Cezar Mocan (b. 1993, Romania) is an artist and computer programmer whose work explores the power structures at play in our relationship with technology. Using generative software, video, and game engines, he often creates absurd worlds that challenge our assumptions about digital culture. Drawing on media archaeology and art history, Cezar’s work traces the origins of our current technological thought patterns, offering a provocative perspective on the role of technology in our lives.
He has exhibited internationally, including a solo show at SPRING/BREAK (New York, 2021) and a collaboration with video print company Infinite Objects. His real-time simulation work, Arcadia Inc. was recognized as a 2021 winner of the Lumen Prize in Art and Technology.
Arcadia Inc., real-time simulation, 2021
Arcadia Inc. is a work of speculative fiction which responds to the widespread use of landscape photography as a vehicle for marketing, and subsequently as a carrier for neo-liberal ideology. In observing context erasure as the main mechanism behind re-programming images with new meanings, the work proposes a new model for obtaining the type of nature imagery meant for brand-based visual communication: a group of virtual beings which photograph scenic beauty in a real-time simulation, a model that is strangely convenient for users of such images, while raising important questions about the future of image making.
World Upstream, real-time simulation, in progress, 2023
Amidst the hum of the turbines, a quiet picnic unfolds by the river / A hydropower plant, once a monument to the raw power of (human) technology, now transformed into a site of leisure / Here, a multitude of life forms converge, re-kindling a once disrupted ecosystem. World Upstream is an upcoming real-time simulation centering the relationship between built infrastructure and the “natural” landscape, through the perspective of an emergent, more-than-human community reclaiming the site of a decaying dam. Work in progress.
Office Olympics, custom software, single channel video, 8:14, 2020
Office Olympics is conceived as a television game show for the 21st century aspiring entrepreneur. The show, hosted by an Amazon Echo smart assistant, follows the encounters of three successful employees with their companies’ core values, through a series of physical challenges. Held at everyone’s favorite co-working space, Office Olympics pictures a reality where Silicon Valley’s commitment to “making the world a better place” becomes a matter of life, death and entertainment.
Delicate Chaos, custom software, archival ink on paper, 2022
Delicate Chaos is a long-form generative work, consisting of 168 abstract compositions made for the pen plotter. In bringing together grids and noise, organic lines intersecting geometric shapes, as well as rigid structures holding fluid content, Delicate Chaos seeks the subtle beauty emerging from randomness, chance and chaos, while acting as a meditation on control and its impossibilities.