• b. 1992
  • Currently in Prague, Zurich and New York.



1_Sum up the main character of your work, your long-term interests and themes.

Our collaboration as a collective, as the counterparts of inner dialogue is our working method we are trying to explore and share in the name of the interdependence of our individual creative lives as earthlings. In terms of methodology but also a feeling state, our work is at once hypercritical and syncretically playful; it can be boiled down to the nonsensicality of applying creativity to the otherwise serious protection of so-called unapplied creativity or creativity proper. Between the poles of purpose and play there is a sense of the neutral or thirdness in our work, which we find conducive to merely rendering communicable our creative search and creative interest management. Our collaborations have been characterized as a self-parodic dialogue about the psychological and sociocultural aspects of self-otherness, as a doomed attempt at collapsing the difference between the philosophy of creativity and creative self-expression. Over the course of the last five years, what has gotten us to this point has been our interest in how one’s creativity is said to facilitate and express a most profound depth of knowledge and in the epistemic raison d’être of artistic research and how it might facilitate creative engagement with certain creative processes and concepts because we are interested in the origin story or creation myth of creativity itself, that is, the anthropological explanation of art and creativity as fundamental interplay and mutuality, that could set a headstart in answering the question of the current crises we face as earthlings.

2_Describe the context of your work – what are your inspirational sources and theoretical starting points, which artists and tendencies do you consider as referential to your work.

The context of our work is the relationship between art and art education and the wrench thrown into the mix that is creativity. When asking ourselves, when does creativity research in its monodialectical academic exclusivity cease to be creative itself, our departure point is a formative context that has been the philosophy of art education, even, for example, the notion that the 21st century is the century of art education, as elaborated by Jaroslav Vančát. But this goes hand in hand with contextualizations of artistic modes of (knowledge) production which scrutinize and question the implicit academization of art. Here we also appreciate the cautionary tale of the aestheticization of education, as put forward by jan jagodzinski, whose criticism of artistic research verging on experimental writing we regard highly. If the educational turn in art is a reference point in the development of our work, we are also interested in the artistic turn in education. We’ve been considerably influenced by the feminist reevaluation of art history and art theory and how, in a sense, certain output like that of Judy Chicago or Adrian Piper is meta-aesthetic or serial in the sense that it discusses its own code (as the semioticians Umberto Eco or Jan Mukařovský have put it). Very important to us in this connection has been the work of Piper, especially her so-called ‘writings in meta-art’ in which she conceives of meta-art—in terms of the inequity of socioeconomic preselective criteria—as a humanist endeavor in the name of the individual's aesthetic opaqueness or ununderstandable poetic function. We identify with the moment in which Piper’s work strikes a balance and/or blurs the lines between being functionless, opaque and conversely having a political referent, even a clear purpose like that of inciting change. Insofar as working together for us means creating something that models and/or captures for others the collaborative nature of creativity, we’ve been inspired by and we’ve departed from the dialogicality of Ivana Marková, especially her theory of meaning-negotiation and antinomy, as well as Vilém Flusser's dialogical memory. This also includes Vlad Petre Glăveanu’s model of distributed creativity, which introduced us to the conception of the creative self as other. Relatedly, an additional reference point has been the origins of dialogical aesthetics as formulated by Peter Dunn and Lorainne Leeson. An artist, educator and scholar whose work we follow closely because we think it has been seminal in terms of artistic activism around the urban social justice issue of creativity is Gregory Sholette. Artists whom we view as successfully being post-theoretical are Julia Scher, Lynn Hershman and Eduardo Kac, as their works present overlap between reception and co-creation. Several inspirational moments and departure points playfully yet critically converge in the so-called culture jamming of the situationists-inspired movement called Suicide Club; we value their disillusioned dada approach to the nevertheless serious reclaiming of public space and reanimating of public consciousness. We extol the kinds of recent activities like those of the Swamp School that spur on playfully re-thinking and unlearning the seemingly inflexible seriousness and rigorousness of something like universal access to creative expression and education.

3_Try to characterize what makes your work specific, wherein lies its force, what makes it different from the work of artists with similar approaches and themes.

Our work is specific in precisely how we start to collaborate as a dyad, how our joint self-awareness spills into the very work itself. How strict we are about the thesis that some things are best explored through artistic modes of inquiry and communication means we work to reflect on, conceptualize and playfully toggle how we move from ideation to realization. What is idiosyncratic about our work is that we are synthesizing a purely multisensory non-propositional view of the world and a scientific approach to play-based learning facilitation. Dialectically pushing one another to push the work past whatever idée fixe we initially had in mind means that the force of our work lies in how dogmatically open it is to unforeseeability and unfinalizability. We are, then, different from other allied artists in terms of how we view the institutionality of artistic research, that is, how we work—and play—with the construction of knowledge, with theorization, and with information. We do not accept from ourselves creating research into creativity that is in itself an addition to the academic monoculture. The funny moment when our creativity is in fact unwittingly contradicting what we hold to be the tenets of creativity is something we explore and share.

