* Maarten Bel (Netherlands)

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N.O.A.H.

What

An installation is shown in a dim hallway. The work is displayed in an open space (walking through). Used materials are three slide-carousels, two pedestals, wood, saw dust and nails. A detached white wall limits the space into a square, and the exhibition continuous on both sides. There is also an old 'classic' sink in the space, the sink is used in the installation by using it as a pedestal for a projector. Besides this projector there are also wooden bars in the sink, leaning upright against the wall. This projector is the only projector where the slides are not looping. The title of the work: 'N.O.A.H.' Is projected upon the wall. The installation suggests that the audience has to be directed through the space, it is inevitable not to be part of the work, we are always on an ark. The two other projectors are standing next to each other on different pedestals. The slides are constantly moving in an infinite loop, they are switching every 5 seconds. The sizes of the projections are more less the same (size A4). Different 'theories' of the story of Noah's ark are projected. For example: 'it is Noah's fault that there are no (big) dinosaurs anymore'. Each slide has an other lay-out/font, and in some of them there are pictures. Each slide has another voice.

How

This work is a response on a work that has been made in an previous exhibition called 'We Called It Lion'. In this exhibition I displayed pictures of Noah's ark in a chronological sequence. Artists constantly had to readjust the size of the ark because of newly discovered animal species. The ark is used as a vessel of knowledge. During this process a lot of thought about the ark came upon me. I was recalling what I already knew. With all these thoughts I created a second episode of the installation. I used the same wood and materials for the second story as I used in the first one, only in an other condition. As remnants of the ark. Because the content of the ark was readjusted, the ark changed as well. Not only to function as presentation to tell a story but also as a way to explore the content of the work.

Why

I use the ark as a method of approach the contemporary, for instance things that we see on television. This approach could be used in a third story about 'contemporary' ark. What could be a contemporary ark? Where is it now? It is a process of rebuilding, developing and readjustments. The flood story is one of the most universal and well-known stories in the history of the human being. A lot of different versions has been told in many religious such as, Jewish, Arabic etc. There is a certain collective assume of the story. Why is this? Because it is written? And, who is collecting this knowledge? What do you believe? I want to create new structures and try to change my point of view and, the perspective of the viewer.




QUESTIONS

Work Maarten “...we called it lion...” (2013)

To whom does it speak? There are two voices in the work. First one is the 'human being' (in general) who has written history, during the history. The second one is mine. My critic, my perception and doubts. It is a dialogue where the audience represent actually both voices.

Has anyone spoken to you about it? (supplementary, what did they say?) Different things. Some people are honest some of them don't. I had a very broad audience from different backgrounds. There was a very big variety by understanding the work. The general audience might understood more often the message instead of people that are into art.

Is it original? It's hard to say if it is original. In a way it might be about 'the original/the core'. It is a reproduction of the same image.

Can it touch you? Yes, everything in the exhibition is part of the installation. From the moment you enter the space there is know way out not to become part of the work.

Where are its edges? There are fysical edges but rather more imaginary edges. The outside world (daily life) have to become part of the installation.

Work Micha Untitled (cheshire horse), 2012

To whom does it speak? It might be a bit confusing because the drawing is made by someone else.

Has anyone spoken to you about it? (supplementary, what did they say?) No, maybe the curators of the gallery.

Is it original? It think it raise topics such as originality, because it is a combination of a cheshire cat and a trojan horse.

Can it touch you? It might be. I think unconscious.

Where are its edges? There is a clear fysical edge, but I think the edges of thoughts in your mind about the work are endless.


THIRD ASSIGNMENT

The work of art in the age of digital recombination

Media means in the broad sense 'presenting information'. It is generally assumed that media play a crucial role in the configuration of the human mind and experience. Media are interfaces that mediate not only between us and our world, but also between us and our fellow man, and between us and ourselves. Benjamin investigates how mechanical reproduction transforms the work of art, claiming that in this ontological transformation the cult value, which once characterized the classical work of art, has been replaced by exhibition value. In the age of digital recombination, the database constitutes the ontological model of the work of art and, secondly, that in this transformation the exhibition value is being replaced by what we might call manipulation value.

Cult value vs. exhibition value

The definition of the aura as a 'unique phenomenon of a distance however close it may be' represent nothing but the formulation of the cult value of the work of art in categories of space and time perception. It is important to notice that in the auratic work of art the sensible and the supersensible, the material signifier and the spiritual meaning, are inseparably linked with one another. Actually, in the media of mechanical reproduction the whole distinction between original and copy loses its meaning. In photography and film , the cult value gives way to exhibition value, which is precisely situated in the endless reproduction of the copies. Benjamin mention that we experience the human being itself as losing its aura.

