GALLERY WEEKEND BERLIN #11 / Aleksandra Domanovi? at Tanya Leighton
In “The Future Was at Her Fingertips” Aleksandra Domanovi? (b. 1981, Novi Sad) explores the circulation and reception of images and information, relating specifically to the history of the Internet and technology in the former Yugoslavia. The exhibition draws attention to one of the earliest attempts to develop an artificial limb with the sense of touch – known as the ‘Belgrade Hand’. Invented by Rajko Tomovi? at the end of the Second World War as a prosthetic device intended for soldiers who had lost their hands in the war, it was then further developed by scientists at MIT. The prosthetic later stared in Donald Cammell’s 1977 Hollywood movie Demon Seed where a scientist created ‘Proteus’ – an organic super computer with artificial intelligence who became obsessed with human beings.
In tracing the history of Tomovi?’s hand Domanovi? uncovered just how important women were in the development of the creation of the Internet, Cybernetics, virtual reality and multimedia. From Ada Lovelace who wrote what is considered to be the first computer programme, to Sadie Plant’s work on the social potential of cyber-technology, to the registration of the .yu domain by Slovenian Internet pioneer Borka Jerman Blazi?, Domanovi? charts a history in which women are the unsung heroes of technical innovation.
For the exhibition at Tanya Leighton, Domanovi? commissioned a fully rigged computer model of the ‘Belgrade Hand’, from which she has made five 3D printed sculptures in various gestures and symbols from diverse cultural traditions and historical timeframes – from an Indian symbol of immortality and love, to a closed fist, to one that resembles a Spanish reliquary from the 16th century. Made out of plastic, then filled with polyurethane and coated with brass, aluminum, and ‘soft-touch’ – a recently developed material used by car manufacturers to lend a feel of quality to interiors – these works, as well as a new ink-jet print by Domanovi?, can be seen as monuments to both technological innovation and the contribution women have made in this field.
until 30 June 2013
Courteys of Tanya Leighton, Berlin