Archives in the Age of Transformation of Art Institutions: An Art Preservation Strategy or a Curatorial Experiment?

Marika Kupková and Monika Szűcsová (Brno)





This paper presents the development of the curatorial research project Black Box, which was established in the spring of 2020 in the Brno TIC Gallery to support contemporary art and artists at a time when artists and cultural institutions were affected by the existential crisis caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic. This experimental archive, which initially appeared to be temporary, has been developing its activities for a second year in a row.

This text aims to provide a report on the ongoing remakes and postproductions of this archive and present various curatorial interventions carried out on the archived works of
the participating artists.

We observe a shift of exhibition institutions towards community centres with a diversified program, raising their social awareness and critical self-reflection, and building new means of communication on the axis of the artist-spectator. Especially in the latter area, creating and enabling access to an art archive is an essential tool.


Black Box from the End of the World[1]

Boris Groys, in his essay Comrades of Time [Groys 2009], characterises the contemporary, or more precisely contemporary art, as being full of doubt, hesitation, uncertainty, and indecisiveness, and having its own urge to ponder in greater depth or to defer from making its own decisions.

“(…) the contemporary is actually constituted by doubt, hesitation, uncertainty, indecision – by the need for prolonged reflection, for a delay. We want to postpone our decisions and actions in order to have more time for analysis, reflection, and consideration. And that is precisely what the contemporary is – a prolonged, even potentially infinite period of delay.” [Groys 2009, n.p.]

According to Groys, the contemporary is also characterised by repetitiveness and programme impersonality, which he compares to the pointless task of Camus’ Sisyphus rolling a boulder endlessly up a hill. Groys’ essay was published in e-flux in 2009 - but what about the following twelve years? Over the last few decades, contemporary art has been dealing with the dangers of global, especially environmental and social, crises and catastrophes. It has been necessary to either identify the symptoms of these crises, to search for ways to effectively face the suspected threats, or to run away from them. An engaged attitude is required, images of the apocalypse are being moulded. All of us have felt hints of danger with varying urgency. For some it has been more or less an abstract threat, perhaps burdensome but distant, only coming to mind now and then simply as the fact that the world is at war and that there are people suffering and dying. For others, civic engagement has become their most significant social relation, their fulfilment in life or their art programme or at least an access that needs to be actively supported. It is incredible how so very close the global crisis has turned out to be. Perhaps with the exception of HIV in the 80s, a pandemic was not on the list of catastrophic threats facing society today. The current threat of climate collapse was preceded by the fear of nuclear war which haunted the generation of Husák’s Children[2] in particular. Pandemic was not on anybody’s mind, it was pushed aside into history, to Third World countries, or it belonged to action thrillers[3]. Our unfaltering trust in the power of medicine and the natural feeling that “our advanced civilization” is untouchable somehow did not take similar dangers into account.

In March 2020, when the first lockdown happened, the whole society was paralysed. Some took advantage of the enforced break as a unique opportunity to experience a desired slowdown and to enjoy the spring, which was particularly lovely that year. Others, being aware of the failures of public institutions, plunged into a wide-ranging support for those in need and interpreted this period as being proof of the civil society’s viability. Masks, of which there was an urgent shortage at the time, were being sewn in theatre costume rooms and even some galleries. Back then, my colleagues and I met in a deserted building of our gallery and thought about what to do next. How can art, which we professionally focus on in various ways, be beneficial at this moment? And is it even possible? Consequently, we proceeded to re-evaluate the essence and role of curatorial work today. It was clear to us: art might be just as important a tool for understanding the world as the so much adored and all-mighty natural sciences and technology fields. We need more than just epidemiologists and economists to understand or accept the current situation. After all, so many of us immediately reached for The Plague by Camus, Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, or for Gogol’s Dead Souls. We agreed that we wanted to signal to artists that their artwork is wanted even in these difficult circumstances, or more precisely, that it is wanted right now. The issue arose of how to share this approach at a time when we officially could not meet each other let alone make it happen in our usual modus operandi, that is, in the form of an exhibition, curatorial lecture, discussion, or other public event. To that, there was only one solution: to start granting individual support in the form of grants for creative work, which is, however, not an ordinary part of a gallery’s standard activity. Incidentally, grants for creative work are a relatively side-lined genre on the Czech scene even though they ought to form one of the pillars of public support for fine arts, which compared to other art forms suffer perhaps most intensely from marginalisation[4]. What the state administration cannot handle can be partially left to galleries of contemporary art, which have the advantage of direct connection to the art scene and can therefore produce an expeditious reaction to the current situation and even its turbulent changes. Financial resources for stipends were drawn both from resources that could not have been used to ensure the usual cultural activity of the gallery and also from a special grant from the ministry to support culture during the times of a pandemic.

