Artist Residency: Rose Velvet by ROSE kolektiv

ROSE kolektiv (formerly known as VR kolektiv), comprising Bruna Jakupović, Lana Lehpamer, and Ivor Tamarut, focuses on exploring the digital realm, creating a so-called virtual persona, and, through the use of artificial intelligence technologies, questioning algorithms and infrastructures of online construction and adaptation. The virtual persona – Rose Velvet – embodies the collective: it amalgamates the appearance, voice, character traits, behaviors, and current realities of the collective’s members.

Humanoid in appearance and action, Rose Velvet projects the emotional and psychological states of its creators, communicates opinions about reality, and represents an amalgam of the human in the virtual with its presence. In creating Rose Velvet, the collective encountered a series of topics open for discussion that followed the relatively sudden emergence of virtual personas as relevant public figures. Through extensive research, the collective faced questions about the influence of virtual personas in the context of social media presence, marketing, and the layers of communication that interaction brings. Furthermore, questions were raised about the authenticity of content and the extent of connection with the audience. Personas like Rose are combinations of artificial intelligence, computer-generated images, and marketing. They are strictly curated and designed; they don’t create controversy, they are flexible, they don’t age, nor tire. Their communication and appearance are (currently) created by collectives (sometimes teams) of people, thus raising questions about the balance of work required to create and maintain a virtual persona and how this work (and the responsibility associated with content creation) is valued and then paid. The natural course of this net ethnography also opened up the issue of control and monitoring of the individual user who interacts with the virtual persona.

As Rose was only recently formed, during the residency program at GMK, the collective examined the technical possibilities in creating a virtual persona. Thus, her character, voice, and elements of her thought process were created and tested. During the presentation at GMK, the collective will introduce us to the results so far in the form of a video and an online database that served as the basis for forming Rose. Similarly, during Rose’s development, the collective actively experimented with her public resonance possibilities and tackled the aforementioned open questions. The database will grow throughout the ongoing work process, and the next stages anticipate the transformation of Rose via a chatbot, a website, and as a virtual influencer on social media.

Join us this Tuesday, June 20th, at 6:00 PM, at the Miroslav Kraljević Gallery, where the ROSE kolektiv will present the result of their intensive residential work. Enter a space where real and virtual transition into one another, where the boundaries between algorithm, online infrastructure, and individual identities intriguingly blur. Dive into the world of the ROSE kolektiv, share your thoughts, ask questions, and open new paths to understanding the contemporary digital sphere.

ROSE kolektiv is a group of three artists engaged in performance and audiovisual installations. It was formed in 2017 when Bruna Jakupović, Lana Lehpamer, and Ivor Tamarut enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts. At the final exhibition of the New Media department in 2019, they performed their first joint performance dealing with the improvisation and interaction of live sound and image within a closed loop. The collective has since continued to deal with ideas of communication, collaboration, and improvisation through collective artistic expression. In 2021, the collective exhibited a site-specific work titled Working Spaces at CEKAO Gallery and performed Speaking Spaces under the name VR kolektiv at VN Gallery the same year. In 2022, the collective members participated in a group performance as part of the Improspection program, and in 2023 they began a research project and residency within GMK, where they developed the concept and conducted research on Rose Velvet – a virtual persona designed as a starting point for further exploration of artificial intelligence, algorithms, and the infrastructure on which the entire online sphere rests.