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Bodies That Generate Images

Stefan Donchev, Sofia

Stefan Donchev graduated from the MA programme Digital Arts from the National Academy of Arts in Sofia in 2012.

He is an artist-inventor who has since taken part in a number of exhibitions in Bulgaria and abroad, including the Netherlands and Serbia.

Donchev has participated in a few group exhibitions in Bulgaria such as Hello World (2012, Vaska Emanouilova Gallery, Sofia), Being Post-Digital (2015, Design Week 2015, Plovdiv) and Friendly Little Creatures (2016, Credo Bonum Gallery, Sofia, and Contemporary Space Gallery, Varna).

Email: sqrtmo@gmail.com


The exhibition poster.
Iamge courtesy Stefan Donchev.

Bodies That Generate Images
solo exhibition

Curator: Rene Beekman

22 March - 5 April 2018
Gallery the fridge, Sofia

Bodies That Generate Images is the first solo exhibition of the Bulgarian artist Stefan Donchev.

The exhibition includes four interactive installations, two of which have been created specifically for this exhibition.


Stefan's creative act recombines our abstract, technological and mathematical understanding of the world around us into living, breathing creatures that do not illustrate the underlying abstract thought or technology, but instead point in an entirely different direction. These creations present us with an entire universe that exists outside our own, and at the same time, they force us to reconsider our own relationships, our own pre-conceived thoughts and ideas about the technology.


In the interactive installation Cilia with Metal Stalks, Stefan has replaced the customary interface of screen and keyboard with a tactile interface consisting of metal wires and a small printer. By touching the wires, we can write or draw on the printer. The work provokes us to reconsider our ideas about how we interact and communicate with technology around us.


The interactive installation Purring Grass combines traits of grass with those of a cat. The work consists of a flowerpot with grass in it. When we stroke or pet the grass, a purring sound is heard.


The installation Perpetual Sorting Machine consists of a number of discs, each with black sides and white sides. The discs are spread across a surface and together form an abstract image.


On either side of the discs there is a rail. Between the rails and over the discs, a bridge moves back and forth. The bridge carries a mechanism, a kind of mechanical hand. The hand picks up, examines, turns and puts down the discs. Every time it does so, it changes one pixel in the overall image - from black to white, from white to black. Is the machine engaged in an attempt to sort the discs or is it an apparently perpetual process of abstract painting?


Self-portrait is a mechanical robot that invites us to pose to have our portrait drawn. The design of the machine reminds us of automata-like self-operating machines. The work questions how we see and interact with machines, what our expectations of machines are, and how those differ from our experiences of other humans.


As the machine draws our portrait, we find that, inevitably, it is literally drawing us in its own image. Is this a limitation of the machine or simply the way it sees the world?