Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Assoc Prof Dejan Grba

Visiting Associate Professor, School of Art, Design and Media

Assoc Prof Dejan Grba

Dejan Grba is a media artist, author and educator.

His professional career has been unfolding through interrelated practice in art, writing, education and curating. Through an intensive exploration of visual arts disciplines (drawing, painting and installation), his expertise has evolved towards new media art, focusing on interactive and generative methodologies. Interdisciplinary research-based art production, authorship and mentoring have been central in his current creative work. He publishes his critical exploration of new media art in leading journals, edited volumes and conference proceedings.

Since 1994 Dejan has had 25 solo exhibitions, and participated in numerous group exhibitions at venues such as ISEA, Manizales; ZKM, Karlsruhe; Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst (GfZK), Leipzig; Montevideo, Amsterdam; Museum in Progress, Vienna; rotor and CCN, Graz; Museum of Art, Ravenna; Wrocław Drawing Triennial; Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; Museum of Contemporary Visual Art, Novi Sad; Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland; Supermedium, Hague; IFA Galerie, Berlin; MoCA Salon, Science and Technology Museum, Dom omladine Gallery; Remont Gallery, and Rex Cultural Center, Belgrade, and at festivals such as FIVAE, Locarno; Tech_Nicks, London; Art Science Innovation, Tenerife; In/Out, Prague and Belef, Belgrade. He curated more than 30 exhibitions at venues such as GfZK, Leipzig; Medienkunstlabor, Graz; Unagaleria, Bucharest; Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland; MoCA Salon, Dom omladine Gallery, Science and Technology Museum, Students’ Cultural Center, Context Gallery; DKSG Gallery, and Goethe-Institut, Belgrade.

Dejan is a visiting associate professor at the School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. In 2018 he designed the international interdisciplinary MA program The Art of Digital Media for the Interdisciplinary Graduate Center at University of the Arts in Belgrade. In 2015 he established and since then has been chairing the New Media department at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. In 2007 he was a guest professor with Computer Art program at the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Syracuse University, New York. Since 2005 he has been teaching at Digital Art PhD program that he also participated in developing for the Interdisciplinary Graduate Center at University of the Arts in Belgrade.

Since 1994 he has given lectures at venues including ISEA2019 Gwangju, ISEA2017 Manizales and ISEA2016 Hong Kong; SUTD Singapore, ADM/NTU Singapore; Syracuse University; GfZK, Leipzig; Faculty of Architecture, Belgrade; Academy of the Arts, Novi Sad; Museum of Applied Arts, Belgrade; MoCA Salon, Centre for Contemporary Art, Le Centre Culturel Français, Rex Cultural Center, Students’ Cultural Center, Cultural Center Catalysis, and Students City Cultural Center, Belgrade. He has presented at conferences such as xCoAx 2019, Milan; ISEA2019, Gwangju and ISEA2017, Manizales; SIGGRAPH 2017, Los Angeles; Generative Art 2017, Ravenna; ISEA2016, Hong Kong; Consciousness Reframed XIX, Shanghai; Generative Art 2016, Florence; Generative Art 2015, Venice; Going Digital 2018, 2017 and 2015, Belgrade; Thinking Europe, Leipzig; Upgrade! International, Skopje; ELIA, Luzern and Gent; ELIA Teachers’ Academy, Rotterdam and Brighton; EUA/Swiss Confederation Conference on Credit Transfer and Accumulation, Zürich; and InterArtes, Vilnius and Ghent.

Dejan is the first Serbian Artist who won the Junior Faculty Development Program fellowship (2007) and the first artist who won the Serbian Ministry of Science and Technology postgraduate scholarship (1996). He has been a member of the Fulbright Alumni Association of Serbia since 2017, a member of international association of curators and artists Provisional Art Spaces since 2015, board member of six art venues and galleries, and a jury member of four international festivals since 2000.

