Coded Utopia

Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana
29 March – 19 June 2011

From Makrolab to the Arctic Perspective Initiative

The Makrolab project (1994-2007) is being presented in its entirety in a museum setting for the first time. The exhibition will include the structure of Makrolab, documentation of its genesis and ten years of operation from its origin through its first materialization at documenta X in Kassel to its transition into the projects Interpolar Transnational Art Science Constellation and the Arctic Perspectives Initiative (API).

The Makrolab project is one of the most significant projects to have originated in a Slovenian context in the last two decades. This exhibition will present it to the general public as well, since the project is much better known internationally than in Slovenia. The final phase of this process will be the construction of Makrolab?s working architecture in Slovenia, as a work of art and a laboratory instrument for the study of art, tactical media, ecology, radio communications and atmospheric physics.

The exhibition also included a presentation of the artworks and archives of the Arctic Perspectives Initiative (API) project, which was premiered as part of the European Capital of Culture Ruhr 2010 in Dortmund. API is an international non-profit initiative made up of individuals and organizations who are trying to raise public awareness about the cultural and ecological importance of the circumpolar regions and to establish open systems of creativity, communications and distribution infrastructures in these regions. One of the main objectives of the initiative is to create conditions through which the Arctic peoples, with the help of open-source technologies, systems of creativity, teaching and training, will be able to collaborate equally and sustainably in the acquisition and exchange of information about the environment and the changes to it that are the result of global climate change.


Guided tour: 30 March 2011, at 18h by Marko Peljhan and co-workers
Lecture: Dr. Zalika Črepinšek: Will the Arctic fairy tale have a happy end?,  Tuesday, 7  June, at 18h, Auditorum of Museum of Modern Art


Marko Peljhan & Matthew Biederman: Coded Utopia, 2011

Production: Museum of Moderna Art and Zavod Projekt Atol.

The project has been supported by The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the City of Ljubljana.


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

Matthew Biederman has been performing, installing and exhibiting works, which explore themes of perception, media saturation, and data systems from a multiplicity of perspectives since the mid nineties. Biederman was the recipient of the Bay Area Artist Award in Video by New Langton Arts in 1999, First Place in the Visual Arts category of Slovenia’s Break21 festival. He has served as artist-in-residence at a variety of institutions and institutes, including the Center for Experimental Television on numerous occasions, CMU’s CREATE lab, the Wave Farm and many more.His works have been exhibited in the US, South America, Europe and Japan, in a variety of festivals and venues such as 7 ATA Festival Internacional (Lima), the 11th Lyon Bienniale, the 2011 Quebec Trienniale, 2014 Montreal Bienniale (Musee des Arts Contemporain), Bienniale of Digital Art (BIAN, Montreal), Artissima (Turin, IT), Moscow Biennale, Art and Alternative Visions (Tokyo) and Sonic Acts (NASA, Amsterdam) among others. As a film and video maker, his works have been included in the FILE festival (Sao Paulo), New Forms Festival (Vancouver), the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Paris/Berlin International Meetings, and the Chicago Underground Film Festival. His public works have been shown at the ZeroOne2006 Festival (San Jose US), the SCAPE Biennial in New Zealand as well as producing custom commissions. He has collaborated with musicians as a visual artist since 1999, performing at the historic Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, as well as Ars Electronica, AV Festival, Elektra, Mutek, Futuresonic, FILE and many, many more. His works are included in public, corporate and private collections in North America.

Matthew Biederman