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2019 Programme:

Social Engine: Virtual Utopia or Virtual Dystopia

Violeta Vojvodic Balaz

Participants of the workshop will be invited to contribute to the HoopUp online database. The is an art-educational-research that consists of an online tool, original educational-research methodology, and workshops focused on symbolic communication and social impact of the artistic message. The HoopUp is unique collaborative environment for the experiences of different authors where they can reflect on current cultural and social transformations.

Working together with the textual statement of cyber libertarianism which included a belief in:
– Emancipatory potential of Information Technology;
– Freedom of speech in cyberspace, without the fear of censorship;
– Digital Laissez-faire of high-tech entrepreneurship;
– Interest in self-management and Do it yourself [DIY] culture;
– Direct connection of cyber citizens based on their qualities and merits;
– Performativity of instant effortless communication;
– Direct democracy achieved by media technologies;
– System of personal freedom and choices For All;
– Information Frontier of an open source;
– Equal visibility of online initiatives

This workshop aims to: Pinpoint the anthropo-technological values that were embedded in the development of historical communication networks: ARPANET 1969, Minitel 1981-82, Internet and Web 1989-90 up to date;

Investigate the state of cyber libertarianism in the time of Artificial Intelligence and the Big Commercial Nudge, i.e., in which way the dominant socio-cultural patterns shape the virtual world as Altruistic, Self-oriented, Tolerant or Oppressive.


About the Artist 
Violeta Vojvodic Balaz studied at the University of Belgrade at the Faculty of Fine Art for her PhD with an art doctoral thesis The Case Of Art-Adventurers Operating Into Global Margin: Art, Money, and Value in The Age of Artificial Intelligence. Early works of Violeta included art objects and installations that revolved about the language identification patterns and visualisation of linguistic expressions, such as neologisms and onomatopoeia.

Her interest in symbolic communication and new media drove her toward experiments that combine ICT and fine art. She co-founded Urtica art and media research group in 1999, where she has been working as media artist. She exhibited at Ars Electronica, Viper, FILE, Ogaki Biennial, Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, and received UNESCO Digital Arts Award 2003 at IAMAS, Japan.

Within the framework of Urtica’s projects Social Engine and HoopUp, she held workshops with students and artists at the universities at Saint-Etienne, Luneburg, Belgrade, Novi Sad, and art organisations in Innsbruck, Ulm, and Montreal. She was also the co-founder and project manager (2001-02) at New Media Center (Novi Sad). Currently, she is PhD candidate in Transdisciplinary Studies of Modern Arts And Media at the Faculty for Media and Communication in Belgrade.



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