Alina Mnatsakanian is a multilingual and multicultural transmedia artist. Armenian by origin, Alina Mnatsakanin has lived in Tehran, Paris, Los Angeles and since 2005 she lives and works in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
Alina Mnatsakanin’s research is concentrated on two parallel lines: paintings and installations, that sometimes converge. Loyal to her beginnings as a painter, in 2006 she started a series of paintings with a vocabulary resembling an alphabet: the “Marks”. “Marks” are paintings in multiple layers that represent the multitude of experiences that each person has during their lifespan and the need to put their signatures on their surroundings to be able to continue to exist and be fulfilled. In her recent work Alina explores digital conversions of the “Marks”. Using Artificial Intelligence software, she transforms movement to “Marks” which repeat themselves and create multiple layers, similar to ones happening in her paintings.
In her installations Alina addresses issues that are dear to her. Her research about identity in relation to territory and language, sometimes takes an autobiographical form and sometimes is dedicated to similar experiences in the others. Rejection of injustice is another important issue for Mnatsakanian where she doesn’t hold back on expressing her opinions through installations and performances. The accumulation of the information and the experience translates into ideas, shapes and colors: layers of still or moving images, sounds or simple brushstrokes. There is no discrimination of media. Every new experience requires a unique treatment, from painting and sculpture extending to video, performance and robotics.
Her interest in technology takes a turn in 2007, when she receives a production grant from the Swiss Ministry of Culture for an installation with 5 videos and a robot, which was made through collaboration with the robotics department of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). In 2009 she follows her robotic explorations with the Institute of Artificial Intelligence in Lugano, through a grant from the Artists-in-Labs program, funded by the Swiss Ministry of Culture, which resulted in the robotic installation “When I woke up the sun had moved”.