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Mar Canet Sola & Varvara Guljajeva, SPAMpoetry
UGM Studio, Trg Leona Štuklja 2, Maribor
opening: Friday, 29 August 2014, at 19:00

On Friday, 29 August, at 18:00 (an hour before the opening), you will have a chance to meet with the artist Varvara Guljajeva, who will discuss her work. The event is organised in collaboration with exhibition partner GuestRoomMaribor and will take place at UGM Studio.

“We have transformed spam messages into romantic, amusing, even sarcastic poetry and presented it in an unusual, tangible form of knitwear. We refer to our end-products also as ‘dysfunctional clothes’ as they remind us of pullovers, yet they are not what they seem to be. Just like spam messages, our clothes do not have any functional value.“ (Mar Canet Sola & Varvara Guljajeva)

SPAMpoetry is a series of works experimenting with visual aspects of poetry and digital manipulation of email messages. Poetry is created by means of algorithmic patterns from compiled spam messages and is printed by using a modified knitting machine to create seemingly useful clothes. The authors explore the combination of traditional hand work and digital culture as well as the speed of digital messages and the time consuming process of knitting. Spam messages are generated automatically and the same technique is used by the two authors: the automated generation based on algorithms for spam recycling and transformation of these messages into urban poetry. Spams were "harvested” locally, in Eindhoven and Malmo, where the project was initiated. Most recently it was exhibited in Mitte Barcelona (2014). With their work Mar and Varvara test technology and use it to explore new concepts in art and digital production.

In addition to SPAMpoetry, which brought the artists to knitting, the exhibition introduces other knitted pieces by the duo. Kombi, a knitted car, was created while in residency at Marginalia+Lab in Brazil. It is a Brazil-specific work as it communicates the importance of VW caravan in this country. The work also investigates sculptural and performative potential of knitted works. An entirely different project is NeuroKnitting. In this series of works the artists plot brainwave activity into a knitted pattern. In other words, NeuroKnitting deals with capturing certain emotional states into a garment – one stitch represents one second in one’s mind state. In this series of works the artists came up with an idea to plot brainwave activity into a knitted pattern. The first two series were produced while listening to classical music, while the third talks about football experience. The project was a collaboration between Varvara and Mar and artist Sebastian Meallaon. NeuroKnitting has received lots of media attention from most diverse fields – from women’s knitting magazines to journals of neuroscience. In addition to the art pieces, the artists for the first time present the working tools they had developed for the process of making their knitted works. Knitic is an open hardware – the 'new brain' - for an obsolete knitting machine that the artists have used for their knitting projects. The artists have replaced old electronics of knitting machines in order to be able to communicate with the machines directly through a computer. This section of the exhibition aims to communicate the development process of Knitic and the artists' way of working.

Mar Carnet Sola (Spain) and Varvara Guljajeva (Estonia) have worked as an artistic tandem since 2009. Integral parts of their creativity are research, innovation and exploration of the boundaries of technology. Their work has been presented in numerous international exhibitions and festivals. Mar Carnet Sola has graduated in art and design from ESDI in Barcelona and in computer game development from the University of Central Lancashire in Great Britain. He is currently finalising his Master’s Degree in art and design at the Linz University (Austria). Varvara Guljajeva received her Master’s Degree in digital media from the ISNM, University of Lübeck, Germany, and is currently working on her doctoral degree at the Estonian Academy of Arts in Talin.

Curator: Jerneja Rebernak



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