We formulated an open call communicating that:

“Gallery TIC desires to support the production of art at a crucial moment in time. We are looking for artists or collectives that are processing and documenting their experience with the corona pandemic, quarantine, and the related social collapse but also their experience with the new wave of activism and solidarity. They can, for example, focus on current forms of social practises and communication, visual trends, media criticism, existential crisis, on what the future will require, etc. What we want is to capture this new immediate situation through art research. Material, technical, and conceptual rendition is completely up to the creator[5].”

We named this project simply Black Box.

In total, thirty artists responded to this call, in particular those from local circles. We chose eight artists with rather diverse identities, both in terms of ideology and style, among whom were not only fresh art school graduates but also well-established personalities of the middle generation: photographer Polina Davydenko, painter Markéta Filipová, intermedia artist Ondřej Homola, Juliana Höschlová, Johana Merta and Tomáš Moravanský, chemist and civil activist Vojtěch Kundrát, and sound artist Ladislav Mirvald. More classical genres such as journal entries, drawings, and illustrations are among the projects that emerged from this collaboration as well as other participative and activist projects. Each and every one of them reflected the crisis differently. Vojtěch Kundrát took a close and clearly defined approach to the situation in a project building upon his concept of “activist chemistry”[6], which he has been developing over a long period of time. The first covid wave struck a blow to the trust in competence of the Czech government, whose failures included an acute shortage of protective supplies, especially masks. This reality mobilised civil society and strengthened its self-sufficiency. Vojtěch Kundrát along with a team of volunteers created nanofiber masks which he distributed without financial compensation. A peculiar group among the projects is represented by performances by Tomáš Moravanský and Ladislav Mirvald. Moravanský’s documentary video recordings of his own exhibition in The Brno House of Arts automatically made by a web camera captured the absolute dead emptiness and silence of the gallery and also of the public space in general. Ladislav Mirvald’s audio recordings which he made in concert halls and music clubs which had suddenly sunk into post-apocalyptic silence have a similar effect.


Picture 1. Ladislav Mirvald, documentation of the project "Silences", author's archive,
2020, photo Eva Rybářová


In contrast, Johana Merta and Polina Davydenko created participative projects searching for ways to maintain necessary social relationships and mental well-being when it comes to isolation.


Picture 2. Johana Merta, documentation of the project "Don't be afraid and don't cry", author's archive, 2020, photo Eva Rybářová



Picture 3. Polina Davydenko, documentation of the project "From Thumb to Little Finger", author's archive, 2020, photo Eva Rybářová


In turn, aquarelles by Markéta Filipová or collages by Ondřej Homola have a character of introspective documentation in which the “covid” reality is not palpable at first glance.

When a plane crashes, the circumstances of the accident are recorded by a black box. There is, however, no need to search for these “crash reports” in the selected art works. It would make for an overly deliberate and one-sided reading. In fact, many cultural projects that made use of the crisis as an effective marketing tool emerged during this period in an effort to capture public attention and, along with that, longed-for financial and media support. An example of this is a travelling exhibition, Helpful Art in Covid, in which pop cultural references mechanically echo a visual representation of the pandemic with the main motif being nothing more than a depiction of the corona virus and a mask[7]. What we wanted to do, however, was to avoid any sort of manipulation. Demanding that the artists thematize the crisis through easily deciphered attributes seemed discrediting to us. What does the metaphor of a black box in the title of the project refer to? It is not so much concerned with the array of the supported artworks but rather with the transformation of our gallery institution during a public health crisis. This microstudy of ours confirmed that galleries cannot serve as display windows for art. They are supposed to – and must be – producers and patrons of contemporary art. Hence, the corona crisis contributed to further questioning of the gallery institution as a mausoleum of sorts that only suffocates and stultifies art[8]. Once again, the ideology of modernity that rejects passive consumption of mass culture, rejects contemplation and an audience, comes into prominence, and guides us towards an activist opposition [Groys 2009, n.p.]. The development of the crisis can be observed especially through the workings of institutional structures. When it comes to live art, however, we ought to be more patient and wait for the reflection that has the advantage of hindsight. Such reflection will make it possible to authentically use our situation as both a projection of our own existential questions and also as means of production of artworks that would capture and express it convincingly enough.


