> Robots and Avatars Exhibition Review by Josie Jenkins > Art in Liverpool
“The premise for this exhibition lends itself well to interactive art and it was no surprise that the most easily accessible interactive artworks were the most popular with the public. For me, ADA by Karina Smigla-Bobinski, was by far the most fun and clever piece of art I’ve seen for a long time. It is a huge helium filled membrane like globe, with charcoal pieces attached at regular intervals. Referred to as a ‘she’, with her own free will, ADA floats around the room drawing on the walls and ceiling with her charcoal sticks. The viewer can interact with ADA by pushing and spinning her into the walls and together beautiful abstract drawings are created, made up of Cy Twombly style dots and dashes. Some may say the obvious choice, but I think this artwork is truly inspired in concept and practice alike and a must see (or do). (…)”
Interview by Katherine Wong for “OVERS!ZE” book project
K.W.: What was ADA originally produced for?
K.S-B.: ADA is a result of my thoughts and inquiries about the fundamental idea of ‘computer as a machine’ that can remember and create works of art, such as poetry, music, or pictures like an artist. I have developed ADA without a client. After she was finished in 2010, curators Ricardo Barreto and Paula Perissinotto invited ADA, as the first, to FILE Festival 2011 in São Paulo, Brazil. Then came FAD Festival in Belo Horizonte (Brazil), FACT Foundation in Liverpool (U.K.), FILE Festival in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and ZERO1 Biennial in Silicon Valley (U.S.), GARAGE Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow (Russia), etc..
K.W.: With ADA, what kind of experience did you intend to bring to the public and the exhibition space?
K.S-B.: The normal, traditional way of viewing art is to go to gallery and look, but the participation is confined to looking and nothing more. All reactions occur inside the viewers’ head instead of physically to the piece. Interactivity in art stands out as a way to connect with the audience. This contact between art and the public creates a relationship that involves the viewer personally in the project. The best part of interactive art installations is when you can use your body which then turns you into a part of the art piece. When we talk about interactivity, we imagine it as a digitally-created, non-physical experience which computers and electronics have very often forced into the foreground. But ADA as a post-digital artwork does not need programming because ADA is an analogue interactive kinetic sculpture. Same as my other works, it is very important for me that the entrance into the practical experience of art is possible for everyone and that visitors may decide how far they dip into the art experience according to their ability or will. I like the fact that visitors are able to work with the intuition in my installations and use their body to explain how they work. Here, as ADA is put in action by visitors, she would then fabricate a composition of lines and points which are incalculable in their intensity and expression. By exerting control on ADA, constantly visitors would fall into some kind of a trance as they try to govern ADA’s drawing path. Sometimes people forget where they are and that ADA is balloon vulnerable to damages. They might sometimes get a little bit too rough with her.