Vitar Drinković (HR) Hugging sculpture

interactive sculpture, 2015

At the current time of overload, hurry and scurry, rivalry and interpersonal alienation it seems that we are in want of genuine connection and attention. Human behavior is marked by the paradox of a profound split between introversion and the need to belong. Fear of the real world and intense dwelling in the virtual lead to obliviousness to real communications and ways of how to renew it, how to take part.

Hugging Sculpture is an interactive sculpture that is started off by a person hugging it and pressing it against their body, or even leaning on it. The device responds to pressure by returning the hug and starting to vibrate.

Hugging a device and not a person is part of virtual communication. But still, this unfeeling object does belong to material reality and can contribute to the opening and display of real feelings and thoughts instead of hiding them. It can help real communication and reduce self-enclosure and introversion. A harmless and innocent game with a sculpture thus opens up the way to making our feelings and needs conscious. The idea that Hugging Sculpture is designed as a product that could be put on somewhere in business premises and that employees could use it to balance their emotional needs is a partially comical and cynical commentary on today’s society.


Vitar Drinković (HR)

Vitar Drinković works at the intersection of technology, science and art, through the creation of interactive devices, inventions and installations that serve as intermediaries in communication between people. His intention is to explore and create a new context and conditions for the sensory and mental perception of daily life. He combines his extensive experience in sculpture and sculptural technologies with new media, DIY culture, new technologies and collaborations with experts in the fields of science, which opens up a wide spectrum of activity.

He graduated in Sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 2008. During his studies, he attended a semester at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA. In 2014, he completed his Master’s degree in Animation and New Media at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, where he also participated in a student exchange with the London Metropolitan University, UK. He has exhibited in 24 solo exhibitions, created 7 public space sculptures (Zagreb, Dugo Selo, Bjelovar and Hvar in Croatia, and Trausdorf in Austria), and has participated in 14 artistic residencies. He exhibited at 55 group exhibitions in Croatia, Germany, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Austria, the Czech Republic, United Kingdom, USA, Canada and France. He is the recipient of several awards, honors and scholarships, and a 2021 Radoslav Putar Award finalist. He is a member of the Croatian Association of Visual Artists and the Croatian Freelance Artists’ Association.