ASCII [DAL, Holon]

Vuk Cosic focuses on investigating and exposing the new medium of a language hidden from view, which is a characteristic of the contemporary digital world and its boundaries. He uses the language of the Internet in order to indicate the creative potential of the digital tool itself. His works refer to reading land art as text (Calvino), to cryptography – ”the science of codes” or ”the study of secret writing”, which is reminiscent of the deciphering of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, and the investigation of language by stretching its boundaries and using models borrowed from other fields (OuliPo group).

A solo by Vuk Cosic

Dates: 25.05 — 26.07.02

ASCII – American Standard Code for Information Interchange – is the universal code for conveying information which forms the basis of Internet communication. We define ASCII art as any artwork that was conceived by using this code system. This is a code that assigns numerical values to letters, numbers, punctuation marks and other signs. By matching these values, ASCII enables computers and computer programs to exchange information. This is the basic coding system which enables computer communication. ASCII unites a number of technological developments and concepts which have led to the creation of modern digital computers, including real time communication, communication networks, etc. 

ASCII evokes not only a specific episode from the history of computer culture but a number of early forms of media and communications technologies. Language (and as such, text as well), claim the post-structuralists, is what forms and creates reality and does not reflect it, positing that language is not a natural reflection of the world. The structures of language are our interpretation of the world. Language shapes our perception, us. Everything we have, the potential to know, is built on signs, ruled by the laws of dialogue and connected to other texts through illusions, filters and repetitions.

This does not mean that every reality is textual, but rather that everything we know about it and how we know it is textual, built on dialogue and its ensemble of laws, through images, symbols, the rules of language and more. Cozic speaks of exposing textual signs, using them to their limits and forcing them to stretch beyond their regular roles on the one hand. On the other hand, the fact that he uses these signs (which actually make up reality), is a return to the claim that the text is what builds reality. Cozic turns the post-structuralist claim into an impressive visual image and creates implications on previous art forms such as Land Art according to the ASCII architectural version. Cross checking this code with the common movie connects key issues of computer culture and New Media and creates artistic wealth. Cozic’s films present the media’s new status as a digital database. 

In these works, the ASCII is created when an image is conveyed digitally and presented on the screen. The result satisfies the spectator both visually and conceptually since he is presented with a double image: that of the known movie and that of the abstract code. The code and the image are joined and co-exist.