4_What is your work process like? Do you deal with preparation and research? How do you search for your themes? How do you choose the media you work in?

As one long dialogue follows another, our process is at first very back-and-forth like the ping-ponging of a dialectical mind caught in circular thought. But aiming to be one another’s counterpart in the creative process of self-transgression, we at a certain point try to fix the features or aspects we find reiterable, to let the dialogue find a form outside of ourselves. This act of fixing, the kind found in physical theater and viewpoints, may resemble plotting points on a curve or programming an methodology that suits the current project. That also means that we are inclined towards themes that are open-ended and open to multiple perspectives. At the end, continuity is a key to make all our effort worth a while. For example, a project that we would love to contribute with is complex work that spins around the notion of analog radio broadcasting. At its first stage, we carried out research-based work focusing on knowledge distribution and it's present turmoil. To be more specific - one of the paths led us towards Flatbush, Brooklyn. To learn more about the illegal side of microcasting, to get in touch first hand with those very few radios that are representing creole language and whose listeners are creating their own radio receivers, so-called FM bugs, to be able to reach their community broadcast. These devices were not merely technical extensions, but often highly personalized and creative in their aesthetic function. Gradually, further cooperation and experiences gathered formed a 'blob' that now suits us as a background while leaving the research sphere and moving to the practice, creating our own broadcast, FM receivers as sculptures, movements - finding an audiovisual balance of discursivity and sensory experience.

5_What is your vision for the future? How do you want to develop your work and continue your previous projects/realizations? What is your long-term goal/dream?

What if sustaining a creative collaboration for multiple years were the shared objective? In the future we see ourselves plugged into and thus anonymously dispersed within a web of creative agents that will have taken years to grow. Collaborating for the sake of collaboration—like a joint feeling or collective intentionality—might be the kind of unlearning that ‘ecological matricide’ is demanding of us. For us, non-teleological participatory creativity means remaining playful, inspiring playfulness in others. We want to be less and less dependent on any single strategy for surviving the self-creative system and more and more multifaceted and indefinable, that is: relevant to scholarly, educational and fine art contexts while also continuing to dedifferentiate between them. As our understanding of the high stakes of the inclusiveness, diversification, and ecosystem of creativity becomes clearer, what is of utmost importance to our development is intersecting our artistic-research take on the social justice issue of creativity with community arts under the radar. The long-term goal here, in the spirit of rhizomatically uncontainable continuity, is to flesh out new forms and vital approaches. We also wish to diverge from theory-ladenness via freeform exploration in our own cities in terms of the creative indexes of their centers and peripheries is something we are exploring via the form of participatory radio broadcast suited for gallery and off gallery presentation, in the hope that we can along with participants co-create at least a temporary model of creative diversity. This kind of networking again ties in with considering how to over the course of many years maintain an expanded network of collaborators while curating the interdependence of their individual creative uniquenesses.


PAST INDIVIDUALITY started as a Czech–American artist dyad which rapidly expanded into collective work at the intersection of art, education and creativity explores self-otherness, intra-activity, serial grouping and mutual dependency as both representative and subversive of academic monoculturalism. Their self-parody is rooted in sentiments of a most serious nature; it is their way of supporting the role of playfulness in today’s concern with creativity as inclusive, ecosystemic and diversifying. Discursive complexity is an unavoidable result of their maze-like, unending creative search, which has yielded fluid overlap between output formats like dialogical theater, data visualization, arts-based educational research, children’s literature and urban intervention. The dyad’s projects have been published and exhibited on an international level, including such venues for presentation as Peformance Research, DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague, Castlefield Gallery in Manchester, Volumes at Helmhaus in Zurich, Independent Summer School in Zurich, Galleria Acappella in Naples and Open Source Gallery in Brooklyn. Whether read in English or Czech, our name aims to encapsulate the development and application of their specific method to collaboration which consists in performing the two sides of a third person’s inner dialogue it is a very celebration a festivity of identity.

CV of Vojtěch Novák as a representative of the PAST INDIVIDUALITY

UHK Faculty of Arts, Hradec Králové, Studio of sculpture
UHK Faculty of Philosophy, Hradec Králové, Analytic Philosophy
Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, Prague, Studio of Intermedial Confrontation
Exchange study at Academy of Fine Arts, Prague - Artur Zmijewski
Exchange study at Zurcher Hochschule der Kunste, Zurich
Exchange study at Academy of Fine Arts, Prague - Josef Dabernig
Exchange study at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem
Exchange study at Academy of Fine Arts,Prague - Simon Starling
AAAD, Prague, Studio of Guest Artist - Marie de Brugerolle

2016 Finalist of Jan Naaijkens Prize, ’s-Hertogenbosch

2013 ID11, Delft
2020 IDU - Egon Schiele Art Centrum, Český Krumlov

Selected Directing and Exhibitions:
Gallery 207, Prague
Gallery Greenhouse, Berlin
Aleš South Bohemian Gallery, Group exhibition, Bechyně
Gallery 44, Berlin
Cihelná Palace, Group exhibition, Prague
Kunstraum, Toni-Areal, Performance, Zurich
Import Export, Group exhibition, Zurich
Kupper Modern, Group exhibition, Zurich and Washington D.C.

