Jindřich’s Model # 5: Markéta Baňková

As a finalist of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award in 2002, Markéta Baňková presented her research project “New York City Map”, which provided the viewer with a virtual walk through the American capital as part of a joint exhibition. On the website http://www.nycmap.com it was (and still is) possible to view the city and listen to the sounds it makes. The project became available on the web a few years before the launch of the famous Google Earth program, at a time when it was far from common to “browse” the world’s cities on the Internet. Baňková did not strive for an exact online map of the entire city or its main tourist attractions, but instead tried to capture the unique atmosphere of a place that is unlike any other in the world. From today’s perspective, the recording functions not only as a unique statement about the technological possibilities of video and audio documentation at the turn of the millennium, but also as an insight into the hidden corners of New York in the late 1990s.

Markéta Baňková (*1969) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in the studios of graphics and new media and later also completed internships at the Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore and at Middlesex Polytechnic in London. She was one of the first artists in the Czech Republic to start working in net art. Her works are freely available on the Internet and thanks to their interactivity, anyone can usually intervene in them. Baňková used the medium of the Internet not only to present her works, but also responded to its nature and role in society. In addition to Internet projects, her work moves across various media, in which she develops topics such as urbanism, technology, communication and science. In addition to fine art, she is also involved in literary work – she received the Magnesia Litera Award in 2011 for her book on fables inspired by the laws of physics.