#ModicInterview: Donald Gjoka

Meet the visionary Donald Gjoka, a multifaceted force shaping the landscape of contemporary arts and culture. With a diverse skill set spanning AI creation, Metaverse/Web3 expertise, creative direction, photography, editing, and web design, he crafts concepts that transcend traditional boundaries. As the founder and creative force behind Coeval Magazine, an artisanal encyclopedia-format publication, Donald curates a mesmerizing exploration of the global arts scene. Coeval is not just a magazine; it’s a testament to experimentation, innovation, and identity, offering a unique lens into the world of international artists, image makers, directors, and musicians. In this exclusive interview, delve into the mind of a true creative pioneer, inspiring major talents worldwide.

1. Hello, Donald! Welcome to Modic Magazine. Can you tell us a few things about the impact your interest in technology has had on the materials you make?

Absolutely! My passion for technology shapes every facet of my creative output. It’s the catalyst inspiring exploration in Coeval Magazine, infusing our content with cutting-edge insights into Web3, AI-generated art, and blockchain. Technology isn’t just a tool; it’s woven into the very fabric of my work, amplifying visual narratives, redefining artistic boundaries, and fostering collaborations that blend artistry with innovation. This digital ethos influences how we conceptualize, design, and present content, ensuring that every piece resonates with the dynamism and transformative potential of technology in contemporary arts and culture.

2. The status of the author is an uncertain one these days, especially with the rapid advance of artificial intelligence. Do you think we are in a period where we can no longer talk about one author but multiple authors?

In this era of advanced technology, the concept of authorship is evolving. With AI’s rapid progress, the definition of an author is becoming fluid. It’s no longer just about one person; it’s about a collaboration between human creativity and AI innovation. This fusion challenges traditional notions of singular authorship, creating a space where multiple contributors shape the creative landscape. As a creator immersed in Web3 and AI-generated art, I see this evolution firsthand. My work in Coeval Magazine explores these intersections, showcasing how technology is reshaping artistic expression. Embracing curiosity and constant experimentation is key in this transformative era where traditional boundaries are being redefined by the possibilities of AI and new technologies.

3. What do you think the aesthetics of the future will look like given the relationship between art and artificial intelligence?

The aesthetics of the future are a convergence of human creativity and AI’s transformative capabilities. AI augments artistic expression, offering new tools to explore uncharted territories in visual storytelling. It’s a fusion of innovation and tradition, where AI-generated art influences and complements human creativity. This relationship births a dynamic spectrum of visuals, embracing experimentation, pushing boundaries, and redefining artistic norms. The future aesthetic thrives on a synergy between human ingenuity and AI innovation, creating a landscape where creativity transcends traditional confines, evolving into an ever-adapting, collaborative expression that reflects the amalgamation of human vision and machine intelligence.

4. Having worked with major fashion clients, how do you think this new tool, AI, can help a young designer in their work?

AI is a game-changer for aspiring designers. It offers invaluable assistance in ideation, trend analysis, and design automation. For a young talent, AI streamlines processes, aiding in concept visualization, trend forecasting, and pattern generation. It’s a catalyst for innovation, offering insights and augmenting creative workflows. AI tools enable experimentation, empowering designers to explore uncharted territories and iterate designs swiftly. This technology democratizes access to resources, leveling the playing field for emerging talents, offering them a competitive edge in an industry where innovation and originality are paramount. It’s about embracing AI as a collaborative partner, harnessing its potential to amplify creativity and redefine the narrative of design.

5. Visual culture is an important feature in the work we do in the creative area. How does the approach of other artists influence your research? Can you name three artists who are very important to you?

Sure, the artistic ethos of others profoundly shapes my creative journey. Among influential artists, Jon Rafman’s conceptual depth and exploration of technology’s impact on contemporary culture greatly inspire me. Additionally, Olafur Eliasson’s immersive installations redefine perception, while Cindy Sherman’s transformative photography challenges societal norms. These visionaries infuse my research with diverse perspectives, fueling my quest to innovate within the intersection of art, technology, and cultural exploration. Their approaches prompt me to delve deeper into narrative experimentation, pushing boundaries, and redefining the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary art.

6. I have noticed images in your work that might speak to possible futures. Is there a reference film or book when you start sketching a new project?

Certainly, the influence of film and literature is profound in my creative process. Jon Rafman’s eclectic yet futuristic artistic vision often aligns with my conceptual explorations. Films like “Blade Runner” and books such as William Gibson’s “Neuromancer” spark inspiration, their dystopian yet visionary landscapes fueling my initial ideation phases. These references, steeped in speculative fiction and cyberpunk aesthetics, lay the foundation for conceptualizing projects that explore the intersection of technology, humanity, and the evolving narratives of our contemporary world.

7. Your work would look great in a contemporary art exhibition space. Would you identify yourself in the future as a visual artist?

The evolution of my creative journey continues to shape a path towards a multidisciplinary artistic identity. While my expertise spans various fields, the fusion of technology, visual storytelling, and conceptual exploration blurs the boundaries between creator and visual artist. I envision a future where my endeavors in AI-generated art, immersive experiences, and visual narratives converge, positioning me within the realm of contemporary visual artists. Embracing fluid identities within the dynamic landscape of contemporary art fuels my aspiration to be recognized as a visual artist in the future.

8. Having experience in prompt engineering, what are the first characteristics we need to consider in order to have the most accurate result.

In prompt engineering, precision hinges on clarity, specificity, and relevance. Crafting prompts demands meticulousness in framing, ensuring clear objectives, relevant context, and concise instructions. Defining boundaries and providing comprehensive context enables AI models to generate accurate and contextually aligned outcomes. A nuanced understanding of the AI model’s capabilities coupled with a well-crafted prompt sets the stage for accurate and insightful results, shaping the trajectory of generated content.

9. A tip for a person aspiring to work in visual or applied arts.

Cultivate curiosity relentlessly. Dive into various art forms, explore diverse techniques, and immerse yourself in contemporary trends. Experimentation is key; don’t fear failure, for it often leads to innovation. Additionally, grasp technological advancements shaping the arts, like AI and Web3. Blend traditional skills with digital tools to carve your unique path. Seek mentorship, collaborate, and never stop learning. Ultimately, nurture authenticity; let your voice and perspective shape your artistic journey. Strive for constant growth, and remember, in art, the unexplored is where the magic happens.

10. Recommend an exhibition or event we should not miss in 2024.

The 60th International Art Exhibition curated by Adriano Pedrosa promises to be an unparalleled showcase of global artistic expression. Pedrosa’s curation, as the first Latin American curator in this prestigious event’s history, unveils a diverse tapestry of artistic narratives, bridging cultures and perspectives. Additionally, the digital art exhibition at NXT Museum in Amsterdam is a must-see. It’s a fusion of technology and art, offering immersive experiences that redefine the boundaries of visual storytelling. Both exhibitions promise to unravel captivating narratives and push the boundaries of artistic innovation in 2024.

Interviewed by Bogdan Matei

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