My collaboration with Amar Mulabegovič at the Macula began in 2009, which is where all of our common projects under the label begin. Amar and I, are the main creative tandem of The Macula and we have created over 20 unique mapping projections on landmark buildings around the world, all of them seen by millions of viewers online. During my involvement with The Macula, creativity always was a priority to me: I have created and co-created most of the group’s projects. I have also incessantly tried to push the group even further, through my personal activities and experiments in environmental projection projects and AV installations that I did under The Macula label (Archifon, Anticodes, Sonar etc.). All of this I did with the best of intention to develop our joint projects. I hope I’m not mistaken to think that it was creativity that made the group break through around the world.
However, the cooperation between Amar and I ended abruptly at the beginning of 2014 and, this is important to say, against my will.
The first thing that happened was that our web hosting had been transferred and secured with new passwords, all of this behind my back. Consequently, I was suddenly denied access to our common mailbox email@example.com where all offers and reactions had been sent to and stored. Also, measures have been taken to register a trademark, delete my facebook account as well as my personal mailbox dan@themacula. My only remaining “souvenir” for the time being is Vimeo account, which is only due to the fact that it had been created in my name and maintained and financed by me.
All of these measures taken against me were a result of our frequent arguing about what The Macula really is: whether we are an art group, a bunch of friends or a business company. As we have disagreed in this respect since the very beginning, I have always wanted our cooperation to be defined within a legal framework. Amar has always assured me that the time wasn’t ripe for such a decision and that the only thing we needed was mutual trust. Also, he kept repeating, the Macula was in fact just the two of us and if we failed, everything would.
Unfortunately, problems have grown serious after our last common work for the festival Glow in Eindhoven, Netherlands, and our disputes on the future direction of The Macula have aggravated. Amar wouldn’t accept my arguments about the necessity of a legally binding framework as he was fighting for time to finish the transfer of our website. The time he gained also permitted him to undermine our agreement on the name The Macula as a common property and to take all the following steps that made him an exclusive proprietor of all I had been co-building for years.
This event and the experience of such ruthlessness from a close partner was the starting point of a relatively despondent time in my life. Not only have I lost my job and professional contacts, the unlucky events have also had a major negative impact on the network of our common friends and acquaintances. What I find most saddening is the fact that all of the consequences of this came from the deliberate decisions of a person I had considered among my best and trusted friends.
I have invested a lot of time into finding a way to reconcile, hoping Amar would come back to his senses. That is also why, in the beginning, I haven’t taken any legal action. However, Amar’s constant reluctance to discuss matters only reassured me that I had been cheated deliberately, that the whole series of events had been pragmatically planned with the actors only waiting for the right moment. This is why I have no other choice but to ask for justice officially and resort to taking legal action.
I would like to thank all the people who, the same as me, find these events controversial and have therefore stood up for me in any way, as well as those who have decided to quit their cooperation with The Macula under the given circumstances. I indeed deeply appreciate their moral stance.
On the other hand, I would hereby like to appeal to those who have been hired to our posts – beware, you might soon be forced to follow our footsteps.
At this moment, I am starting from scratch, once again. I shall do my best to keep on with my ongoing projects and to push further the medium of projection as the core means of expression in my work, while combining it with diverse interactive principles. It is out of the ashes of the true creative core of Macula that a new association INITI.org is now rising. Together with musicians, visual artists and technicians, we believe to reach again what they are now trying to steal from us.
If you have any questions or comments, I’ll be happy to react at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan Gregor, INITI.org