Interview with Amanda Stojanov

Posted on July 17th, 2017
by Lee Tusman

Today we interview Amanda Stojanov, media artist, designer and recent MFA graduate of Design | Media Arts about her thesis exhibit work in Delete Me.

Stojanov’s work is centered around creating interactive video/animation, sculpture, and narratives that interrogate gender identity, agency / body politics, and visibility in virtual spaces. The subjects of her work focus on sci-fi narratives and world-building themes around gender expression and transformation.

In your art practice you investigate gender identity, agency, and the body in virtual space. VR and many other technology companies and communities skews white, hetero male. Do you see part of your art practice as examining context and privileges, or do you have other goals for your work?

My goals are to examine and bring awareness to specific subjective experiences. When a technology and the media produced from it are skewed to cater to or represent a certain experience I want to respond to that and create a dialogue around a different yet equally important experience. Another goal I have in my work is to explore my own experience, wants, and desires through art and making and using technologies that I haven’t used before or are still new to me.

  • Wearing oculus headset

Your installation /ˌfeməˈninədē/ feels immersive. It’s large, the audio pulls you in, and you’re surrounded on 3 sides by this dynamic work. It’s a piece you can walk into with multiple people, yet when you put headphones on it feels very solo. Your other installation work Untitled [interior] ep.1 runs on Oculus Rift and can only can be experienced solo. How do you approach making a work that can only be experienced by a single person at a time?

  • Untitled - VR artwork

For these two pieces I thought a lot about duration and repetition. In /ˌfeməˈninədē/ there is a beginning and end that is clear in the audio. The visuals are less clear. At any point you can walk into the space and experience the scale and immersiveness of the work. For Untitled [interior] people.1 I created a loop that has as little visual cues of a beginning and end as possible. I wanted the space to feel immersive and open ended. The audio reflects the same values as the visuals. The viewer decides how long they view it without any stakes of not understanding or missing out. It is meant to be a space to pause inside of.

In Untitled [interior] ep.1, what feeling are you creating for the viewer?

Calmness, a feeling of being inside of something with a membrane. A body or a natural part of the earth.

Are there other artists or designers that may be references for your work or that you recommend readers look into?

Francesca Woodman, Hannah Black, Diana Thater, Tabita Rezaire, Princess Nokia…

Thank you.