Greetings from the Future IV

Renaissance 2.0

Valerie Wolf Gang (SI), Miha Godec (SI)

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Have we lost our touch but gained new awareness?

Have we lost our touch but gained new awareness? What is the impact of the Artificial Intelligence on Life? What will the hybridization of Life and Artificial Intelligence mean for us? These are just some of the questions that are posed in the work by two alumni of the School of Arts, Valerie Wolf Gang and Miha Godec. While Valerie Wolf Gang studied film and video art, focusing more and more on contemporary art practices, especially in her MA studies, Miha Godec started his path as a photographer, which later became his main profession. On his MA level Miha included his passion for biology in his work, blending different areas of art, science and technology, and researching ecological ways to bring clean water to remote societies, at the same time exploring artistic views of AI in everyday life. Valerie Wolf Gang, in the meantime, went through her lifechanging personal project, which she recognized as a driving force for her future explorations in her PhD and her artistic practice, connecting art, science technology and sports. She is exploring possibilities for seeing the body anew, and how a radical change a person’s body affects their perception, similarly to the experience of an astronaut seeing Earth for the first time from Space. Valerie Wolf Gang and Miha Godec met in the first year of their BA studies at the School of Arts more than a decade ago. They are both internationally recognized emerging artists – Valerie recently received the national award for her artistic expressions – who support each other in their explorations, and sometimes even collaborate in joint projects as in “David’s Gaze.” We invited them back to our school as guest lecturers: currently Miha Godec holds a photography-in-special-conditions workshop, and Valerie Wolf Gang runs yearly experimental form workshops.

Valerie Wolf Gang (SI)
In every new decade, there are revolutionary technical inventions that always influence and change society. With the outcomes of the pandemic, we have seen how we can overcome specific social distancing solutions with the help of technology. However, even though technological solutions (such as virtual classrooms and other virtual worlds) enable us to continue our daily lives, education, and business, we still have not found the ultimate solution to satisfy all the basic human needs. One of them is the essential human touch. The multidisciplinary research project LOVE MACHINE dives deep into this issue and seeks a physical response to the feeling of love through modern new media technologies. Different virtual, augmented, mixed reality, artificial intelligence, and other emerging new media technologies are being used to analyze the psychological process around the emotion of love.
Technical realization: Darian Medved
Production: ACE KIBLA & UV Arthouse
Supported by Municipality of Ljubljana and FabLab Maribor, Slovenia, 2020 Interactive installation / AR, haptic tech, animation

Miha Godec (SI) and Valerie Wolf Gang (SI)
Michelangelo’s statue of David symbolizes a significant peak in the art world. Similarly, the project plays with the idea of Renaissance 2.0 when technology overtakes the human body. The central part of the project is a spatial installation consisting of a pedestal on which the visitor steps and places their head in the 3D printed David’s head (including an EEG machine and VR goggles) in which they experience a unique visual scene that relates to the future and the impact of contemporary technologies on life. There are different techniques included in the production of the installation: 3D scanning and design, 3D printing, programming, AI, VR, EEG, neural networks, and other technological approaches. The experience creates a symbiosis of human and artificial intelligence, trying to ”steal the dreams” of everyone encountering the installation and harvest their sense of creativity.
Programming: Žiga Pavlovič
Sound: Laren Polič Zdravič
3D design: Lovrenc Košenina
VR consulting: Marko Cafnik, VIPANO MULTIVERSUM GmbH
Technical support: Kristjan Tkalec, Urša Bonelli Potokar
Production: UV Arthouse
Coproduction: Zavod Kersnikova
Special thanks to Simon Celt, Jurij Krpan, Petra Milič, RAMPA Lab, Zavod Kersnikova
Project supported by Municipality of Ljubljana (2019) Interactive installation and VR art

Miha Godec (SI)
Interactive instalation and VR art
The VR project is a combination of 360-degree spherical photography, and archive sound recordings. Two mediums are combined, creating illusory moving images and helping to immerse the viewer into a virtual environment. While the project highlights the Anthropocene problems of global environmental change, it has the potential to serve a documentary role as a possibility of a virtual digital archive for future generations to experience lost places digitally. The user is confronted with a 360-degree spherical photograph representing a place that exists now but will not be here for much longer, an island called Naranjo Chico of the San Blas Archipelago, inhabited by indigenous people called Guna Yala, threatened with sinking due to rising sea levels. If you listen carefully, you can hear birdsong. It is a song by a bird called The Kaua’i ‚ō’ō from a family of Australian-Pacific honeyeaters. This species is now extinct due to habitat destruction, however, the related cause for extinction was human intervention. What you are hearing does not exist anymore; it’s a song last heard in 1987. The bird is all alone, the last of its kind, calling for a female that will never come.
Producers: Project is part of the “Media Arts and Practices” masters program at the School of Arts – University of Nova Gorica (2020)
Co-producer: IFCA-International Festival of Computer Arts
Special thanks to IFCA for grant and technical support, to Žiga Pavlovič and Marko Cafnik and to my mentors: Robertina Šebjanič, Rene Rusjan and Peter Purg

Valerie Wolf Gang (Slovenia, 1990): is a film director, videographer, and transdisciplinary art researcher who explores the relationship between humans and technology. She cooperates in global organizations in the intersection of science and arts and exhibits her work internationally (including Weltmuseum, Vienna; Institute of Contemporary Art, Singapore; Contemporary Art Centre, Portugal; Expo Garden, Beijing; Qubit, New York). She is the recipient of various prestigious scholarships and awards (Ivana Kobilca Award for current production, Vesna Award for best student film, Darmstädter Tage der Fotografi e, International Brain-Computer Interface Art Award, The Future of Innovation Award) and she established UV Arthouse, which produces experimental films, video installations, explores the extent of emerging tech. In addition, she lectures on contemporary artistic practices and film; she is a doctoral candidate at Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU), a professional associate at the Institute of Fine Arts in Vienna, a mentor in the program of the Centre for Creativity Slovenia and works under the auspices of the Network of Art and Cultural Research Centres (RUK) research center. Furthermore, she is active as a jury member in international film and new media festivals and is a frequent guest at global conventions on digital media at the intersection of science and art.

Miha Godec (1988, SI): graduated in 2014 from the University of Nova Gorica School of Arts and began his professional career as a photographer. During his studies, he perfected his knowledge at the Portuguese school ESAD (College of Art and Design). Godec has already held many photographic and new media exhibitions, both at home and abroad. In addition to creating art installations, he also gives lectures in photography and virtual reality. He independently carries out educational, scientific, and artistic workshops. Godec pays a lot of attention to the development of new media projects, in which he researches the consequences of anthropogenic impact on aquatic ecosystems, experimenting with water purification, and researching the sonification properties of water, at the intersections of art, science, and new technologies.