Do Nothing, or do something?

The year 2020 was perhaps for some cultural institutions around the world a moment of awakening allowing a (re-)examination of well-established methods for displaying and distributing art. Many of these institutions’ processes supporting art mediation had to be revised and modified. Before the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, online space as a place for art production, sharing, and archiving was mainly a territory of art communities, web-based art, net art, or transformed curatorial projects. These have been developing in the web environment since the 1990s; however, traditional gallery and museum institutions were forced to enter into it as well in March 2020. These cultural spaces found it necessary to re-evaluate their existing practice of using the web as a practical and pragmatic tool for sharing their activities. The internet as an expanded gallery space had now grown closer to Manovich’s definition of a computer as a form “through which all kinds of cultural and artistic production is being mediated”, and to the web browser as a window that replaces the walls of a traditional art gallery. [Manovich 2001: 76] In times when it is necessary to redefine the categories of art and curating, Olga Goriunova’s notion of aesthetics in the context of art platforms and contemporary cultural production on the internet comes to mind. “Organisational Aesthetics” conceptualises aesthetics as a stream of production, a spectre of experience, and a means of engagement. It does not refer to art as we know it, rather it offers a view into the differences and contemplations which liberate us from the closed-off debates about form and content and instead puts us on the path of experiment, trial and error, ingenuity, humour, or collapse. [Goriunova 2012: 17]

The web environment unites cultural practice, and it is not possible to think of it as a mere medium or a tool; it represents a

“socio-technical culture that has enriched and transformed curatorial and art practices with new ways of creating and co-creating, sharing and viewing, questioning traditional concepts and notions of authenticity, authorship, ownership, and relations between curators, artists, institutions and audience members.” ]Dekker 2021: 299]

Within this context, new forms of art arrangement are coming into existence, the status of art objects is changing, and curator practice is being transformed. An artwork is no longer necessarily a window into a coherent, composed and clearly ordered reality; instead, we are entering an interface representing an entryway to indecisiveness, to a data space of semantic and material potentiality. [Ascott 1989] Thus, an artist becomes a filter or a bot[9] of sorts whose redesigned role is “to crawl, find, filter out, redirect and re-present data flows – to take on the techno-aesthetic role. Here, aesthetic judgment merges with technical specification, a computational model, becoming one.” [Goriunova 2016: 305] A “computational turn” aids the process of creation by means that are more open to collaboration, copying and archiving. [Goriunova 2016: 298]

Similarly, art exhibitions and curatorial practice implemented online follow spatial, or more precisely, spatial-specific rules, that differ from the organisation of exhibitions in a physical space of a museum or a gallery. Within the realm of online curatorship, Marialaura Ghidini describes the category of curating on the web as a subset of curating online: “curating on the web is, at its core, responding to the characteristics of the web medium, its tools and interfaces.” [Ghidini 2019: 3] For Ghidini, curatorship online is a reflection of the ecology of the accepted technology (of the web). This definition is in the local context visualised in the 2020 exhibition Technologies of the Sacred[10].This show thematically examines the line between technology and mysticism as well as the influence technologies exert upon the formation of cultural practices and suggests we examine our relationship with technologies. In terms of sharing the content of an exhibition, there is a new potential that is added through the transformation of a physical space to a digital space – which is to highlight the characteristics of the web (the potential utilisation of 3D or in this case an unrestricted movement through the exhibition with no regard for the laws of gravity), characteristics that would make it impossible to visit a given artwork or an exhibition in its physical space. [Dekker 2021: 27] This transformation effectively embodies the curator’s shift of focus from an object to processes and open dynamic network systems, that is to say, a shift directly corresponding to the expansion of curatorial activities into the online space. [Krysa 2006] The term “system” stands for “an art operating system” representing new possibilities for collective curatorship. It refers to the fact that the curator’s job is infiltrated by multiple agents that cannot be separated from technological or socio-political development. [Krysa 2006] A specific instance of the dynamics of “open systems” are “open cyberspace networks”, which showcase a “tendency towards the construction of a singular field of interaction which is not restricted by limits that would separate it from the Outside; rather it is exposed to it from every side.” [Terranova 2006: 34] Terranova considers the “open networks” to be a space that is open not only to intense temporalities which create global communication coming from the Outside but also to global harmony of the technological, social, and cultural. Hence, it becomes more than just a collective place providing a collaboration between individual actors through media.

