Performatywny Magazyn: From a Time Perspective / The mark

The aim of accepting submissions for the 3rd edition of the artist residency programme “Performatywny Magazyn: From a Time Perspective” connected with the 90th anniversary of Muzeum Śląskie in 2019 was to select works which critique the museum’s collections, the mission of the institution, its place in present-day society, development and future as a distinctive cultural institution situated in a specific location and having a specific architectural form.

The interdisciplinary jury which assessed the applications submitted for the programme decided to award the multimedia project by Kacper Mutke and Michał Urbański from the Secret Project collective (Polish: Tajny Projekt). The young artists’ work led to the creation of a remarkable installation referring to the collection of Muzeum Śląskie, titled The Mark, which will be open to visitors for two weeks in the main building of the museum.

Each painting consists of thousands of brush strokes, but what does a single one look like? Is it characteristic of a given artist, movement, period? The Mark aims to find a single painterly mark characteristic of the painting collections of Muzeum Śląskie.

Using AI algorithms, the installation attempts to use paintings from the collections of Muzeum Śląskie in the form of a computer image of a synthesised painterly mark. To make it possible, more than 180 thousand parts of digitised paintings, which were carefully selected to best highlight the texture of paint, were used in the process of training neural networks (StyleGAN). This method makes it possible to create a brand new mark, one which cannot be found in any painting, but has the features of many of them.

The result – a generated animation – can be viewed in the form of an interactive mapping on the three-dimensional structure of the mark on a large scale.


The mark

29.11.2019 – 5.01.2020


Muzeum Śląskie, Katowice, T. Dobrowolskiego 1 St.