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Hybrid Operandi

by Darja Popolitova

The video ‘Hybrid Operandi’ is a part of Darja Popolitova’s solo exhibition ‘EROS LOADING’ at HOP Gallery in Tallinn. It shows hands movements imitating interactions with a smartphone – tapping, scrolling, swiping, but instead of the smartphone there are pieces of jewellery. Maybe the smartphone and jewellery are not so different today?


An animation of non-living objects; digital animism. What can be more intimate than the constant and close presence of our computers or smartphones? It is a presence in which Plato’s idea of Eros as an ideal form can be brought to perfection with simplicity of screen operations, flawlessness of virtual colors and forms that carry through the network as internet self-presenting fascination.


I touch, tap, scroll again and again. Illuminated by a blue screen, as in the moonlight, he knows me better than I know me. The intimacy arouses an attention. It is possible that this fascination is not just practical, but spiritual.

The series of jewellery made from flexible rubber both relates and raises questions about intimacy by our way of touching such technical devices: bodily interactions, sensual choreography of hands. Our love affair with computers lies deeper than mere aesthetic fascination, deeper than a play of senses; It is erotic and spiritual, says the philosopher Michael Heim in his fundamental work ‘The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality’.


By touching a screen with fingers, Eros loads it’s presence. This is a platonic love to hold, to know and to reflect us. Maybe the smartphone and jewellery are not so different today?

The parallel series of jewellery presents robotic like plastic in an attempt to pay attention to how we create identities by wearing and using of technical objects. Narcissus does not fall in love with himself, but in the reflection of his own image. Like the Internet user, fascinated by own self-representation on the Internet consisting of pictures, text and a myriad of selfies.

Body Trigger neckpiece rubber, silver, textile, lab glass
Hybrid Modus I object rubber, silver
Sentimental Robot brooch plastic, silver, steel: modelled, 3D scanned, vacuum formed, chrome plated

Darja Popolitova (1989) is the Estonian jewellery artist and designer. She is currently a PHD student and guest lecturer at Estonian Academy of Arts. Her approach to jewellery art emerged during studying at Estonian Academy of Arts as well as at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. Darja honed her skills at Florian Ladstätter’s studio in Vienna.

She received the Young Jewellery Award and has been exhibited in Holland, Germany, Brazil and Spain among others. The topics of her works include androgyny, gender, Eros and digital culture.







Idea: Darja Popolitova
Camera and edit: Sofja Kostenkova



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