Elena Charobay’s Digital Organisms

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Elena Charobay’s Digital Organisms

Visual art is facing an outburst of mediums these days. It became possible to work not only in a classical way as a painter or a sculptor from the beginning of the 20th century. However, the theory of art can be not that fast in analyzing all the processes that happen inside the practice. Nowadays, the process of understanding what an art medium can be is still in progress. Thanks to the new media that appeared in the 1960s, the illusory dimension that video images brought us became a rightful player in the sphere. Furthermore, it allowed digital and net art to get an easy transition into institutionalized art, so today, there are festivals, theorists, and other art professionals who constantly celebrate this field. Here, we will focus on one of the most interesting artists in the field – Elena Charobay.

Contemporary art
Elena Charobay. From Water and Silver series, 2022. Digital Art/CGI Art

Elena's professional training as an artist at the renowned Higher School of Economics made her an open-minded art practitioner. She draws her inspiration from every possible visual information vessel — video games, sci-fi movies, and traveling the world. Over the years, Charobay has displayed her art in a number of European and Eastern countries, such as Germany, France, the UAE, Hong Kong, and others. 

 While actively investigating what interests her the most as the central theme and creative method, Elena understood that playing the role of a futuristic lab researcher is her greatest passion. This way, she became free of any boundaries in terms of visual interpretation.­­

Elena Charobay. From Occulta Muscas series, 2022. Digital Art/CGI

Charobay's ongoing series "Occulta Muscas" is a personal hymn to the philosophical question of who is the king of the world—humans or microorganisms that developed eras before humanity even started evolving as biological species. The artist's aesthetic approach demonstrates the classical way of depicting beauty in an image, even though the pictures Charobay produces do not reflect Plato's concept of copying reality. 

The organisms presented in the series are a fantasy based on some facts, so combining both creates a faket environment, where both — the artist and the viewer understand that this is just a visual game two sides are playing. Elena's agenda is to make a believable product so the spectator can act as a person who believes in and worships these creatures. Even the name of the series points to that — "Occulta Muscas" in Latin stands for occult flies.

 The term is a fusion of the words "fact" and "fake." In contemporary art theory, it is used to describe art that creates a "make-to-believe" situation with a strong emphasis on the fact that the whole situation is made up.

Elena Charobay. From Occulta Muscas series, 2022. Digital Art/CGI

 The digital medium here is a logical choice for the artist — computer software becomes her personal research lad, where she creates all these digital bacteria. This way, the artist establishes a one-way communication system with any possible viewer, where nobody gets harmed. These images present not only a mix of surrealist, futurist, and figurative aesthetics but also demonstrate the careful research the artist carried out to make her so-called models look believable regarding bacteria evolution. All of this points to the fact that Charobay is an ambitious artist who is highly concerned about the visual message she delivers to the world. 


Sasha Souter, PhD