At the beginning of the lockdown, in an effort to retain their original programme, some galleries decided to transition online and began to organise for this purpose activities which originally had been created for a physical space. As a result of this unprecedented migration there was an excess of online walks through physical exhibitions as well as live stream events, lectures, workshops, and commented viewings – doing so in the physical space had become temporarily impossible. What happened was that in museum and gallery production the physical and digital mixed together; exhibitions online often became a mere digital copy of the exhibition in the physical space. The result was a virtual simulation of a physical space with photographs of artworks accompanied by descriptions, as if one was flipping through a catalogue. However, curatorship online is about much more than just “browsing the catalogue with a new interface.” [Dekker 2021: 19]

We are witnessing how the formerly physical, walkable, and locally bound exhibition spaces become digital, non-walkable but globally accessible exhibitions. The challenge for traditional art institutions was to create online exhibitions that might not be seen only as a means of promoting or sharing work that would otherwise be seen in a physical gallery, but as a diverse set of cultural practises that are both related to and distinct from the traditional exhibition. Michael Connor of Rhizome pointed out at the beginning of 2020 that “the online exhibition can be more than a space of simulation, documentation, promotion, and access.” [Connor 2020: n.p.] A traditional physical gallery, Upstream Gallery[11] in Amsterdam, reacted to the changed circumstances by transitioning online shortly after the lockdown announcement and by 10 April, 2020 had already put forward the first exhibition in their new online gallery An exhibition under the title Quiet, Calm, Staring[12], whose curator was Rafaël Rozendaal, comprised an array of 13 artists who use the web as their art medium of choice. By creating this online gallery, the gallery brought attention to the differences between an exhibition online, and exhibitions organized for the space of a physical gallery. Their next online exhibition, introduced in May 2020, was accompanied by a comment in the curatorial text: “For this exhibition, no works have to be shipped. No one has to leave their house. And best of all: the works can be experienced in full glory. The only thing you will need is an internet connection. So sit back and enjoy!”[13]

Not every gallery decided to hastily create a new platform for the presentation of art online or to transfer their physical exhibition into the online space. Gaia Tedone observes that some institutions who have been focusing on digital art and online art exhibitions for several decades took a different stance to the closing of physical galleries and decided to “go quiet for a while” [Tedone 2021: n.p.]. An example of this is Green Cube Gallery[14], which is both an online and a physical gallery space that challenges the limits and relations between the virtual and the real. At the beginning of the lockdown, they put up a sign “URL ISN’T ENOUGH: Covid online events are lockdown propaganda (we’re closed: you don’t need another crap online exhibition to stay home)” [Tinterri 2020: n.p.]. Tedone concludes that “at times to do nothing is better than to do something without thinking” [Tedone 2021: n.p.]. Thus certain institutions at the beginning of the lockdown demonstrated their withdrawal into a state of hibernation of sorts before they were resurrected a few months later.


Black Box: a curatorial project and a living archive

Another strategy of gallery institutions that did not have enough experience with online curating and art exhibition was represented by the aforementioned search for ways to support live art and artists. Under the auspices of Galerie TIC[15] in Brno, a new online platform, Black Box / Černá skříňka, has come into being as a curatorial-research project that reacted to the pandemic and its related lockdown measures and whose goal was to bring attention to the challenges that Czech art and culture were facing. Besides supporting live art, the gallery also has to focus on the presentation of the whole project. What came to mind was the format of a living archive that could function both as a publicly accessible depository and also as a documentary archive, a format which is not readily available offline. In this context, many questions that cannot easily be answered arise. For instance: What requirements can the institution impose upon the supported or co-produced work of art? Should there even be any requirements? How shall the danger of data disappearance typical for web platforms be dealt with? (Data disappearance is usually simply the result of the project having spontaneously or formally ended or perhaps the domain not being paid for in time.)

