Her work consciously toys with the nature of digital images, and how they’re made, circulated, and consumed. Around 2012, her subject matter skewed toward the adorable, like giraffes or polar bears, or “cute virality,” as the artist puts it. “Why are certain images very popular?” she recalls wondering. “I was translating that to artworks, to make an experiment, if it would work the same. And in a very stupid way, it did.”
Novitskova’s vision has gotten a bit less cuddly in recent years. “I’m going toward darker parts,” she tells me. For this public installation in New York, she wanted to create something site-specific, but the Berlin-based artist hadn’t had many personal encounters with the city—except through movies. “In every other sci-fi movie there’s an invasion, or a climate catastrophe, that’s being visualized in lower Manhattan,” she says. And so, Novitskova imagined City Hall Park as a landing site for something alien.