Fotograf Magazine


Barbora Mrázková

In its now classic offering of screensavers, Windows 98 offered the growing 3-D pipeline, also known as the Plumber’s Nightmare. The pipe appeared in a black void and gradually filled the entire monitor. The recurring motif and monotony of the animation evoked a calming ambience. ScreenSaverGallery, on the other hand, offers a miscellaneous experience and a moment of surprise.

The original function of the screen saver program was to run moving images to prevent the graphic pattern (phosphor) from burning in on computer monitors. Today, current monitors no longer have this problem, but savers are still used, for instance for security – when they require a password to access the device again. ScreenSaverGallery is an online exhibition space that uses the space of the saver as an exhibition medium. This virtual gallery is actually an application that the user / visitor installs on their computer and which automatically updates with a new exhibition program. The application can be downloaded for free on the ScreenSaverGallery website or other platforms. In the Czech environment, this is a unique project – one that has been presenting digital and internet art for a long time. It owes its creation to the Brno artistic duo & (Barbora Trnková and Tomáš Javůrek) in collaboration with curator Maria Meixnerová. Since 2013, more than thirty exhibitions have taken place in the saver gallery. Currently you can see the broad retrospective project The Limits of ScreenSavers_A SCRAVER AS A UNIQUE AND SHOCKING ART FORM, which is also on view for the first time in parallel in a physical space, in Gallery XY in Olomouc.

ScreenSaverGallery art projects come to their visitors on their own, when the desktop is no longer occupied by work, entertainment, procrastination or, say, self-education – a moment when we disconnect from the screen for a while. The saver becomes a channel that turns our personal computers into a gallery space with a curated exhibition. The exhibited works appear when the computer is idle, often at the point when we are no longer there. We come into contact with art only when we return to work. This makes for an unusual situation. We do not search out the visual artwork, we do not encounter it on our own initiative; on the contrary, with an active gesture – touching the computer after a while, we leave the gallery, close it and return to our original intention, from which the artwork diverted our attention.

The art of ScreenSaverGallery is mostly site-specific, so artists work with this particular presentation format. In addition to world-famous names such as Joanna Zylinska, Aram Bartholl or JODI, artists from the Czech scene such as Kateřina Olivová and David Přílučí have also shown here. The image here is from Sarah Ludy’s Dream House project, from 2015.


Barbora Mrázková