Here we go again … SYSTEM 317

La Biennale di Venezia, IT (Artigliere, Arsenal)
11 May – 24 November 2019

Pavilion of Slovenia at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

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 exploration and geopolitics. In his poetic and strategic actions he frequently employs materials and methods that serve to confront systems of governance and the strategies they employ. His work revolves around 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. Peljhan’s art has evolved into a process involving a cartography of the invisible and the overlooked, and an analysis of the role of technology in society, particularly as it relates to power structures. It opens up a process of reflection on the possibilities of a different, creative and resistant use of technology and proposes the creation of socially useful models of resistant behaviors in the contemporary social system. The artist brings a great deal of historical awareness to his work, remaining at the same time loyal to values integral to notions of artistic and technological avant-gardism. He is constantly aware of the position from which he acts, of his moral standpoints, and of the consequences such artistic involvement entails. He is critical of the social and cultural impact and role of the media he uses in his work, and translates his critical attitude into concrete actions. Crucial to such an approach is a clearly articulated understanding of what he is resisting and the relation between his tactical and strategic goals.

At the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Peljhan presented a new 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 of the place, the physical location of an individual, and a utopian response to the rapid changes in the environment. In this sense, the autonomous vessel SYSTEM 317 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. Underpinning all of these projects is the idea of using available military technology to develop the tactical means required to execute his ventures. 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.

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Marko Peljhan: Here we go again … SYSTEM 317, 2019
A situation of the Resolution Series

Commissioner: Zdenka Badovinac
Igor Španjol
Producer: Uroš Veber
Moderna galerija and Zavod Projekt Atol

The project was realized in collaboration with Trošt & Krapež Architects and Zavod Projekt Atol collaborators.

Supported by MAT – Media, Arts and Technology University of California in Santa Barbara, Embassy of Slovenia in Rome; Italy, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.


Marko Peljhan is a theatre and radio director, conceptual artist and researcher. He founded and co- founded several still active arts organizations in the 90’s such as Projekt Atol and one of the first media labs in Eastern Europe LJUDMILA. From 1994 on he worked on Makrolab, a project that focuses on telecommunications, migrations and weather systems research in an intersection of art/science/engineering; the Interpolar Transnational Art Science Constellation and the Arctic Perspective Initiative. He is the recipient of many prizes for his work, including the 2001 Golden Nica Prize at Ars Electronica with Carsten Nicolai and his work has been exhibited internationally at multiple biennales (Venice, Lyon, Istanbul, Gwangju…) and festivals, at documenta, ISEA, Ars Electronica and museums and art institutions worldwide (YCAM, ICC-NT, PS.1. MOMA, GARAGE…).

He serves as professor and director of the MAT Systemics Lab at the University of California Santa Barbara, the Chair of the Media Arts and Technology program at UCSB, the coordinator of international cooperation of the SPACE-SI Slovenian Centre for Space Sciences and Technologies and editor at large of the music label rx:tx. In the radio spectrum he is known as S54MX.

Marko Peljhan