Magda Stanová’s current artistic research is based on analyses of creative processes. Typical qualities of her work are precision, profundity, intelligent humor and a distinctive combination of drawing and writing.
In the project Algorithms in Art (2010 – ongoing), she examines the principles leading an artist to creation of a work of art, which are often considered to be the fruit of something transcendental. To decode this mystery she uses strategies inspired by neuroscience, biology and artificial intelligence.
As a starting point, the artist chose Edgar Allan Poe’s essay The Philosophy of Composition. In it Poe describes the process of writing his famous poem The Raven. He suggests that art (in his case poetry) is a sequence of conscious decisions made according to an initial intention. Magda Stanová applied this premise to creative processes in visual arts, referring to the discourses of kitch, intuition, insight and copyright. The pieces in the series Algorithms in Art take the form of diagrams, charts and minimalist drawings, which together form a kind of visual essay. In her previous series, titled In the Shadow of Photography, which was based on similar principles, Stanová investigated the discourse around the medium of photography.
She is interested in science (an attempt to determine how the world operates) and seeks an interesting form for it – science via other means of expression. She investigates themes such as the genesis of new ideas, the essence of originality and the possibilities of deviating from standardized behaviour models. Taking as a departure point the thesis that the human brain assesses new situations exclusively on the basis of previous experience, she poses the question as to how chance or error may assist in the creation of a new work of art and how it is possible to teach art.
At the present time she is concerned with the development of a new model of presentation containing elements of lecturing, performance and theatre. This year (2013) she prepared a series of events titled With Scientists on Art, in which she introduced ideas and theories from science that could bring insight into the theory of art.
Magda Stanová was born in 1981 in Prešov, Slovakia. In 2008 she won a Fulbright scholarship to attend a master’s degree course in New Genres in the San Francisco Art Institute. In the same year, the Krakow publishing house Fundacja Sztuk Wizualnych published her book W cieniu fotografii (In the Shadow of Photography). In 2009 she was nominated for the Discovery Award of the French photographic festival Rencontres d’Arles. At the present time she is taking her PhD at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. Selected solo exhibitions: 2010 – Fremantle Arts Center, Fremantle, Australia; 2009 – Rencontre d’Arles, Arles, France; 2008 – Galeria ZPAF i S-ka, Crakow, Poland. Selected group exhibitions: 2012 – There Will Be Others, Angus Hughes Gallery, London, UK; 2011 – Voices from the Center, Three Walls, Chicago, USA; 2008 – Talent Latent, Festival SCAN, Tarragona, Spain. Further information available at: www.magdastanova.sk
MAGDA STANOVÁ, Algorithms in Photography, 2012, photo: author’s archive;
Lecture Intention, from the series Algorithms in Art, 2010, ink and acrylic on paper.