• Zlata Mechetina

Flat plane of online art: slimes, disorientation and ornaments of ru.net


Nikita's works play around with what is knowable and thinkable by interacting with technologies and unwrapping Photoshop's interface. They can be defined as a form of map-making and conceptualising space and place (Novosibirsk) in and through digital media. Dysfunctional yet self-reflective, image is a balance between knowledge and action. This approach exposes the users' vulnerability as digital nomads in the ocean of noise; finding, capturing, and investigating informational swirls. 

These works reinforce the power of visual parody on productivity and acquiring knowledge online; they displace the hierarchies established by the aesthetics of WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) software. Nikita's works exist in the gulf between ironic aggressiveness and provocative taste. They are full of slimes, disorientation and ornaments from notebooks. Eventually, you can see yourself as part of this everyday ornament –– the digital flesh. He explores optical networks stuck between schools, Novosibirsk, Russian politics and cloud rap: the quintessence of adventure and freedom within the boundaries of the interface. Spontaneity and ironic aggressiveness become a method and a trap for the scattered particles of jpeg and png. 

Visualising thought through software is a form of cognition that is dependent on speculative reasoning of algorithms: a result of the algorithmic process of personal self-adaptation to its incompatibilities (i.e., infinity). It is impossible to say whether Nikita saw elements of his final images on the street, online, or whether they are part of the current news media or computer games.


This problem of tracing down the original inspiration of Nikita's images becomes an opportunity to create a secretive visual language. For example, Nikita subtly references the war in Chechnya and the nuclear-powered Kursk submarine accident on the 12th August 2000 in the Barents Sea during the first major Russian naval exercise of that decade, which led to all 118 personnel on board dying. The officials' reaction to it ('it drowned') became a meme and part of ru-net culture. 


Nikita's process of working can be described as continuously translating hypertextual narratives into oversaturated images; pixels become reminiscent of the patchwork making up the digital quilt of the internet. References to this embroidery become a metaphor for the repetitive, daily online activity. Searching, activating and archiving words or images is a process of oscillating between human and non-human assemblages.




76 views
  • Facebook
  • Instagram