Wayfinding in Contemporary New Media Art

TRACE: Wayfinding in Contemporary New Media Art exhibition features the artists who draw inspiration from different forms of situational awareness transforming them into complex new platforms for reflection and discourse: Yin-Ju Chen & James T. Hong, Badfaith VR (Shaun Gladwell & Leo Faber), Dejan Grba, Jonathan Harris, Ron Hutt, Nicolas Maigret & Brendan Howell, Kelly Mark, Julian Palacz, Alexander Schellow, Syntfarm (Vladimir Todorović & Andreas Schlegel).

TRACE will take place in MoCA Salon, Belgrade (30 March — 28 May 2018) and in Pro Arts, Oakland (20 July — 31 August 2018). Within each venue, the exhibition is redeveloped as an autonomous setup with a specific configuration of the artworks. It includes educational programming with round tables, lectures and workshops, which will be documented and publically available. The show in MoCA Salon will be accompanied by a catalogue published by MoCA Belgrade, and the complete project will be presented in a book published by McNally Jackson in New York.

TRACE is curated by Dejan Grba, Anna Novakov and Yvonne Senouf, members of [PAS].


When I trace at my pleasure the windings to and fro of the heavenly bodies, I no longer touch the earth with my feet: I stand in the presence of Zeus himself and take my fill of ambrosia.

Ptolemy, Almagest (Syntaxis Mathematica), AD 150.

Hellenistic astronomer Claudius Ptolemy looked to the skies and traced 48 constellations including Gemini (the Dioskouri twins named after Castor and Pollux), linked to Messier 35 cluster dating back 100 million years. Today, we can use mobile astronomy apps to follow the distinct colors of the stars Ptolemy described in his ancient wayfinding text. Science and technology of our time make it easier to track not only celestial mechanics, but the earthly movement of matter, animals and people in various scales and contexts: short routes from home to work, long-distance air travels or ancestral migratory routes gleaned from DNA analysis. They have created new aggregates of hybrid knowledge such as the atlases that map biodiversity and environmental changes on the planetary surface but also deep within the earth’s core. TRACE features diverse contemporary artists who draw inspiration from these and many other forms of situational awareness, and transform them into new platforms for reflection and discourse. They engage with wayfinding in unique and engaging ways, and address it on different conceptual levels.

DEJAN GRBA is a media artist, author and educator. He has exhibited and lectured at venues including ISEA Manizales and Hong Kong, SIVA Shanghai, ZKM Karlsruhe, IFA Berlin, GfZK Leipzig, Montevideo Amsterdam, MiP Vienna, CCN and <rotor> Graz, MoCA Novi Sad, MoCA and MST Belgrade. He has published papers in new media art journals worldwide. He is a founder and a chair of New Media department at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade where he teaches Transmedia Research. He teaches Poetics of Digital Art at Digital Art PhD program at University of the Arts in Belgrade.

ANNA NOVAKOV is a fashion essayist, olfactory curator and new media art critic. In 1992, after completing her doctorate at New York University, she came to prominence in Manhattan as one of the first art critics to write about the interrelationship between art, technology and Utopian spaces. The author of dozens of books, exhibition catalogues, magazine and newspaper articles, Novakov lives in California and New Mexico and is Executive Director of Freehold Taos, co-Founder of Provisional Art Spaces and Adjunct Professor at University of New Mexico, Taos.

YVONNE SENOUF has more than thirty years of experience in the art world, working as a creative producer for the public and private sector. She has collaborated and worked with Christies’, The Studio Museum in Harlem, MoMA, The McKee Gallery, National Gallery of Art Venezuela among others. In 1995, she founded Clinica Aesthetica, an experimental multidisciplinary space dedicated to the production of cultural projects. She currently lives in the South of Spain and in parallel to be a Founding Partner of MELD, (a platform dedicated to art and climate change), is working on several art productions for a select group of visual artists, like Australian artist Shaun Gladwell “1000 Horses”, commissioned by the Sherman Foundation, Sydney.

Provisional Art Spaces [PAS] is an international consortium of curators and artists who create opportunities for spatial transference through artistic affiliations, environmental action and strategic productions. As an association, [PAS] uses territorial entanglement and emerging technology as vehicles for migratory art practices. Working in the United States, Asia and Europe, [PAS] offers an innovative model for contemporary art production that goes beyond the established art market and towards a more egalitarian embrace of viewers and audiences.