Project Description

Satellite
Tester

Curators: Dan Acostioaei and Cătălin Gheorghe

Aparte Project Space, Faculty of Visual Arts and Design, Iași, February 2009

An exhibition realized within the program carried out by Vector Studio in partnership with the Research Center for Aesthetics and Artistic Research of UNAGE.

Satellite: Tester

Curatorial argument:

The “Tester” project aimed to test, by means of artistic interventions, the local socio-political system in order to highlight internal errors, asking a question: “Is there, or not, a free will in the context of contemporary society?” This question was triggered by the perception of prestige associated with the automatic way of living our lives in a system based on laws and regulations, some of them relatively interpretable, unclear, limiting the individual and reducing her/him to a simple piece of a mechanism, which in any case does not seem to work properly in technical relation to the system.

The “personality test” consisted of the simulation of a voting session that would have taken place during the elections. The alternative proposed was to replace political figures with animal characters. Ironically, they were chosen based on the food chain hierarchy, comparing human society with an ecosystem. The election allowed the evaluation of possible upheavals, which do not occur in nature, but are present in the human social system. For this purpose, several ballot boxes were placed in various public locations, in which, similarly to a voting process, specially created voting bulletins were inserted, featuring drawings of 21 animals to be elected. Following the vote, a balance was made which highlighted the ranking decided by the audience.

The “drive test” consisted of an analysis of the road system itself, aiming, as in the case of the “personality test”, to highlight the prevalence of errors at organizational and administrative level in today’s society. The test criticized the ambiguity of the traffic code and the possibility of interpreting the legislation. The key to the traffic code is represented by the road sign that implies social involvement. In this sense, an artistic replica of the driving test was made, limiting the number of questions to 21 and correlating them with 21 images that captured different social problems. Regarding their visual design, the publicly known signs have been partially modified in order to be associated with the ironic context simulated.

“Job test” aims to ironically investigate and recreate a job interview. This test wanted to highlight the impassivity we face when we have to decide on actions that will dictate our lives later on. An interview was simulated in a space that would generate claustrophobia (to increase the state of panic) with two people being interviewed, as in a real-life situation. Out of the 109 standardized questions only 20 were chosen, considered relevant for a job interview. The last one, the 21st, which does not officially exist in a test, is basically the most important for the purpose of such a test: “In conclusion, what do you know to do?”

SATELLITE (Social Artistic Tendency group) is a collaborative group of artists (art students at that time) founded by Delia Bulgaru, Andrei Timofte, Anca Ștefănică, Alex Tărnăuceanu, Cristina Totolici and Clara Casian in February 2010. The name of the group was given by the idea that the artistic practice developed by the members would have a social applicability and would aim at a series of studies that would also use certain sociological and administrative tools. The term “satellite” was a metaphor for the geographical distance of the artists, who nevertheless shared a common vision on the various aspects of the impact of culture and art on the social environment.

Vector.org.roResearch Center for Aesthetics and Artistic Research of UNAGE“George Enescu” National University of the Arts