Dušan Barok/2021

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Born Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia)
The SKOR Codex by La Société Anonyme, 2012.

Dušan Barok is an artist, researcher and organiser. His work deals with digital culture, memory studies and activism. He is founding editor of Monoskop, a research platform for the arts and humanities.

Dušan Barok is best known for Monoskop, a platform for avant-garde media studies, which he initiated in 2004 as part of the Burundi collective. Since 2009, he also runs its associated digital library Monoskop Log, created together with Tomáš Kovács. He convened a series of seminars on media aesthetics entitled The Extensions of Many (2015), prepared in collaboration with Bergen Center for Electronic Arts and hosted by the Hordaland Kunstsenter in Bergen, Norway. This series was followed by the symposium Ideographies of Knowledge (2015) prepared with Barbora Šedivá in the Paul Otlet Archive at the Mundaneum, Mons, Belgium. In 2018, he was commissioned to make a new work by the Seoul Mediacity Biennale. The Exhibition Library, created with a large group of Monoskop collaborators, contains thirty catalogues of imaginary exhibitions, and its premiere edition went on display in the Seoul Museum of Art as part of the biennale exhibition. Together with Ivana Rumanová, he realised the exhibition programme We Have Never Been Closer (2021-2022) at tranzit.sk in Bratislava, Slovakia, which reassessed the transformation period of the 1990s in Central Europe.

Born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, Dušan Barok graduated in information technologies from the University of Economics, Bratislava (DI, 1997-2002) and Networked Media from the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam (MDes, 2010-2012). He worked as a research fellow at the Media Studies Department and the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM) at the University of Amsterdam in a project exploring new approaches to the preservation of contemporary art, NACCA (2016-2019).

In 1999 began to be active in independent culture in Slovakia and Czechia, working as an editor, organiser, activist, artist and designer. He was founding editor of the online cultural magazine Koridor (1999-2002). With Slávo Krekovič, Zuzana Duchová, Magdaléna Kobzová, Ivana Rumanová, Barbora Šedivá, he has been part of the editorial board of the 3/4 magazine. As part of a diverse group of art and cultural workers including Mária Čorejová, Michal Čudrnák, Ana Filip, Peter Gonda and Mária Rišková, he co-founded the Burundi media lab, where he organised the Translab programme series (2004-2005). Since 1999, he built and designed more than eighty websites and open access platforms for various collectives and nonprofits. He also developed an open source software for online collaboration, backstage. Together with Magdaléna Kobzová and 13 kubikov, Barok organised the two-week long workshop-based event Letné dielne / Open Summer Academy, which brought together practitioners from across the arts and technology (Bratislava, two editions, 2006, 2007). From 2004 he was involved in the organisation of the Multiplace network culture festival, from 2007 to 2009 as its coordinator. Together with Peter Gonda, he continues to maintain its affiliated server, Sanchez, which provides hosting to emerging artists and cultural nonprofits. In 2015 and 2016, he was a member of the jury of the Oskar Čepan Award for emerging artists in Slovakia. In 2020, he initiated and coordinates a project aimed at improving the care of time-based media art in public collections in Central Europe, New Media Museums.

With the Monoskop platform, he is involved in the artist-run and shadow libraries movement, which also includes Kenneth Goldsmith (UbuWeb), Marcell Mars, Tomislav Medak and Dubravka Sekulić (Memory of the World), Sean Dockray (Aaaaarg), Cornelia Sollfrank (Giving What You Don't Have), Femke Snelting (Interfacing the Law) and others. He is a signatory of an open letter of solidarity with the digital libraries Library Genesis and Sci-Hub facing a lawsuit against the publishing giant Elsevier, which was translated into 15 languages.

With Pit Schultz and Berlin Biennale, Barok developed an artist-run platform for contemporary art history, ArtWiki. He is part of the artist collective La Société Anonyme, known for its work The SKOR Codex (2012), a digital archive of public art in the form of a book. The book was printed in eight copies that are now available for viewing in libraries and collections (Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam; Royal Library, The Hague; Open Data Initiative, London; State Library Victoria, Melbourne; Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris; SFMOMA Library, San Francisco; Art Library of The National Art Center, Tokyo).

Dušan Barok also worked with the artist-run centre OKNO in Brussels, the Academic Research Centre of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (VVP AVU), the Center for Contemporary Arts Prague (Artlist), the Olomouc Museum of Art (Central European Art Database, New Media Museums, New Media Art & Archive), Atrakt Art, Piet Zwart Institute, LIMA (Naked on Pluto), Masaryk University and the Brno University of Technology in Brno (Vasulka Live Archive), Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts, Piksel, Vašulka Kitchen Brno (Archive), and the artist collectives Col-me, Satori and Old Boys Network. He lectured and performed internationally. Raised in Bratislava, he lived in the United States (2002-2003), Prague (2004-2008), Berlin (2008-2010), Rotterdam (2010-2012), Bergen (2013-2016), Amsterdam (2016-2019), and is currently based in Oslo. (2021)

Convened symposia and seminar series[edit]

  • Ideographies of Knowledge, Mundaneum, Mons, 3 Oct 2015. On the poetics, aesthetics and politics of information and knowledge in relation to digital libraries, search engines and the legacy of library/documentation science. Organised with Barbora Šedivá.
  • Collecting and Preserving Research-based and Archive-based Art Projects, online (M+ Museum Hong Kong), Feb-Apr 2022. A series of six seminars with M+ Museum staff and invited guests. Organised with Aga Wielocha, David Smith, and Fabiola Rocco.


