My work explores the relationship between nature, human experience, and technology. It typically takes the form of short video animations, electronic soundscapes, prints, code-generated objects, and digital sculptures, ranging from conceptual pieces to more formalist explorations. I value algorithms and glitches as drivers of metamorphosis and evolution in nature and I use them as pictorial elements in my work, often in the form of programmed mistakes.

By examining my own existence in a human body, my identity, and my dreams — both conscious and subconscious — I aim to awaken a sense of wonder, inquisitiveness, and awe that prompts the audience to reconnect with the fundamental reality of our existence: that we are alive and will one day face our own mortality. Additionally, my intention is to emphasize that there is no singular authority capable of fully comprehending these mysteries. In this decontextualization of existence, I see immense potential for freeing the mind, breaking down barriers between natural and artificial, as well as between humans.

I believe that bridging the gap between nature, culture, and technology enables us to perceive nature as an evolving, self-aware entity that unites all life forms, chemical elements, nuclear, and electromagnetic forces into a deep, mysterious order that we perceive as chaotic. By developing this metanarrative, we can take a small step towards unraveling the mysteries of our existence and fostering a harmonious environment founded on the interconnectedness of all things.

About Present-Object

The idea for as a theme and container for my art studies came to me during the pandemic in 2020, when life felt like it was on hold, everything was upside down, familiar processes disrupted, and the very Leviathan of Capitalism seemed paralyzed.

I had lost my well-paid corporate job in Manhattan and decided to break the lease on my studio apartment in Greenpoint. I bought a beat-up van, packed all my stuff in it, and moved to an unknown and somewhat random place in the Midwest. It was there, sitting by the window and looking at the quiet street, that I realized I had something that had been missing for so long: time to do nothing.

I used this time to meditate and reflect on my creeping fears, old memories, relationships, and years of work. This process of self-reflection became my full-time job for a month or so. Suddenly, all my emotional baggage started to feel distant. I saw the most painful memories come and go like just another process in my body, like breathing, my beating heart, or itchiness.

This long-lasting awareness created a space for new presence and allowed me to look at myself, my body, my mind, and my psyche as if they were altogether a complex algorithm, a thing in itself, or an object. I pictured myself as a link between this presence and this object: Present-Object.

I began daydreaming about how the cells of my body use algorithms of birth and regeneration to build themselves from nothing but a vibrating void of atomic particles. I saw myself as a self-perpetuating algorithm, self-aware electricity that generates feelings, ideas, dreams, and memories. Experiencing this new perspective on myself brought me hope for true liberation from the conditioning of upbringing, society, and my ego. This inspired me to create as an overarching theme and container for my art studies.

—Roman Vlasov

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International Design Awards

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