University of California Santa Barbara, Arctic Perspective Initiative, Projekt Atol
Marko Peljhan is a native of Slovenia and a theatre and radio director by profession. Peljhan founded the arts and technology organization Projekt Atol in the early 1990s and cofounded one of the first media labs in Eastern Europe, LJUDMILA in 1995. In the same year he founded the technology branch of Projekt Atol called PACT SYSTEMS where he developed one of the first Global Positioning Systems based participatory networked mapping projects, the Urban Colonisation and Orientation Gear 144. He has been working on Makrolab, a unique 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 coordinating the Arctic Perspective Initiative art/science/tactical media project focused on the global significance of the Arctic geopolitical, natural and cultural spheres with Matthew Biederman. Peljhan has served as the flight director of ten art/science 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. 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 has been exhibited internationally at multiple biennales and festivals (Venice, Gwangju, Brussels, Manifesta, Johannesburg), at the Documenta X in Kassel, several ISEA exhibitions, several Ars Electronica presentations and at major museums, such as P.S.1, MOMA, New Museum of Contemporary Art, ICC NTT Tokyo, YCAM Yamaguchi and others. Since 2009 he is 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.