This section of the portfolio - Mediated Playground - is based on the earliest creative stage of the artist in media arts and covers a period seemingly from 1996 to 2002.

Questioning major societal questions from freedom of choice to recent technological revolution the artist reflects upon and in an expressive and thrilling form of art - video format. In that time video art became a core artistic medium in Lithuania (EU). Vygandas belongs to the first group of video artists in Lithuania. He is also a premier live visual performer.

Capitalist changes in the country affected the artist to critically reflect upon important societal aspects and use postmodern language to express himself. Economic growth, constantly increasing speed, expanding coverage of ubiquitous technologies, establishment of force, synthetic drugs, growing consumerism, kitschy and plastic commodities intertwine with the artist's critical approach to the art world. And all these notions could be easily found below. This section is also an artistic exploration and research of paradigms of play and game and an artistic investigation of playfulness and new media techniques through interaction and interdisciplinary approach.



Toys and Games - interactive media art installation with 8 monitors, 2 cameras, a bunch of toys, ready-made appliances, 2001. The project is placed on the chess-pattern floor and impart about possible rules within metaphorical game. The intergral parts are presented on the site and irresponsibly laid-out like chessmen in out of their squares on a chessboard interface distinctioning between game rules and disorderly play.

The project is a practice-based Master thesis in Vilnius art academy, Lithuania. "It is the most artistic work within media art practices in Vilnius art academy" - the Rector of Vilnius art academy A. Šaltenis (also a professor in the painting department) announced in the disputation at defence ceremony. "I do not see any order and creativity here, it's just a messy dispersion and nervous distraction" - shortly contradicted another professor of the painting department Povilas Ričardas Vaitiekūnas and was instantly followed by a massive laughter of the surrounded audience. The project was showed as a final work for MA degree in media art department of Vilnius art academy and reaped diversive reviews separating 2 contradicting fronts in the field of arts: contemporary and new-mediated notions opposing traditional and academic viewpoints.

The referent E. Stankevičius, a deputy director of Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius (CAC), made a performance at the defense ceremony. According to an institutional critique in academic surroundings, repeatedly reading the same short theoretical text several times (the idea was to loop the reference as long as possible) till he was shut down by evaluation committee members. The reference was written on highly theoretical level involving deeply academic articulation values and with following many international words and critical overviews on abstract issues but around the thesis and art project topics, and institutional criticism. The thesis work was written as accomplishment to the practical work and the theme, the book was laid-out regarding playfulness and involvement of the reader into a playful interaction. Finally, the final practice work and the thesis were graded with the highest grade.

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Rotation - the art project with live performances and video installations have been presented in several art residencies: Copenhagen, Denmark; Bern, Switzerland; etc. Complex technique was developed to produce endlessness and extremely mediated scenery over the rotation act. The project started in 1999.



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Just Play It - a short film and looped video installation with sequence of a playing hand from behind the camera with serious technological widgets in an unpredictable way: making music from keyboard, drawing with a desktop icons, scratching DVD plate, etc. It becomes rhythmical music video for those who do not understand technological interface and invites tech-geeks to try it out at home. Solo exhibition at the artist-in-residence at Wellen project, Shwellenmatteli, Bern, Switzerland, 2001.



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RGB poetics - digital simpatico, visual narrative effects, from 2000. Firstly the sequence was exhibited as media art exhibition, later visuals have been used for live visual performances of the artist, founded under the VJ Render nickname and portfolio.

One of the presented places were at East Impact, Yubileiny Palace, Saint Petersburg, Russia; other shows were performed in Germany, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden, etc.

Look for the still images below at the bottom of the page.

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Keep Smiling! - endless video collection of smilies in the entire variations and situations. Aiming for a seek of kitsch critique and pulse on ordinary base, resulted on monotonously zooming in and out, like soporific wave deliver a lullaby. Film and video installation.

2001 - exhibited at Shwellenmatteli, Bern, Switzerland.

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In Army Of Lovers - a film and media art installation, 1998. Playful usage of video technique and mercurial camera work, vibrant and lambent visual effects, constantly changing different toys on diverse bed sheet backgrounds.

Second Abflug release presents Verhaverbeke Krzyzosiak on the audio side and Vygandas Simbelis on the video side. Verhaverbeke works in the field of ambient-based guitar experiments. Subtle noisescapes of clicks and crackles stand as a great background for the five tracks of guitar tones and gentle strumming. As with the first Abflug release the visual side is the most abstract part. Controlled by Lithuanian artist Vygandas Simbelis the video titled "In Army Of Lovers" presents different toy dolls jumping on camera close-up. The soundtrack sounds like field recordings of a continuously running reel containing sounds of percussions as well as human noises. As the movie develops echoed sounds appear and the sound spectre turns from minimal to a more varied expression.

by Vital Weekly, number 393.

