Julijonas Urbonas

Julijonas Urbonas is an artist, designer, researcher, engineer, lecturer, Vice-Rector for Art at Vilnius Academy of Arts, and PhD student in Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art, London.

"Since childhood, I have worked in amusement park development. In 2004, I became the head of an amusement park in Klaipeda, Lithuania, and ran it for three years. Having worked in this field — also as a designer and engineer — I became fascinated by what in my research I am calling ‘gravitational aesthetics.’ This experience is unavailable elsewhere, and I became intrigued by this under-developed topic. Since then the topic has been at the core of my creative practice and artistic research.

The artist’s work has been exhibited in Lithuania and internationally, and has received many awards, including the prestigious Award of Distinction in Interactive Art, Prix Ars Electronica 2010. The artist’s projects can be found in private and museum collections such as the permanent collection of the Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe (ZKM).

Born 1981 in Klaipėda, Lithuania
Lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania
since 2007
PhD in Design Interactions, Royal College of Art, London, UK
PhD in Design/Art Research (temporarily suspended), Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius, Lithuania
MA in Design (Honours degree with Distinction), Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius, Lithuania
BA in Visual Design, Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius, Lithuania
Selected solo exhibitions
Airtime – Lithuanian Pavillion, Triennale di Milano 2016, Milano, Italy
Cumspin, gallery VARTAI, Vilnius, Lithuania
Prototypes for Alternative Realities, KKKC, Klaipeda, Lithuania
Standing, Falling, Levitating, gallery VARTAI, Vilnius, Lithuania
Objects for Arithmomaniacs, Daiktų viešbutis design gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania
Selected group exhibitions
Miesto gamta: pradedant Vilniumi, National Gallery of Art, Vilnius, Lithuania
Žilvitis, galerija VARTAI, Vilnius, Lithuania
HUMAN+ The future of our species, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Spain
The Life Fair, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
ViennaContemporary 2015, Vienna, Austria
Thing Nothing, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Kaunas Biennal, Kaunas Central Post Office, Kaunas, Lithuania
Levitation, quarter21, Vienna, Austria
Remediation, gallery POST, Kaunas, Lithuania
Oneiric Hotel, Plartforma festival, Klaipėda, Lithuania
COMING SOON: real imaginary futures, Bureau Floor, Maastricht, Netherlands
What Thinks Me, Taiga, St. Petersburg, Russia
Revolving Starsand Shaky Grounds: Constellations of Precarious Knowledge, Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Dresden, Germany
Design and Violence, MoMA, New York, USA
A Show as/on (Artistic) Research, Gallery Malonioji, Vilnius, Lithuania
Design Shanghai 2013, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China
Oneiric Hotel, Water tower in LX Factory, Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Lisbon, Portugal
Merry Melancholy, Eskilstuna Art Museum, Eskilstuna, Sweden
Urban Sounds, House of Electronic Arts, Basel, Switzerland
homeMADE, CONSTRUCTING SUBSTITUTE WORLDS, Centre for Contemporary Art Laznia, Gdansk, Poland
Update_4 Biennial, Zebrastraat, Gent, Belgium
Sound Art. Sound as Medium of Art, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
Euthanasia Coaster, Human+, Science Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
Sounding Doors - series of interactive art installations, various venues, Karlsruhe, Germany
Talking Doors, Japan Media Arts Festival 2010, The National Art Center, Tokyo, Japan
Emancipation Kit, St. Etienne Design Biennale 2010, St. Etienne, France
Euthanasia Coaster, Research RCA: New Knowledge, Royal College of Art, London
Talking Doors, Prix Ars Electronica CyberArts Exhibition, Linz, Austria
Funhouse, Made in Klaipėda?, Klaipėda Art Exhibition Hall, Klaipeda, Lithuania
Talking Doors - series of interactive art installations in public space, workshops & lectures, various venues, Vilnius, Lithuania
Objects for Arithmomaniacs, ISEA09, Waterfront Hall Gallery, Belfast, UK
Elswhere, Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania, London, UK
Wind Orchestra, Migrating Reality – new media art exhibition, Berlin, Germany
Wind Orchestra, Le Name, new media art festival & exhibition, Lille & Maubeuge, France
Wind Orchestra, ENTER: Interactivity - new media art festival, Šiauliai, Lithuania
Probe #1 (of Vestibular Recreation), 100% design - design exhibition, London, UK
Wind Orchestra, PlArtforma - Contemporary Art Festival, Klaipėda, Lithuania
Wind Orchestra, Art Now Future Now - International Biennale of Contemporary Art, Kaunas, Lithuania
Blow Pong, New Discourses, Klaipėda Art Centre, Klaipėda, Lithuania
Grant of the Research Council of Lithuania
Grant of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania
Grant of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania
Public Prize, New Technological Art 2012, Liedts-Meesen Foundation, Belgium
Jury Recommended Work, 14th Japan Media Arts Festival, Tokyo, Japan
Young Artist Award, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania
Honorary mention in Participative Media, Live 2011 Grand Prix, Turku, Finland
Award of Distinction in Interactive Art, Prix Ars Electronica 2010, Linz, Austria
The Royal College of Art Bursary, London, UK
The Royal College of Art Grant, London, UK
The Royal College of Art Bursary, London, UK
The Westerly Trust Grant, London, UK
The Royal College of Art Bursary, London, UK
Educational Grant of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania
Main Award GRAND PRIX NORDICA, PRIX MOBIUS NORDICA 2007, mediaculture competition, Helsinki, Finland
Main Award for the best artwork, International Biennale of Contemporary Graphic Art, Kaunas, Lithuania
Rector’s Award for Design Innovation, Vilnius Academy of Art, Vilnius, Lithuania
Selected press
Brendan Walker, “The ultimate thrill ride” In: Science Uncovered, p. 62, 2014
Cameron Bird, “Dare to Dream” In: Wired, May , 2014
Clive Parkinson, “Present-tense.” In: C. Parkinson, ed., Mortality: Death and imagination. Manchester: The Holden Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University, p. 74-77, 2013
Dovilė Tumpytė, “Julijonas Urbonas: The designer of amusement park in the alternative reality.” In: D. Zovienė, ed., Dailė, 2013/1, no. 61, pp. 108-115, 2013
Anna Bates, “Interview about The Euthanasia Coaster” In: C. Griffin, ed., ARC magazine 16. London: Royal College of Art, pp. 21-23, 2012
Darjo Hrib, “Counting Chair” In: Playboy Slovenia, August, 2010
Anna-Anna Soeters, “Objects for Arithmomaniacs” In: Linda magazine, July, 2010
Inga Norkė, “Futuristinė buitis.” In: Pravda, no. 5309 (Lithuanian), May, 2009