Dušan Barok

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Born Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia)
The SKOR Codex by La Société Anonyme, 2012.

Dušan Barok is a researcher, artist and cultural activist. He edits Monoskop and his practice involves networked media, participatory events and experimental publishing.

Dušan Barok is best known for Monoskop, a platform for avant-garde media studies he initiated in 2004 as part of the Burundi collective. Since 2009, he also operates its affiliated online library Monoskop Log, created together with Tomáš Kovács. Its website is hosted by Sanchez, an art server run by Multiplace network and providing free web hosting to emerging artists and cultural nonprofits. He convened a series of seminars on media aesthetics entitled The Extensions of Many (2015), prepared in collaboration with Bergen Center for Electronic Arts and hosted by Hordaland Kunstsenter in Bergen, Norway. The series was followed by the symposium Ideographies of Knowledge (2015) prepared with Barbora Šedivá in Paul Otlet's archives in Mundaneum in Mons, Belgium. In 2018, he was commissioned by the Seoul Mediacity Biennale to make new work. Created with a large group of Monoskop collaborators, the Exhibition Library (2018) contains thirty catalogues of imaginary exhibitions and its premiere edition went on display in the Seoul Museum of Art as part of the biennale exhibition.

Born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, Dušan Barok graduated in information technologies from the University of Economics, Bratislava (DI, 1997-2002), and Networked Media from the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam (MDes, 2010-2012). He worked as a research fellow at the Media Studies Department of the University of Amsterdam (2016-2019) where he is currently finishing his PhD dissertation.

In 1999 he began to be involved in independent art and cultural scenes in Slovakia and Czechia, working as a web designer, editor, cultural organiser and artist. He founded and ran the online cultural magazine Koridor (in Slovak, 1999-2002). As part of a diverse group of art and cultural workers, he co-founded Burundi media lab where he organised the Translab programme series (2004-2005). Since 1999, he has built and designed over eighty websites and open access platforms for artistic, cultural and educational organisations. He also developed an open source software for collaboration online, called backstage. Together with Magdaléna Kobzová, Barok organised the two-week long workshop-based event Letné dielne / Open Summer Academy, bringing together practitioners from across arts and technology (Bratislava, 2006 & 2007). From 2004 he was involved in the organisation of Multiplace network culture festival, between 2007 and 2009 as its coordinator.

With Pit Schultz and Berlin Biennale, Barok developed an artist-run platform for contemporary art history, ArtWiki. He co-founded the artist collective La Société Anonyme known for its work The SKOR Codex (2012), a digital archive of public art in the form of a book. The book was printed in eight copies that are now available for viewing in libraries and collections (Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam; Royal Library, The Hague; Open Data Initiative, London; State Library Victoria, Melbourne; Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris; SFMOMA Library, San Francisco; Art Library of The National Art Center, Tokyo). It has been installed in exhibitions several times.

He also worked with the artist-run centre OKNO in Brussels, the Academic Research Centre of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (VVP AVU), the Center for Contemporary Arts Prague (Artlist), the Museum of Modern Art Olomouc (CEAD), Atrakt Art (3/4 magazine), and the artist collectives 13m3, Col-me and Satori. He has lectured and performed internationally. Raised in Bratislava, he lived in the United States (2002-2003), Prague (2004-2008), Berlin (2008-2010), Rotterdam (2010-2012), Bergen (2013-2016), Amsterdam (2016-2019), and is currently based in Oslo.

Convened symposia[edit]

Talks, essays, interviews[edit]

Recent talks[edit]

