Sep 13, 2011

PROFILE | Karina Smigla-Bobinski

Karina Smigla-Bobinski, Ada-Analogue Interactive Installation,Kinetic Sculpture, 2010

The full intention of artwork is what the artist mentally then physically creates combined with the later reaction to the work by the viewer. This is Karina Smigla-Bobinski's exact intention in her installation, Ada. Inspired by Ada Lovelace, she created this free moving sculpture that operates like a computer to make a creation of its own. The intended attention this piece needs to fulfill Smigla-Bobinski's vision is achieved when the 300 charcoal sticks poking out of the helium filled balloon react with human contact hundreds of times.
Karina Smigla-Bobinski, Ada-Analogue Interactive Installation,Kinetic Sculpture, 2010

Karina Smigla-Bobinski was born in 1967 in Szczecin/Poland and now works as a freelance artist in Germany. She is most known for her use with digital media in making her installations which led her to build this particular piece, that debuted at the FILE Electronic Language International Festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil in the summer of 2011. Ada is trapped in a floor to ceiling white room, starting as a clear 3 foot in diameter helium filled balloon. "It is a movement experienced visually, which like a computer make an unforeseeable output after entering a command," said art critic Arnd Wesemann. As more and more visitors play around with the sculpture the walls are marked on by the charcoal sticks in a untraceable sequence. Visitors can pull and tug on the ball as much as they please watching the complexity grow with each interaction eventually making the walls and balloon itself covered in charcoal.

Karina Smigla-Bobinski, Ada-Analogue Interactive Installation,Kinetic Sculpture, 2010

This is where the separation between the art itself and the art it creates, shines. When physically in the room with Ada you might feel as though you are creating some sort of art of your own on the walls using your hands and your thought, but the correlation between the size of the balloon and the size of the room gives the charcoal residue a distinct and yet uncalculated marking. Each individual that comes in the room to move the object around has their own touch and signature left on the wall. Smigla-Bobinski often uses her viewers as the main stage in different installations she has throughout her work. For example, in her paradise video installations she would have people recorded talking about what their personal paradise was, then those videos were viewed in a gallery setting. Or another video installation called wormhole in 2008. A mobile wormhole structure was built and place on a sidewalk. Many walking around it stopped and looked in the hole where they were recorded and pieced together in a common sequence like in most of her work. The broad subject matter of any civilian being able to be a part her concepts. 

Smigla-Bobinski really makes your creativity have a split personality. You sometimes think as an artist that creates your personal concept with the final touches only done with your own hands. Then on the other side you can see your creation as a computer, like Ada Lovelace envisioned. These were machines programmed to operate like a computer that could create on their own. This relates to the common relation in all of Karina Smigla-Bobinski's artwork; machines created to create. Second to the machines are the other human interactions reflected directly to complete your goal.  It's a great eye opener to know that creativity does'nt have to stop when you make your final touches; it can keep generating more output.

-Patricia Garrett

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