Essays, papers[edit]

Editor (selection)[edit]

  • with Magdaléna Kobzová, Save Before It's Gone, Brussels, 2006. Contains interviews with Dirk Paesmans, Maja Kuzmanovic, Darko Fritz, and Andrei Smirnov. [6]
  • "Russia: Avant-garde", Monoskop, 2013ff. Source documents and bibliography of and on the Russian avant-garde.
  • "Sound art", Monoskop, 2014ff. Sound art resource and bibliography.
  • "Architecture", Monoskop, 2015ff. Source documents in the history, theory and criticism of 20th-century architecture.
  • "Constructivism", Monoskop, 2015ff. Constructivist arts in Russia and east-central Europe from the late 1910s through the 1930s.
  • "Art Styles and Movements", Monoskop, 2016ff. Annotated index of styles and movements in modern and contemporary art worldwide, from the 1860s until today.
  • "Anthropocene", Monoskop, 2018ff. Documentary genealogy of the concept and its reception across the arts and sciences.
  • Monoskop Exhibition Library, Amsterdam: Monoskop, and Seoul: The Book Society, 2018, 47 pp. Catalogue for an exhibition-installation presented as part of the Seoul Mediacity Biennale, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, 5 Sep-18 Nov 2018. (English)/(Korean)
  • Inverse Reader, Monoskop, 2019ff. Collection of 64 texts, talks and conversations about shadow, independent and artists’ digital libraries. [7]
  • Naked on Pluto, Monoskop, 2020. Case study in preservation of artistic research; in collaboration with Julie Boschat Thorez and Aymeric Mansoux.

Interviews (given)[edit]

  • Oliver Rehák, "Monoskop nových médií", 3/4 21-22, Bratislava: Atrakt Art, 2007. (Slovak)
  • Robert Bobnič, Jurij Smrke, Jasmina Šepetavc, "Monoskop, Interview", Tribuna, Ljubljana, Dec 2012, pp 16-17. Conducted Nov 2012 during HAIP festival in Ljubljana. Full issue. (Slovenian)
  • Alessandro Ludovico, "Dušan Barok, Interview", Neural 44: "Post-Digital Print", Bari, 2013, pp 10-11. Conducted Jan 2013. (English)


  • "Rozhovor s Milanom Adamčiakom / Interview with Milan Adamčiak", in Zvuky, kódy, obrazy. Akustický experiment ve vizuálním umění / Sounds, Codes, Images, eds. Jitka Hlaváčková and Miloš Vojtěchovský, Prague: ArtMap, 2021, pp 167-178. [22] (Slovak)/(English)


  • "Katalóg online: o špecifikách publikovania archívov umenia na internete", CEAD Workshop, Museum of Art, Olomouc, Sep 2015; Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, Jan 2016. [45]
  • paper at AHM PhD Seminar Series, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Dec 2016. [49] (English)
  • "Documentation and digitization meet digital preservation to make time-based art last for posterity", NACCA Event, Tate Modern, London, Jan 2017. Event, [50] (English)
  • "Shadow Libraries", Shadow Libraries: UbuWeb in Athens, National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST), Athens, Mar 2018. Event. (English)
  • "From Collection Management to Content Management in Art Documentation", MAPS: Born Digital symposium, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Jun 2018; NACCA Symposium 2018: From different perspectives to common grounds in contemporary art conservation, Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, Jun 2018. Video. Event. Event.
  • "On Editing", Copy This: A Night of Un-creativity at an Art Space, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, Jun 2018. Event.
  • "Database for the Documentation of Contemporary Art", NACCA | MACCH Conference 2019: Bridging the Gap, Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, Mar 2019. Event.
  • "Knowledge Infrastructure for the Preservation of Contemporary Art", ICOM General Conference 2019 / CIDOC Annual Conference 2019, Kyoto International Conference Center, Kyoto, Sep 2019. Event.
  • "The Cultures of Moving Image: Music Video in Eastern Europe", Beast International Film Festival, OKNA & Casa Comum de Reitoria de Universidade de Porto, Porto, Oct 2019. Event.
  • "New Approaches in Media Conservation", Artworks from the Digital Era in Galleries and Museums colloquium, Vašulka Kitchen Brno, Brno House of Arts, Brno, Oct 2019. Slides. Event.
  • "Publishing as Art Preservation", MAPS2020: The Dead Web: The End symposium, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Feb 2020. Video. Event.
  • "Experimental Publishing as a Strategy for Preserving Research-based Art: Documenting Naked on Pluto on Monoskop wiki", with Julie Boschat Thorez and Aymeric Mansoux, Documentation of Digital Art workshops, LIMA, Amsterdam, & online, Jun 2020. Event.
  • "Artist-Run Servers and Community Work", De-platform-ization, Ethics and Alternative Social Media symposium, Display, Prague, & online, Sep 2020. "Artist-Run Digital Networks and Community Work", Digital Solidary Networks event series, Varia, Rotterdam, May 2021. Video 1. Event 1. Event 2.
  • "Matryoshka Intelligence: Archive, Database, Blockchain", Archiving Care symposium, online (Goethe-Institut Slovakia), Bratislava, Nov 2021. Video. Event. Project.
  • "Forging Alliances for the Care of Media Arts and Culture in Central Europe", Transformation Digital Art 2022 symposium, online (LIMA Amsterdam), Mar 2022. Video. Event.


22.2.2001 (2001), Matrica slovenská (2006), Computer with a Printer (2006), FaceLeaks (2010), The SKOR Codex (with La Société Anonyme, 2012), XVIII (with La Société Anonyme and Marja Wilgenkamp, 2013), Exhibition Library (with Monoskop, 2018).


See also writings about Monoskop.

See also[edit]

Monoskop, Shadow libraries, Sanchez, Multiplace, Burundi


  • db at monoskop dot org
  • db at societyofalgorithm dot org
  • PGP key