By taking into account the influence of multinational corporations, religious institutions, tech-industry and independent activists, Vytautas Jankauskas explores the boundaries of what we consider as our national identity. He particularly enjoys art manifestos, especially when they mess with technological advancement.
Vytautas’ aesthetic attitude often gets inspired by analog user-interfaces, hidden in obsolete cyberpunk industrial artefacts. Vytautas obtained a Bachelor’s degree with merit in Media Art at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, Milan, with a six-month research exchange in Copenhagen, at the Royal Danish Design School, faculty of Interaction Design. In June, 2015, graduated with a Master’s degree with merit, in Media Design at HEAD — Genève, Switzerland.
Main exhibitions include Salone del Mobile, Milan, St.Etienne Design Centre, St.Etienne as well as an upcoming show at the V&A Digital Design Weekend, London in September. In February 2015, an Israeli start-up developed facial recognition software named Churchix, which is currently being used by some 10,000 churches worldwide, according to the media. It lets religious organisations monitor attendance and keep track of which members of the congregation are the most devoted. It can also serve as a security system and will doubtless be used as a tool for obtaining large amounts of specific information on each worshipper, for a variety of reasons.
The recent creation of Churchix has led Arielle Grasser and Vytautas Jankauskas to question this coming together of the digital world and religion. Although, at first sight, they may seem like separate entities, these two areas are not entirely distinct: in fact, religion has used advanced techniques as a means of dissemination, communication and self-representation since time immemorial.
During their residency at Arc, Arielle and Vytautas will explore the way in which new technologies currently contribute to new religious models, reflecting on the manner in which cutting-edge tools transform rituals, objects and places of worship, and analysing the methods that have been put in place by the religious authorities to adapt to a contemporary context.