Alexandra Niaka - Migration. Back

Artwork Description

The main axis of my visual practice is the formation of digital worlds, which are created through an amalgamation of existing or even imaginary elements. They are a kind of personal digital diaries that narrate situations, thoughts and feelings in a fragmentary way.


In the case of TT8, I tried to creatively express the basic elements of each axis; both in terms of elements of the place, its history, the images described in sociodramas, but also in terms of the emotions described in each axis. The main creative tool for the final result was my personal response to all the issues and information I encountered through the material provided by the TT8 team.


The first stage of my projects was to study the recordings of the sociodrama and the material provided by the group. Then I visited the city of Elefsina, thus having the opportunity to see from up close many points of interest and also to personally come into contact with the residents, further discussing the axes that concerned me.


In a second stage, I created a different universe for each axis. Each universe is a digital 3D environment, composed of the following elements:

- with the use of a series of technologies (such as photogrammetry, depth cameras, etc.) I recorded in 3D format in specific points of interest of the city of Elefsina and the surrounding area. Such recordings were made, for example, in areas with refugee houses, in the area of ​​the reservoir, etc.

- with the use of AI technologies, I processed material from the photos and videos that had been given to us by the TT8 team so that they could be integrated into the respective digital environment.

- points from the recordings of the sociodramas that related to the axis on which my work is based, and which also for various reasons created a special feeling for me, were a springboard of inspiration to reproduce them in three-dimensional digital compositions.

- off-limits areas (such as ELPE) were also reproduced in 3D digital composites, based on material provided by the TT8 team.


All of the above constitute a digital library, or otherwise the mosaics that make up the three digital worlds, and each of the three final works is a digital narrative and tour of them.


Nevertheless, the created worlds are not clear and final. They are created, composed, decomposed, and transformed by algorithms, which are determined by the recorded data of the sensors. Algorithms, through a set of functions, exert forces (attractive, repulsive, gravitational, etc.) in the digital environment. The mathematical formulas of the forces have as variables the values ​​of the Skin Conductivity sensor. In addition, factors affecting the digital atmosphere such as its color, the density of the digital fog, etc. are determined by the values ​​of the heart rate sensor and the temperature sensor. Using algorithms, I normalized the sensor data so that it could be used in my creative process in a way that would be perceived by the recipient of each work.


Each of the three projects is a system that changes over time as it is shaped by data. The digital narrative that I constructed based on each thematic axis, and on the records of the sociodrama is enhanced by the sensor data. Thus, the bio-data (and by extension the participants) become co-creators of the project. The embodied reaction of the participants determines the created environment; its tensions and final feeling. The emotional response is directly reflected in the final creation. The final works are simply a manifestation, as they are created each time from scratch, depending on which participants' data will be entered into the system; thus creating a new visual narrative. 


What I was interested in was creating a canvas that would completely be shaped by the experiential experience of the participants. In this way, something so highly intangible and imperceptible to the naked eye (such as heartbeats, body temperature) acquires substance and becomes the driving force that shapes an entire world, which deals with key social, economic, political issues that arose through the TT8 research process.