Werktank

The Werktank is a new organisation for media art, which focuses on the practical aspects of the artistic work, rather than the theoretical. The Werktank is a bastard child of the Filmfabriek and has mutated into a fully new lifeform. The core team consists of Kurt d'Haeseleer and Ief Spincemaille.

In our headquarters in a reconverted milk factory in Bierbeek, artists from different backgrounds are investigating how to transform glass into pixels or how to turn human heads into photo cameras . They are building 3D mountains from steel wire, try to look behind the horizon or are subtracting memories from subtitles.

The Werktank is supported by the Flemish Authoritities and is artist in residence in de Filmfabriek.

Antonin De Bemels

Antonin De Bemels was born in Brussels in 1975. Since 1997 he directed several experimental videos which were presented at various international festivals, mainly in Europe but also in the United States, Canada, Asia, South America and Australia. He also makes audiovisual performances, and creates audiovisual backgrounds for contemporary dance and theatre shows. His music and sound research is carried out under the pseudonym of Petite Porte de Bronze. Since 2002 he has been developing video installation projects. He collaborates on a regular basis with the entity known as Bonhomme Daniel.

> Autoscopy for dummies
Without even leaving,
we are already no longer there

> Mekhitar Garabedian (2010)

Rupture is the fate of the foreigner. He has left something permanently behind him, but this keeps haunting him and continues to determine his identity. Exile reduces the old body, the old language, to a corpse. (Kristeva) This phenomenon of 'being haunted' is 'inherent to human life in that it comes back on its own, has to come back, because it is pursued by its "having been". (Vande Veire) On the other hand, this phenomenon of 'being haunted' relates to our contemporary experience of history, which is defined by 'the ambiguous influences and latent presence of the unresolved histories, the ghosts, of modernity' (Verwoert) and therefore of revenants.

Without even leaving, we are already no longer there is a research project by Mekhitar Garabedian; collecting different stories and memories of his parents and other members of his family in Lebanon. Focusing on a particular memory of his mother, the project takes him and his mother (and grandmother) back to Beirut, and specifically to Bourdj Hamoud (the Armenian neighbourhood), where both his mother and grandmother were born and raised, but haven't been back for more than 26 years, and haven't seen certain people and places for over 30 years.

Mekhitar Garabedian is researcher at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University College Ghent, KASK, Hogeschool Ghent), and is represented by hoet bekaert gallery.

Credits:By Mekhitar Garabedian | Cinematography: Céline Butaye and Mekhitar Garabedian | With Nora Karaguezian, Laurice Karaguezian and Hagop, Serpoog, Sossy, Victor, Silva, Anni, Lo, and Jack | Produced by Werktank | With the support of Hogent, KASK and the Flemish Authorities.

Static/Continuization Loop

> Wim Janssen (2010)

Static/Continuization Loop are two works by Wim Janssen about the phenomenon of television static. The same recognizable and commonly known image of television static is being generated through two completely different techniques. Not the image itself, but the way it is reconstructed and materialised, is the most important part of the Statics-series.

Television static is not just an abstract image, but also a figurative one. It is in fact an artifact of technology, a physical phenomenon and unwanted by-product. It is recognizable as what it is, static, but also has a certain iconic meaning.

Wim Janssen tries to imitate and materialize static by means of an apparently slow and inefficient process.

STATIC
Lightwaves, besides their frequency and amplitude, also have an orientation. Polarization filter only lets light pass in one such orientation. When you look through a piece of this filter, it's perfectly transparent, just a bit darker than normal plexi or glass. When you look through the filter at an other piece of this same material, rotated 90°, the second piece becomes an opaque black surface because the light passed through the first filter can't pass through the second filter. Every other orientation gives a different degree of opacity.

For Static, this material was cut into small rectangles of one cm2, in random orientations – like large pixels. These little squares are put between two large rectangular pieces of plexiglass (189 x 2412 cm). The screen looks like a slightly darkened window. In the exhibition space a slowly rotating disc of the same material is also placed. When the screen is seen through this disc, it changes into a half transparent field of video noise. White noise created, purely by the manipulation of light.

