The Council – Commission for the 57th Venice Biennale

Belgian artist Frederik De Wilde (°1975) is taking part in the international group exhibition Hyperpavilion during the 57th Venice Biennale. Hyperpavilion seeks to explore the ways in which the digital and physical worlds have merged to create an entangled hybrid reality that encompasses us globally, and now offers a new aesthetic with new consequences and new organisation.
Post-digital is not a new medium anymore. Digitalisation leads us to post-media, and that in turn suggests hybridisation where things become indiscernible from one other, ultimately leading to a totally homogenous implosion of heterotopias. 
De Wilde will present a new artwork The Council, where art, science and technology merge in an intriguing way.

The artwork is inspired by the iconic sculpture The Thinker from Rodin that portrays a nude male figure in deep contemplation.De Wilde wondered: “What is The Thinker thinking NOW? How would a 21st Century Thinker look, feel and think like?”

These seemingly simple questions gave rise to monumental artwork The Council , an artistic installation that consists of a 3D-printed sculpture equipped with ‘artificial brains’ (i.e 38 screens branching in space, each connected to a Raspberry Pi’s running custom code).

The Council presents us a glimpse of its ‘private,’ yet hyperconnected, metaphysical musings, corrupted memories, digital ruins, uncertain spaces and vectors of thought by the means of image and sound (server room field recordings moving around by Perlin noise). The installation runs custom pixel sorting algorithms exposing the nature of digital images and how easily we can manipulate them, mesh networked Raspberry pi’s running custom code, mining for example, post-contemporary ruins like e- waste mountains etc. The mined videos and pictures rapidly deconstructed and glitched. Glitches occur in our identity (de/re)constructions; instabilities and errors in digitized financial markets (i.e. flash crashes); hacking, cracking, and tactical glitches; Dirty New Media Art approaches and the non-neutrality of technological systems.

In as much The Council is an Odyssey through the World Wide Web, Deep Web or a descend into the heart of Darknet, it is primarily created as an access point for the viewers minds, feelings and thoughts. Hence, the key element to ‘unlock’ De Wilde’s thinker is the spectator, which lies at the heart of The Council.

HyperPavilion is a large-scale contemporary art exhibition situated on the northern side of the Arsenale of Venice in three historic warehouses, adding up to 3000m2. Produced by Korean based company Fabulous Inc and curated by Philippe Riss-Schmidt. Hyperpavilion (may 13 – October 30 Arsenale Nord Venice)

Pictures © Jiho Park; ©Studio_De Wilde