Media as an embodiment of the time

The Internet, mass media, mobile technologies – today human life coincides of different gadgets and «toys», that simplify and accelerate the processes of communication, but essentially they are useless and artificial. Space, where we all are existing, is entirely media. Even in 1964 Marshall McLuhan wrote in his book Understanding Media, that people entered into a phase of functioning of the information society, in which every interaction is an act of communication. All our acts are the true messages. It always has been, but its realization came not so long ago. And, of course, contemporary artists cannot ignore this theme, especially those, whose life is long and naturally connected with the Internet. One of them is multimedia artist Egor Kraft. 

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Kraft is an artist, who engaged in media environment, placing it at the sphere between art, design, linguistics and semiotics. He researches human in this nature, transformation of his perception, behavior, reflecting on human delusions in the modern world. Acceleration and simultaneously impoverishment, devastation of communication, destruction of the soul – that are the research subjects of this artist. Egor is one of those artists who very keenly feel and experience of these processes, the way modern technologies and tools of communication in particular are increasing its speed to space limits in effort to occupy less space and less time. But, as the practice shows, this acceleration lead to nowhere. Time, which, disentangling, would seem to enables people to spend it on themselves and their families, but in reality is incredibly eaten by the same technologies and gadgets. Place of the warm lovely people is taken by their profiles in social networks and small cold platelets with buttons or even without them. We have lost the ability to distinguish between real and virtual, we do not see the borders between them. Among us practically there are no eyewitnesses of certain event or phenomena, we read about everything in the Internet. And better is quickly and thoughtlessly look through the text. And we believe in all myths.

 

With these myths Egor Kraft is working. His projects are made in media aesthetics and often you cannot distinguish them from all those viral videos and posts, dozens of which we watch every day. One of the most striking examples of the Kraft’s style is his project The new color, made in advertising aesthetics. It is a video in which different people in different languages tell about the creation of a new color. This project was firstly shown in the Internet on the official web site, where there was no word whether this was a spoof. Egor Kraft reverses the usual audience’s impression of media as something indestructible and absolutely real, showing its other side – the desire to manipulate and remodel the human perception. 

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Contemporary mythology is embodied in his works also in the form of text, as in the project Semiotic collapse. It presents the series of statements from the same set of the words. Their order is the only changing aspect. The first phrase is: “– The purpose of text is to deliver message”. And it reconstructs in “Deliverance of message is the purpose of text”. Wordplay leads the original phrase to the opposite and contradictory meanings. Text is flexible and vulnerable. The same words have a lot of meanings and interpretations, the realization of which is often lost in the modern communication.

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Egor Kraft is also working with text in hit project To Say It, which coincides public outdoor posters with the text in the urban environment. Due to its severity and urgency, these street interventions instantly become media interventions, flying away like a rocket on the Internet and becoming an object of infinite reproduction and citation. So, Egor is working with media and Internet-space on all the levels: from the creation of the substance criticizing virtual space to the establishment of this space.

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We can talk a lot and reflect on how Egor Kraft creates his works about the media of the modern society, using it as a pathogen, as an inspiration, as a material, as an appliance and as a shape. But, first of all, his works are about the time. About the time as bout the contemporary epoch and about time as something ephemeral, which we always do not have enough, and today we feel it more and more clearly. In his projects Kraft invites the viewer to stop for a moment and feel this moment, that we irrevocably miss. People are always hoping for the lack of time, but they do not value this time. The phrase, which permeates in the Egor’s works, is – Now is just right now, looks like the call to imbue this “Now”, to feel it by the whole body and soul. “Now” is desperately seeking to past, it is all the time in the past. The only thing that we have is this moment that may be immediately in the past, if we do not catch it in the time. “Now is just right now”. And it is not even complicated. It needs to be. 

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monamatveeva

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