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Gaia Radić (HR)

Terra Incognita, 2022


The term terra incognita was first used in Ptolemy's world map in the time of ancient Egypt to mark all the unknown and unexplored territories. Often, instead of terra incognita, the suggestive phrase hic svnt dragones was used (in translation: "here be dragons"). Modern people make a conscious decision to store their identity in an intangible, digital space, over which they have no ownership and control. However, human nature is the opposite of the techno-feudal virtual world into which it is immersed, it is organic and completely this-worldly. Juxtaposing the organic and the mortal with the digital and the eternal creates a collision of worlds in which, material reality and virtuality, polar opposites, change their roles for human beings. Ironically and paradoxically, their original form becomes something unknown to them – a new terra incognita.

Analysing material reality through the prism of the virtual dimension results in a new understanding of space and suggests multilayeredness of its interpretation. By studying the flow of energy through space and abstracting architectural forms into simple linear elements, the artist searches for the essence of spatiality. Taking the space of Meštrović's pavilion as a starting point, she comes up with new interpretations divided into four stages of dematerialization. Dealing with an actual building and its immediate surroundings in this way, the artist creates new digital landscapes directly derived from the existing architecture. The artist additionally intervenes by adding simulations into the Google Earth system, which encourages the observer to think about the space they walk through, its virtual characteristics and potentially provides themr with a higher level of understanding of architecture that transcends its own materiality.

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