  • "Dívat se na databázi: Audiovizuální archiv prizmatem softwaru a databází", Artyčok.tv, The Academy of Fine Arts, Prague, Nov 2012. [1]
  • "You'll Like This Art Because You're In It", Karaoke Europe: Očarenie realitou symposium, Stanica, Žilina, Dec 2012. [2]
  • "Softvérová studia a špatná média", Interactive Media Theory seminar, Masaryk University, Brno, Dec 2012. (Slovak)
  • with Andrej Chudý, "Remediácia kultúrnej produkcie v digitálnom sieťovom prostredí", Remediácia: V kontexte transdisciplinarity conference, Polish Institute, Bratislava, Jan 2013. [3]
  • "Dedovia, dediči a vydedenci umenia a vedy na Slovensku. Kapitoly z mediálnej archeológie", Alef 0 series, Stanica, Žilina, Feb 2013. [4] / Krakatoa talk club, A4-Zero Space, Bratislava, Mar 2013. [5]
  • "Merely Incentive", Renew: Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology, Riga, Oct 2013. (English)
    • "Len incentív", trans. Tomáš Kohút, Tim Ezin 4:1-2 (2013-14), Brno, pp 69-71. (Slovak)
  • "Dve médiá", Zlá média / Evil media: Eristika nových médií conference, Masaryk University, Brno, Nov 2013. [6]
  • "Making Access", FREE?! Winter Night’s Copyright Fairytale event, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, Nov 2013. [7] (English)
  • "Information Agency", 4 živly - filmový seminár: Moc médií, Banská Štiavnica, Mar 2014. [8]
  • "K technikám publikovania", Informace mezi komoditou a komunitou seminar, Tranzitdisplay, Prague, May 2014. [9] [10] (Slovak)
  • "Communing Texts", Off the Press conference, WORM, Rotterdam, May 2014. Video documentation (17 min). [11] (English)
  • "Poetika v spojení. Polia mediality", Literatura, technologie, média colloquium, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Oct 2014. [12] (Slovak)
  • "Poetics of Research", Public Library conference, Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, Nov 2014. [13] (English)
  • "Scribing Sound", Writing Sounds 2 exhibition, Lydgalleriet, Bergen, Nov 2014. [14] [15]
  • "The Extensions of Many: Seminars on Media Aesthetics, 1: Introduction", introductory talks to seminar series, Hordaland kunstsenter, Bergen, Mar 2015. (Part 2). [16] (English)
  • "Antropocén, algoritmy alebo postčlovečenstvo, to je jedno. Dejiny súčasnosti skrz mediálnu teóriu", Academy of Fine Arts/Bratislava, and Masaryk University, Brno, Mar 2015. [17] [18] (Slovak)
  • "More Than Numbers, Less Than Words", Javna knjižnica / Public Library conference, Nova Gallery, Zagreb, Jun 2015. [19] (English)
  • "Public Library", Technopolitics seminar, Vienna, Jun 2015. [20] (English)
  • "Body of Thought: Artists' Texts and Their Contribution to Theory", Local Contexts / International Networks: Avant-Garde Magazines in Central Europe (1910-1935) conference, Kassák Museum, Budapest, Sep 2015. [21] (English)
  • "Katalóg online: o špecifikách publikovania archívov umenia na internete", CEAD Workshop, Museum of Art, Olomouc, Sep 2015; Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, Jan 2016. [22]
  • "Algoritmy a sloboda", DOX, Prague; FAMU, Prague, and Masaryk University, Brno, Oct 2015. [23] [24] [25] (Slovak)
  • paper at AHM PhD Seminar Series, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Dec 2016. [26] (English)
  • "Documentation and digitization meet digital preservation to make time-based art last for posterity", NACCA Event, Tate Modern, London, Jan 2017. [27] [28] (English)
  • "Shadow Libraries", Shadow Libraries: UbuWeb in Athens, National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST), Athens, Mar 2018. [29] (English)
  • "From Collection Management to Content Management in Art Documentation", MAPS: Born Digital symposium, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Jun 2018; NACCA Symposium 2018: From different perspectives to common grounds in contemporary art conservation, Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, Jun 2018. [30] [31]
  • "On Editing", Copy This: A Night of Un-creativity at an Art Space, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, Jun 2018. [32]
  • "Database for the Documentation of Contemporary Art", NACCA | MACCH Conference 2019: Bridging the Gap, Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, Mar 2019. [33]
  • "Knowledge Infrastructure for the Preservation of Contemporary Art", ICOM General Conference 2019 / CIDOC Annual Conference 2019, Kyoto International Conference Center, Kyoto, Sep 2019. [34]
  • "The Cultures of Moving Image: Music Video in Eastern Europe", Beast International Film Festival, OKNA & Casa Comum de Reitoria de Universidade de Porto, Porto, Oct 2019. [35]
  • "New Approaches in Media Conservation", Artworks from the Digital Era in Galleries and Museums colloquium, Vašulka Kitchen Brno, Brno House of Arts, Brno, Oct 2019. Slides. [36]
  • "Publishing as Art Preservation", MAPS2020: The Dead Web: The End symposium, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Feb 2020. [37]

Interviews (given)[edit]

Interviews[edit]

Essays[edit]

Editor (selection)[edit]

  • with Magdaléna Kobzová, Save Before It's Gone, Brussels, 2006. Contains interviews with Dirk Paesmans, Maja Kuzmanovic, Darko Fritz, and Andrei Smirnov. [56] (English)
  • Chronology of Network Art, 2008.
  • Monoskop Log: Writings on Arts, Culture, and Media Technology, 2009ff.
  • "Russia: Avant-garde", Monoskop, 2013ff. Source documents and bibliography of and on the Russian avant-garde.
  • "Sound art", Monoskop, 2014ff. Sound art resource and bibliography.
  • "Avant-Garde and Modernist Magazines", Monoskop, 2014ff. Guide to online collections of avant-garde and modernist magazines.
  • "Architecture", Monoskop, 2015ff. Source documents in the history, theory and criticism of 20th-century architecture.
  • "Constructivism", Monoskop, 2015ff. Constructivist arts in Russia and east-central Europe from the late 1910s through the 1930s.
  • "Art Styles and Movements", Monoskop, 2016ff. Annotated index of styles and movements in modern and contemporary art worldwide, from the 1860s until today.
  • "Performance art", Monoskop, 2017ff. Extensive resource on performance art.
  • "Anthropocene", Monoskop, 2018ff. Documentary genealogy of the concept and its reception across the arts and sciences.
  • Monoskop Exhibition Library, Amsterdam: Monoskop, and Seoul: The Book Society, 2018, 47 pp. Catalogue for an exhibition-installation presented as part of the Seoul Mediacity Biennale, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, 5 Sep-18 Nov 2018. (English)/(Korean)
  • Inverse Reader, Monoskop, 2019ff. Collection of 64 texts, talks and conversations about shadow, independent and artists’ digital libraries. [57]
  • Naked on Pluto, Monoskop, 2020. Case study in preservation of artistic research; in collaboration with Julie Boschat Thorez and Aymeric Mansoux.

Works[edit]

22.2.2001 (2001), Matrica slovenská (2006), Computer with a Printer (2006), FaceLeaks (2010), The SKOR Codex (with La Société Anonyme, 2012), XVIII (with La Société Anonyme and Marja Wilgenkamp, 2013), Exhibition Library (with Monoskop, 2018).

Literature[edit]

See also writings about Monoskop.

See also[edit]

Contact[edit]

  • db at monoskop dot org
  • db at societyofalgorithm dot org
  • PGP key