We caught up with Jana Zornik, one of our newer Cohort members, whose bespoke interactive objects for self-enhancement have piqued our curiosity. Check out how she will develop them over her time on Cohort!
Can you tell us a bit about your background as a maker, your practice and areas of interest?
I come from a fashion and textile background, but I’ve always had an admiration for non-textile materials. I explored this area further during my masters degree in Fashion Artefact Design.
I am interested in the relationship between fine art, craft and fashion. I am also specifically interested in discarded things – materials that lay around, which nobody thinks of as precious. I believe that I possess the ability to see them in a different way, shape them into artistically and fashionably beautiful, fragile objects. In my practice I combine the discarded and the valued as they tend to enhance each other. I design as I go, getting inspiration from materials and hands-on studio processes that I discover along the way. This, combined with curiosity and wit, is the core part of my creative practice.
Can you tell us a bit about what you’ve been working on, and what you will be working on, during Cohort?
So far I’ve been writing proposals for exhibitions and grant applications, but during Cohort I will be developing my new project – a series of interactive objects for self-enhancement. The work is a refined, extended continuation of the project ‘Time to Self-Reflect’, made for the International Talent Support competition and showcased at the event in Trieste, July 2017. The piece created for the occasion was about generating an intimate space for self-reflection. It played with the literal (self) reflection of the eye and the profound connection that was established between the object and the user. While looking inside the object, the reflection of the participant’s own eye created an eye-to-eye experience, emphasising the participants’ emotions through the magnifying lens. The piece won the ITS Swatch Artwork prize.
Does having access to the machines, expertise and community at Machines Room influence your work and practice?
I am pretty sure it will. I am inspired by the possibilities of making that are on hand here. So surely the facilities provided by Machines Room will shape the project as well. The community here is so varied – makers come from all different categories, which is inspiring. Each of us also has different skills that might be useful for others. So the community is quite a great resource. I feel we are all at similar stages of life and it is interesting to see different approaches to survival in the creative sector. It’s great to discuss similar problems and find solutions together.
What are you finding most challenging?
For now I see the space as the most challenging – I love to work with lots of materials, and when it comes to the creative part of my project, I will be surrounding myself with lots of different random stuff!
What has been the highlight of your Cohort experience so far?
It’s early days, but the highlight so far was the first Cohort-wide meeting. It was great to get an insight into who each Cohort member is, and into the structure and what the Cohort experience has to offer.