Interview with Viktor

From Fine Art Wiki

Hi Viktor, Can you explain a bit who you are? I am from Riga, Latvia and New York.

How old are you? 31.

Can you talk a bit about your education? I went to Hunter University for my undergraduate degree, where I studied computer science before switching to media and then fine-art. I then moved to London to study at the Royal College of Art for my masters but ended up dropping out of the course early.

Can you describe what we are going to see at your exhibition? The exhibition is going to be an installation made of a couple of things. It revolves around an interactive computer game that I have programmed, shown across two flatscreen-monitors, with a sculptural, egg-shaped that you visitors touch and play with in order to maneuver around the gamespace. There is a sound component to that as well, and a set of instructions, though they are not labeled as such, which are hung directly opposite to the where the game is. They are written using a non-specific language, a semi-fictional codex of ideograms, on two A0 black and white posters. And then theres also a text written by a friend of mine, Monika Lipsic, that is available in a pile of A4 sheets to pick up, take way and read. So that’s whats going to be there.

What do you mean by “non-specific” language? I just mean that it’s not using language tied to a specific country. It uses a purely visual language, closer to drawings or hieroglyphs rather than words made of characters that have this nationalistic history.

So I wonder why or how does a game become an artwork? Well I guess, in the first place I would say why not? And then, its just another medium to explore and to work in. Just like any new medium that infiltrates mainstream cultural production, it is freshly open for speculation, exploration without necessarily being burdened by its deep history just yet. And that is pretty exciting I think.

Can you give some specific examples of a specific game that interests you? For me one of biggest inspirations that I have had outside of childhood, was “Immemory” by Chris Marker, this kind of labyrinthine exploration of a database that is also framed very specifically with this mousepad and physical layout of the surrounding space making it an almost ritualistic experience. The interaction in “Immemory” is labyrinthine, potentially endless and even overbearing, but yet doesn’t feel pointless. That was a profound experience for me, discovering this almost magical collection of hidden sounds, multiple worlds, rules, logic. And it gives you as much as you give it, so its not a passive experience - you have to put in a little of work, or have some desire, to be there with it, one on one, in order to get anything from it. It also has this paradoxical quality of being able to represent and reference anything in the world, from Medieval artwork to wartime atrocities, in a flattened way, kind of like an encyclopedia for an alien civilization.

What might the visitor experience in your work at this exhibition? I think the visitor most likely experience a certain amount of confusion, possibly frustration, visual stimulation, and hopefully some kind of excitement or curiosity.

Why do you think there will be confusion? Well because I really like these feelings and …

Why would they be in the work though? Well the game is built to behave in a way that is not exactly user friendly. But it’s not exactly user-unfriendly either. There is a certain futility of progress, or movement - it doesn’t just open up to you. You have to open up to it…you have to spend some with it. It doesn’t reveal itself to you right away, in a way that more straight-forward games. There are things happening in it without you triggering them, so for example, cause-effect relationships getting skewed, by the game self-triggering or working on timers in addition to user behavior and input

Is there a relationship between the accompanying text and the main game? The text isn’t directly related but rather thematically - it discusses navigation systems, being lost, the dérive, and ripples in time and space.

Is that to add to this intentional confusion? A litte bit I suppose, but I would like for there to exist more than one totality, instead of trapping the visitor in this singular world of the game. I hope it can became part of a sort of string that threads through the show thematically rather directly, creating a diverse kind of experience. My biggest concern is that maybe it’s a bit too abstract or confusing? I guess we will see.

Ok Thank you.