Film was released on multimedia DVD at Abflug label, also exhibited and screened.
1998 - Vilnius Art Academy, Vilnius.
2001 - exhibited in the Chess Hall in Vilnius Art Academy, Vilnius.
2002 - Automaten Bar, Berlin.
2006 - Balticoco, electronic arts festival, Intro art centre, Vilnius.
2007 - Electronic Pioneers, Intro art Centre, Vilnius.




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Digital Smile takes over with not just a letter (a character) but provides a significant difference (change of mood) with even a font. The art project is querying about digitalisation of expressions and emotions, technologisation of human aspects of communication within ordinary media reflections in nowadays life. Monotonous clicks of the computer mouse are referring to trance state than associations of bit by bit transitions smoothly transact on characters, fonts and moods. Semantic meanings are embodied in this lively installation.

Media art installation Non-Stop Digital Smile
Double looped videos, monitor and video camera monitor, doll, doll's sound; Copenhagen, 2000.

2000 - Media School exhibition, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark.
2000 - exhibited in the Chess Hall in Vilnius Art Academy, Vilnius.



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Interactive media art installation Not Here Not Now involves visitor/participant into a play in-between of tv screen square and an empty picture frame. Two squares are connected to each other, tv set and picture frame, and involve into interactive play. Visitor/player controls a remote car live and virtually. Ready-made structure is accompanied by immersive video projection.

Single channel video, camera, camera light spot, tv set, wooden frame, remote toy-car and remote control. Vilnius, 1999.

1998 - exhibited in the cellar of Vilnius Art Academy, Vilnius.
2001 - exhibited in the Chess Hall in Vilnius Art Academy, Vilnius.

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Birutė ne bitutė, kiškutis ne Kęstutis (poetic translation: Barbie is not a bee, a rabbit is not Rabin). Children are talking in solid words while adults in diminutives. Slide installation, 1999.

One of my favourite and inspirational texts of that period, and a pretty provocative work on issues I had been working on then, is written by sociologist Neil Postman - "The Disappearance of Childhood"” - reflects the artist. Postman's thesis argue that children are being robbed off their innocence, their naiveté and even their ability to be a child. He contended that in our world, we ask children to embrace mature issues, themes and experiences, long before they are ready. Children are sheltered from adult secrets, particularly sexual ones. Certain facets of life - its mysteries, contradictions, tragedies, violence - are not considered suitable for children to know. The language of adults and children - including what they address in life - has become the same. It is virtually uncontested among sociologists that the behavior, language, attitudes and desires - even the physical appearance - of adults and children are becoming indistinguishable. The project “Birutė ne bitutė, kiškutis ne Kęstutis” investigates the disappearance of boundaries between childhood and adulthood in a visual and linguistic ways.

1999 - Exhibited at the "Espresso Virtualis" group exhibition, Arka gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania.

"Vygandas Simbelis' slide installation ¨Birutė ne bitutė, kiškutis ne Kęstutis¨ mediates gallery visitors with opposite meanings between image and text, then people are called in diminutive words and animal-toys in human names"
From the major Lithuanian art magazine "7 Art Days".

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The film called "+" (Plus) was a second release within video art medium by the artist. It is a visual journey from Plus (+) sign in the title to the credits with a Minus (-). The movie starts with a collection of pills in a visually bright mood, and after many changes within the quality of pills, ranging from vitamins to drugs, optimistic atmosphere vanishes into psychedelic trance of magnificent colourscape.

The movie was edited by Jonas Mekas, one of the main persons behind the FLUXUS art movement, and who has often been called "the godfather of American avant-garde cinema". Accidental editing took place in New York while Mekas had been reviewing the movie. Production and editing in 1997.

1998 - French-Baltic-Nordic video and new media festival “Offline@online”, E-media center, Tallinn, Estonia,
1999 - Exhibited at Projekt Moments, Zimski Salon 1999, University of Ljubljana, Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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Are You For Me - the very first video art movie of Vygandas was produced in 1996. Daily things (from adult world) and mediative stuff have surrounded a pretty innocent girl, where at the end she personaly complains that she is not a girl. "Who are you for me?" - "I am not a girl for you". 3'28", VHS.

1996 - awarded with the Prize of Public Fond in Franco-Balt video art festival, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania,
1997 exhibited in Siauliai Art Gallery, Siauliai, Lithuania,
1998 - Mykolas Zilinskas Art Gallery, Kaunas, Lithuania,
1999 - Lithuanian Art 1989-1999, Ten years, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania.





RGB poetics, video, 2000 


RGB poetics, 2000 


RGB poetics, 2000 


RGB poetics, 2000