DOMINIK HLINKA

AUTOCALYPSE

Gallery project, paintings

August - September 2021 / Civil Defence Cover, Bratislava, SK

Throughout my PhD research on the theme of Imag(in)ing the digital, I have
focused primarily on the moment of how we humans understand and use technological means, what role (position) technology plays in our lives, how it influences our behaviour, and last but not least, how we react to these processes - whether we are aware of them at all, resistant to them, or, on the contrary, feel the need to confront the power of technology. This issue is also addressed in my series of paintings Autocalypse, which I consider to be the final result of my dissertation.

My several years of intense interest in the interconnection of the spheres of technology and art, the analysis of this area and the experience of the creative processes of artistic research, I present in the paintings which are united by one integral motif, to which I have also paid extended attention in the theoretical part of the dissertation - the automobile.


For me, the car in this thesis represents a common symbolic attribute of the cycle of constant mutual influences and impacts (acceleration) of technology in our lives. In fact, I find the car to be an apt metaphor for pointing to our relationship with technology - it is a familiar object in which we can naturally discern what has been promised to us by technology, but at the same time left unfulfilled. What we see in these machines is how technology actually behaves.

The final series of paintings concluding my studies is composed of four, distinct positions, mostly depicting car crashes. Two of them can be considered manipulated or simulated - they are crashes in progress
taking place in Need for Speed computer games. These crashes carry one fascinating element of a planned crash - that of anticipated disaster. I was intrigued by both their aggressiveness and their atmosphere - the beauty of the scene and the ephemerality of the whole scene. The next position consists of a large-scale painting (diptych) depicting a real crash of a car from the Tesla concern. I used my old paintings to make it, intending to connect my own lived (planned or, more importantly, already realized) past with the expected but dark future. Consequently, within this set I work with vehicles that are mainly known from popular films of the 80s and 90s. These include the futuristic sci-fi vehicle DeLorean from Back to the Future, KITT featured in the Knight Rider series, as well as the Ecto-1 van belonging to the Ghostbusters. I'm interested in the fate of these cars off-screen television and working with their real-world implications. Finally, I select my childhood drawings of cars that were created in the software Sketcher, still on the Windovs 98 operating system. I leave these drawings to my painting machine to realise them 18 years after their creation in their current form, but one that is influenced by the software that exports the original bitmap data into the vectors needed for the machine to work.

 

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