He is a film buff, hiker and free climber.
Research Interests
Dejan Grba’s research is motivated by heterogenous artistic, scientific and cultural phenomena relating to the conceptual, cognitive, technological, poetic and political aspects of visual arts, film, new media art and digital culture. His special interest is in generative art and in consequential qualities of human creativity in general, including the constitution, representation and interpretation of the individual notion of reality in the symbolic and narrative structures. These interests have been informed by the insights in physics, biology, evolutionary and cognitive sciences. Dejan’s research methodology is based on empirical assessment, reiterative (self)critical thinking and awareness for human fallacies and biases which manifest in the arts, sciences, technology and everyday life. Dejan’s current research integrates three lines of activities.

1. Generative Art Book
With expertise in a range of new media art disciplines, Dejan has been focusing his theoretical work on the critical exploration of generative art, working on a book in collaboration with Vladimir Todorović, Senior Lecturer at UWA in Perth. The authors study generativity in the arts, review different concepts of generative art in the existing literature, and address generative practices in various areas of new media art such as visualization, animation, sound art, cinema, gaming, interactivity, performance, bioart, postdigital art and design. They investigate the specific features of generative methodologies such as bricolage, intentionality, narrativity, creative discovery, emergence, unpredictability, epistemological value, technological entanglement, cultural relevance and museological status. Looking at the insights, implications, poetic, cognitive and ethical aspects of generative art, the authors discuss the ways in which it influences and changes contemporary art, culture and human lives. The book proposal is scheduled for fall 2019.

2. New Media Art Research Platform
This is a project for the robust, comprehensive, open-access online platform which will serve as an artistic, theoretical, teaching and learning tool in new media art. The kernel of the platform is a database that includes an extensive set of interrelated media-rich material including the artists, art projects, institutions, several types of references (including an extensive bibliography, filmography, web links, and chronology) and contextual data. It maps all main areas of new media art: computer art pioneers, imaging/visualization, infographics/data viz, sound, animation, film, video, installation, interactivity, performance, generative art, gaming, Internet art, activism, bioart, design, architecture and postdigital art. The project will develop the online and offline methodology for contributing, curating, updating, optimizing and evolving the platform contents and functionality. It will provide long-term flexibility, versatility and anticipation which will overcome the shortcomings of the existing, semi-functional or expired databases on new media and digital art.

3. Transdisciplinary New Media Art Education and Academia
Focusing on the 4C principal skills - creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication - Dejan is exploring the methodologies for diversifying transdisciplinary approach to teaching, practicing and academic work in new media art. He is looking for the comprehensive ways to coordinate the specific abilities of the artists, scientists, technologists, entrepreneurs and professionals from other fields into a balanced, unbiased, engaged and effective involvement with new media art curricula, academic work, research projects, production and public outreach. This research is motivated by the synergetic potential of well-defined and structured multidisciplinary collaboration, and by the fact that individual human creativity and expression get improved and empowered by the collective tools for applying and extending rationality.
Selected Publications
  • Grba, Dejan.(2020). Always Already Just: Combinatorial Inventiveness in New Media Art. In Eduardo Navas, Owen Gallagher and xtine burrough(Ed), The Handbook of Remix Studies and Digital Humanities(forthcoming). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Grba, Dejan. (2020). xCoAx, 8th Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X: Deriving Sense: Cognitive Aspects of Artefactual Creativity. xCoAx, 8th Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X (pp. 186-201)Porto: University of Porto.
  • Grba, Dejan, and Philippe Kocher. (2019). XXII Generative Art Conference prceedings: Study 7/0: Error-Generated Spatiotemporal Animation. XXII Generative Art Conference (pp. 109-117)Milan: Domus Argenia.
  • Todorović, Vladimir, and Dejan Grba. (2019). Wandering Machines: Narrativity in Generative Art. CITAR Journal of Science and Technology of the Arts, Sp. xCoAx Issue, 50-58.
  • Grba, Dejan. (2019). Forensics of a Molten Crystal: Challenges of Archiving and Representing Contemporary Generative Art. Annual Art Journal , 08, 3-15.

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