In its nature, Black Box balances on the edge of archive, curatorial experiment, and an online artwork gallery. It shares some characteristics with platforms as they are defined by Goriunova:

“A platform often also puts effort into translating digital creative processes into offline and more official cultural scenes, establishing connections between cultural movements of different times and orders. Most platforms organize (ir)regular ‘real-life’ gatherings such as festivals, concerts, workshops or those of a less formal nature.” [Goriunova 2006: 238]

Works of art selected from the responses to the gallery’s open call form a sort of online exhibition on the Black Box web; or perhaps more precisely, they form a collection of artworks chosen by a real human agent–curator (Curator 01: Only Artists Will Survive) while at the same time undergoing the experimenting of an inhuman agent–curator that is artificial neuron networks (Curator 02: A New Archivist)[16].



Picture 4. Screen shot of the Black Box webpage. [online] Available: 25.05.2022


Besides existing as a curatorial project, Black Box is also a platform which in 2021 offered a space for theoretical debate and reflection on contemporary art from the perspective of curators, art galleries, and festivals.

Under the tile Curating Online[17], a year-round series of international online symposiums came into being; these focused on topics related to the transformation of art institutions under the influence of a global pandemic. They have articulated the transformation of curatorial models in the context of massive expansion of art production, distribution, and presentation to online space. Attended by representatives of local and foreign galleries and art institutions, the symposiums thematized several issues: characteristics and requirements of virtual art presentation; changes in formats of communication normally directed to the physical presence of the audience during an exhibition or a festival; the specificities of curating in the online space; the confrontation and evaluation of strategies of art mediation that traditional galleries and media art festivals tested during lockdown. Through the presentations of experts at the symposiums, Black Box contributed to the discourse of organization and conceptualisation of the art world apparatus (museums, galleries, curators) that is being formed within the context of online art presentation and curating online. Since the symposiums were held online, there are lecture recordings that are archived on the Black Box web and can be used in further exploration and reflection of the present day. We generally consider archives to be a collection of data and records of past events which are stored in effort to create cultural and historical memory. Jussi Parikka [Parikka 2009] believes that the function of the archive is to organize and highlight objects that are part of our culture and to create hierarchical relations between them. In the case of transforming analogue objects online (for example as a result of their presentation or archiving on the internet), Wolfgang Ernst [Ernst 2009] notices another significant fact which is that the relation between given objects can be created through hyperlinks. That is to say, the main function of a digital archive is not to document and store the content of each individual object but rather to create relations between them. Questions raised by the usage of an internet archive are not related to the reactivation of archived objects but to their interrelations. [Ernst 2009: 84-85] Furthermore, Ernst recognizes another function of the internet archive to be an expansion of the classical space of a museum, archive, or a library. The author describes it as the biggest digital archive that is at its core a collection, a compilation (of objects, information).

In the context of Black Box, submitting art works for future exhibitions becomes at the same time an act of archiving these artworks. Contrary to the archive as a space of the past, retaining collective historical memory, the Black Box archive is an archive with a “flexible system” constantly recontextualizing its content. The moving archive, or more precisely “living archive”, is a synonym for openness, creativity, and an opportunity for collaboration. [Lehner 2014: 77] Archives of this sort “are not designed for long-term storage and memory, but for reproduction, for endless circulation between different levels, people, networks and locations.” [Dekker 2017: 17] Even though we titled Black Box as a “moving archive”, we have to acknowledge the other type of archive which Dekker opens to examination, both in relation to “living (in) archives” and “lost (in) archives.” [Dekker 2017: 23-24] Online content which also belongs in this category was for various reasons moved, erased, or otherwise made inaccessible. Within the context of this text, the situation is illustrated by the effort to trace back the web link to the open call Galerie TIC announced in March 2020. The call that was published on the gallery web on March 27, 2020 and was originally available at now only offers the traditional “ERROR 404. Page not Found” comment denoting a lost web link.



Picture 5. Screen shot of the “ERROR 404. Page not Found” comment on TIC Gallery`s webpage. [online] Available: 25.05.2022


We consider Black Box to be a space for remakes and postproductions of itself and also a space offering multiform curatorial intervention to artworks it stores. In reaction to lockdown, artworks are being transformed into physical objects that leave the interior of a gallery behind and, for example, make use of the outside gallery façade (exhibition by Markéta Filipová Clan of Two Horses, 2021 or Juliana Höschlová’s Inner Parts of Elements, 2021, and many others). Another instance is Don’t Be Afraid and Don’t Cry (2021) by Johana Merta a part of which were large scale signs saying “DON’T BE AFRAID” hung on buildings’ facades. This is how Galerie TIC strives to pose an opposition to the overrule of online platforms and, by transferring art to public spaces, aims to become closer to the public[18].

