Anatomija fatberga | Sanja Anđelković, Jovana Pešić, Stefana Janićijević, Andrea Palašti

5 min read

It all started with a first flush, or some would say, before the actual flush. A small miscellaneous moment and lack of attention. And so the Fatberg was born from the depths of human ignorance in the depth of the sewer pipe.

Taking the Fatberg as a metaphor of a new artificially created intelligence, the work represents an online game of chance, where the only winner is the Fatberg itself. By clicking the “flush” button, the Fatberg is fed by our digital database: combining wastewater quality data and data from the Statistical Office. It is fed by our heterogeneous by-products, collected over 20 years, from data on microbes to astrophysical measurements and toxins in the Danube, but also data on employment, bank accounts, newborns, divorce, drug addiction, food consumption, currency values, housing, migration, tourists, city traffic…

The game was built using data mining and machine learning, but with a chaotic twist, the datasets coming from different sources are accidentally and stochastically connected. Fatberg is thus forming a new social behaviour between the rich biological, economic, political, medical and cultural databases, opening up a broader understanding of the complex relationship with our waste and its consequences on the environment. The results of the algorithm are seen by random generation of data through a 3D diagram illustration in order to analyse, recognize, index and possibly produce speculative objectives on how to minimize the effects of Fatberg by decreasing our waste sources.

Collaborators on the project:

Srđan Bajić, Architect and designer, Pavle Raković, Data scientist and junior python developer python,Luka Lopičić and Vanja Novaković, web development and design, Nataša Đokić, Environmental Specialist, Dvoper, The Danube Transformation Agency for Agency: Aleksandra Fruhstorfer, Lena Violeta Lajtner, Ege Kekel, Solmaz Farhang

Special thanks to:

The team of PUC “Waterworks and Sewerage” Novi Sad:

Borislavi Pejanović, Dragani Milošević, Gordani Aćimović, Ivani Radakov, Draženu Deliću, Spasoju Bjeliću, Nenadu Stojanoviću, Aleksandri Dejanović, Željku Gruloviću, Branku Ceroviću

dr Đurđa Kerkez, dr Vesna Pešić, and dr Milena Bečelić-Tomin, Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Environmental Protection, Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad

dr Maja Turk Sekulić, Chair of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad

Sanja Anđelković is an audio-visual and textual research artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. Her research is focused within the field of documentary/fiction practice where she is considering/questioning its position inside the system of gender, political, social roles or traumatic moments of personal biography/history and how the idea of Home changes within the historical, geographical, social, but also environmental context.

Jovana Pešić is a Junior Researcher and lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Environmental Protection - Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Serbia. Her research is based on modern techniques of extraction of heavy metals from the aquatic environment using ionic liquids. She is a member of the Ecological Association Zeleni Sad, the Serbian Chemical Society and a holder of the Certificate of Chemical Advisor.

Stefana Janićijević, Doctor of Applied Mathematics, is currently employed at Singidunum University in Belgrade as a professor, and at Comtrade System Integration as a Data Scientist. Her research work is in the field of metaheuristics, optimization, machine learning and data science, while she’s also artistically exploring a range of approaches such as communication through data, neurosciences and the philosophy of data.

Andrea Palašti is a visual artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. She works across artistic and curatorial boundaries by investigating (picture) archives and its potential to unveil a nuanced understanding of the world, focusing on issues of cultural geography, the responsibilities of history and its impact on the present. She’s a lecturer at the Academy of Art in Novi Sad, blending her artistic research with educational strategies.