Venelin Shurelov (SubHuman Theatre), Up and Down (Горе-долу), 2018. Installation view

Up and Down (Горе-долу)

2018. Kinetic installations

A series of electrical engines with a programmed algorithm wind up and relax a rope with a rag hanging off its end. The latter periodically plunges into a metal bucket full of used machine oil placed under it, and emerges to let the oil drip off.

The work refers to the proto-digital period of the industrial era and the creations of humanity that have changed the face of the earth. It stands in the context of the great claim to a modernized world, alert, accelerated, subordinate to new technologies and continuous improvement through work. A fragment of tihs world "hung" like an attached rag, dips into the low, oily everyday life but also rises above, taken out of the prosaic condition of the high-low, down-up, dirty-clean, progress-regression, utopia-dystopia opposites.

The fine insignificance of the dirty rag, its hypothetical move, the glare and the play of the dripping drops, turn it into an active subject with high added value.

Venelin Shurelov, Man Ex Machina, 2011. Cyber-lecture. Photo: Andreas .muk. Haider

Presentation on Body Hacking

2019. Presentation at the symposium, 60′

The topic of physical upgrade of the human body is continually actualized. Technological add-ons, all sorts of extensions, positive prostheses, do-it-yourself biology, biopunk, transhumanism and the theory of the post-human are are names that mark the necessity of broadening physical and intellectual abilities. Body hacking consists of inserting technological devices in the human body, thus providing it with additional functions. The discussion on the topic will be a blitz walk with historical references, and examples from art, medicine, philosophy, subculture, science fiction.

Translated from Bulgarian: Alan Roth


Associate lecturer Dr. Venelin Shurelov graduated from the National Academy of the Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria in stage design, and defended his PhD in 2009. Co-founder and lecturer in the Master program "Digital Arts" at the NAA (2008-); co-founder, member of the curatorial team and technical organizer of the DA Fest – International Festival for Digital Arts (2009-). Co-founder of the Foundation DA LAB (2018), "Subhuman theatre" (2004-) and the art group Via Pontica (2002-2005).

Venelin Shurelov is the author of various interactive installations/performances, among them Drawing Machine (Машина за рисунки) (2005), Fantomat (Фантомат) (2008), Orthoman (2009), Tabula Rasa (2010), Shooting Range (Стрелбище) (2012), Rotor (Ротор) (2016) – presented at the Ars Electronica Center in Linz. In 2011 he realized the cyber-lecture Man Ex Machina, and in 2016 staged the performance-installation Post-Everything as a guest lecturer at Towson University, USA.

His projects are varied and include drawings, interactive installations and performance, digital technology, vide and art theory. He has completed a series of stage-design projects, personal and group exhibitions, and taken part in festivals in Bulgaria, Europe and the USA. His work has received numerous prizes in the spheres of theater and contemporary art.