“I have seen myself backward.”
– Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
The key to the artistic thinking of Daniel Vlček lies in his experience with music composition and electronic instruments. Though he has become established as a painter in the past years, his painting is based on the very principles observed in contemporary electronic music as a specific system of sound organization. Samples, sequences, loops, repetitive structures, combinations of cyclic and linear sections… Vlček belongs to the post-tekno generation of people in their thirties who have decided to carry their complex experience with subculture life style and aesthetics over to the sphere of contemporary art.
After years of “political harassment” with the audiovisual group Guma Guar, straddled between the institutionalized art scene and tekno subculture, Vlček has pushed aside his activist, protest-critical diction, focusing his attention on the rather abstract experience of sensory nature. His paintings and audiovisual installations are meant to address the recipient as a concrete temporal structure; as uncoiled, rewound, or suspended time; and directly influence the working of his or her mind.
In case of Vlček’s “op-art”, the connection with the psychedelic banners of tekno parties; visual stimulants of the already doped up mind; would not be that obvious if it weren’t for a layer of concrete allusions to electronic music. Be it that of engraving geometric patterns by means of a vinyl record stencil or that of installations of electronic instruments and sound systems, they meet Vlček’s requirement of searching for general principles within concrete cultural conditions, where the human mind and technology merge.
The sentence included in the exhibition’s title, If you record a new loop backwards, it will still be stored in forward in memory, but it will behave as if it was stored backwards, was copied from the manual of Vlček’s favourite sampler. We have chosen it for its ability to evoke an image; that of a machine deeply affecting the foundations of human imagination, as strongly as quantum physics and religion do. Machines stopped serving us a long time ago. They have become generators of human dreams and feelings. MP3 strikes back.
Curator Jiří Ptáček