Mihael Giba is a Croatian intermedia artist, who is presenting the first solo exhibition of his work in Slovenia. His art focuses on the area of data visualization, and he has developed special computer software that serves as the basis for his installations. The common element in Giba’s projects is their mapping of both individual and global social phenomena.
The exhibition TRUST ME I TRUST YOU presents an installation of this same name, which is composed of a series of five artist books with the same formal character and elegance as the artist’s conceptual poetry. In this work, legal documents and international agreements signed by the Croatian government have been redesigned by Giba in his own artistic language so as to act as a transfer between viewers and the language of bureaucracy. Besides the books, the exhibition is rounded out by a projection that categorizes data from a session of parliament into such groupings as sports, culture, economics, etc., and presents them as images of a digital landscape.
The artist’s chosen mode of mapping derives from his desire to create a dialogue between the state and its citizens that is as direct as possible. Through the visualization of data, he moves from the concrete to the abstract only to return again to the concrete. Such movement Lev Manovich has described as the real challenge of data art, which, he says, “is not about how to map some abstract and impersonal data into something meaningful and beautiful” but rather “how to represent the personal subjective experience of a person living in a data society.”
Mihael Giba (b. 1985, Varaždin) received his degree in painting from the Academy of Art at the University of Split, where he is currently employed as a senior assistant in electronic painting and digital photography. He is a member of the international art network Zebra, which founded the exhibition space Greta in Zagreb. He regularly exhibits his work in Croatia in both solo and group shows. In 2010, in collaboration with Dalibor Martinis, he presented his touring project Global Picture in Slovenia.
 Lev Manovich, “Data Visualisation as New Abstraction and Anti-Sublime” (2002), available at www.manovich.net.