Looking for the hidden Matrix – Tatiana Plakhova

ANTRUM Installation © Tatiana Plakhova

ABOUT Tatiana

Tatiana graduated from Moscow State University with a Master in Social Psychology, and then studied in High Academic School of Graphic Design in the class of Tagir Safaev. First illustrations in Complexitygraphics style were made in 2009.

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Hi Tatiana! Before studying graphic design you graduated in Social Psychology. Do you feel your previous studies help you with your art?

Yes I do, my first infographic works was visualizing sociometry tests in a school I’ve been working in. We were giving 3 questions to the kids, something like: “what 3 persons from your class would you invite to your birthday party?”. So at the end we had a real social map of the class, we could see popular and unpopular kids and could help unpopular ones to be more integrated into the social life. That experience really inspired me both as a psychologist and a designer because even when I wasn’t familiar with some class – I could see their social diagram. Then we could see the dynamics year by year, amazing – you can actually see how important visualization can be.

Do you remember the moment you decided to pursue a creative career?

Yes, I felt strongly that I’m not a psychologist, and as I didn’t go to some kind of drawing school in my childhood I wasn’t sure that I can be a designer or even an artist. Then again psychology helped me, my friend, who is a very talented practical psychologist had a long-long conversation with me about “what I want to do in my life”. I was extremely tired and exhausted after that conversation, so I couldn’t think any more, especially about this question, I just called to the High Academic School of Graphic Design in Moscow and went studying on the next day.

“…I couldn’t think any more, I just called the High Academic School of Graphic Design in Moscow and went studying on the next day.”

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Tatiana Plakhova
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© Tatiana Plakhova

Your interactive installation “Antrum” is really impressive. How hard was to transform this abstract concept into a real interactive experience?

It wasn’t hard at all! This project is a great collaboration with two talented programmers from Moscow (Vadim Smakhtin and Eduard Haiman from mathrioshka.ru), who helped me to realize that visions/dreams.

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Antrum Installation © Tatiana Plakhova

What has been the most common reaction of the audience that experienced the piece? Was it close to the one you were expecting?

Yes, it was so interesting to look quietly how people were communicating with the pieces. There were few common reactions, many people, many girls immediately started to make photos, kids were my favorite audience since they were almost diving in those images. And most of the people were trying to understand how interaction works.

What part of the developing process of “Antrum” did you find the most challenging?

I think finding the ways for interaction.

You also worked with commercial brands; how does your approach change when you work for a client?

It depends on a client really, sometimes it’s the same as a creative process. And sometimes it’s not that fun process..

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© Tatiana Plakhova


What’s the role of music in your work? Is there a musician that inspires you the most?

Music is extremely important for my creative life, sometimes a track can inspires me for a whole collection. Boards of Canada are my heroes. And I love Drone Zone Radio on Soma FM.

And now, are you planning other exhibitions?

Yes we are working on the next exhibition in Moscow in autumn.

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© Tatiana Plakhova