Optimal Prime+ Less More
Picture this: Earth, after years of wars and industrial spillage, toxic waste and climatic imbalance, the systematic annihilation of bees.
A near or distant future, where all this became too much, resulting in the destruction of all organic plant life.
That is the imaginary space/time in which this project was conceived.
Because we miss things which are beautiful and, unfortunately, we miss them most when they are gone, what would it look like if future Man attempted to build monuments to flowers from the scraps of the same technology that killed them?
During the 60s and 70s, the general feeling was one of optimism for our automated future. Today, the press antagonises robots. Optimal Prime explores the ambivalent nature of humanity’s hopes for its future versus the mainly negative portrayal of it in popular news. It is primarily sculptural and material-led (made only from coloured plastic and metal, both non-biodegradable).
Optimal Prime was selected by the curators at BredaPhoto 2016 as a highlight and used as material for an educational program in the Netherlands. There, over the course of 6 weeks, school children built and photographed similar small-scale sculptures. To better understand the intentions behind the photos, the goal of the program, just like the goal of the work, had to do with the manufacture and politics of hope.
OBSO #1 - BRAZILIAN HEARTQUAKE+ Less More
explores how working together to commemorate one singular event - a personal heartbreak - can generate an entire œuvre.
OB-SO stands for the space between solace (finding comfort in someone, or something) and obsolescence (being prematurely released or replaced). In that sense, it is as an emotional space charged with displacement, fragility, and a feeling of mourning or deep loss. Working with musicians, dancers, videographers, 3D designers and sportspeople, the project comprises of a series of stand-alone outcomes that have spread the past two years, since the summer of 2016: a book, a musical performance in Extra City, a 3,83m scroll containing an original story, etc.
What they have as a common thread is that they start from the same textual source: a series of poems written in the summer of 2016.
Trans-disciplinary, this project is ongoing, as new collaborators join in and others leave. So far it has attracted South Korean artist Ji Kwon, Belarusian photographer Alexey Shlyk, French-Belgian choreographer Olympe Tits, NY dancer Raymond Pinto, German performer and movement director Jonathan Franz, audio artists Maxime Quardon (France) and Ben Tanghe (Belgium), an Afghani wrestler from the local Antwerp club Borz, and an 18-year old weightlifting champion whose parents once moved all the way from Congo.
The Interference Pieces+ Less More
are the result of a 2-year exchange with illustrator Alexander Voutchkov.
Within physics, interference is a phenomenon in which two or more waves overlap to form a resulting wave of greater, lower, or the same amplitude. Taking this waveform principle as base for their collaboration, the two worked by avoiding obvious solutions to the mix of illustration and photography (e.g. Voutchkov drew with coloured light inside a darkroom filled with soap bubbles or designed tattoo concepts to be used as light sources.)
In the usual exchange of what we call creative collaboration, two or more parties - artists, institutions, etc. - collude their visions towards the end goal of producing final pieces.
One could say the resulting work takes precedence over the act of collaboration itself, with the silent understanding that it is equal or greater than the skills of its parts.
We eschew this by not working hand in hand and only slightly interfering. Acknowledging the fact that the results yielded can be either better, worse, or just as good as if we were working alone.
Other Works+ Less More
is a select selection of individual words and works, commissioned pieces, successful accidents, and one-off wonders.
Because not everything is a series.
NOT WORRYING ABOUT THE DAMAGE YOU DO BY JUST STANDING THERE
An installation that invites the viewer to walk all over it. Also a self-portrait in 3D space.
Ending Wait it a sound piece in the style of guided meditations aimed at helping you find release from historical waiting. Listen to it here or download it to listen in the comfort of your own home. Or share it with others, help them free themselves of waiting.
THE INDECISIVE MOMENT
Picture this: An interactive performance on photography and the photographic as an act of waiting. Or more precisely, against the act of waiting.
Picture this: You’ve been waiting your whole life and you don’t even know it.
Picture this: A release method from the slumber of modernisms with 3 concentric circles which expand or close in to allow you to focus on a moment, to speed up or slow down, to make it all lighter or darker.
The Indecisive Moment was a performance written in 2015 and performed on January 3rd 2016, in De Lange Zaal. The text linked the 3 rings of the camera (focus, aperture, and shutter speed) with 3 types of waiting experienced by all people (waiting excitedly, waiting fearfully or anxiously, and a priori waiting - or waiting that we are born into, and might not be aware we are experiencing).
It was a collective half-hour experience that left some people in the dark and illuminated others.
