has perfectly integrated with a story of a digital witch. This artist is with her work 'Avatar' in a witty way and with a certain easiness and unburdened manner, dealing with her private issues, motives and past artistic opus. This work of hers should be read in context of her previous performance realizations, in which her own image is being used as a suicidal, masochistic, a little furious, provocative avatar. Here's what artist alone has wrote about her work:
'This work of mine is a lighting square that projects anthropomorphic image and sound, sends messages, questions, answers. It is faking interactivity. It's aspiring for sublimation of another human being. It is mediator of my interests, good and bad servant. I gave it a role of an artist that is struggling for attention, my face and speech. By making a machine that reacts to the environment as myself, I am leaving the first person singular talk and moving towards the cloned first person singular. By endless self multiplication I am trying to conceive the feeling of separation from my own self.'
Olga Majcen (curator)