INTERVIEW: alinta krauth talks about her work featured in the virtual exhibition "the new unconscious"
By Danielle Kalamaras
Alinta Krauth is a digital artist whose work is featured in the virtual exhibition The New Unconscious currently on view on SciArt Center's website. Her piece "if-notNow, if-then-when-else" is an interactive 3D HTML5 piece that attempts to marry the theme of climate change, with that of the chaotic mind/unconscious, through the lens of chaotic glitch art and code poetry. She took the time to speak to me about her work and what the 'new unconscious' means to her as an artist:
DK: How do you define the "New Unconscious"?
AK: There are many books that explain ‘the new unconscious’ as a series of recent insights into cognitive science that change the way we understand unconscious processes and processing. Being able to manipulate, control, or at least understand the unconscious is a subject popular not just in neuroscience, but in quasi-sciences and popular culture. However “New Unconscious” is a term that can conjure up many other readings. For example, one way to approach these words is to consider the collective unconscious: social, environmental, and political issues that the collective mind choses to ignore or forget. These are themes often seen in my artwork.
click to continue this interview:
What part does this unconscious play in your work?
This particular piece of mine shown in The New Unconscious exhibition is an interactive installation/net artwork made of glitched images and animations, with a glitched spoken-word soundtrack. The fast-paced color changes look like rainbow analogue static. The visual data being glitched is mainly old video of important moments from my years as a teenager, but of course once manipulated to this extent, the original film looks very different. I like glitched data because it represents many things: here it represents the failure of memory, the fairly uncontrollable nature of the unconscious, the synaesthetic power of color, and the strange connection between over-stimulation, and meditation and stillness.
In my practice more generally I am interested in the connection between proprioception and the idea of ‘flow’ as championed by Csikszentmihalyi. ‘Flow’ meaning to take action while not noticing the body at work. I do not believe that processes done in flow are entirely unconscious actions, and I believe that proprioception can be consciously followed. This bodily perception is something I hope to explore further in my art.
How does the unconscious affect your everyday perception and behavior?
I enjoy the usual learned automatic skills that are stored in my unconscious muscle memory: driving a car, riding (and falling off) a pushbike, remembering a dance, being a superhero in my spare time... But for about ten years now I’ve had an interesting experience in my sleep commonly known as ‘sleep paralysis’. It’s generally a space where my unconscious mind scares the bejesus out of me just as I am trying to fall to sleep. This certainly affects sleeping patterns, but I’m also trying to use it to my creative advantage… it’s a bit of a secret at the moment but I’ll let you know how it turns out…
What does "SciArt" mean to you?
I believe that science and art (here I also include creative writing as art) can barely exist without each other. They are the realms of the creatives – the disciplines that most need imaginative thought and unbridled genius. I believe all great artists would make great scientists, and all great scientists could just as easily be great artists.
Funnily enough, I can be a bit of a ‘sci-art’ purist – I think of it as art that is either created through scientific methods or art that explains scientific theories in different and interesting ways. This is important as it brings a new audience to science and art simultaneously. However I’m not at all convinced that just any use of technology automatically makes an artwork sci-art (here I am thinking of websites that I’ve seen touting simple technological experiments as science-based art). In saying this, I certainly use a lot of technology to create my artworks, but in my case science is a part of the theme, rather than the medium or process.
Alinta Krauth's work is featured in the virtual exhibition The New Unconscious curated by Danielle Kalamaras. This exhibition features the work of 30 SciArt Center members. Click here to see all the featured artwork and to learn more about the artists.