ReFunct Media v7 (NL&FR)
Karl Klomp (NL), Tom Verbruggen (NL), Gijs Gieskes (NL), Benjamin Gaulon (FR)
In the Practice of Everyday Life Michel de Certeau investigates the ways in which users—commonly assumed to be passive and guided by established rules—operate. He asserts, ‘This goal will be achieved if everyday practices, “ways of operating” or doing things, no longer appear as merely obscure background of social activity, and if a body of theoretical questions, methods, categories, and perspectives, by penetrating this obscurity, make it possible to articulate them.’
ReFunct Media is a series of multimedia installations that (re)uses numerous ‘obsolete’ electronic devices (digital and analogue media players and receivers). Those devices are hacked, misused, and combined into a large and complex chain of elements. To use an ecological analogy they ‘interact’ in different symbiotic relationships such as mutualism, parasitism, and commensalism.
Voluntarily complex and unstable, ReFunct Media isn’t proposing answers to the questions raised by e-waste, planned obsolescence and sustainable design strategies. Rather, as an installation it experiments and explores unchallenged possibilities of ‘obsolete’ electronic and digital media technologies and our relationship with technologies and consumption.
Benjamin Gaulon is an artist, researcher, and art college lecturer. He has previously released work under the name “Recyclism.” His research focuses on the limits and failures of information and communication technologies; planned obsolescence, consumerism, and disposable society; ownership and privacy; through the exploration of détournement, hacking, and recycling. His projects can be softwares, installations, pieces of hardware, web based projects, interactive works, or street art interventions and are, when applicable, open source. He is currently full-time faculty at Parsons Paris, where he is the program director for the MFA Design + Technology and the BFA AMT (Art, Media and Technology). He is a member of the Graffiti Research Lab France. He has been lecturer at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, associate researcher at CTVR / the telecommunications research centre (Trinity College) and director of Data 2.0 (Dublin Art and Technology Association). Since 2005 he has been leading workshops and giving lectures in Europe and US about e-waste and hardware hacking / recycling. Workshop participants explore the potential of obsolete technologies in a creative way and find new strategies for e-waste recycling.
Tom Verbruggen studied fine arts at the art academy St. Joost in Breda, The Netherlands. During this study he became increasingly interested in sound, finally resulting in the toktek performance. Over the years, toktek has mastered the art of sampling anything that makes sound. Nothing is more entertaining than watching toktek build up his palette of sounds from random musical objects and then blissfully play them on his DIY controllers. He’s like a modern day Robinson Crusoe enjoying his castaway life in electronic music wonderland.
Gijs Gieskes is an industrial designer from the Netherlands, specializing in the design and manufacture of audiovisual equipment.