Saturday, 22 March 2014


Alexsandra Domanović (2013-14) From yu to me, film still.

Aleksandra Domanović’s work within this exhibition weaves together research contextually grounded in the turmoil of 1990s Yugoslavia. The generation of a culture of information in an age of technology currently voicing data disruption and abuse of data power connections attempting to bring about some sort of data democracy leads the exhibition to be topical indeed.

I entered Firstsite at ten o’clock sharp expecting a buzz and queue to match, however I managed to view the whole of Domanović’s thirty minute film being interrupted only by a passing gallery assistant. The atmosphere of the room with walls lined with a layer of black paint was interrogative, with the audio echoing across the gallery space - Domanović lingered.
From yu to me (2013-14) explores and tracks the development of the Internet domain .yu – the “international country code for Yugoslavia in 1989” – this domain was later deleted in 2010.  When parts of Yugoslavia gained independence new countries such as Slovenia gained their own domains to match.

The documentary charts Yugoslavia’s history in becoming one of the first countries in the world to be connected to the Internet as Domanović allocates time to interviews from computer scientists who enabled and established this connection to the Internet and the rest of the world. Socio-political and economic aspects of the transmission of data, information and knowledge created a cyclical structure of power in the technologically advanced Yugoslavia of the 90s.
Selective influence and modelling of the Internet creates in 2014 a sense of mass manipulation and catharsis as identities true and false are shared.  Domanović reflects this in a synergy and intertextuality created by a bricolage of elements within the documentary style film extracting information from the interpolated Yugoslavian media from the 90s.

The polysemy and globalisation of the Internet currently stretching toward the transgressive is subservient to the hidden narratives within the history of the .yu which Domanović  discovers in amongst a symbolic attachment to virtual existence and data development. Cultivation and two step flow theories circle the web with Domanović highlighting the birth of the Internet as a taxonomy to data.

The explorative cycle into networks of knowledge investigating domains and information paths connects this film to the second film within the exhibition 19:30 (2010-11): which takes its name from daily evening news programmes which provided essential and vital information throughout the conflict during the division of Yugoslavia.

The two screens in the installation broadcast films comprised of clips which follow the dissolution of Yugoslavia as new television stations set up in the divided fresh new ground of new countries. The long cables which attach headphones to the monitors reflect the linear formation of the film as lines of audio tracks track techno music developments in news bulletin theme tunes.

Alexsandra Domanović (2010-11) 19:30, installation view.

Power networks interchanging across domains and economic benefit in the turbulence of the 90s are charted within the documentary which itself seems to float in an almost absurd virtual space. The fear of when data enters the public domain is a fear of disintegration, dismantling the architecture of data and its integrity. Information management systems are weak as society becomes increasingly data hungry Domanović shows the significance of data not only becoming part of our lives but becoming life itself.

Alexsandra Domanović (2013-14) From yu to me, film still. 

Alexsandra Domanović (2013-14) From yu to me, film still. 

Alexsandra Domanović (2013-14) From yu to me, film still. 

Alexsandra Domanović (2013-14) From yu to me, film still. 

The exhibition Alexsandra Domanović, runs from the 22nd March until the 1st of June 2014 at Firstsite gallery, Colchester.

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