Hence, a shift is occurring (perhaps intensified by the pandemic) in operating and thinking about cultural institutions that are gradually trying to accept their new status as spaces close and related to community centres with diverse programme and systematic interest in supporting live art. In their essence these institutions are now closer to a network platform (both online and physical) specialising in art presentation and archiving. They are becoming one of the heterogenous collective of agents (cultural practice, objects, people) that create and maintain social reality. Mutual interactions occur between these actors; objects transform participants of the communication process, create social collectives, and take part in the circulation of power and information. [Law 1992]. According to Latour’s [Latour 2005] actor-network theory, it is crucial to conceive of agency as collectivist, agency that is born of interconnection. The approach of actor-network as an empirical version of poststructuralism challenges us to rethink the strategical, relational, and productive character of specific, smaller, heterogenous networks of agents. [Law 2007]. It can serve as a strategy for the rethinking of the cultural institution as an important agent-forming contemporary social reality in terms of art and art management. As a result of the active role of these institutions in the circulation of management and production of interactions between the other network agents, the social awareness and critical reflection of the institution itself is being strengthened.





Ascott, Roy. “Is There Love in the Telematic Embrace?” In: Telematic Connections: The Virtual Embrace. 1989. [online]. Available: 25.05.2022.
Connor, Michael. “Curating Online Exhibitions. Part 1: Performance, variability, objecthood.” In: Rhizome, May 13, 2020. [online]. Available: 25.5.2022.
Dekker, Annet (ed.). Lost and Living (in) Archives. Collectively Shaping New Memories. Amsterdam 2017.
Dekker, Annet (ed.). Curating Digital Art. From Presenting and Collecting Digital Art to Networked Co-curation. Amsterdam 2021.
Display - Association for Research and Collective Practice. Technologies of the Sacred. Exhibition. Curators: Lukáš Likavčan and Display – Association for Research and Collective Practice. 2020 [online] Available:
Ernst, Wolfgang. “Underway to the Dual System. Classical Archives and/or Digital Memory.” In: Daniels, Dieter & Reisinger, Günther (eds.). Net Pioneers 1.0 Contextualizing Early Net-Based Art. Berlin 2009: 81-100.
Filipová, M. (2021) Klan dvou koní. Galerie TIC Brno, výstava 2. 3. 2021 - 23. 3. 2021. [online] Available:
Ghidini, Marialaura (2019). “Curating on the Web: The Evolution of Platforms as Spaces for Producing and Disseminating Web-Based Art.” In: Arts 3, 2019. [online]. Available: 25.05.2022.
Goriunova, Olga & Shulgin, A. “From Art on Networks to Art on Platforms (Case Studies: RUNME.ORG, MICROMUSIC.NET AND UDAFF.COM)”. In Krysa, Joasia (ed.). Curating Immateriality: The work of the curator in the age of network systems, Autonomedia (DATA browser 03). 2006: 237-265.
Goriunova, Olga. Art Platforms and Cultural Production on the Internet. New York and London 2012.
Goriunova, Olga. “Participatory Platforms and the Emergence of Art.” In: Christiane Paul (ed.). A Companion to Digital Art. Hoboken 2016: 297-309.
Green Cube Gallery. [online] Available: 25.05.2022
Groys Boris. “Comrades of Time”. In: E-flux Journal. Issue #11. 2009. [online]. Available: 25.05.2022
Krysa, Joasia (ed.). (2006) Curating Immateriality. The Work of the Curator in the Age of Network Systems. Autonomedia (DATA browser 03). 2006.
Latour, Bruno. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford 2005.
Law, John. “Notes on the Theory of the Actor Network: Ordering, Strategy, and Heterogeneity”. In: Systems Practise, 5(4), 1992: 379–393.
Law, John. Actor Network Theory and Material Semiotics, version of 25th April 2007. [online]. Available: 25.05.2022
Lehner, Sharon. “Documentation Strategy and the Living Archive.” In Inheriting Dance: An Invitation from Pina, edited by Marc Wagenbach and The Pina Bausch Foundation. Bielefeld 2014: 75-84.
Magid, Václav. “Živé umění a mrtvá skutečnost”. In: Café Utopia (ed.). BrnoArt Open 2019. Jsem závislý objekt. Brno 2019.
Manovich, Lev. The Language of New Media. Cambridge, Massachusetts 2001.
Tedone, Gaia. “2020: Digital Odyssey – #2 Online or Nothing. Prezentácia na sympóziu”. Curating Online: Transformation of art institutions into online modes. Loss of institutional aura?, 22nd April, 2021. [online] Available: 25.05.2022
Terranova, Tiziana. “Of Sense and Sensibility: Immaterial Labour in Open Systems.” In: Krysa 2006: 27-36.
Tinterri, Andrea. “Un imbarazzante malinteso. L’arte e paura dell’oblio in quarantena.” In: ArtsLife, May 2nd, 2020. [online] Available: 25.05.2022