CONTINUIZATION LOOP
In Continuization Loop, a single 35mm film loop is pulled up and down over more than 150 guiding wheels, creating a wall of film. The frames of this piece of film are only black or transparent. When the loop travels through the mechanism, the image of video static appears.

While film as a medium normally makes images appear through projection in combination with the transport of celluloid through a projector, Continuization Loop omits the projection and makes the image appear by means of the transport only.

The installation combines and imitates visual elements from three generations of visual media: the material aspect of film, the empty signal of video and the binary logic of digital. But at the same time the most important attributes of these media are absent: there is no construction of an illusory filmspace, there is no real video image and there are no computers involved.

Credits: Concept and realization: Wim Janssen | Produced by Werktank | With support of the Flemish Authorities.

Useless Object

> Ief Spincemaille

A drilling machine is sawn into two parts. The upper part, with the engine, is attached to the top of a transparent cylinder, upon which are fixed forty leather straps. This construction rests on the shoulders of the spectator. The lower part of the drilling machine is comprised of the handgrip with an on/off switch allowing the spectator to stabilize the machine and control its speed.

When the cylinder is static, the straps remain completely vertical, leaving the spectator in total darkness.

When the cylinder rotates, the power of centrifugal force makes the straps move towards the outside, away from the head of the viewer. Bit by bit, the surrounding environment becomes gradually visible. Fade in the ‘real’ world.

Credits: Concept and realization: Ief Spincemaille | Distributed by WERKTANK | With the support of the Flemish Autorities

Autoscopy for dummies

> Antonin De Bemels (2013)

An installation at the crossroads of sculpture, mapping and animation film. Antonin De Bemels transforms a stone sculpture into a living dummy, that tries desperately to find out whether it is human or not. It misses a lot of important body parts, like legs, arms, eyes, mouth,... but wonders if all these human attributes are really necessary to be human. How can an inanimate object become a living thing? The installation shows the existential quest of a nonexistent being, and is at the same time a reflection on our own existential drift.

Autoscopy
Autoscopy was defined by Critchley (1950) as "delusional dislocation of the body image into the visual sphere" and by Lukianowicz (1958) as "a complex psychosensorial hallucinatory perception of one's own body image projected into the external visual space". Both these imply that the self remains associated with the physical body and that a duplicate body is seen at a distance. (Susan Blackmore, Ph.D.)

Dummy
1) a figure representing the human form, used for displaying clothes, in a ventriloquist's act, as a target, etc.
2) a copy or imitation of an object, often lacking some essential feature of the original

Credits: Concept and realisation: Antonin De Bemels | Music: Bird to be | Production: Werktank

Conference Call

> Ief Spincemaille

Two mirrors move closer towards each other, little by little. The spectator sees his own mirror image double, quadruple, as if he standing in an ovular space reflecting his head multiple times. At the end, the spectator's head is doubled an infinite number of times. When the mirrors finally are standing opposite of each other, they open again and the process starts all over again.

Credits: Concept and realization: Ief Spincemaille | Produced by the WERKTANK | With the support of the Flemish Autorities

Behind the Horizon

> Ief Spincemaille (2010)

"I am sitting on the beach and I keep a yardstick in front of me, parallel with the horizon. They say that the Earth is round and I want to verify if this is true. But my yardstick appears to be too short or the earth not round enough."

Starting from a childhood memory, Behind The Horizon wants to visualize the bending of the Earth. It is an attempt to look behind the horizon. Not with a yardstick, but with a huge tube with a length of 10.832 km. This tube was carried by 310 volunteers at the Belgian Coast on the 14th of May 2010. The middle of this tube is resting on the ground. Five km to the left and 5 km to the right of this center point, the tube is already 229 cm removed from the earth's surface. A straight tube hanging above a convex Earth. A clearly visible and comprehensible image of the bending of the Earth.

The result of this experiment is a photograph of 20 meters long and 3 cm high: a collage of 1805 photographs (scale 1/505) which shows a tube with a length of 10,832 km carried by 310 people at the tide line of the Belgian coast.

In a society where reality is more and more being repressed by images, Behind The Horizon tries to discover the tangible origin behind an image. It talks about the fascination for the relation between the image and its display and from a yearning desire for the reality that lies behind the picture.

