In May 2018, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art announced a competition for artists looking to experiment and develop new skills in the area of complex digital technologies, which they could integrate in their creative practices. Five artists were selected for participation in the project IAM. Episode I. Lab carried out in collaboration with FabLab Moscow.
From June 6 to July 8 a fully equipped FabLab studio, containing a 3D printer, milling and laser cutters, and computers, occupied the space allocated for the IAM project at Garage. The five competition-winning artists—Ekaterina Steppe, Aleksey Smolyannikov, Ivan Novikov, Andrey Shkarin, and Ekaterina Efimova—were instructed by FabLab tutors in the use of the lab’s equipment, helping them to create new artworks that were later exhibited in the same space.
Aleksey Smolyannikov (b. 1986, Penza) graduated from the Samara State Economics University (Marketing Department, 2011) before completing the Video Art workshop at the Rodchenko Art School (2017) where his personal show Vidi was held in 2016. Smolyannikov has also exhibited his works at a number of group shows, including: Chto rastet snizu (What Grows from Beneath), Elektrozavod Gallery, Moscow, 2016; Made in Moscow, Alexander Rodchenko Apartment, Moscow, 2016; Shanghai, East Gallery, Moscow, 2016; and Pro ShR (About SHR), Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, 2016. He lives and works in Moscow.
“New technologies have long before become the symbol of vanguard knowledge, while their implementation in contemporary art has no limits anymore. But what’s on the other side of this knowledge and these technologies? This is the key question I’m striving to find answers to by joining in this project.”
Andrey Shkarin (b. 1990, Moscow) graduated from the State Academic Art School 1905 (2013) and currently studies at the Surikov Moscow State Academic Art Institute. Selected group exhibitions include: I Want, Aidan Gallery, Moscow, 2016; The Art of Consummation, Chisty Pereulok, 4/1, Moscow, 2016; Time is Waiting, Pskov State Park Museum, Omelchenko Gallery, Moscow, A3 Gallery, Moscow, 2017; and Art Bardak, Zdes na Taganke Gallery, Moscow, 2018. He lives and works in Moscow.
“Being part of this project for me means an opportunity to work together with art professionals, learn more about contemporary materials and try to use them as an artist, and take advantage of the unique experience in the fields of both the arts and technologies. It’s a great chance to materialize my boldest and technically most complicated ideas. A chance to utilize the whole spectrum of skills and knowledge, to move forward, to collaborate with likeminded people.”
Ivan Novikov (b. 1990, Moscow) is an artist, art historian and curator. Graduate of the Surikov Moscow State Academic Art Institute and BAZA Institute (Moscow). Cofounder of the artist run space Center “Krasny” (Moscow) and Head of the Painting department at BAZA Institute, Novikov is editorial board member at Hudozhestvenny Zhournal. He lives and works between Moscow and Hué, Vietnam.
“I got drawn into this project for two reasons, the first being the wish to practice my skills in the mediums and techniques that are completely new to me. It is important for me to realize ideas using 3D printing and other formats, because previously my work was mainly concentrated around natural materials and the principles of craft and industrial production. Meanwhile the experience of digital modeling opens new mediums for me as an artist.
Secondly, my project is based around the idea of bringing together two types of materiality. The expected models of monuments should combine the popular ‘handmade’ “No pasarán” gesture, represented today primarily in the field of sex toys, and the ‘natural’ flora that covers them. This kind of hybridity of materials and contents is important for me, as it resonates with the ideological implications of my project.”
Ekaterina Steppe (Kotik Ptits)
Ekaterina Steppe (Kotik Ptits) (b. 1986, Moscow) is a composer, conductor, author and musician working with neoclassical, experimental, and pop art music. Graduate of the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music (Moscow), in 2009–2017 she worked as a choir master at various choirs and vocal ensembles. Author and member of the music band Nerazluchniki (together with Tatyana Stepanova). Ekaterina currently teaches vocal music at the Moscow School of New Cinema. She lives and works in Moscow.
“After visiting various art shows several times in a row and spending quite a lot of time at exhibitions in the past year, rather than treating art as aesthetically pleasing objects invoking emotional feedback and instigating intellectual work, I started seeing it as source of a more important knowledge bearing the artist’s state of mind and visual mediums, which gave me a totally novel spiritual experience.”
Ekaterina Efimova (b. 1983, Moscow) graduated from the New Media Department of Moscow’s Rodchenko Art School (2013) before studying Design and Technologies at the Parsons School of Art, Media and Technologies (New York, 2013–2015). Having initially worked with video and interactive media, she currently devotes herself to programming and physics in computer technologies. Ekaterina lives and works in Moscow.
“Even though I’ve been interested in 3D printing for a long time now, I am always eager to engage in new experimentations by trying new materials, scales, etc. On the other hand, I’d really wish to bring attention to the catastrophic problem of climate change. Life has become dirty!”