MKC Maribor has invited intermedia students to submit their art projects for the student award of the 27th International Festival of Computer Art (IFCA). The invitation was issued in cooperation with five Slovenian educational institutions (University of Ljubljana, the Academy of Fine Arts and Design; University of Nova Gorica, the School of Arts; University of Maribor, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; University of Maribor, Faculty of Education; and the Academy of Visual Arts AVA, Ljubljana).

Eleven students responded to the invitation with their projects, and s four-member jury consisting of Aleksandra Saška Gruden, Ida Hiršenfelder, Miha Horvat, and Igor Štromajer selected the best three projects that also received cash prizes and the opportunity to present their projects as part of the IFCA festival in the Media Nox Gallery (Maribor) in October.

The first winner will also have the opportunity for their solo exhibition to be hosted at the Media Nox Gallery in Maribor in 2022.

The three awarded students are:

VASILY KUZMICH (AU UNG) – 1st prize winner
OLENA POTOČNIK (AVA LJ) – 2nd prize winner
DOROTEJA DOLINŠEK (ALUO LJ) – 3rd prize winner


Committee’s explanation:

The project Bora, a breath of wind, by Vasily Kuzmich, who is a student of the School of Arts of the University of Nova Gorica, is being developed as part of the author’s diploma thesis. It shows mature and complex thinking, and an in-depth approach to current issues.

The author derives the concept for the meditative sound of the installation from a local weather phenomenon – the bora, which is a melodic sound phenomenon. Although the bora is known on most continents, it is probably most explored in our vicinity, in the Adriatic area. The author intertwines the achievements of modern technology, mathematics, physics, and metaphysics and, in collaboration with a music therapist Taja Trobec, creates an atmosphere that takes the viewer/listener to a whole new level, away from everyday problems.

The author’s reflection on a human being in the post-pandemic period, who is separate from others, from himself and from nature, stands out. The sound of the natural phenomenon-bora is offered as a new experience, and through its multi-layered nature opens up questions of the co-dependence and reciprocity of a human being and nature. The installation, which is therapeutically oriented, also demonstrates authors knowledge in various fields. The author demonstrates empathy, sound perception and the complexity of thinking through the subtlety of feeling natural phenomena, thinking about the fragility of human life and with expressive-technological precision.

We wish the author a successful completion of the diploma thesis, and creative inspiration for the installation of his project in the Media Nox Gallery.

We believe that the selected project will be interesting for the general public and useful for various other purposes, including therapeutic.


We asked Vasily few more questions:

Where did you get the inspiration for the Bora, a breath of wind?

The idea came to me while watching the movie Becoming an Animal (Emma Davie, Peter Mettler, 2018). In one scene, the philosopher David Abram said the word “spirit” which shares the same origin as the word “respiration”, is both the Latin word “spiritus” which means “a breath” or a “gust of wind“. Or the word “psyche” from which we get “psychology” or “psychiatry” comes from this ancient Greek term “psykhe” which originally means “a breath” or a “gust of wind“. Psyche means “the soul“, derived from Greek ψύχω (psycho) meaning “to breathe“. The Greeks thought that the breath was the soul. In Greek mythology, Psyche was a beautiful maiden who was beloved by Eros (or Cupid in Roman mythology). She is the subject of John Keats’s poem Ode to Psyche.

What are your next plans with the project Bora, breath of wind? What more do you want of it?

The next step will be to use not only wind but also other elements like water, fire and earth. Each element will have its own meditation that will give its specific effects. The visitor will be able to choose which meditation to choose and what she_he wants to receive. The ultimate goal is to inspire the visitor to practice every day and improve their mental health through meditation, art, philosophy or other practices that help.

What does the award of MFRU mean to you?

At the beginning of the last academic year, I set myself the goal of taking first place in MFRU at the following edition. A year passed and I had even forgotten about this goal and was ready for any result. When I received this email where I read that I took first place, I immediately remembered the goal, so I am doubly very happy! I want to express my deepest gratitude to all who helped me and for this opportunity! Having arrived to study in Slovenia two years ago, my life has completely changed and moving in a wonderful direction.