Credits: Concept: Ief Spincemaille | Design and realisation: Wies Hermans and Ief Spincemaille | Photography: Clara Hermans | A coproduction of Vrijstaat O | Distributed by WERKTANK | With support of the Flemish Authorities.

Installation
for Ecce Homo

> Ief Spincemaille, Wies Hermans and Zefiro Torna (2010)

Ief Spincemaille

Ief Spincemaille (1976) obtained his master in Philosophy at the university of Leuven and studied Jazz, modern music and music and technology at L'aula de musica, Barcelona.

After his studies in Spain in 2005, Ief worked one year in the Filmfabriek, combining the functions of artist and accountant. In 2006 he left the Filmfabriek and started to work as an independent artist/designer. A this moment, Ief combines his art practice with the function of Financial director in the Werktank, a production house for media art.

His work has been shown in the Netherland Film Festival in Utrecht, Ferme des Buissons Paris, Monty Antwerp, L'Opéra de Paris, de Brakke Grond Amsterdam, Festival d' Avignon, Felix De Boeck Museum, Artefact Leuven,...

Produced by WERKTANK
> Installation for Ecce Homo
> Conference Call > Lightmap
Distributed by WERKTANK
> Behind The Horizon
> Reverse blinking
> Useless Object

www.iefspincemaille.com
Lightmap

> Ief Spincemaille (2013)

Lightmap will offer a new visual perspective on the weather over the course of one year.The installation will capture every 5 minutes, from the 1st of January 2013 till the 31th of December 2013, a picture of the sky above Leuven (Belgium) and print these images on small plexi cubes. The result will be a gigantic map of the light and the weather, made out of 96 000 small photographs attached to 365 strings.

In his work, Spincemaille focuses on themes, that at first sight seem quite banal and ordinary like the horizon or the moon, and visualizes them in a new and surprising way. The weather is still conversation topic number one in our lives and a very defining factor of how we feel and behave. But we rarely have a clear visual image of it. By collecting the photographs of one year of light and weather, Spincemaille captures into one huge image, what otherwise remains imperceptible to our consciousness.

Credits: Concept and realisation: Ief Spincemaille | Software and electronica: Wim Lemkens | Assistant realisation: Ciel Grommen | Production: Werktank, Museum M en GroepT | With support of the Flemish Authorities

Contact

Werktank
Hoogstraat 33
3360 Bierbeek
Belgium
T +32 (0)16 460 100
info@werktank.org

Artistic Director
Kurt d’Haeseleer
kurt@werktank.org
+32 (0) 495 50 39 72

Financial Director / Communication
Lena Lansbergen
lena@werktank.org
+32 (0) 499 38 97 51

Technical director
Ief Spincemaille
ief@werktank.org
+32 (0) 494 08 35 49

Kurt d’Haeseleer

Kurt d'Haeseleer is the artistic director of the Werktank, a production house for media art in Bierbeek, that has its roots in the former artist collective the Filmfabriek.

d'Haeseleer himself produced several videos and (interactive) installations, e.g. Scripted Emotions, Fossilization and S*CKMYP, which took part in international festivals and shows in Rotterdam, Tokyo, Montreal, Paris, Berlin,...

He also works regularly as a video designer for theatre, dance and opera and makes his own performances. He will create the videodesign for the Ring-cycle in the Scala of Guy Cassiers and worked with the likes of Ictus, Georges Aperghis, Transparant, Kollectif Barakha, Isabella Soupart, Jon Hassell, Annabel Schellekens, Joji Inc, TUK, Peter Verhelst, Köhn, ... 

d'Haeseleer's work focuses on the visualisation of the dynamic of information. He translates the all-encompassing presence of media into meta-images. Media presence is symbolized through layers of sticky pixel-textures, noise and interactivity. Special effects play an important role in his work that can best be described as a 'pixel drama' or 'pixel soap' and which can be found in the border zone between painting, video clips, cinema and performance. In his work the special effect is the message.

d'Haeseleer is well known for his extreme video manipulations. He manipulates images by forcing them to react to the parameters of other images. With this approach, he can only partly foresee how the image will appear. The result is a process that strongly ressembles developing analogue photographs, where it is always a surprise to see the result, or even alchemy, but that is in fact entirely digital.

