Marko Peljhan

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Marko Peljhan (1969, Sempeter pri Gorici, Slovenia) is an artist. He studied theatre and radio directing at the University of Ljubljana (1988-92). In 1992, Peljhan founded the arts and technology organization Projekt Atol, and in 1995 co-founded one of the first media labs in Eastern Europe, Ljudmila. In the same year, the founded the technology branch of Projekt Atol called Pact Systems where he developed the Global Positioning System based participatory networked mapping project, the Urban Colonisation and Orientation Gear 144, one of the first works in the s.c. “locative media” genre.

He has been working on the Makrolab, a project that focuses on telecommunications, migrations and weather systems research in an intersection of art and science from 1997-2007, the Interpolar Transnational Art Science Constellation during the International Polar Year (project 417) and is currently, together with Matthew Biederman, coordinating the Arctic Perspective Initiative art/science/tactical media project focused on the global significance of the Arctic geopolitical, natural and cultural spheres.

Peljhan has also been the flight director of ten parabolic experimental flights in collaboration with the Microgravity Interdisciplinary Research initiative and the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, creating conditions for artists to work in alternating gravity conditions. During the series of World projects, he has installed several communications mapping and interception systems and projects and his research led him to map the command and control communications networks and response during the Srebrenica genocide.

He is the recipient of many prizes for his work, including the 2001 Golden Nica Prize at Ars Electronica together with Carsten Nicolai for their work, polar, and the UNESCO Digital Media Prize for Makrolab in 2004. During 2008, Peljhan was appointed as one of the European Union Ambassadors of Intercultural dialogue. His work was exhibited internationally at multiple biennales and festivals (Venice, Gwangju, Brussels, Manifesta, Johannesburg, Istanbul), at the documenta X in Kassel, several ISEA exhibitions, several Ars Electronica presentations and major museums, such as the P.S.1 MOMA, New Museum of Contemporary Art, ICC NTT Tokyo, YCAM Yamaguchi and others. From 2009 on he is the one of the series editors of the Arctic Perspective Cahiers series (Hatje Cantz).He holds joint appointments with the Department of Art and the Media Arts & Technology graduate program at the University of California Santa Barbara and was appointed as Co-Director of the UC Institute for Research in the Arts in 2009, where he is coordinating the art/science Integrative methodologies initiative. [1]


  • Pact Systems, technological branch of Projekt Atol (*1995).
  • Terminal, installation (1996).
  • UCOG-144, Urban Colonisation and Orientation Gear - 144, (1996). An experiment overlapping psychogeography and communications technology, consisting of a number of group members wandering the streets of Ljubljana carrying home-made versions of the US military's GPS - global positioning system - used together with wireless modems and audio receivers to create a collage of activity on the streets and on the net. [2] [3]
  • Makrolab (1997 - 2007). Mobile laboratory setup built for the open and integral research and common work of artists, scientists and tactical media workers in the fields of telecommunications, migrations research, weather and climate. It was first set up in 1997, during the documenta X? exhibition in Kassel, Germany, and was consequently operating in Western Australia (Rottnest Island), Slovenia (Veliki Kras) and in the Scotish Highlands (Atholl Estates). The final aim of the project is the establishment of an independent art and science based research station on the Antarctic continent in 2007. [4] [5] [6] [7]
  • Wardenclyffe, performance. [8]
  • SOLAR, performance.
  • Insular Technologies initiative, (announced in 1998). Insular Technology is basically a development of a secure short wave voice and data communication equipment for centres like Ljudmila, V2, Backspace or E-Lab. It's for these centres which work with new and old media and have a need for secure and unbreakable communication that does not use the internet. It's a hardware development project of 256 bit encryption, which is a very strong encryption and it will be a proprietary technology of PACT Systems, which is a research unit of my group, and a company called SIFRA in Slovenia, which already produces its own 128 bit encryption system. [9] [10] [11] [12]
  • 178 Degrees East — Another Ocean Region, Australia (1997). [13] [14]
  • PPTU 1999, Portable Programming and Transmitting Unit (1999). The object designed specifically for the use in refugee camps in Albania and Macedonia for refugee produced programs. [15] [16] [17]
  • TRUST-SYSTEM 15, New York (1999). [18] [19]
  • POLAR, installation (with Carsten Nicolai), Ars Electronica, Vienna (2001). An interactive multimedia installation that makes it possible to experience the data flow in global and local networks both sensuously and cognitively. "We envisioned the 7m X 7m X 4m, totally connected and tactile space as a complex tactile matrix interface, that enables the visitor to experience the flow of data in the global and local networks in a completely immersive, yet cognitive way. The work was inspired by the notion of the cognitive "ocean" as described in Stanislaw Lem's and Andrey Tarkovsky's Solaris." [20] [21] [22]
  • S-77CCR, Vienna (2004). Tactical urban counter-surveillance systems for ground controlled UAV's (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and airborne drones to monitor public space. [23]


  • Marko Peljhan, "Strategies of Minimal Resistance - Analysis of Tactical Work in the Surveillance Society", talk at SCCA (Ljubljana Center for Contemporary Arts), 1999. [24] [25]
  • RIXC interview with Marko Peljhan by Ieva Auzina, Rasa Smite, and Raitis Smits, 2001. [26]
  • Marko Peljhan: Expert in Communication Technology and Earth/Space Environment applications. Interviewed by Rasa Smite and Leva Auzina, 2004. [27]
  • Inke Arns, "Faktura and Interface: Chlebnikov, Tesla and the heavenly data traffic in Marko Peljhans makrolab (1997-2007)", in "Ohne Schnur...." Kunst und drahtlose Kommunikation. Kommunikationskunst im Spannungsfeld von Kunst, Technologie und Gesellschaft, ed. Katja Kwastek, Revolver: Frankfurt am Main, 2005, pp 62-79 [29] [30] (German)/(English)
  • Transcript of the talk by Marko Peljhan at the Luminous Green Symposium in 2007 [31]