Boris Čučković Berger - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Boris Čučković Berger

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Boris Čučković Berger

PhD candidate; Associate Lecturer


Source Materials:

The Disenchantment of Digital Production in Western Art after the 2008 Financial Crisis

Supervised by Prof. Julian Stallabrass and Dr Josephine Berry.

CHASE AHRC funding award (2014-2017); and the Courtauld Scholarship.

This thesis examines how the increased artistic and critical attention to the material regimes of digital production affects the longstanding problematic of art’s embodiment in its ‘post-medium’ condition. My analysis identifies a tendency to semantically enfranchise the status of source materials in artistic practice engaged with digital forms of production in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis: images significant for being commissioned on online platforms for outsourcing labour; material artworks recast in an ‘open source’ configuration of production and distribution; digital 3D models that remain pre-rendered in finished works due to funding cuts in austerity-era art sector. I conceptualise this tendency as aesthetics of source materiality in which digital forms of production represent an opportunity for a critical renegotiation of art’s interaction with capitalist production in general: how does late capitalism mediate the relationship between artistic practice and its source materials?


  • 2012 – 2014 MPhil (distinction) in Visual Arts, Media and Architecture, VU Amsterdam. Thesis on SUPERFLEX supervised by Sven Lütticken.
  • 2010 – 2011 MA (distinction) Art History: Modern and Contemporary, Leiden University. Thesis on open source cultural production supervised by Eric C.H. de Bruyn.
  • 2006 – 2009 BA (Rector’s Award) double major: Art History & Information Sciences, University of Zagreb

Teaching & Guest Lectures

  • Undergraduate Assessed Essay supervision & marking.
  • BA3 Modern, Postmodern and Digital Photography (with Julian Stallabrass), 2018-19.
  • BA2 Cold War, Criticism, Theory, 2018-19.
  • BA2 Frameworks for Interpretation, The Courtauld, 2017-18; 2018-19.
  • MA Core Methodology, The Courtauld, 2015-16; 2016-17; 2017-18; 2018-19.
  • Guest Lecture ‘Capitalist Porosity: Digital Production in Post-Crisis Art’, VU University Amsterdam, organised by Sven Lütticken, 14 February 2018.
  • Guest Lecture ‘There and Back Again: The Status of Digital Production in Contemporary Art’, King’s College London, graduate programme in Digital Culture and Society chaired by Dr Sara Marino, 2 February 2017.

Publications (selection)

  • The Office and its Silicon Cage, Immediations (2017), Vol. 4, No. 2, 102-105.    
  • The Open Source Cultural ObjectGrounds for the Political Aesthetics of Cultural Commons in the Post-medium Condition (2014). Leonardo Electronic Almanac, special issue Red Art: New Utopias in Data Capitalism. Edited by Julian Stallabrass, Susane Jaschko and Lanfranco Aceti, MIT Press, ISBN 978-1-906897-28-4, pp. 22-42.
  • The Contemporary Challenge of Specificity (2012). The Edgar Wind Journal, Oxford University: Hillary Term 2012, pp. 27-29.
  • Autonomy Today (2012). TkH Journal for Performing Arts Theory 20: special issue Art and Public Good. Edited by Bojana Cvejić and Marko Kostanić, Belgrade: TkH Platform, pp. 16-21.
  • Performing (with) Sculptures: Expanding the Field of Sculpture with Fluid and Sound (2011). Spaces of Identity in the Performing Sphere, international conference proceedings. Edited by Sibila Petlevski and Goran Pavlić, Zagreb: Fraktura and the Academy of Performing Arts in Zagreb, ISBN:978-953-97568-2-4, 257-272.
  • On Digitally Created Sculpture: The Problem of the Original, the Model and Unique Pieces (2010). (Croatian title: Razmatranje skulpture ostvarene digitalnom tehnologijom: problem originala, modela i unikata.) Annals of the Antun Augustinčić Gallery, vol. 28/29: Original in Sculpture. Edited by Božidar Pejković, Klanjec (Croatia): MHZ, Antun Augustinčić Gallery, ISSN: 0352-1826, pp. 271-288.

Research interests

  • Political aesthetics
  • Media practices in contemporary art
  • Methodologies of art history

Conference papers (selection)

  • ‘A Window to Capital: Amazon Mechanical Turk and the Aesthetic Conditions of Critique.’ Full paper at the College Arts Association (CAA) annual conference, session topic Between Conformism and Subversion: Aesthetic Strategies and the Problem of the Political in Contemporary Art, New York, February 15th – 18th, 2017.
  • ‘Where Representation meets Agency: The Idol in Modern Art.’ Full presentation at the international conference on Presence and Agency: Rhetorics, Aesthetics and the Experience of Art. Leiden (the Netherlands): LUCAS, Leiden University Center for the Arts and Humanities in Society, December 13th – 15th 2012.
  • ‘Performing (with) Sculptures: Fluid, Sound and the Digital.’ Full presentation at the international conference Spaces of Identity in the Performing Sphere with Igor Dvorščak. Zagreb (Croatia): Organizing committee of the project »Discursive Identity in the Performing arts: Bodies, Personae, Intersubjects«, February 11th – 14th 2010.
  • ‘Open Source in Art: Originality, Art Process and Digital Preservation.’ Full presentation at the international conference INFuture2009: Digital Resources and Knowledge Sharing. Zagreb (Croatia): Department of Information Sciences, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb and IBM Croatia, November 4th – 6th 2009.
  • ‘Sculpture Between the Material and Non-material – Analysing Sculpture Materialized by Digital Technology.’ Full presentation at the symposium Original in Sculpture. Klanjec (Croatia): MHZ – Antun Augustinčić Gallery, July 4th – 6th 2008.

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