Gijs Gieskes (nl) / machines with no need of humankind

Perma-patches and related devices

Tuesday, 5 April, 2022
to Tuesday, 10 May, 2022

We kindly invite you to the exhibition of the contemporary Dutch artist and musician Gijs Gieskes, who has been focusing on the design of audiovisual electronic instruments since the late 1990s. In this field, he is an established designer with a radical approach to electronics that constantly blurs the boundaries between music, art, and science. 

Opening 7. 4. 2022 18:00

The essential theme of Gijs Gieskes's exhibition prepared for Vasulka Kitchen Brno, titled machines with no need of humankind, is the so-called perma-patches, original devices Gieskes has been working on continuously for many years. The term perma-patch refers to the permanent connection of electronic circuits, devices, or their segments. These circuits form a closed circle, where something "happens" between the beginning and the end of a cycle, depending on the circuit. The individual components of the circuit wait for each other to be able to interact with one another after a sound or movement, or they are waiting together for some conditions to be fulfilled. The length of the waiting is affected by the internal factors of the components, tolerances, voltage in the circuit; in Zonneliedjes (sun songs) the intensity of the light is determined by the environment or the presence of a person who slightly shades the solar panel. Changes can be heard and observed but not preserved. The patch is permanent. At the end of every waiting, there is a sound, a movement, a circuit event, a blink. Everything repeats.

The expression of Gieskes' perma-patches is the song the machines sing. Do they sing it to humans? Yes, if they're present. Do they sing it to themselves? And will they sing it at the end of the world? Maybe even after. In the 1960s, Heidegger talked about over-technologized Earth, uprooting, the destruction of relationships caused by technology. The songs of the machines could thus be understood as a metaphor for the technological age of a world that, in its uprootedness, digitized loneliness, and staged success, has no choice but to wait patiently, or rather impatiently, for a change that seems unimaginable.  

Gijs Gieskes (*1977) studied industrial design at the Technical University of Eindhoven, where he lives. Since the beginning of his work with electronics, Gieskes has built on a minimal knowledge of technology. Part of the process was discovering the technological solutions for more complex devices using elemental electronic components, which led to the reinvention of existing technologies such as the vactrol relay or the phase-locked loop. This "non-expert" approach is still a key part of the author's work, despite his gained knowledge. He is characterized by a fascination with absurd machines, novel and implausible technological relationships, convoluted designs, modest materials, and avoidance of high-tech.

Gieskes presents his work within artist talks. He exhibits in galleries but also at festivals and workshops. Except for Western Europe, he has exhibited in the USA, Taiwan, Russia, and China. Among the festivals, it is worth mentioning Sonic Acts and Ars Electronica, where his work Electromechanical Modular won the Prix Art honorable mention in the field of sound art in 2015.

Gijs Gieskes

The Vašulka Kitchen Brno program is financially supported by the Statutory City of Brno and the Ministry of Culture of Czech Republic. ⠀