If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that digital technologies have become extremely pervasive. The way our lives intertwine with technologies is striking, as it seems like it has become truly impossible to live without. Digital artist and designer Chris Kore is someone whose life revolves around the digital influence in our environment. In the middle of the Covid-19 turmoil, we had a call with her to talk about her work and ideas.

22 Feb 2019

Tiffany Chung

WILLARIS K - COBAKI SKY - A series of video artworks for Australian electronic and ambient producer Willaris K on the Astralwerks Records label.

Hi Chris, how is life at the moment for you? Are you still in the Netherlands? “Yeah still here! These are weird times, but as a freelancer, I think I’m kind of used to it. Many projects (especially physical exhibitions) have been canceled or postponed. But it’s interesting to see that many brands are now calling upon digital artists more than ever."

How would you describe what you do?

“I like to call myself a digital dreamer. You could see it as a combination of an artist, designer, and digital world explorer. I like to think outside of the (digital) box and about things that are not possible in physical reality. It’s very multidisciplinary. That’s nice about the era we’re living in. Many people work at the intersection of different fields."

WILLARIS K - 5'OCLOCK - A video artwork for Australian electronic and ambient producer Willaris K latest release '5’OCLOCK', on the Astralwerks Records label.

How did you come to this exact intersection?

“I think everyone in the world wants to find themselves. I grew up in Ukraine and it was hard to find a fitting creative outlet for me there. I started studying Architecture in Lviv when I was 17, and after that, I traveled around a bit. I’ve lived in Florida for a moment, and I ended up at the KABK in The Hague to study Graphic Design. That’s where I found my thing."

With two bachelor’s degrees you have plenty of formal training, do you implement your architectural background in your current practice?

“A little bit. Architecture gave me knowledge of space which I still use in my digital work. I learned to approach my work critically and think creatively."

I’ve always seen art schools like KABK as sort of separate ecosystems. I have the impression that everyone gets brainwashed with the same information and ideas.

“I can understand that. Art institutions tend to be bubbles."

ATTENTION.VALUE - Canvas is a video art installation initiated by TivoliVredenburg of 150 m2 situated in Park 6, Utrecht.

How do you manage to get out of that bubble?

“I’m not sure if I succeeded to break out of that, but I tried my best to get influences outside of the art institutions. My background and previous education surely helped with that. There are so many international students in the Netherlands who all bring a fresh perspective."

Is it dangerous for an artist to live inside that bubble too much?

“Yes, but it’s also hard to stand out. Even online; everyone on Instagram is influencing each other in a way, and the algorithms push it even further."


Chris Kore (real name Christina Kordunian) is a digital dreamer, media artist and graphic designer. Born in Ukraine and currently based in The Hague, she is interested in the intersectional relation between technology, art and science; in the exploration of an ever-changing mediated reality and its influence on human perception. Her personal works touch the philosophical and psychological sides of our technological nature, question the expanding development of Artificial Intelligence, mixed realities and our digital traces.

SS-20 GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT, Helianthus Agapanthus & Hidrangevia Nobilis.

WILLARIS K - 5'OCLOCK - A video artwork for Australian electronic and ambient producer Willaris K latest release '5’OCLOCK', on the Astralwerks Records label.

Talking about that, your work has a lot to do with algorithms and AI. Could you tell me a bit about that?

“I like to think about how physical and digital spaces merge. With my graduation project AImnesia, I tried to imagine how AI would fill in memory gaps by creating fake memories that are plausible enough to be perceived as real. Social media is already some kind of external memory, and that raises concern regarding the ethics of AI. I wanted to critically assess the centralized power of those who are sponsoring the research and creation of these algorithms, as well as the selection of the databases on which AI’s learn. I believe there is a general unawareness and bias regarding the rapid development of deep learning."

AIMNESIA - The AIMNESIA project focuses on the concept of human hybrid memory, which can be augmented, influenced, and modified by AI.

Where does your fascination with technology and the future come from?

“It comes from my childhood. I’ve always been more interested in futurism and science fiction than in contemporary reality. It allows you to dream about things that aren’t possible. Things like space travel, teleportation, double realities. I think movies portray this combo the best."

Can you name a few examples?

“The Matrix, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Solaris, Blade Runner. I actually was partly inspired by the idea of memory from Blade Runner in my graduation project called AImnesia. It’s about human memory that can be augmented by digital technology. AI algorithms can be trained on these big data sets and, in theory, be able to recreate lost memories."

Do you think we could see something like that in the future?

“I think technology changes everything today. We had an industrial revolution and now we live in the technological revolution. It's interesting and frightening at the same time how this intervenes people and nature and our lives overall. With the recent news and changes in the world, we cannot deny how powerful the influence of evolving technologies is. It's crucial to find out how we can navigate through the new reality, which is filled with fake news, surveillance, data collection, and targeted content."

How do you translate that into new work?

“I like to reconceptualize things in a more positive and thoughtful way. Our reality already feels like we’re living in a dystopian movie. I might be interested in science fiction, but I don’t want to live in this future; I just want to see it on a screen! I try to imagine the world I’d like to be living in in the future. My works are usually quite bright and colorful."

Prime example: your latest work for OLAF HUSSEIN.

“The timing was perfect. With the pandemic and everyone freaking out, choosing these colorful hybrids was a way to show that we can imagine this dream world where you can still enjoy beautiful objects indoors. It’s posing the idea that nature will adapt to technology development and change in the environment. These flowers don't exist in reality, but we already have gen-modified foods and animals, so hypothetically, it wouldn't be impossible to combine a part of a sunflower, with leaves from a lily and other flowers or plants. It’s based on MIT research on plant nanobionics. Plants can naturally evolve into hybrid species and adapt to the environment. Russian scientists have recently developed a glow in the dark tobacco plant, and it kind of looked like our project! That was so cool!"

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