Interview – Amanda Stojanov – Belgrade Art Studio Online Residency

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Can you tell us a little about your art and your background?  How did you start getting interested in new media art?

My interest in new media art began in graduate school. I began studying design and gradually became more interested in art. Since my design skills relied so much on digital technologies it was a natural transition from design to new media art. My first tools for digital art that I experimented with was the Arduino Uno. After that I became interested in physical computing, projection art, and animation using game design software like Unity.

What subject matters interest you? What is more important for art, the idea or the execution?

The subject matter that interests me most in my art is online identity. I like to think about how the internet is constantly changing how we perform online for others and for ourselves.

The idea and the execution are both very important but I often focus on the idea and then the execution changes over time. This may look like a series of process sketches and experiments that I document with photography or an installation in a physical space.

You choose new media to express yourself.  Could you tell us about the process of creation? Where does the process begin for you? 

My art-making process begins with reading and writing. I often start my work by reading texts that challenge the way I think and feel. Then I feel inspired to investigate that feeling through my artwork.

What are some of your favorite projects you are proud to have been a part of in your career?

I am very proud to have been a part of VoidLab, a collaborative intersectional feminist group, at UCLA. This group created several projects together such as a poster exhibit, a Wikipedia-edit-a-thon, organized panels, and created multiple zines. VoidLab is based on cyberfeminist principles and influenced me to work in the area of cyberfeminism. You can read more about VoidLab here: https://projects.dma.ucla.edu/voidlab/.

To what extent does the pandemic influence your depiction of art? Does it generate new inspiration?  

Yes and no. I don’t find working in isolation inspiring. However, it has been interesting to observe myself and others adapt to connecting with others in mostly online environments.

How do you feel about being involved in an online residency program? How important is it to stay connected with the international art community?

I feel excited to be involved in an online residency program. It feels good to connect with other artists from all over the world and share our work with each other. I find inspiration in our online meetings and I hope to continue collaborating with past, present, and future residents from Belgrade Arts Studio Residency.

What are your thoughts about the theme ‘artist on standby’? Tell us a bit more about your project…

My project is about connecting my digital artwork to my physical environment. I’m working on a virtual space using Unreal engine that will have a recreation of a physical quilt. The physical quilt that I’m creating elicits memories from my past. The quilt is based on my Baba’s blanket from her childhood home. The memories that I draw on are those where I feel the most connection and belonging. I relate my work to the theme of ‘artist on standby’ because I translate ‘on standby’ to mean waiting or wanting to belong and connect with others (people, places, environments, memories etc.).

What do you want to achieve before things return to normal if it is to happen? Any future plans/projects?

I want to achieve a sense of work/life balance before things fully return to normal. I love connecting with art and artists all over the world in person but I have also loved having time to be home, rest, and find out what’s important to me.