A SIMPLE CHOICE
A reaction piece to the November 2015 Paris attack and the discussions it kicked off in the media.
I am and you are, we all are, living under the star of an age which pressures us to live in the moment. Leave the past behind, nostalgia begone. Don’t worry too much about the future. Live in the now. Now. What a loathsome word, which means so much and also nothing at all. If I told you that I am writing now and you would read this, at any point in time, afterwards, of course, the now forever refers to a present moment in the past or a moment of presence from the past. My past, my presence, not yours. By adding ‘now’, I am stealing your now from you, detaching you from your moment. Fake friend. Music of the now, photography now, nowness. Here we see the concept of now expand. It no longer is a moment in time, but it covers a timeframe, a period, a very vaguely defined time/space of the zeitgeist. Of the now, as in not of yesterday and not of the future. Hypercontemporary. So now! Now has gravitas. The strongest instance of now I met in Hitler’s saying: “ And now you rue the fact that you’ve been so kind.” Look at what the and did, placed before it. It created from the now the mental/emotional space AFTER an event, after kindness. Now now is in the future, placing a sort of regret on your present state. You, you’re in the past. No longer now. Now is perverted. You can add it to almost everything. You can add it to almost everything now. Similar sentences, but those three letters at the end suggest that your present is in a state of decadence, that before was maybe better. Not now. Do you get it? Do you get it now? Sounds like I am getting angry, perhaps I am. That we have to be constantly present actually angers me. We should enjoy being late for things because it’s never a question of now or never. It’s always now or not now. Later. You should allow yourself moments of de-tension. Because really, however way you put it, you and the now, you never meet. Here the lies of Facebook: X uploaded a photo. When? Just now. But you missed it, the now is elusive. Now also stands here for non-time. Not a minute or an hour ago, but NOW. Now, if I start a sentence like this, I’m drawing attention to what I am saying. It’s nothing to do with time, I’m just being assertive. Now is assertive, but in the style of the honey badger. It just takessss what it wantsssss. But I’m not trying to be mean now. By adding now at the end, I softened the blow. I brought you back to the present; I might be mean, but right now, in this very moment, I’m definitely not. Not now. Not now is an interesting one. It means ‘leave me alone’, but contains a negation, it’s a double negative expression through meaning and form. The now has cold dark depths to it. Now now, let’s not jump to sinister conclusions. I’m being condescending, telling you off. A simple doubling of the now and it gets itself an attitude. Haughty, bossy. The now looks down on us. Now more than ever.
Sitting in recline on an old armchair I didn't have to pay for, feet suspended on a small table I paid maybe too much to have. Behind me, a painting by Francis Bacon, but not that one you're thinking of, the other one, with a lot of aquamarine on a field of petrol, which suggests I am drowning and maybe things are out of control. If you’re easily seduced by symbolism, that is. Sipping from a designer cup, reminiscent of brutalism’s throws, overpriced organic tea which tastes exactly like your wet dreams of deep misunderstanding, namesake: Euphoria. I have been restless for days, restless like legs, like antelopes in the Sahara in the face of lions, lions, lion's den: my home. Flicking, no, scrolling through the pages of this novel I fail to see the ending; unlike before, I can no longer judge the climb to climax by the remaining bulk of pages, confused, confusing, aren't we all? I still miss it, of course I do, but I miss acres of myself more, it's time to get replanting. The tea's flavour intensifies as I get closer to the bottom, unlike this story which gets more dense but somehow less flavourful each scroll; I realise: if this relation were a ship, I'd jump it. More controlled, more controlling, grasping at straws, the dread intensifies. Is that a mouse I see or a life buoy? Thoughts to start another, could prove disappointing in 100 new ways, just like continuing to read could come with its own set of downfalls. Down falls a book from the shelf, suspending my suspension of disbelief. Was that stain always there? Still, there is hope, the chapters add up, the characters have depth and mystery, there’s parts to still unfold, untold caresses in dark bars, dark furniture to balance out old walls. The book is silent, we read alone, all interruptions welcome. My feet grow numb, moving the toes a bit, a little bit, regaining feeling, somehow feeling one with the architecture now. The ending is surprising in its nature, because you couldn’t gauge its coming, but not in content. It tastes familiar, a bit like that outlandish tea. Paradoxical feelings, now with state of the art parallax scroll. Last line: “It's about a gut feeling, that doesn't have words to explain” Ellipsis of the full stop, the ending is postponed. We read alone, but we don’t write alone.