In this short text, I discuss the interaction between me and my work. How I have come to see this interaction more and more like a performance, in which the machine is the performer and I the assistant. I want to push the performance even more by replacing parts with an even more fragile material: glass.
My fascination with printing devices started during my Illustration study. I was looking for a way to reanimate the dull repetition of production. My first device Printer 1.0, is an analog printing machine that could produce an endless pattern. A homage to tactile devices. Producing a print was the main goal. Since then the machine has moved to the foreground. The print is no longer the intended goal but confirms the machine. Reawaken and Test Installation Cognizant are two kinetic printing installations that I developed with the machine in mind. Although both works produce abstract prints on paper, they are primarily visualizations of my quest for imagination and beauty around technology.
After graduating in 2018, I have shown my work a lot, including at the Dutch Design Week (Eindhoven), the International Film Festival (Rotterdam), and the Paratext at my residency in Barcelona. During these specific exhibitions, I have experienced the value of my presence next to the installation. During the Dutch Design Week, several motors broke. Instead of doing “maintenance” after closing time, I decided to do the repairs for the public. This decision has led to reflection on my presence and the resulting actions required for the installation to function. By turning on the work, some elements or gears jump. These vulnerabilities cannot be resolved by the machine itself. In itself it is helpless.
I have increasingly come to see the interaction between me and the work as a performance, in which the machine is the performer and I the assistant. As a person, I am not the lead act because the performative actions do not necessarily have to be performed by me. For the International Film Festival, I wrote instructions so that someone else could switch on and correct Testinstallation Cognizant. The instructions felt like a poem that became part of my work.
My print installations started with a focus on the print. Reawaken and Testinstallation Cognizant shifted the focus to the machine, with the print confirming the machine. With my new steps, the machine develops into a performer and the print into a memento of performance.