Newspaper headlines report that our world is in crisis, but while the front page illustrates how bad the global situation is, a few pages down, positive tongues claim that the current global crisis provides us with unprecedented opportunities for creative technological innovation, social transformation, revisions of financial systems, environmental change, and entrepreneurship. But did we really need this crisis to generate these opportunities?! We think not. Our world is continuously in crisis, and therefore constantly requires critical reflection and rethinking. However, as the world's future is said to be in the hands of the truly creative and critical thinkers, we are more than willing to soothe away any worries about the crisis by revealing a whole new generation of artists' and designers' views on the current state of affairs.
While elsewhere the crisis is being tackled by young scientists, policy makers, and entrepreneurs, through initiatives such as think tanks and campaigns, in this edition of Test_Lab, V2_ will create its own special think tank for young artists to address issues of a world in crisis with artistic reflection and creative vision. In order to do so, V2_ has made a selection of several outstanding graduation projects from this past academic year, that were proposed for the program by teachers and coordinators from various European art and design academies. The demonstrated works will lay out a young generation's artistic view on our current conditions and ways of living: Featuring a truly objective coin-flipper, a revolutionary strategy for urban gardening, the first ever open source international ocean station, toast from a toaster made from scratch, and an interactively controlled greenhouse for growing graduation bouquets.
As is custom to Test_Lab, the audience is invited to assess these young artists' reflections by testing the demonstrated artworks and designs themselves. So prepare for an evening of trying thought provoking electronic art and design that deals with urgent (and less urgent) aspects of a world in crisis. If after this any worries about the crises should remain, then TokTek vs. VJ MNK will soothe your cares away by performing live at Test_Lab: What Crisis?!
TokTek is a Dutch artist who designs and deconstructs his own electronic instruments, giving his music a unique character and allowing him to improvise live on stage with the help of a joystick - the central piece in his live equipment.
Behind TokTek stands musician and visual artist Tom Verbruggen, who aside from building his own instruments is an improviser: synths, toys and computer become instruments. His eclectic electronic style has been described as illogical hardware bending, where the outcome creates dramatic live compositions, which break down into delicate and tender sound moments.
In his research Karl Klomp focusses on live audiovisual expressions and interfacing. His work shows a fascination for glitch-art, hyperkinetic audio visuals and glitch grabbing. He deals with video circuit bending, frame grabbing, hardware interfacing, and max programming. He also makes video hardware tools for other artists, and regularly gives audio/video circuit bending workshops, often in collabaration with Gijs Gieskes. He is theater technician for Toneelgroep Amsterdam. Together with Tom Verbruggen (a.k.a. Toktek) he performs as VJ MNK and plays live AV-performances (toktek vs mnk).