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

Perma-patches and related devices

Thursday, 7 April, 2022 - 18:00

The concert and the opening of the exhibition of audiovisual artist Gijs Gieskes will take place on 7 April together with the launch of Lenka Dolanová's book A Dialogue with the Demons of the Tools: Stein and Woody Vašulka.


18:00⠀Opening of the exhibition machines with no need of humankind

18:30⠀Christening of Lenka Dolanová's publication A Dialogue with the Demons of the Tools: Steina and Woody Vašulka. The biography of the Vašulkas is now published by Vašulka Kitchen Brno for the first time in an English edition. 

from 19:00/19:30⠀Concert by Gijs Gieskes and Ondřej Merta. With a set on the gameboy, Gijs Gieskes will recall the chiptune scene that peaked around 2007, when the documentary Reformat the planet was made and the Blip fest in New York took place. Ondřej Merta will dust off the cartridges from the noughties. 

The main theme of Gijs Gieskes' exhibition are his perma-patches, which he has been working on continuously for many years. The term perma-patch refers to the permanent patch-wiring of electronic circuits, devices or segments thereof. These circuits form a closed loop. A beginning and an end where, depending on the wiring, "something" happens during the cycle. That something, in the case of Gieskes instruments, is the song the machines sing. 

Do they sing it to people? If they're present. Do they sing it to themselves? And will they sing it at the end of the world? Maybe even after.

The machine/tool is waiting for itself, for another part that is whole with it. To step into the process is not to affect the process in a fundamental way. The "song" will change a little while there, just as observation changes the quantum world. Change can be heard, observed, but it cannot be maintained. The patch is permanent. 

In the 1960s, Heidegger spoke of an over-technicized world, uprooting, destruction of relationships through technology. The soundtrack to this could be the songs of the machine. 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 perhaps more impatiently, even though any change seems unimaginable.

Gijs Gieskes (*1977) studied industrial design at the Technical University of Eindhoven, where he lives. Since 1998 he has focused on the design of audiovisual electronic instruments. In this field he is an established designer with a radical approach to electronics that constantly blurs the boundaries between music, art and science. In the beginning of his work with electronics, he built on a minimal knowledge of technology and part of the process was discovering technological solutions for more complex devices using basic electronic components. These solutions led to the reinvention of technologies such as the vactrol relay, or the phase-locked loop, and despite his acquired expertise, he keeps this approach as a key part of his work, an approach that can be described as a fascination with absurd machines, novel and implausible technological relationships, convoluted designs, humble materials, and an avoidance of high-tech. He presents his work in artist talks, gives workshops, and exhibits his work in both galleries and festivals. Outside of Western Europe, he has exhibited in the USA, Taiwan, Russia and China. Among the festivals, it is important to mention Sonic acts and Ars Electronica, where in 2015 his work Electromechanical Modular won the Prix Art honorable mention in the field of sound art.

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