[1] This text was completed a few days before the outbreak of war in Ukraine. War also figures in the range of threats mentioned in the article, but only somewhere in the mist of the past. Yet it was just around the corner.
[2]“Husák’s Children” is a term referring to a generation born in the period of so-called political normalisation when president Gustav Husák was the head of the state. This period of the 1970s and 80s following the occupation of Czechoslovakia by troops of the Warsaw Pact in 1968 and the consequent end to social reform is characterised by intensified surveillance by the power and ideological structures.
[3] Contagion (2011) Official Exclusive 1080p HD Trailer – YouTube: 25.05.2022
[4] The Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic awards grants for creative work with the paradoxical requirement that the applicant can only use it twice in their life. Municipalities or regions do not provide similar stipend assistance at all and their only activity in this sphere is a very rare offer of studios subsidised by the municipality.
[5] Galerie TIC’s dramaturgy (specifically then its own exposition Galerie mladých) has been since its foundation at the end of 1960s working under the principle of open calls. This practice involving selection from registered projects by a comission consisting of representatives of the fine arts field represents a specific expression of artistic self-government and democracy. Open call Black Box was in accordance with well-established dramaturgical methods of the gallery.
[6] For instance, the author applied his concept of “activist chemistry” in a nanotechnology solution to the catastrophic lack of water in African countries: 25.05.2022
[7] The project Helpful Art in Covid has a web page where the whole project is articulated as an Online exhibition –;
[8] Magid, V. (2019) Živé umění a mrtvá skutečnost. Café Utopia eds, BrnoArt Open 2019. Jsem závislý objekt. Brno: Dům umění města Brna.
[9] Within the information technology field, the term is understood as a computer program in the online space that automatically searches the web for information based on proposed questions.
[10] Display - Association for Research and Collective Practice (2020) Technologies of the Sacred. Exhibition. Curators: Lukáš Likavčan and Display – Association for Research and Collective Practice. Available: 25.05.2022
[11] Upstream Gallery Amsterdam, NL. Available: 25.05.2022
[12]Quiet, Calm, Staring (2020) Upstream Gallery, April 10–26, 2020, Curated by Rafaël Rozendaal. Available: 25.05.2022
[13] The New Outside (2020) Upstream Gallery. May 1–17, 2020. Curated by Constant Dullaart. Available: 25.05.2022
[14] Green Cube Gallery. Available:
[15] And with the support of Theory of Interactive Media / Digital Culture and Creative Industries Masaryk University, Faculty of Arts; with the financial support of The Technology Agency of the Czech Republic within the programme ETA (project no. TL02000270. Media Art Live Archive: Intelligent Interface for Interactive Mediation of Cultural Heritage) a Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic
[16] Curators (2020) Black Box. Available: 25.05.2022
[17] Curating Online #1: Transformation of art institutions into online modes. Loss of institutional aura?, April 21 and 22, 2021. Available: 25.05.2022; Curating Online #2: The show goes on? Media art festivals during COVID times, October 20 and 21, 2021. Available: 25.05.2022; Curating Online #3: Cultural heritage, creativity and the summer of artificial intelligence. Is everything a remix?, December 7, 2021.
[18] Filipová, M. (2021) Clan of Two Horses. Galerie TIC Brno, exhibition 2 March 2021 – 23 March 2021. [online] Available: 25.05.2022
The presented paper was conducted with the support of the project Media Art Live Archive: Intelligent interface for interactive cultural heritage mediation (No. TL02000270), which is co-financed with the state support of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic within the ETA program.


Download PDF