Bogdan Matei is a PhD student at Timișoara Doctoral School of Art, with a thesis on questioning the status of the art object in the age of artificial intelligence. His artistic practice is situated around new media as well as traditional media. His artistic approach include elements of irony and institutional criticism.
Unmediated Free Space (Spațiul Liber Nemijlocit), 2022
Unmediated Free Space (Spațiul Liber Nemijlocit) is an artistic intervention in the digital environment, a false mapping of a space that exists only because of its virtual nature. The intervention is a new space placed on the Google Maps platform, made with 3D software, in front of the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Romania.
The concept of the work started from the idea of creating a virtual space that is not institutionalized, an area without rigors that can be accessed by anyone. The placement on Google Maps in front of a contemporary art museum is an ironic commentary on how art objects produced by emerging artists must be validated hierarchically by the trends set by collectors, gallerists, curators or even other established artists in order to break into the “real” art scene.
As a resource that can be freely accessed by any user, Google Maps can be another plane of debate, an agora where artists can short-circuit the system and social constructs of virtual and real space and how we relate to them.
Interventions of this kind have also been practiced by the Room69 artists’ group in Vienna.
The implementation of the project was in itself an important part of the artistic message, as the work was removed by the algorithm 4 days after the first test, when the intervention was flagged as non-compliant with the community guidelines following a user’s feedback on Google Maps. This is not a question of artificial intelligence censoring an artistic act, but rather the beginning of a dialogue between art and an algorithm that aims at an unbiased approach to democratize access to maps, images from around the globe or real-time traffic data. We do not know how long it will last online. It is a risk that arises from working with in the digital space.
*[A project made in collaboration with George Varga]
Dynamic Links continues our main initiative to commission Romanian digital artists for new works. This was coordinated by Nicoleta Mureș, one of the artists that were part of our portfolio and previously commissioned for our website. Thus, continuing our purpose to create a network of digital artists that help and grow together. With the intention to support more interactive endeavors, the current project brought together programmers and digital artists that collaborated in the creation of one desktop interactive application. The works will be available on our website spam-index.com.
Dynamic Links is funded by the National Cultural Fund Administration and does not necessarily represent the position of the AFCN. AFCN is not responsible for the content of the project or how the results of the project may be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the beneficiary of the funding.