Sara Bezovšek and Dorijan Šiško are two young Slovenian artists who often collaborate on multimedia and game-based art projects. Their works demonstrate an interest in internet culture, social media, and exploring relevant socio-political themes through speculative worldbuilding.
Sara Bezovšek is a visual artist, active in the fields of new media, experimental film and graphic design. Her artistic practice is characterized by the exploration, collection and storage of mostly pop-cultural visual references from various online platforms, films and TV series. Using the cut/copy-and-paste technique, she combines the found digital material into web pages, collages, mashup videos, and the likes thus creating new narratives through appropriation and its documentation (see, for instance, www.false-utopia.com). In doing so, she is interested in what people view and share on social networks, how visual material travels the internet, how it changes and how it affects users. The dense amount of short clips from popular series and films, animated GIFs, internet memes, videos and other images from online platforms creates a multilayered infrastructure as the viewer can read a number of parallel, complementary and alternative narrative. Her expansive interactive projects like SND. An interactive story game and Life of Its Own immerse participants in apocalyptic and cinematic universes built out of the over-saturation of recognizable pop culture icons.
Dorijan Šiško, Critical Hit, 2022, installation shot Aksioma, Liublijana
Dorijan Šiško, Critical Hit, 2022,video game
Šiško is a multimedia graphic designer and artist working heavily with games, VR, animation, and installations. His neon bright, layered style often remixes disparate elements into speculative worlds where he probes topics like fake news, internet radicalization, tribalism, gamification, and science fiction visions of the future. Šiško collaborated with Bezovšek on the installation What’s Your Truth: Tipping Point (2023) an interactive game space filled with ideological memes that aimed to encourage reflection on how the filter bubbles and biases we operate in can distort perception of truth.Another remarkable project is Critical Hit (2022), a "speculative video game that draws gallery visitors into a post-virtual vision o parallel reality", a kind of psychedelic walking simulator. Šiško is also active in the Freštreš art collective organizing joint exhibitions and the Nimaš Izbire music collective putting on events. He is the recipient of two awards of the Brumen Foundation: for the newspaper Tribuna and for the book Freštreš 10. His work has been exhibited in such institutions as Osmoza, KUD Kibla, Kino Šiška, Slovenian National Museum, Modern Gallery Ljubljana, MGLC, GT22, Jakopič Gallery, Out to See Festival in New York, etc.
Together, Bezovšek and Šiško’s collaborative new media art practice demonstrates an interdisciplinary interest in exploring the influence of internet culture and video games on society. By appropriating the visual language of social media and gaming and constructing interactive spaces filled with references to online phenomena, their works aim to reveal deeper truths about our digitally-mediated realities. Their critical, at time sinister, and yet playful style invites participation in collective meaning-making around relevant contemporary issues.
LINK: Sara Bezovšek
LINK: Dorijan Šiško
All images and videos courtesy of the Artists