Marko Batista belongs to the younger generation of Slovenian multimedia artists. Splitting his time and creative efforts between London and Ljubljana, Batista – like the majority of Slovenian contemporary artists – creates and presents his work with far more success abroad than at home, where there is a considerable lack of both appreciation and venues for this kind of artistic expression. At least we thought so years ago, when Marko Batista started to appear in the spaces that are today considered places for sound art or multimedia experiences. Marko Batista first appeared in the Slovenian contemporary sound landscape as a member of Klon:Art:Resistance, which he co-founded with Miha Horvat. Marked by the digital milieu of video art, noise and the pulse of harder electronic dance practices, with occasional echoes of underground dub, this heterogeneous art collective at the time persistently rubbed the image with its guerrilla interventions into our now trendily called urban cultural space, from galleries and festivals to clubs. Klon:Art:Resistance thus entered the emerging techno culture in Slovenia in a rather specific and unique way – it introduced it to artistic intervention. This manner of space, as well as perception intervention, can be gathered from Batista’s performance titled “Error Trash v.1.3”, a sound intervention and audiovisual project grounded in imperfections of data transmission, in information interruptions, contortions and distortions on their way to the receiver via connectors, laptops and wireless communication networks within the web of digital technology. Disruptions and interferences lie at the very heart of noise and contemporary electronic music; similarly, they can be found in many of Batista’s projects, in their core of which lies in the investigation of the current media and technological society. This investigation can be construed as a consistent idea, which Batista often obscures, distorts by layering the information into a web of noises generated by technology, both analogue and digital, into a web of information, visual and sound-mediated, which are passed over as distortions in all their intensity. Interpreted as a break or interference, noise can be juxtaposed in opposition to music. However, precisely by becoming a genre, noise re-enters music as a specific deconstruction. Seen in this context, a certain segment of Batista’s work can be understood as a musical experience, even though his individual projects involve experiences of different kinds and qualities that join and disjoin different media, which network, overlap, envelop, and are split into heterogeneous experiences. All things considered, we need to bear in mind that Batista’s first medium is visual art. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Ljubljana, in 2005, and still as a student, presented his work at the 50th Venice Biannual in 2003 in the frame of the collaborative project “VV2: Recycling the Future”. In 2007, Batista finished his formal education by earning a Master’s degree in fine arts in London. The abovementioned work-in-progress “Error Trash” was presented at Ars Electronica in Linz in 2008 within the frame of the project “Ecology of Techno Mind”, organised by Kapelica Gallery; while this year, Batista appeared at the Berlin-based “transmediale” with the work “Syphone:Sys:Apparatus”. His 2010 work “Hybrid Sound Machines” marks Batista’s break into the hybrid field between the mechanic and the digital. Here, Batista embodies, through the medium of sound, an intertwinement of wires, digital technology, mechanisms and mechanic transmissions of different sound signals that are continually shifting between meaning and meaninglessness of signal and noise. Through this hybrid technological disposition (a fusion of mechanics, electronics and, ultimately, art, in this particular instance, contemporary electronic music with a minimalist visual component of undulating, evenly pulsating lines), Batista has been opening up a milieu of contemporary post-techno culture, a field into which he can be placed only provisionally, although he is presently one of its most active and visible makers.
Marko Batista is a Ljubljana-based tech-mixed-media artist, sound researcher, video experimentalist and AV performer, born in Tito’s Yugoslavia. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana and finished his Master of Arts degree at Central Saint Martins in London. As a researcher, Marko Batista focuses on themes such as DIY sound machines, displaced soundscapes, video transformation processes, networking data, dynamic intermedia systems, hybrid spaces, politics of art and other fields of contemporary media art. His sound performances and installations draw on the tradition of investigation in the field of experimental techno-media associated with the production and distribution of sound signals in mechanics, electronics and art. His engineered sound machines combine elements of controlled and automatic mechanical transmission that connect to electronic, digital and magnetic impulses and, with their specific direction, turn on circuits relevant for the production of hybrid soundscapes. His works have been presented at ARS ELECTRONICA – Featured Art Scene in 2008, 10th INTERNATIONAL ISTANBUL BIENNIAL, BIX Facade KUNSTHAUS GRAZ, Cellsbutton#3 – Indonesia, VIENNA BIENNALE 2008, ELECTRONIC CHURCH Berlin, CCA Glasgow, SLOWTIME 2007, Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana, NETAUDIO LONDON 2011, 15th International Festival of Computer Arts – Maribor, ZERO Gallery/TRANSMEDIALE.10 – Berlin, SHARE FESTIVAL, LAB 30, HAIP#10...
Nataša Muševič aka Dot
Nataša Muševič aka Dot is a music producer, singer, song writer, record label manager and a multimedia artist. She moved to London at the age of 19 to study sound engineering and later finished her honours degree in Recording Arts at London's SAE Institute. Natasha wrote her degree paper on the subject of copyright law and artist income distribution which led her to become an eager Creative Commons supporter thereafter. During her years in London Nataša managed Immigrant Recordings with Subeena which was the first dubstep record label managed by female producers with their own releases coming out at the time when dubstep was yet to be considered a serious genre. Under the alias Dot, Natasha produced music which was being supported by dubstep promoters and DJs such as Mary Anne Hobbs (BBC1), L.D.(Rinse Fm, Transition), Chef (Rinse Fm, Transition), Elemental (Hotflush, Runtime) and others. She also collaborated musically with various musicians such as Clara Moreno (voice), MCZani (voice), ZED-U (band), Andy Williams (saxophone), Pharoah Russel (drums) etc. Natasha's work in intermedia art extends to collaborative projects such as Magnetic Matrix (with Marko Batista), Sonične Skulpture (with Boštjan Čadež, Marko Batista and Satja Lumbar) and Sonosthesia (with Jernej Marušič a.k.a. Octex). Her interest in multimedia art aims to include continuous research of sonic frequencies which have always been the main focus of Nataša's creations. Her new record label Read Write Music is a Creative Commons label and aims to publish physical music releases (vinyls) under CC licenses.