> Cabine
> Falanx
> When I Stopped Reading Fiction...
Falanx

> Kurt d'Haeseleer & Guy Cassiers

Falanx is a video installation inspired by the theatre-trilogy 'Tryptich of Power' by Guy Cassiers. The title and the shape of the installation refers to the phalanx, the battle formation with fixed patterns used by ancient Greek armies. In this artwork, satellite dishes have taken the place of the soldiers’ shields, and their main weapon is the information they transmit, the voices they send towards the audience. Falanx is an installation which illustrates the invisible light that is reflected into millions of living rooms by satellites, the light that shines into our houses through our televisions and that feeds us everyday new images and information.

Credits: Concept: Kurt d'Haeseleer & Guy Cassiers | Cinematography and editing: Kurt d'Haeseleer | Actor's Director: Guy Cassiers | Assistance filming: Lut Lievens | Actors: Josse De Pauw, Katelijne Daemen, Dirk Roofthooft, Gilda De Bal, Abke Haring, Vic De Wachter, Suzanne Grotenhuis, Marc Van Eeghem, Jos Verbist, Johan Leysen, Marlies Heuer, Ariane Van Vliet | Tekst: Tom Lanoye, Guy Cassiers, Erwin Jans, Jeroen Olyslaeghers | 3D drawings: Benjamin Lasserre | Technical drawing Falanx Lichtfestival: Ief Spincemaille | Programming parabolic antennas: Tim Knapen | Technical realisation installation and drawings: Ief Spincemaille | Coproduction: WERKTANK, Toneelhuis, deBuren | Thanks: Wies Hermans, Lichtfestival Gent, Koen Roofthooft, Freek Boey, Dorian van der Brempt

Sandy Claes &
Daan Wampers

Sandy Claes graduated as a master in the audiovisual arts in 2005. In that same year her thesis film 'On a lead' was awarded as Best Animated Film at the International Short Film Festival in Leuven, Belgium.

Daan Wampers is an autodidact. In 2006, Daan and Sandy created the animated short film 'Bruised' (Dutch title 'Blauwblauw'), based on a poem by Miguel Declercq. This film was awarded as Best Non-narratieve Film at the I Castelli Animati Film Festival of Rome, Italy.

In their artistic work, they experiment with animation techniques, resulting in a.o. 'Domino', which was recognized as Best Mobile Film at the International Short Film Festival of Leuven (2007), at Cinepocket Festival in Brussels (2008), both in Belgium and at Filmo, LABoral Film Festival in Madrid, Spain (2010).

> Exploded Film
When I Stopped Reading Fiction And Started Watching History

> Kurt d'Haeseleer (2009)

When I Stopped Reading Fiction And Started Watching History is an installation in the shape of a surveillance control panel. A 9-screen matrix is presented to the spectator, providing images that seem to originate from different periods of world history. History is being put under camera surveillance.

When I Stopped... is a desperate multi-screen search to history's plot, in the margin of the contemporary free time industry. The installation images are shot at different large-scale re-enactments of historic battles. The participants try to bring history back to life as realistically as possible.

Re-enacting and reliving the past transforms history to something you can experience yourself, to something that is alive and authentic. They are both an answer to the mediatized world, in which we tend to experience more and more through a (computer)screen, as a reaction to the fictionalization of the past in Hollywood films.

But to which extent is it possible to create an authentic image of the past? The re-enactments eventually tell us more about our time than about history.

