The title of the exhibition "EP 2.1", which is humorously reminiscent of a technical product or a series of inventions, comes from the words Evolution of Perception, and it denotes the cycle of the multi-year research of the artist into the fields of perception and communication as well as into the conditions under which they occur and by which they are defined. Starting from this, Vitar Drinković creates new contexts / situations, and sometimes whole narratives (Unrest) in his installations, providing us with insight not only into the nature of perception but also into some of the social problems of today, such as alienation and the culture of selfishness, persistent fear, the inability to relax, the anthropocentricity of the human species, the tendency toward artificial modes of communication, a fear of reality...
Thanks to perception we experience the world with all of our emotions and attitudes. Perception is conditioned by some basic biological facts as well as cultural predispositions, but it is fundamentally based on information input, most of which is visual in nature. Changing this input triggers a whole host of changes, whether we are aware of them or not.
The dominance of media infrastructure in our lives has led to changes that require us to quickly adapt to this new system of reality. The devices and machines we are surrounded by are generating new visual forms that only 50 years ago would have been difficult to recognize.
1 Concurrently, there are times that we do not distinguish between real and virtual worlds, or we do not know from which world the input comes. On the contrary, we are far more likely to notice the flickering of information on a monitor screen than any green specimen of plant life in the environment (Plant Blindness). Our perception definitely becomes more sensitive to particular sources of stimuli. The visual language of digital technology is rapidly penetrating our physical world; the virtual and the physical merge, as James Bridle explains, introducing the notion of new aesthetics. 2 Drinković literally transposes digital objects into the real world with the intention of highlighting this idea.
At the same time, our reactions change: we become rapidly adaptable, prone to instant decisions and changes practiced on the accept-cancel principle of behavior (Accept Cancel), constantly fearing both rational and irrational worries (Survival Status), and soon, to those unused to real phyisical contact, a hug from a machine might be enough (Selfie Hug), while connection and empathy could be enabled by a futuristic device that will be guided by the rhythm of the heart since it captures every physiological but also psychological change (Heart Tube). The intertwining of technology and everyday life, in which everything is statistically recorded and measured, is obvious today (Emoji Scanner), as with all the technology in the field of fine arts. The artist himself approaches his work in an interdisciplinary fashion, using various types of knowledge from psychology, biology, sociology... as well as methodology and tools taken from the fields of medicine, computer science, criminal science... Although his technological solutions are sometimes very complex and include different software programming, processing units, motion sensors…, Drinković-s practice and work, which he calls low-tech devices, are close to the area of DIY culture, as indicated by individual materials (bedsprings, wood for construction…) or ways of joining pre-made elements (stethoscopes, a selfie stick, a tripod…). After all, the "do it yourself" principles popular in the 70s, but current in the so-called Maker culture, are best suited to the real situation in which the artist operates, and probably they can be read as a humorous response to the needs of the art market, which does not exist in our country.
1 Sterling, B., "An Essay on the New Aesthetic," Wired <https://www.wired.com/2012/04/an-essay-on-the-new-
2 Bridle, J., "The New Aesthetic and its Politics," in You Are Here: Art After the Internet, ed: Omar Kholeif, Home and
Space, 2014., p. 21.
video: Darko Škrobonja