Database ontology

Add, browse, change and destroy are the four operations constitute the dynamic elements of what we might call a database ontology. With the four basic operations all possible combinations of records can be retrieved in principle. Database ontology is dynamic, because the data elements can be constantly combined, decombined, and recombined.

Database aesthetics and politics

Whereas in the age of mechanical reproduction it was already becoming difficult to distinguish between the artistic and non-artistic functions of the reproduction in the age of digital recombination, the distinction seems to get blurred altogether. Gradually, we become aware of the inapproachability of the working of a technology that we have invented.

Remixing and Remixability Lev Manovich

Information constantly increase in new paths and explore the continuum between the personal and the social. Information is reproduced in different forms. Everyone is part of a sort of remixabilitiy, only in different speeds. The only fields where sampling and remixing are done openly are music and computer programming, where developers rely on software libraries in writing new software. If pre-computer modularity leads to repetition and reduction, post-computer modularity can produce unlimited diversity. That we can develop hardware and software to coordinate massive numbers of cultural objects and their building blocks. Rather than placing the present in the context of the past, we can look at it in the context of a logically possible future. On the other hand, what seems to be happening is that the 'users' themselves have been gradually 'modularizing' culture. In culture, we have been modular already for a long time already. But at the same time, 'we have never been modular'.



Second Assignment

Der Rechte Weg (The Right Way) 51 min. – Peter Fischli & David Weiss (1981)

The main characters of this film are a rat and a bear. The characters are dressed in shoddy costumes and the storytelling takes place in the wild (real nature). It is not a story with a specific beginning and ending but is it more a storytelling where the characters will be followed during there day.

In the beginning of the film they meet each other and continue hiking together and spend time together, exploring, wondering what they should do. Several situations will take place, for example they try to get understand the strange stones upon the top of some mountains by putting and stone on their head and to be really quite and listen. They explore music, they fight, argue, love and try to scare each other. Or they cheat after being sick pretending that they are still sick. They try to find reasons about the things they face and try to manage it.

The film is an hilarious perception of the daily life. Almost a desperate attend to get and understand their helpless situation. It is a representation of a world, a parody of our own daily life, suggesting how any way, may be made the right way.


First Assignment


Banana book

It is a small book. It's called 'Bananen Boek' what is dutch for banana book. In this book there are drawn several bananas. All the bananas are reduced to a smaller size. If the bananas were drawn in real life size the banana book would be too small, then you could only see a part of the banana, like a yellow plane or maybe some brown spots. To manage this problem there are two possibilities, or you could make a bigger book, or, what actually happened, reduce the size of the bananas. You could also choose for another fruit that fits like berries or raisons, but I do not know if a raison counts for fruit. These drawings show different 'perspectives' of the bananas. Like a rotten banana, a bunch of bananas or the peel of a banana.

Rewritten version: It is a small book (A7) with 16 pages. The title of the book is 'Bananen Boek' what is dutch for banana book. In this book there are drawn several bananas. The drawings are made with a black fineliner and colored with pencil. These drawings show different 'perspectives' of the bananas. Like a rotten banana, a bunch of bananas or the peel of a banana.

Misshaped Match

As you might have noticed this is an extremely rare match. It is split in the middle but stuck on the tips. This match was found in the winter of november 2011. While cooking the potatoes, although it might have been pasta, suddenly this little fellow showed up. Wanted to be different and unique. I took it and never let it go.

Currently he is living in a save wooden box in my studio. Together with all his equals.

Rewritten version: This misshaped match is part of a collection of 'special' objects. The match is split in the middle but stuck on the tips. These objects are collected through the years. All these rare objects are kept save in and special-made wooden box.

Untitled (I Didn't Think I Experimented #2)

It is a sculpture. The sculpture is based on dry ground floor. There are different parts, with different objects or elements. A wooden miniature boat, an empty bottle of wine and a stopple from a sink on the top of the bottle, it doesn't fit, and the boat is too small to sail with. I didn't stop drinking. The sink is under the boat. Those objects on a small flat bar and the bar is balancing on a small square base. No more liquid for the stopple.

Rewritten version: It is a small sculpture. The sculpture is based on the floor. From the ground; there is a small wooden square, painted white, all sides are about 5 cm. In the middle of the square is 'balancing' a thin wooden bar with a length of 30 cm and width of 5 cm. On the left tip of the bar is an miniature boat, on the right tip of the bar is an empty bottle of wine and on the top of the bottle is a stopple from a sink.