I see myself as a reflexive explorer: I draw on the interdisciplinary resources of art, social research and natural sciences to engage critically with some of key typologies that characterise contemporary imagination. My creative practice and research develop in three main directions:
1) Visual media, memory and time
I am interested in the unreliability of the image which is destabilised by the digital technology, such as AI-generated images and the so-called deep fakes. In my work I explore the affordances of both pre-photography and post-photography techniques with a particular emphasis on technical errors, which I approach as a source of evolution, a possibility to generate hybrid authorships. Experimenting with AI applications, I seek to test the boundaries of permissibility of what can be understood as “a public AI mind,” seeking to understand its neuro-atypicality. I question the emerging digital cage by tracking the emerging forms of the algorithmic censorship. As a visual ethnographer, I explore the ways in which the algorithmic censorship affects the public perceptions of time and collective memory.
2) Manifold materialities
The rise of the digitality did not result in the physical and chemical properties of objects obsolete. Quite the opposite: the objects are key non-human agents. To put it in the words of Bruno Latour, objects themselves are complex and relational, they remain key producers of our visual environment. Here I explore the traditional analogue photographic technology seeking to understand the extent to which the late modern aesthetic tastes and identities are influenced by the properties of silver particles. To what extent our emotions about the past are conditioned by the material properties of image production? For instance, the black-and-white and sepia-toned aesthetics of the photograph are side effects of the preservation of the image: the reaction of silver nitrate and the ability of chemical poisons to fix the image. These silver tones are used through filters in the digital photographs to hint at the times past, antiquity and memory. Black-and-white and sepia tones retained their cultural meaning, even though they lost their material carrier. In my practice I combine analogue processes (pre-photography) with digital and generated image negatives (post-photography). By using this mixed technique, I not only deconstruct the aesthetic code of our culture, but I also seek to give material bodies to digital souls. The process is as important for me as the outcome. Working with the analogue processes requires expert knowledge and concentration: I associate this with religious rituals and the forms of magic. The excitement of waiting for an image to develop reminds me of the waiting for a miracle. Indeed, many photographers working with the analogue methods noted that the very experience of the analogue process can be compared with experiencing transcendence.
3) Material in/stabilities, collective de/colonialisms My own cultural identity as a post-Soviet Lithuanian woman is embedded in the highly mediated history of my country. I seek to critically examine this mediated history with the help of material artefacts and visual archives in order to re-assess my own memories of the Soviet era. Responding to the crisis of objectivity, I use audiovisual techniques to interrogate the altered memory, particularly when it is falsely represented as an objective truth, deployed by populist ideologues and authoritarian regimes. My artistic response is to point to the multivocal and multi-layered nature of memories and to think of time as a non-linear process. Although I am interested in memory as a collective phenomenon that is fundamentally entrenched in stories and cultural narratives, I also emphasise the importance of neurophysiologies: that is, memories vary according to our physiologies and emotions, institutions and knowledge and the ways of preservation. Maintaining memories alive entails taking care of their physiological and material environments: landscapes, architectures and monuments. It is these material infra/structures of memory that oppressive regimes target first: Soviet and Western colonial regimes tried to settle the score with the past by destroying entire natural and cultural habitats. However, as destruction leads to forgetting, it undermines democracy. The question is how to preserve the reminders of a painful pasts and what artistic practice can do to mediate the peace process. Ongoing projects Radical things: Field research on the Lithuanian lifestyle migrants’ community in the Fuerteventura Island. I combine autoethnography, social research and artistic practice. Čiurlionis Drive: I explore the neurophysiological objects of the imagination as they are revealed through noise (white noise), the absence of light, and movement (the view through a car window). Working with different media, such as oil painting, creating what can be described as universal landscapes which are deeply embedded as cultural forms of identity, I am exploring the power of repurposing established forms of visual culture and materialities to shape and transfer archetypes – focusing on a wide range of sources, such as diaries, stories and photographs.