GHMP Dům u zlatého prstenu, Group presentation, Prague
GESSNERALLEE, Theater play, Zurich
PERLA-MODE, Group exhibition, Zurich
Prague Quadriennale, Theater play, 1st comes 3rd, Prague
BUDAPEST OFF BIENNIAL, Group exhibition, Prague and Budapest
ŠSC, Strahov, Prague
VORBRENNER 15, Theater play, Innsbruck
De Pont Museum for Contemporary Art in Tilburg, Group exhibition, Tilburg
ALYTUS BIENNIAL#6, Theater play, Alytus
Studio Letná, Prague
Czech Center New York, Group exhibition, New York

Kunstpodium T, Group exhibition, Tilburg
Jan Naaijkens Prize, ’s-Hertogenbosch
4+4 dny v pohybu, Independent Research of Subjectivity, Prague
WOUND on Cooper Union, New York
Fayoum Academy, Performance, Cairo
Manifesta 11 - Parallel events, Zurich

ETC gallery, Prague
Chateau Valeč, Group exhibition, Valeč
documenta 14, ShapeTheUnknown (w/Happy positive), Kassel
City Surfer Office, Prague
Royal Observatory - Enclave projects, Performance, London

Open Source, Group exhibition, Brooklyn
Castlefield Gallery, Group exhibition, Manchester
Dům pánů z Kunštátu, Theater play, Brno
Uměleckoprůmyslové museum v Praze, Group exhibition, Prague
Acapella and, Naples
PGS, Group exhibitions, Brno and Prague
DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Group exhibition, Prague

HYB4, Group exhibition, Prague
PGS at NTM, Group exhibition, Prague
National Gallery - Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia, Group exhibition, Prague
Polansky Gallery, Performance w/ D’epog, Brno
Fotopub Project Space, Group exhibition, Ljubljana

Blech – Raum für Kunst Halle e.V., Group exhibition, Halle
Berlinskej model, Group exhibition, Prague
The Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Group e., Pilsen
Ústí nad Labem House of Arts, Group exhibition, Ústí nad Labem
LES PARALLÈLES DU SUD at Coco Velten and TIKKA radio, Manifesta 13, Marseille
Taylor Macklin, Zurich
MEDIUM, Group exhibition, Bratislava
FUTURA with D'epog, Prague
Karlín Studios, group exhibition, Prague
No Moon, Group exhibition, New York

Researches and Publications:
2013 Rider in Red, UHK, Hradec Králové
2016 (Self-)Confrontation: Making a Pleonasm out of Art School. Performance Research: On Radical Education, UK.
2016 “Ateliér bez studentů [A Studio Without Students].” Artalk, Prague.
2016 Aspekty transformace, UMPRUM, Prague
2016 Creative Currency, Brooklyn Central Library, New York
2017 SAMIZDAT CONTREFACON, Volumes 2017, Zurich
2019 TRN at Umělecká revue první republiky, UMPRUM, Prague
2020 The Endless Crisis Generation and its Juvenile and Jovial Satire,
for OFF-Biennale Budapest and ISBN, Budapest

2016 FOTOGRAF magazine #27, by Anna Remešová, Prague
2018 OVERPRESSURE catalogue, by Johana Lomová, Prague
2019 Flash Art Czech & Slovak Edition #52, by Miloslav Vorlíček, Prague
2019 ŠUM #12 Journal for contemporary art criticism and theory, Ljubljana
2020 RAJON #6 - 2020, Prague

Workshops and Lectures:
2014 kunstmuseum basel, ONE MILION YEARS, Basel
2015 GfZK - Herfurth'sche Villa, AG zkl, Leipzig
2016 The International Academy of Art Palestine, Ramallah
2016 Musrara - Naggar school of Art, Jerusalem
2018 DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague
2018 Summer Independent School, Zurich
2018 Material - Raum für Buchkultur, Zurich
2019 BAK - Winter school at LOM, Bratislava
2020 ZKL at Longtang, Zurich

2014 Meta-create, Prague and New York, with Andrew Hauner
2015-2016 ABV - Atelier bez vedoucího, Prague
2017-2018 Happy Positive, Biel
2017-2018 Dukla Kunsthalle, Pardubice (Curator)
2017-2018 Post-Atelier, Prague
2017 D’epog, Brno (Co-director)
2018 PGS, Prague (Curator)
2020 NYARN, The New-York Artistic Research Network, New York
2020 Dalvazza Group - practices of and research on rural and peripheral art, Switzerland
2020 SARN, The Swiss Artistic Research Network, Lumnezia and Zurich