1. As someone who’s art revolves around language, how do you feel about the changes occurring in the way we communicate because of digital communication and the ubiquitous use of social media?
We are all aware that the Internet and social media are reconfiguring our world, for better or worse. I personally view digital communication as part of the evolution of Language. Language—the way it shapes our thoughts and the way we communicate through it digitally or otherwise - is like the Force "holding together good and evil, the dark side and light" to use the Star Wars analogy.
2. When did your fascination with language begin?
Language became my spiritual guide and my liberator during a period of retrospection when I stopped making art and began searching for ways to disrupt the boring predictability of my pre-learned answers to a number of existential questions plaguing me. At that time I was desperately trying to overcome preconceptions and belief systems I was thought to comply with. My constant attempts to escape my mental prison were ineffective until I decided to devote myself to the practical development of the idea that every possibly sayable thought could be found in a semantic net formed by sequences of synonymous words. I still remember the moment of "revelation" when I found a proof of the fascinating powers of Language in the sequence of English synonyms: death syn. event syn. result syn. results in + completeness syn. omneity". At that time English was a language I barely understood but with the help of Microsoft's Bookshelf Thesaurus I gradually became almost fluent in it, wrote a patent application, and in 2013 was granted a patent for methods for language generation and representation (CIPO-Patent-2704163). After that I started to make art again.
3. Is there an artist who has had a profound influence on your work?
For me Human Language is the greatest artwork ever created and the collective human mind is the greatest artist of all times. In my search for answers and original ideas I have explored thousands of sequences of English synonyms of various lengths and complexity. I still remember how surprised I was when I realized that one of the definitions of art that I found in one very long sequence of synonyms could be used as a textual description of actual contemporary art installations.
For me the evolving semantic structure of Language is not only the place where all human mental experiences are being encoded but also the place where all human beings including artists and makers of ideological narratives find their ideas.
4. Am I correct in saying that you own a patent with regards to the software you use for your art, how did that come about?
My linguistic explorations made me realize that artworks in digital age should not be necessarily defined by their mode of presentation - whether as computer codes, images, sound patterns, or texts - which gave me the idea of formulating the methods and the algorithms for the generation of English sentences and their transformation into visual structures and sequences of sounds representing them. Before applying for a patent, the methods and the algorithms had to be tested by a computer program written by my husband Svillen Ranev. Now, with the help of the software, I create language-based artworks that can be read, heard, or looked upon, all of them differently representing the contents of possibly sayable speculations about human existence, aspirations, truth, art and death. My working process starts with the compilation of a text composed of sentences generated by the software. The sentences are then digitally converted by the same software into sounds for my sound art or different visual patterns to be used by me for my visual art. The visual “translations” of the text I create manually by using computer mouse instead of paintbrush and generated by the software patterns instead of acrylic paints. This is a highly subjective process executed in a way possible for the first time in the 21st century.
5. Could you tell us a bit more about “dibillion dibinfinities”?
What is on the Internet now is only a cryptic symbol of a dream project and work in progress called Dibillion dibinfinities.
Dibillion Dibinfinites - Digitally Immortal BILLION of DIctionary Based INFINITES - is a generative system for measuring time not in our traditional time units of equal duration but in dibinfinites. Dibinfinites belong to a class of appearance-shifters that can take the forms of electromagnetic signals, binary codes, novel sentences, sequences of synonyms, sequence of sentences, images, sounds or sequences of sounds. All dibinfinites are of variable durations- some sound-based dibinfinites can last millennia. Each individual dibinfinite is a unique event which once manifested is never going to re-appear during the lifetime any of their mortal observers (unless it has been preserved digitally).
The Dibillion Dibinfinites generator is based on the software for generating English sentences and transforming them into visual and sound compositions. The Dibillion Dibinfinites generator should be able not only to produce infinitely many non repetitive dibinfinites but also like the physical universe should be able to go on and on long after I am gone.
6. What message are you trying to convey through your work?
My art is the expression of my belief that everything, no matter how incomprehensible at the moment has a meaning in itself. My artworks are the result of actual intellectual pursuit and have at least two components: a text and its visual or audio representation. The interpretation of the text and the image and the sequences of sounds representing it I leave to the audience. For me there is never one way of interpreting art because I think that no artwork is complete without its viewers' intellectual and emotional input into it.
7. Do the results from the translation from text to imagery still surprise you?
Endless are the possibility of differently representing texts as images or sounds. From time to time I develop new set of transformation rules and some of the results really surprise me. But what always surprise me are the results of the manual transformation of sequences of English synonyms into thesauri poems. Take for example the verse: targets titter in their coffins setbacks pose as aims. Can you believe that I found it in the sequence of synonyms: target syn. chase syn. cry syn. titter in + chase syn. goal syn. focus syn. coffin syn. grave syn. death syn. setback + grave syn. pose as + goal syn. aim?
8. What are you working on currently?
I have just had an exhibition the title of which was "Every letter is a sound, every word is an image". One of the pieces there "Every letter is a sound" was a demonstration of the process of transformation of English sentences into sequences of non-speech sounds. I am currently working on a polyphonic sound installation based on the same idea.
I should add however that a constant for me these days is the "aimless" creation of digital art just for the joy of it and the search for thesauri poetry just for the intellectual challenge of it.
9. How many languages does Krasimira speak? I understand Bulgarian, English, French, Polish and Russian but I think only in two of them - Bulgarian and English. What is interesting for me is that although Bulgarian is my mother tongue all of my linguistic thoughts now are a combination of English and Bulgarian words.