With a background in both science and medicine, Atlanta-based multimedia artist Bojana Ginn often sees her creative work through the lens of technology. Her light-infused pieces, on exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia through November 17, radiate her philosophies about humanity’s place in the natural world, as well as the relationship between the opposing forces of tender physicality and immaterial light.
ArtsATL sat down with Ginn to discuss her work and the notion of the spiritual behind the technological.
ArtsATL: What do you want the viewer to take away from the experience of visiting your show?
Bojana Ginn: I have deliberately excluded titles and long conceptual explanations from this exhibition, with a desire to leave the maximum level of freedom to the viewer. I know this is risky, but I personally love work that is not pre-explained. However, whatever thoughts birth themselves inside the viewer’s mind, I hope that there is one quality that is prevalent: a sense of tenderness.
ArtsATL: Where did the inspiration for the new work spring from?
Ginn: The new exhibition is a continuum of the exploration that’s been my interest for a while now: who we are and where we are headed in relation to nature and technology, time, space and creativity. The interest in line, the interest in fiber and pixel, and what they can become in the context of time, space and materials, is still the essence of my personal explorations. The mechanics of perception and visual thinking, the ethics of trans-humanism and a phygital mind.
ArtsATL: Is there a particular story you want to tell with this exhibition?
Ginn: The work is abstract and speaks through line, shapes, softness and transparency of materials, scale, color, texture. I combine the tender materiality of wool with the immaterial nature of digitally generated light. Mind and body, material and immaterial, ancient and contemporary, bio and tech — all are complexities which are not opposites. If light is a machine, what is the spirituality of technology? What is the impact of softness?
ArtsATL: How has science influenced your art?
Ginn: My medical training has shaped the way in which I am thinking of the body and the world around us — the way I analyze things. This way of thinking and looking on things has shaped my art as well. Most of what we know about our body now is achieved through technology — from the first microscopes to contemporary computing behind gene editing. Depending on the technology, we see our bodies very differently. Through our eyes we see a figure. Through microscopes we see the various landscapes of our histology. With more powerful technology we see even into deep subcellular spaces. In my art practice, I analyze lines and drawings through various zooms and technologies. The line explored by hand is different than the line explored by a parametric design program or video-editing software.
ArtsATL: You use light and sheep’s wool in your work. What drew you to those materials?
Ginn: Both ancient materials, light and biofiber, are main players in the story of life, story of humans, our connection to nature and at present, technology. Hair is a tissue that we share with other mammals, and sheep was the first (and famous) mammal to be cloned. Besides the LEDs, the sources of light in the work are digital machines: projectors and monitors. What interests me is how these machines are the product of our biology and how through them we can display our inner artistic visual perceptions and abstract thoughts.