Credits: Concept and realization: Kurt d'Haeseleer | Music: Tuk | Design and realization surveillance control panel: Peter Missotten | Assistance: Bérengère Bodin | With support of the Flemish Government

The installation contains fragments from the video Archaic Smile by Kurt d'Haeseleer, a coproduction with the Impakt Foundation, Utrecht in the framework of Impakt Works 2008 and has been made possible with the support of the City of Utrecht, the Mondriaan Foundation and the EU (Culture 2007)

Agenda
14 February - 12 May 2013
Blijven Kijken, Museum M, Leuven
Works by Wim Janssen
1 - 10 March 2013
STRP Biënnale, Eindhoven Works by Ief Spincemaille
8 - 12 March 2013
Stormopkomst, de Warande Turnhout works by Ief Spincemaille, Els Viaene, Daan Stuyven and Sandy Claes
10 March - 25 October 2013
FeliXart Museum, Drogenbos works by Ief Spincemaille
11 April 2013
Hoog Gras, Westrand Dilbeek by Inne Goris, Dominique Pauwels, Kurt d'Haeseleer and Ief Spincemaille
Cabine

> Kurt d'Haeseleer (2010)

Cabine is a destroyed interactive installation, saved from the dump yard and given a new live as a mausoleum for dead art.

Cabine was born as an interactive, but 'sick' telephone booth, called Oparleur, that appeared in several neighborhoods of Brugge to collect stories and secrets. It was intended to morph into a fully new interactive installation, in which spectators would have phone conversations with famous film characters. But sadly, several admirers and worshippers of Oparleur released the phone booth from its ball and chain in the port of Zeebrugge and rather than letting Oparleur transform into a new lifeform, they decided to offer her to the waves of sea and dropped the booth into the water. Unfortunately a boat was floating in between the sea and the worshippers and received the falling booth on its deck. But although the sea never got her prey, the Oparleur phone booth was damaged beyond repair.

Credits:Thanks to kleinVerhaal vzw Brugge and Stef De Blieck

Miniatuur

> Aernoudt Jacobs (2011)

In our everyday environment, we are not only confronted with a murmur of sounds, which is the result of our actions, but also with the phenomena that affect these sounds. This intertwinement gives our perception of the everyday sound environment an ephemeral and subjective character.

Miniatuur is a kinetic sound installation that plays with the physical laws of sound. Mechanisms, through which sounds exist and are created, are revealed. Twentyfive miniature sound objects are placed on a table. Some of the object holds a tiny speaker and a rotatating reflector. The speaker amplifies field recordings of natural noises like wind, crickets, water... The reflector modulates these sounds on a purely acoustic level by acting on physical aspects: air, reflection and movement. The reflector is a rotating flywheel with specially shaped panels. The circular motion of the reflector distorts, disrupts, bounces the physical properties of sound waves. The sound changes dynamically, depending on the movement of the flywheel.

Manipulating sound through movement is in this connection an interesting concept because, sonically, it detaches sounds from the sound source. Sound is essentially a change of air pressure. Sound is moving air, but not all the air that moves is sound... Wind becomes sound as it blows around our ears, when it settles in tiny spaces, a fissure, a tube. Wind becomes audible when it sets objects in motion. Like leaves on a tree, a waving flag.

Miniatuur challenges the laws of sound. Sound is perceived as a dynamically changing sonic landscape. It is a physical reinterpretation of a field recording. Moreover, together with the sonification of these field recordings, the circular motion of the reflectors adds a physical sensation of moving air. The perception of these two similar elements is perceived as a highly tangible sensation.

Miniatuur is also the first instalment (and inspritation) from research of the empirical sound theories of the 19th century by Henrich Helmholtz, Rudolph Koenig, Jules Antoine Lissajous… What particularly fascinates me in their research is that their investigations where based on solely acoustic phenomena. There were no electronics involved, everything was analysed with analog or mechanical devices. This makes their findings very palpable and understandable. Causes and effect are based on "direct" evidence.

The confrontation today with this 19th century empiricism is appealing because it puts the technology of yesteryear in a interesting perspective. The hi-tech resources of today can be adequately used and confronted with the principles of yesteryear. It stimulates inspiration and thought.

Credits: Concept: Aernoudt Jacobs | Coproduction: Werktank, STUK, Overtoon | Electronics: Techdesign | With the support of the Flemish Community Commission (VGC), Flemish Community | Photos installation: Laure-Anne Jacobs | Thanks: Eveline Lambrechts, Stijn Demeulenaere, Kurt d'Haeseleer, Ief Spincemaille, Marc Lambaerts (Fablab Leuven), Ann Heyman, Pieter-Paul Mortier and STUK Crew

Reverse blinking

> Ief Spincemaille (2010)

Imagine that your head is captured inside a photo camera. It is completely dark. Only when the shutter opens en closes, you see the world in a flash. The shutter moves so fast that nothing has time to move. Everything where you point your gaze at, becomes like a photograph. A memory. Something that has been, but isn't anymore. You see people as frozen figures, whole streets as untouched moments. Life as a sort of dia show.

