Irina Danilova


Irina Danilova Vilcek Dropdown Arrows

Welcome to the dARTboard inauguration, launched in spring 2012, featuring the work of Ukrainian-born artist Irina Danilova, whose innovative use of new media represents a broad shift within the artistic community. This exhibit comprises three works by Ms. Danilova, all components of her ongoing series entitled Project 59.

City Drawings (2009 - )

City Drawings is a 2009 addition to the ongoing Project 59, begun in 1995. The ultimate goal of this new-media project, which uses cities as canvases, is to make drawings in 59 cities around the globe (“first come, first served”), using cars, mobile phones, and open-source tracking systems. It is an alternative way of revealing the structures of the cities, their physical and wireless connectivity. It is also about the tracks we leave and the routes we take, and about the possibilities and limitations of making drawings in the urban realm, incorporating new media.

The first City Drawing in the United States was made in New York followed by cities coast to coast, from Boston and Miami to Los Angeles, with Houston, Cleveland, Chicago, and several others in between.

View City Drawings >

Constellations (2011 - )

Constellations is a series of projects/interventions reflecting the phenomenal events and changes in our culture and society. Sky constellations are the symbols of the heroes of ancient times, mythological characters known for their outstanding deeds. The project creates a new mythology: the interaction of personal and corporative history. It depicts outstanding situations and records them during interactions, both personal and on the Internet, using locative media technology. 

We now live during the era of rapid transformations. Technology, globalization, unification, and the roller coaster of our economy all combine to cause dramatic changes. There is a unique museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, built and designed by the first (de facto) installation artist, Henry Mercer, who at the beginning of the twentieth century, during the rise of industrialization, collected all the preindustrial hand tools and re-created a small trade shops atmosphere. It is one of the most impressive monuments to the major transformation of his time, to all the abandoned tools, skills, social, and business relations. Today, we are again in a very transitional state.

The sky has always had mystical references to a parallel existence. Now there is another version of parallel existence: virtual reality. New Constellations are created to inhabit our new heavens, by connecting the dots between different sites with an online open-source tracking system. An important part of this project is the real-life interaction with each location in space and time. The first constellations in the series represent two giant corporations that were started as small businesses by young intellectuals in different university towns in 1971. One is thriving and the other is dead.

The Constellations project started with the discovery that within an area of several blocks in midtown Manhattan there were 59 Starbucks coffee shops. Reflecting the “star” component of the company name, their locations all over the world can be compared to stars in the sky. The accumulation in midtown Manhattan awoke the thought of a constellation.

At the same time, Borders was announcing the closing of all of its stores. The newly created Constellations project was adapted to record that contemporary transformation.


National and Geographic (2000)

I grew up in the USSR, a self-centered country, which promulgated itself as the best country in the world. In moving to the United States, I found myself in another country that did the same thing. Soon after arriving here, I created several projects that reflected my adaptations to my new environment and migration experiences. One of them, the National and Geographic project—an American flag containing 59 stars, to represent my belief that America’s destiny includes 59 states and 59 presidents—was influenced by the historical expansion of the country (Alaska and Hawaii, were both incorporated in 1959) and its international stature and reputation. The presidential aspect of the project was the consequence of my first experience with a presidential campaign, in 1996.


Artist Statement 

About Irina Danilova