March 15, 2019 - Slovenian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Marko Peljhan: Here we go again… SYSTEM 317
March 15, 2019

Slovenian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

The X-43A Hypersonic Experimental (Hyper-X) Vehicle in Benefield Aenechoic Facility at Edwards Air Force Base radio January 2000. Photo: Tom Tschida. Image is free of Copyright / courtesy of NASA.

Marko Peljhan
Here we go again… SYSTEM 317
Slovenian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale
May 11–November 24, 2019

Opening: May 8, 4–5pm

Slovenian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Arsenale, Artiglierie

Marko Peljhan’s work revolves around two fundamental aspects of the world today: the technological developments in communication, transport, and surveillance; and the highly complex systems of political, economic, and military power driving such developments and employing them in administration, control, production or military applications. The potentials of technology are introduced into art as a way of confronting the systems of governance and their strategies. Peljhan’s art has thus evolved into a process involving a cartography of “signal territories,” an analysis of the role of technology in society, particularly as it relates to power structures, a reflection on the possibilities of a different, creative and resistant use of technological means, and, ultimately, the creation of socially useful models of resistant behaviors in the contemporary social system. The theatrical dimension of Peljhan’s art plays a crucial role in this; his best-known project Makrolab can in this sense be interpreted as a technological laboratory and a social stage based on the concept of micro-performance.

At the Venice Biennale, Peljhan will present a work from his Resolution series. This series, which has evolved over some 20 years, proposes some specific material and applicable solutions to certain problems in society. It is the artist’s response to the state in which the world finds itself today, calling for a rediscovery of space and a utopian response to the rapid changes in the environment. In this sense, the autonomous vessel produced as part of the Here we go again… SYSTEM 317 project is a colonizing, apocalyptic and pirating tool of sorts. In it, Peljhan brings together his vision, the potential for and the impossibility of a final exit from our rapidly deteriorating planetary conditions in a process he calls “reverse conversion.” He first employed this methodology in his "TRUST-SYSTEM" series, which focused on the conversion of cruise missile technology and later, unmanned systems for civil counter-reconnaissance. The artist proposes the construction of a counter-privateering machine intended for the days when the world’s great empires find themselves, once again, in confrontation—and one characterized by a grave lack of responsibility together with great destructive potential.

Artist: Marko Peljhan
Curator: Igor Španjol
Commissioner: Zdenka Badovinac
Production: Moderna galerija and Zavod Projekt Atol, Ljubljana

Marko Peljhan is an artist and researcher working in and between art, technology and science. His projects, initiatives, and collaborations span a vast area ranging from ecology and social reflection to tactical media, technology, space explorations and geopolitics. In 1994, Peljhan founded the non-profit art institution Projekt Atol, and was a co-founder of the Ljubljana-based new-media laboratory Ljudmila a year later. He first presented one of his best-known projects Makrolab at the Dokumenta 10 in Kassel in 1997. Over the past 25 years his work has been exhibited and won awards internationally at multiple biennials and festivals (Venice, Gwangju, Brussels, Manifesta, Johannesburg, Istanbul), at several ISEA exhibitions, several Ars Electronica presentations and in major museums, including MoMA PS1, New Museum of Contemporary Art, ICC NTT Tokyo, YCAM Yamaguchi, Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, and the Garage Museum in Moscow, among others. He was the first Slovene artist to win the Golden Nica prize at Ars Electronica in 2001 for the Polar project, produced together with the German artist Carsten Nicolai. In collaboration with American-Canadian artist Matthew Biederman Peljhan has also been coordinating the Arctic Perspective Initiative since 2008, an art/science/tactical media project focused on the global significance of the Arctic’s geopolitical, natural and cultural spheres, and presented at their exhibition Coded Utopia in Moderna galerija in Ljubljana in 2011. In addition, Peljhan also works as Professor at the University of California Santa Barbara, holding joint appointments with the Department of Art and the Media Arts & Technology graduate program. He has been a board member and international coordinator of the SPACE-SI Centre of Excellence for Space Sciences and Technologies in Slovenia, and has been actively involved in space and aeronautics research and space culturization since 1998. In the radio spectrum he is known as S54MX.

Press contact: Mateja Dimnik
c/o Moderna galerija, MG+MSUM
T +386 41 669 599 / mateja.dimnik [​at​] 

Slovenian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
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Here we go again… SYSTEM 317
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