Reverse Blinking creates this experience. It is a completely closed helmet with two shutters in front of the eyes. They open and close in 0,3 sec, and are controllable by the user. Reverse Blinking works on batteries and can be freely used in or outside the museum. It is best used where there is a lot of movement and people.

Reverse Blinking is part of a series of art works, through which I'm trying to add video and photographical effects to our natural way of seeing. Where virtual reality goggles are trying to make us believe that the IMAGES we see are REAL, Reverse Blinking does the opposite. The googles manipulate vision in such a manner that the REAL environment around us looks utterly unreal, as if it was a photograph or an IMAGE. Doing this, it shows us until which degree our society is dominated by images. The world has become an image, and the image has become the reality.

Credits: Distributed by WERKTANK | With support of the Flemish Autorities.

Mekhitar Garabedian

Mekhitar Garabedian was born in Syria in 1977 from Armenian parents and has lived in Belgium since he was young. His own Armenian origin and that of others is one of the central themes of his work.

The complexity of life in the diaspora is also reflected in the use of a wide variety of media in his work: photography, text, neon, video, sound, installations, and publications. In his work, he touches on existential questions related to migration and shifts in cultural context and meaning. At the same time, he investigates the conceptual possibilities and potency of the work of art, the way in which it can communicate with the observer, be linked to a broader tradition, pushes back or breaks the boundaries of understanding.Garabedian's work is about showing and hiding, making things audible and inaudible, creating meaning and producing meaninglessness. In the end, it always confronts the observer with his or her own limitations. And do we need to interpret this for ourselves? I would prefer not to.
Hans Martens, catalogue for the Ariane de Rothschild Art Prize, 2008)

> Without even leaving, we are already no longer there

www.garabedian77.be
Exploded Film

> Sandy Claes & Daan Wampers (2012)

Exploded Film offers an exploded view on film. The installation consists of a rollercoaster shaped track that represents the typical story plot of a movie. A camera follows this track up and down, producing a film that is simultaneously projected in the installation set up. Well-chosen key moments of the story plot are placed on the track, and when the camera passes them, short film sequences are injected into the projected film.

In this installation the spectator gains insight in the invisible construction of filmmaking. This reminds us of the techniques of pre-cinematic animation devices like the zoetrope and phenakistoscope. Exploded film – The Kiss harks back to these techniques, and combines it with new technologies.

Credits: Concept: Sandy Claes & Daan Wampers | Thank you: Ief Spincemaille, Kurt D'Haeseleer, Peter Missotten, Culture Crew and Johan Spits | Produced by Werktank | With support of the Flemish Autorities

Wim Janssen

Wim Janssen lives and works in Belgrade, Serbia and Antwerp, Belgium. He studied experimental film at Sint-Lukas Hogeschool Brussels. He works in film, video and installation art. His work focusses mainly on strategies and technologies of seeing and has been shown at the Moscow Biennial for Young Art, the EFA Project Space New York, Artefact Leuven, International Filmfestival Rotterdam,...

> Static/Continuization Loop
Aernoudt Jacobs

Aernoudt Jacobs (1968) lives and works in Brussels. He studied Architecture in St. Lukas Ghent and teaches Audio Atelier at RITS, Erasmushogeschool Brussels. Aernoudt Jacobs’ work is both phenomenological and empirical. It originates from acoustic and technological research and investigates how sounds still can yield sonic processes which will trigger the perceptive scope of the observer.

Jacobs’ installations focuses on a central question: how can the complexity, richness and stratification of our direct, daily environment be translated into something that can really be experienced? His work has recently been presented in museums and festivals like Bergen Art Museum, Macba, ISEA, Netwerk, NIMK, Happy New Ears, Almost Cinema and Tschumi Paviljoen.

> Miniatuur
Website by Wies Hermans