URTICA Art and Media Research Group: Social Engine

Exhibition at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, 11.11.2005 to 02.12.2005
Project presentation, Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, 11.11.2005

The project Social Engine by Urtica Art and Media Research Group (Eduard Balaz / Violeta Vojvodic) explores how cultural patterns spread. It was designed as an online database of memes, units of information transmissable through cultural behavior, which are then passed on to other people by imitation (Richard Dawkins). Memes are not coded as universal codes, and are consequently subjected to constant variations, i.e. modalities of expression by different users. Meme vehicles are textual and visual entities that possess a strong emotional charge and a high inter-subjective value. One might say that Social Engine is the stage upon which a “battle” is going on—a multi-headed conflict under the flag of a single idea.

The exhibition consisted of a terminal that visitors could use to access the current version of Social Engine, along with a wall piece containing icons from various meme carriers. At the opening, URTICA gave a presentation on the structure and workings of Social Engine.

URTICA Art and Media Research Group (Eduard Balaž, *1972 and Violeta Vojvodić-Balaž, *1971) was founded in 1999 and is based in Belgrade and Novi Sad, Serbia. The Group develops multidisciplinary projects where art, science, and social engagement merge. URTICA’s production ranges from internetbased artworks and media actions to art objects and installations. Special focus is put on educational projects such as workshops and web applications.

URTICA was a participant in the 2003 Ars Electronica exhibition Code—The Language Of Our Time and awarded the Unesco Digital Arts Award 2003. They have contributed to numerous international festivals and exhibitions including FILE (São Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), the Ogaki Biennial (IAMAS, Ogaki, Japan), Hilchot Shchenim—The Israeli Center for Digital Art (Holon, Israel), Kunstraum der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg (Germany), among others.

Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen

Weiherburggasse 13
6020 Innsbruck, Austria
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