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<nettime-ann> Sandro Djukic, "arch_0001_089_output / 2008"
galerija galzenica on Tue, 2 Dec 2008 09:36:37 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime-ann> Sandro Djukic, "arch_0001_089_output / 2008"

EXHIBITION: arch_0001_089_output / 2008
ARTIST: Sandro Djukic (HR)
VENUE: Galerija Galzenica, Velika Gorica/Zagreb; 
DATE: December 3 - December 24, 2008


Sandro Djukic was born 1964. in Zagreb. He graduated at the Academy of 
Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1989. In period from 1989 to1993 he attended Art 
Academy in Dusseldorf (class of prof. Nam June Paik and prof. Nan 
Hoover). At the same academy he attended postgraduate studies (class of 
prof. Nan Hoover) in period from 1993. to 1994. Exhibited in Slovenia, 
Germany, USA, Italy, Serbia, Austria and Croatia and lectured at the 
numerous conferences dedicated to media art (Rijeka, Zagreb, Plasy). In 
1991. he received Croatian Artist Association Award.


Taxonomy of technological transformation

The exhibition of Sandro Djukic is demanding. It’s demanding for the 
author, but even more demanding for the audience. Not as much by its 
form – although certain level of technological and visual literacy is 
required – as by its content, more precisely by the issues it inquires 
and their heaviness. One of these issues is the nature of photography as 
a form of art in this, more and more, digitalized world. Although 
digitalization of photography began (in its rudimentary form) more than 
half a century ago, recent development of technology, with particular 
relation to lowering costs of personal computers, storage media and 
digital cameras, results in two important things.

Photography does not go through chemical processing anymore, which 
change its values. Not necessary in positive or negative way, but in its 
essence. Increasing megapixels are not necessarily technologically 
improving the quality of photography, but adversely excluding numerous 
possibilities the classic, analog photography has to offer: from the 
moment of taking a photograph to developing and processing it. Of 
course, speed is obtained, as well as authenticity to some degree, but 
the question which remains unanswered (and often unquestioned) is what 
is lost. Question raised in mid-nineties by Critical Art Ansamble i 
Geert Lovink refering to information technology and digital 
communication is emerging in its new variant. The speed of information 
transfer, as well as its quantity and accessibility, is rapidly 
increasing, but time needed for processing remains the same – limited by 
human cognitive ability. Does the limitation go toward superficiality 
and prefering quantity over quality? In photographic discourse this 
question may be: Does increasing quantity of digital photographies leads 
to less time to observe, analize and process it visually and/or 

Sandro Djukic is going even further. In a way he is reversing the 
question that Benjamin asked in the 1930s (how has photography changed 
art?) to make it: how has technologicaly mediated art (applied as in 
graphic design, but also the art market) changed photography? More and 
more common artistic practices transformed what was essentially an art 
born in print into a salon art of single pictures on walls, often 
incorporated in some multimedia instalation in which digitaly taken 
photograph is digitaly presented or screened – never getting a chance to 
be present in its intrinsic medium.

What is in that process changed in visual economy? The very notion of 
visual economy is developed from the work of Deborah Poole, and places 
emphasis on the organization of the production and exchange of images, 
rather than relying simply on an analysis of their visual content: The 
word economy suggests that the field of vision is organised in some 
systematic way. It is also clear that this organisation has as much to 
do with social relationships, inequality, and power as with shared 
meanings and community ... For Poole, a visual economy has three levels: 
the organization of production, encompassing both the individuals and 
the technologies that produce images; the circulation of ... images and 
image-objects; and the cultural and discursive systems through which 
graphic images are appraised, interpreted, and assigned historical, 
scientific, and aesthetic worth

By removing the images from their original contexts of production and 
circulation, and placing them into a gallery, the visual economy that 
produced these images is negated or obscured in favour of a more neutral 
sense of the photograph as raw material or a window onto history. Whit 
such an action single photographs, but also their whole (in the form of 
photography data-base) becomes repositioned in relation to the 
time/place of their origin, and at the same time in relation to the 
time/place of their initialy intented purpose. That is leading us to 
(maybe) the crucial problem of digitaly mediated photography: the 
question of classification, of taxonomy. That is the question more and 
more essential in many branches of information and library sciences 
(especially in the theories of so-called semantic web), but also 
unavoidable one for consumers of visual images, ranging from pornophiles 
probing the Net in search for a distinct fetish, marketing experts 
deciding on media campaign’s visual images, or common people trying to 
handle ever bigger family albums. How to find what one is looking for in 
the seemingly endless piles of photos (not to mention that very often 
they are incredibly alike each other)?

Analogy with another problem of classification of visual material is 
almost inevitable. Every human fingerprints is unique (although the 
final scientific verdict is still awaited), but the clasification of 
them is a problem yet unresolved. In case of photohgraphy confirmation 
is much easier. According to the laws of physics two objects can not 
occupy the same space in the same time, therefore, no matter how short 
exposition is, even bursted shooting always will result with a set of 
very similar (to the point of concealment), but not the same 
photographs. System of clasification, however, can not benefit from such 
evidence, as analogy with the history of dactiloscopy unmistakably shows.

An important first issue is that any one image has varied content, which 
may be available either consecutively or concurrently to the same or to 
different viewers. These multiple ways of seeing have been discussed 
over the years, but it’s still a very open field. It is worth noting 
here the contrast with textual data. While textual data can have a 
multiplicity of content and meaning, in terms of the discrete elements 
of a query, the visual and linguistic content are homologous. The 
fundamental building blocks of text databases are ASCII character 
strings representing words that have a direct semantic interpretation.

In contrast, the pixel values making up digital images have no inherent 
significance. Considerable processing of the image is necessary even to 
infer the presence of a simple shape like a circle, let alone a complex 
object such as a tree. Direct comparison of image bitmaps can tell us 
only one thing about a given pair of images – whether they are identical 
or not. Nothing can be deduced about their similarity in terms of the 
objects they contain, or scenes they represent.
Art history and its pertaining theories are rich in narratological, 
ichonographic, multidiscursive and other attempts of clasification of 
visual material, ranging from already classics like Panofsky to 
contemporary, technologicaly highly sofisticated theories of Ornager and 
Rasmussen (among others), however there is still no universaly 
applicable method of catalogizing photographies, other then on a very 
basic, bumpy level. Neither contemporary catalogization of image types 
nor more traditional iconography just aren’t a match to the problem.

Maybe the premier value of Sandro Djukic’s exhibition lay in the fact 
that, thorough playing with his own archive, thorough permutations and 
variations of its parts, excessing from one media to another, from one 
technique and technology to another clearly pointing to the problem 
itself. (Igor Markovic)

Pučko otvoreno učilište Velika Gorica
Trg Stjepana Radića 5
HR - 10410 Velika Gorica
tel:+385 1 6221 122 /  fax: 6226 740
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