Greetings from the digital universe

Greetings from the digital universe — Orphea Aerts

Autonomous Context  2021—2022

While we are flooded with digital intelligence, I am drawn to the simple technology. I am fascinated by these less sophisticated technologies because they are so straightforward. Devices convert electrical energy to another form of energy such as motion, light or sound.

I study the semiotics and workings of household appliances, and I become curious about what these devices can do outside of their context. I play and experiment by making small adjustments or additions until I discover an interesting movement or application, which I then develop into a presentation form. I strip away their original household function, leaving them without utility. Like a hairdryer hanging upside down from the ceiling of the exhibition space and swaying in all directions. Here the main focus is now on the autonomous movement of the device created by turning it on and off.

In this way they are purely at the service of expression and their own movement. Often I also let my sculptures register their own movement or action. As with my work "Dancing Mixer" (2021) which stands on a plaster or stone pedestal, slowly digging its own way, leaving a trace of its own movement. Thus, after being shot, the pedestal becomes its own sculpture, carved by the mixer.

My devices take on an existence of their own, just as that art by itself has no value. Art has value because we give it value, and we give it value because of what it does to us. Because they are placed in a different context you start looking at them in a different way.

In a playful and experimental way I transform these devices into moving sculptures, installations or drawing machines. My work is interactive and is thus activated by the

presence of the viewer, which also contributes a lot to my work. For example, I place my kinetic sculptures in the same space of movement as the viewer, thus making interaction possible.