Katja Novitskova

DuetSoothe LX, 2014

electronic baby swing, polyurethane resin, stock image of protein molecule, shelving clamps, power magnets

110 × 90 × 90 cm


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Additional Information

Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

photo credit: def image, Berlin

Artwork
Description

DuetSoothe LX is typical of the artist’s work and explores the idea of human life within a technologized context. The work consists of an electronic baby swing with polyurethane resin attached. A stock image of a protein molecule included within the work epitomises the union of technology and human biology that stimulates the artist: Novitskova uses technology to show human life on a molecular level.

The sculpture, which resembles some kind of aeronautical buggy, rocks gently back and forth. The automated movement is soothing and suggestive, Novitskova shows technology as a cradle for human life and as inextricably intertwined with contemporary life. The machine is shown to literally support vulnerable human life. In a work from the same series created an apple logo in a synthetic orange material and placed it above an outline of the brain. The artist thus urges the viewer to consider the amalgamation of man and machine.

The artist researches ongoing revolutionary transformations of matter, social and informational processes in the present globalized world, developing personal strategies to render its future forms. In this work Novitskova suggests that technology has become a part of the evolutionary cycle.

With a background in visual semiotics, graphic design and new media, her works range from digital collages to sculpture and installation, collaborative projects and artist publications. In 2010 Novitskova released her artist book and curatorial initiative called “Post Internet Survival Guide 2010”. In her book the artist explains that ‘the notion of a survival guide arises as an answer to a basic human need to cope with increasing complexity. In the face of death, personal attachment and confusion, one has to feel, interpret and index this ocean of signs in order to survive.’

DuetSoothe LX embodies this anxiety and curiosity about the future of humanity in an increasingly technologized age.

About
the artist

Katja Novitskova (b.1984) was born in Talinn, Estonia and now lives and works between Amsterdam and Berlin. She studied graphic design at the Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam and holds an MSc at University of Lübeck, Germany (2007).

Novitskova interrogates the positions and locations where the technological and physical coincide, understanding them as two facets of the same ideological continuum. Blurring distinctions between media, she is interested in the interpretation and perception of visual material and works with digital collages, sculptures and installations. Katja Novitskova also released a text, Post Internet Survival Guide in 2010, an exploration into the creation and distribution of art online in that year. It is both the artist’s publication and an installation; not solely to be read, it has also featured as the subject of numerous artworks. As digital materials rapidly change, an image can soon alter and take on new meanings. In the foreword to the book, Novitskova asserts that “the notion of a survival guide arises as an answer to a basic human need to cope with increasing complexity.” She describes it as an essential tool that addresses the space “where we ask ourselves what it means to be a human today.”

Novitskova’s Spirit, Curiosity and Opportunity exhibition (2014) was held in Berlin as a continuation of her first solo show, MACRO EXPANSION (2012). The name is formed out of the titles of the Mars rovers, which gather information about the planet and relay it back to Earth. One of the robots has cameras attached and as photographs of the planet’s surface are sent back, they are disseminated through the internet and re-evaluated. Novitskova draws attention to the human inclination to interpret information through reliance on prior knowledge; often people unconsciously attempt to perceive images and recognisable subjects in abstraction. Novitskova investigates the complexity of human behaviour, our engagement with the physical and digital world that surrounds us, and the online circulation of visual forms. Her work is both integrated in the digital world and provides analysis of it.


Novitskova interrogates the positions and locations where the technological and physical coincide, understanding them as two facets of the same ideological continuum. Blurring distinctions between media, she is interested in the interpretation and perception of visual material and works with digital collages, sculptures and installations.

In the foreword to the book, Novitskova asserts that “the notion of a survival guide arises as an answer to a basic human need to cope with increasing complexity.” She describes it as an essential tool that addresses the space “where we ask ourselves what it means to be a human today.”


Katja Novitskova
on Artuner

Part of the
exhibition