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Polona Tratnik

Polona Tratnik, Ph.D., is vice-dean for research at Alma Mater Europaea – Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis and the principal investigator of the research program Investigation of Cultural Formations. She is a Professor at the University of Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Maribor Faculty of Education, Faculty of Primorska Faculty for Design, and Sigidinum University Faculty for Media and Communication. She was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar and a Guest Professor at University of California Santa Cruz (2012), and a Guest Professor in Capital Normal University Bejing, China, University of Art and Design Helsinki Taik, Finland, and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City. She is the president of Slovenian Society of Aesthetics. She authors five monographs, among others Hacer-vivir más allá del cuerpo y del medio (Mexico City: Herder, 2013) and Conquest of Body (Springer, 2016).

Articles of Polona Tratnik

Art as Acting Against the Program of the Apparatus

Vilém Flusser is one of the first scholars to address the systems of technical media, as well as the biotechnological manipulation of the living world, in relation to the issue of programmability. In this regard Flusser questioned the position of the actor, the operator or perhaps the creator in these systems. If the functionary and the apparatus merge into a unit and apparatus has its program, what is the role the artist if he or she is not just anyone who is exhausting the options offered by the program? In the paper the functionary of the apparatus of the camera and the “creator” in the field of biotechnics are compared in order to establish the similarities in both “creative” practices of an (artistic) photographer and of a biotechnological artist, as well as discuss the similarities with other artistic practices discussed by Flusser. The apparatus functions as “intelligent machine” thus it has certain power. The subject involved in the game of the apparatus is subjected to its structure. The question is, how to establish the critical stance, how to act against the apparatus. This transposes the notion of an artist as a supposed creator to the notion of an artist as the one who resists the structures of power.

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