Erika Katalina Pasztor

Network of Thoughts. [NoT]


Three women form a sort of artistic joint venture to re-define identity represented in social networking. Erika Katalina Pasztor, media artist, the initiator of NoT, teamed up with Dora Fonagy, designer, and Judit Z. Halmagyi, architect, to carry out NoT as an artistic experiment. According to their shared unhappiness about the schematism of identity related communication of creative works in the art, science and technology fields, they decided to develop an application with a new concept of identity.

We lost directions in the high density of creativity. Recalling Bela Hamvas, Hungarian writer’s thought, “we all are driven by the ancient passion of becoming one [… with something or somebody]”. We all are looking for our ideal intellectual mates to create and share worlds. Identity representation is a fundamental criterion to be successful in this. Consumerism has its significant effect on creativity and identity as well. Creating ‘always new productions’ of designs, research or artworks, furthermore, seeing that the professional world is built on the utilitarian system of values, we are unwillingly forced to compete on the attention market for international acknowledgement and long-term survive. Identity became a core issue in our social world: corporate and personal branding is a key utility.

The NoT project reflects on these issues pulling into the picture a philosophical approach of identity inspired by the Dutch art critic and philosopher, Frans Jeursen. His statement is the basic point of departure of NoT, namely, “I am not identical with the things I possess, with the people I know, with my identity card data or the brands (or objects) I use. I’m identical with my thoughts”. NoT suggests that thoughts are strongly connected to each others creating a network. “My thoughts inspire and are inspired by other people’s thoughts. There is a special space of flow of constantly moving thoughts, which have no important time and geographical attributes”. In the Network of Thoughts one is identical with ‘thoughts-nodes’ necessarily overlapping other one’s thoughts-nodes.

This was implemented with another inspiration coming from the Leonardo Educational Forum arranged in Prague on November 10, 2007. The moderators [Roger Malina and Annick Bureaud] – of this informal meeting of about fifty-sixty artists and scientists – asked all the participants to explain their burning questions in few minutes. Listening people you might know or not, in an hour you had an overview of different minds and different motivations. The burning question is a compass of intellectual being, represents the focus of thinking and creation.

The NoT took over the concept of burning question [henceforth abbreviated as BQ]. BQ operates as a representation of an intellectual centre, what actually creates and forms a boundary of the thought-nodes of a person. BQ has a significant time attribute since a person’s burning question may change from time to time. Storing this data for long term, a person can look back on his/her own thought-development, namely, it is visible now that how his/her inner history was built up.

Erika Katalina P√°sztor is an artist-entrepreneur building up concepts, projects, teams and organisations alongside multidisciplinary creative work related to social and communication issues. She is a cyber-knitter connecting thoughts, people and methods using new technologies. Studying several genres like architecture, visual and business communication as well as intermedia art; her artistic research focused on revealing new methods to represent abstract interconnections and processes. Her works were shown several collective exhibitions and festivals across Europe. She owned Rubik Scholarship (1989), George Soros Scholarship (1999), EMARE European Media Arts Scholarship (1998, 2000), with her Gate video installation she won the SUB VOCE (Palace of Exhibition, Budapest, 1991), international media art exhibition’s 2nd prize. In 2006 she won the first prize of the Art Universitas programme’s art competition with a large scale data-visualization wall design. She is one of the founder (2000) of online cultural news – now market leader – site about contemporary architecture, urban and visual culture. She currently works as an independent artist and as an art & architecture related journalist.