3.10. – 31.10.2019
Flaviu Rohojan / hax!
Flaviu Rogojan in his works uses references to technology, video games and to internet environment. He is interested in complexity of the world in which we live. Peeling off its individual layers he shows to the viewer the possible connections, or through looking through some of them he discovers the lower ones and explores their intersections.
Exhibition hax! takes us to the world of video games and computer technology. All the works in the exhibition relate to acts of violation of the rules of the game and to frauds, by which the player or hacker gains for himself unfair advantages and power. Frauds, tricks and the benefits from them serve the author as a metaphor for unfair gain of power and domination in the real world and society.
For the entry work of the exhibition hax! we could consider the work Cheat Codes, which at first glance could be read as a poem. A set of passwords and codes that, when applied to an appropriate game, allow a player to gain immortality or unlimited money, even knowing that the rules of the game have been violated. Translated into the scale of our contemporary world, we could, for example, speak of situations in the context of the financial crisis at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, where governments bailed out big banks in an effort to save the situation on world markets.
The essence of the game The Grand Theft Auto (GTA) is that the player is a member of the criminal underworld and thus takes part in a number of criminal and violent acts. Although the game is in principle designed in a way that a player is the one who violates generally applicable laws, there is another dimension of bending rules by hacking the game itself. By violating the simulated physical laws, you can avoid any resistance and control.
Another type of benefits gained by cheating is the ability to see through walls (so called “wall-hacks”). In this way, you can predict the enemy’s position and gain enormous competitive advantage. This hack is referenced by the semi-transparent Counter-Strike window display.
The theme of the work Mirai is based on the author’s fascination of a hacker attack from 2016 during which a hacker gained a control over huge number of smart devices. We can see a part of the conversation between a hacker and a computer security expert that switched to the topic of manga, of which both were equally fascinated. As previous works also Mirai treats about overlapping of the real and virtual worlds and gaining almost limitless power through dishonest means.
Flaviu Rogojan is fascinated by power relations in real world, based on the ability to look through barriers – which is a domain not only a police and government agencies but more and more often marketing and technology companies who know a lot about us through the services they provide.
The idea of a sci-fi gun is usually such that the weapon fires a beam that hurts or kills anyone who is hit by it. The work Raygun is based on the discovery that the Light Gun for Nintendo games worked the other way around – the gun did not fire light but received it (based on a simple camera). Now cameras can be again used as guns. Installed on a street as a part of the surveillance system or on drones guiding the missiles can decide someone’s fate.
* “Hax” is a term used in online multiplayer games to alert players suspected of fraud. This is a public charge that may or may not have any consequences. Hax! is a short form for hacks or hackers. The name itself can be perceived as a metaphor of general violations of the rules in society.
Flaviu Rogojan (b.1990) is an artist and curator from Cluj, Romania. Using references from technology, video game, and internet culture, he deals with different aspects of the layered worlds we live in, navigating both online and offline spaces. Geeky factoids and nerdy stories are often a starting point in his works, but his artistic practice also draws inspiration from conceptual and contemporary art strategies, weaving together different fictions and narratives. Rogojan is a founding member and coordinator of Aici Acolo, a pop up gallery project in Romania transforming unused or abandoned spaces into temporary art spaces for young artists.
Project was supported by Ministery of Culture Czech Republic and The City of Brno.