by Evgenija Demnievska, 2003

Demnievska (right) in her art action "Porte Accatone", 1995.

After numerous experiences, we have concluded that the physical performance directly seen, does not really contribute to the quality of events using the new technology. So the place of the action in real spaces is hidden, not directly exposed to the regard of the public. It is accessible only to the participants, and to those who wish to join from the audience, guided by the “Co-Resonance” team members.

The happenstance has to be seen only on the screens.

The participants are structuring the event, achieving a mental attitude where they get the confidence they know how to act spontaneously and with freedom, guided by the team members who have experience.

The totality intends to mix different levels of reality, including the screen images from the real world, reflected images in the mirrors and images produced by the computer (images of the syntheses).

When the camera captures the images in the mirror it often creates an optical illusion erasing the difference between the real images and the images reflected in the mirror, twice reflected images, endlessly reflected, escaping the difference.

The images produced by computer, videos, 3D… are made before the event.

The timing, the moment one sends these images to be seen among others is decided spontaneously by means of intuition. These moments can be chosen by the person in charge who might watch the happenstance or who can send them successively. These images in combination with the images captured by camera from the places where the action happens in the real spaces are presented simultaneously.

The form which is manifesting as totality is always segmented, coming from different locations, visible on several screens. It is a poetical space generated by the people participating on the distance, who cannot see the totality at the moment they act. “To be” and “to know” are always separated.

The spectator in this crossing space, can either focus on the structure of the project itself, can search for meaning in the images on the screens, or even more in the relationship of these images. The consciousness of the participants transforms into the intuition and each person knows that any moment their action might be chosen and be sent as images to be seen together as a possibility for ambiguity of meaning, for the manifestation of chances and coincidences.

Andre Breton and the surrealists talked about the “objective hazard”, a singular non-repetitive event, which can make visible the hidden sense of the event. It is supposed that the event has a meaning.

Carl Jung talked about synchronicity as events which are related to chance and these events make sense to the person to whom they are happening. Usually there are two or more events happening without a causality, and produce an epiphany for the person. The sense is not created on a rational basis and might be interpreted in different ways by different people. The information is given to the one who is concerned by the coincidence, and depends on his/her interior, subjective world.

Instead of linear time, synchronicity addresses some other subjective time, where one perceives repetition and cycles. This subjective time, which manifests in the synchronicities is an element of the unconscious, of our interior being and the significance will never have a single interpretation.

The synergy of the participants in different locations, the flux of the energy turned in a good direction where everything happens better than it was planned, is a basis for the pleasant surprises and feelings mixed with horror, as a manifestation of the sublime.

The Happenstance is a multi-professional teamwork of artists, technicians, observers, theoreticians, advisers… Each participant has a precise role and is a co-creator of the event. The supervisor steps in with a decision in the eventual moments of crises, when no time is left for discussion.

The entire project represents an important investigation of energy, imagination and technical competences for a result which is not completely known in advance.

Coming to the point of partnership for the realisation of the Happenstance, we are coming to the question of the interpretation and the classification of the project itself.

To paraphrase the sociologist Nathalie Heinich in her book “Le Triple Jeu de l’art contemporain”
…the questions are not concerned any more with the sense and the value of the work, but with its nature. We are passing from one problem of aesthetic qualifications, to the problem of cognitive classification between discontinued categories: is it a work of art? If yes, where could it be classified? And if not, what is it? Since the aesthetic appreciation commands the value attributed to the work, it is distinct from the original intention of how the artist wants his work to be interpreted and appreciated which defines its status…

…The work of classification consists first to enter the work mentally into the cognitive category, before it can find a place for its realisation or its presentation.

At the same time the difficulty of classifying the project contributes indirectly to the artist: the effect produced by the cognitive floating reinforces the legitimacy of the dossier of the artist, because the transgression of the usual categories of perception and classification is one of the fundamental competences of contemporary art…

…The question on the nature of the work leads to spontaneous interpretations which are attempts to reduce the uncertainty created by the transgression of the cognitive frame.

The difficulty in framing the work into the forms of existing classifications calls for another treatment where we attempt to achieve rationalisation, with the help of interpretative hypotheses that allow us to formulate opinions. These interpretations reduce the gap between the economic norms of spending and rewards, as the results are spiritual and cognitive not economic…

…If confronted, in spite of all presented information, to a unclassifiable phenomenon, the artists improvise the attitude of the relation to the world they have in their disposition: bringing down the phenomena to more familiar registers, either playing with it by making it go through mental transformation of the category, or appropriating the fragments, the traces, as a private gesture, the process of personal appropriation accomplished publicly by the author.

The function is, like the expression of the opinion, to permit the individual to regain mastery over the project which, being inadequate to the familiar schemas, is menaced.

From there is a need to establish an order by using the “common” sense which will find consensual criteria which are currently missing…

(Nathalie Heinich, janvier 2002 «The Triple jeu de l’art contemporain » Paris : Les Editions de Minuit, pp. 190-195)


[Evgenija Demnievska (Skopje, Macedonia, Yugoslavia) obtained her Master’s degree in painting in 1972 at the Academy of Fine Arts, Belgrade, YU. In 1976 she received her Master's degree in Fine Arts from Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku University, Japan. Demnievska has exhibited in over 40 one-woman shows and participated in more than 200 group exhibitions and Symposiums in Yugoslavia, France, Belgium, Germany, Romania, Italy, Japan, USA, Australia... She works on interactive and multidisciplinary projects with the participation of artists and of the public (fax and Internet art projects).]