You Can See, Therefore I Am Lucie Svobodová

artists Lucie Svobodová
institution Czech Republic
tags videoart English CC video-esej animation
directing Lucie Svobodová
cast Lucie Svobodová
camera Lucie Svobodová, Jan Vosýnek
sound Lucie Svobodová
editing Lucie Svobodová, Jan Vosýnek
translation Kateřina Prokešová
category Profiles
published 21. 12. 2021
duration 0:16:13
language Česky / English
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Lucie Svobodová is a visual artist, pioneer of new media and educationist. Her activities show an  inclination towards intermedia overlaps since the turn of the eighties and nineties, when working with technical means of video became an important area of her work. Although she originally studied painting at the Secondary School of Arts and Crafts in Prague (1977-1981) and then studied film and television graphics at the Academy of Arts Architecture and Design (1982-1988), her works soon shifted from traditionally constructed, static images to moving and spatial images that currently range from a free expansion of painting expression to more formally complex attempts at integration of sound and interactive components.


In the process of departure from her original training, Svoboda's first independent experiments with video and computer animation became crucial. She started to create them first on an Amiga computer (1988) and later on a Silicon Graphics computer (1991). Although the starting point was always drawing or painting, subversion of general aesthetic categories or analysis of newly used media also became a characteristic feature of many of her works. Typical examples of her early work include images based on the alternation of more or less stylized motifs and abstract compositions which, due to their independent sequence, purposefully prevented clear reading of the main plane of meaning (Images, 1989; Backgrounds, 1990). The artist then developed related starting points in her technologically more demanding 3D animations, for the production of which she used the then progressive graphic program Wavefront. She prepared the first significant presentation of this format in 1993 for her solo exhibition titled The Journey (Radost FX Gallery, Prague), where she exhibited a film of the same name, set in a spatial installation by Miro Dopita.


Besides her introspective works, since the nineties Lucie Svobodová has also been dealing with interaction with the viewer, who often becomes an active element in the situations constructed by her. In this context, her participation in the Orbis Fictus exhibition (Valdštejn Riding Hall, Prague 1995) meant a turning point, where, in addition to the virtual sculpture she created in collaboration with Michal Gabriel, she presented for the first time her experimental project Heaven, Hell, Paradise (1995-1996), based on communication between a man and a computer through brain waves. Svobodová returned to similar principles several times after 2000 as well, when she started to incorporate programming, laser work (Yonisphere, 2000) or stereoscopic projection (Interspace 12, 2005) into her works.


Thanks to her proficiency in specialised software and digital post-production procedures, the artist's work in the field of painting and graphics has also seen progressive development; for example, graphic series combining traditional methods with the use of algorithmic series or experiments ambitios in terms of format such as the graphic Drive through a tunnel , where Svobodová employed the stereography technique.


An important topic in Lucie Svobodová's recent work is also the technical obsolescence of audiovisual media and formats, which is also led to her revision of her older works. The resulting reconstructions that Svobodová creates with the help of new technologies, not only touch the current question of archiving related works, but also open a discussion about the extent to which the pioneering works of Czech animation and video art are interesting for today's wider audience.

Lujza Kotočová

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You Can See, Therefore I Am Lucie Svobodová