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Karina Smigla-Bobinski | Interview > von Silvia Monticelli for DipART

Why did you choose the installation as an expressive medium?

At the beginning of my artistic way I was a Painter. I used to work on 2D canvas surface, but very quickly I came to questions about color and form, as well as their movement on the surface and in the depth – the illusion of space. But what is color? It is a spectrum of light that reaches the human eye. And why should I simulate space when I can use the real one? So I decided to move from 2D to 3D and to use the light and public, theatre or exhibitions space as my space of art. On this way I came to installation. Working on this field I wanted immediately to involve the visitors because I saw its great potential and enrichment for my work. So that I transformed “my” space to “our” space, where all of us should be an active part of it. And I mean really active … not only to be present, but to use your body to get the idea of being a real part of it. Lot of my artworks are developed so that visitors complete the work of art. Prof. Mike Stubbs, the Director of FACT, the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in Liverpool says that for an institution like FACT „it is gold dust, bringing together engagement, collaboration, participation and wonder, one that is social and democratic“.

From Jean Tinguely I learned that art should be IN the society and not outside of it and that the temporary factor and the big size of artworks protects against the annexation by the closed community of art dealers and collectors, who understand art as an investment. (This way almost all artworks disappear in the dark cellars of Art Depots.) So for me as an artist, it exempted me from the concerns about art market ranking and so on and allows me to make art, as I want to do. Art is my communication medium which opens me an access to direct exchange with wide audience. It is very important for me that the entrance into the practical experience of art is possible for everyone and that visitors may decide how far they dip into the art experience according to their ability or will. I dig a hole to Wonderland … but jumping into it? This, you need to do by yourself.

For example in my installation ADA I like the fact, that visitors are able to work with the intuition and use their body to explain how it works. The globe put in action by visitors fabricates a composition of lines and points, which are incalculable in their intensity and expression. The signs on the walls are recorded memories of the movement and thus the characters of the visitors. But ADA does not follow 100% “programs” or commands of people. However hard the visitor tries to control ADA, to drive her, to domesticate her, he would notice very soon, that ADA is an independent performer and sometimes she just works away.

ADA – analog interactive installation by Karina Smigla-Bobinski, photo from Karina Smigla-Bobinski on Flickr

Where do you get the inspiration for the creation of your installations?

My artworks are materialized stations or results of my thoughts. I’m an artist and my primary perception is a visual one. I think in pictures, and so I articulate myself in this way. It is logical that my (communication) medium is a visual one.

We live in this world and I try to understand what is going on outside of the black box of our body. Sometimes, I set my view to the outside and position myself in relation to the others. Sometimes, I set my gaze inward and examine our perception and awareness. Therefrom, I create art to get in dialogue with the others. The interactive artworks create an unhesitating connection, where information flows not only in one direction (artist > artwork > visitors), but influence each other and create something new, when meet in the artwork (artist > artwork < visitor).

Is there an artist who has inspired you?

There are a lot of them! … and not only artist! There are scientist, philosophers, writer, theatre makers … exactly, for example last week I saw ‘barbarians’ by Hofesh Shechter at Berliner Festspiele … He shows us what means human condition, honesty, synesthesia of body, music, movement … wow!

CONE by Karina Smigla-Bobinski, MSGSÜ Tophane-i Amire Culture and Arts Center in Istanbul, Turkey, 2013, photo form Karina Smigla-Bobinski on Flickr

What is your favorite art work?

Art works are not trophies that I collect in a showcase. Art is not a competition! Art enters into a dialogue with people and meanwhile they can fight against each other or in turn build on each other, support, or influence one another, quote from each other… but never ever wants to be your favorite one! This do works that have been made to be sold … but those are more products than works of art.

Who is your favorite artist?

I do not have the favorite one. There are some whose technique, courage, boldness I admire, or who have brought me further, have inspired me.

SIMULACRA by Karina Smigla-Bobinski, photo from Karina Smigla-Bobinski on Flickr

DipART is a blog/platform that would like to give significance and importance to the artists who work with the big installation. The idea comes from a consideration on contemporary art and new media. My passion for total and interactive installations comes from the love for art, new media and computer science. The total installation concept was born in 1827 with Richard Wagner. DipART would like to analyse the trasformation of the immersive installations during the time. > DipART