It’s all about trust


Artistic creation serves as an additional avenue for transforming ideas, emotions, and thoughts into tangible forms that can then be shared and circulated into the public sphere. This act of sharing forms, knowledge, tools, and techniques is fundamental in making science or art, creating technological objects, developing cooking recipes, testing medical treatments, building houses, cultivating veggies, and so on.

Sharing and disseminating these insights are essential for nurturing ongoing cooperation among people of diverse cultures, fields, and historical eras. At the heart of this collaborative endeavor lies trust, that permeates nearly every aspect of our lives. Through trust, we build upon one another's contributions, piecing together an understanding of the world around us. This collaborative effort enables us to access even the realms that extend beyond the confines of human scale and time.

We manipulate causes and effects to study the world, devising sophisticated instruments that expand our perceptual capacities and overcome physical limitations. We employ logical causation for drawing conclusions and forming hypotheses. We synthesize starlight spectra and simulations to explore celestial bodies. We translate imperceptible wavelengths into visible spectra. We utilize dendrochronology to unveil trees' life stories. We explore diverse methods for creating music through our breath. A whistle crafted from a centuries-old tree branch, a computed representation of a hot star's color, and everyday objects that serve as evidence supporting rational deductions, all find a place in this venue.

Trust, sharing, and the methodologies for accessing phenomena that elude immediate experience stand as the central themes of the show.

It’s all about trust, 2023
Exhibition view
De Verffabriek, Ghent, Belgium

Ceiling and floor lights, desk lamps, nightstand lamps, hallway and bathroom lighting. All the light sources from the artist's house have been transported into the exhibition space, resulting in his house

being completely dark for the run of the show. Can a link be drawn between the gathered lights in this space and the absence of lighting in the artist's residence? Can we discern a causal connection between these two elements? In simpler terms, can the artwork on display serve as evidence of events unfolding outside the confines of the exhibition? Consequently, can a spectator assume the role of a witness – an observer who deduces conclusions through logical causation?

"If all the lights from the artist's apartment are before me, then they are not there anymore.
As a result, his house will remain in darkness throughout the duration of the show."

A crucial aspect of this concept hinges on the viewers to place their trust in the artist's account. Their deductions stem from the information furnished by the artist, rather than relying on direct observation. Should this precondition be met, they can go one step further. As the lights are unable to simultaneously occupy two places, the viewers can contemplate the logical implausibility concerning their own presence in the space.

"If all the lights from the artist's apartment are before me, then they are not there anymore.
And given that I am here in this moment, I cannot be anywhere else either."

What does the artist's house look like in the absence of light? Meaning, where would these lights be if they were not currently here? In a parallel line of thought, where else would I be if I were not present in this space? What alternatives would I have, and what value do they hold?

These alternative scenarios remain objects of speculation, accessible to your mind but fated to remain not experienced. Yet, this cost that the spectator must bear to attend the show mirrors the cost borne by the artist in presenting this work, leading him to reside in a lightless apartment throughout the duration of the exhibition.

This piece is an act of reasoning, trust, and cost-sharing.

All the lights of my house, 2023
De Verffabriek, Ghent, Belgium

And if the artist's dark apartment is located no more than 2.5 kilometers away from the exhibition space, it doesn't even come under comparison to a faraway incandescent star.

In the case of such unreachable celestial bodies, simulations and models typically act as valuable tools for their study. For this exhibition, a holographic fan hanging from the building's ceiling resembles the computed chromaticity of a Star, as  it would be perceived by the human eye.

This device presents a bright bluish sphere, based on data derived from model spectra of stars. These synthetic stellar spectrums are used to compute the colors of stars as they would appear to a human observer in Space 1. This is possible by converting a spectrum to a representative color, a process akin to the way the human eye reacts to a spectrum of wavelengths, perceiving it as one color through the cone cells' combined responses. 

Such a color is presented by the swiftly rotating strips of RGB LEDs affixed to the fan's blades 2. This type of projector is designed to trick our eyes through its rapid rotation, giving the illusion of continuous movement.

Simulations, instruments, models, and holographic fans, are devices built to serve the abilities and inabilities of our eyes.

Thanks to countless tools, machines, and apparatuses throughout history, we have been able to get access to different spatial and temporal scales and this capacity allows us to catch a glimpse of the color of a Star, as it would appear to our eyes if they could actually reach it.

This levitating, rotating blue sphere functions as an allusion to something that exists, independently and in the absence of any direct human observer.

1  Jan-Vincent Harre, Rene Heller, Digital color codes of stars,
Astronomical Notes, 2021.
2 The presented color comes from the freely available database
offered by Jan-Vincent Harre and Rene Heller.

Star (O6V), 2023
De Verffabriek, Ghent, Belgium

The noise of the rotating holographic fan mingles with intermittent whistling sounds. These sounds trigger two screens suspended from the ceiling, causing them to emit a vivid white light. The intensity of this light varies based on the strength of the corresponding whistles.

The whistling sounds emanate from a wooden whistle crafted from a branch of a sweet chestnut tree that was planted or germinated in the early 17th century, not far from the city of Ghent. The construction of the whistle is founded upon a straightforward method and a few stages that seem to have originated and spread since the middle Iron Age.

This flickering light in the space is a result of synergy among various elements, materials, technological methods, and solutions that have their origins in different periods and regions.

Under the light of a Sweet Chestnut Tree, 2023
De Verffabriek, Ghent, Belgium

Wooden whistle crafted from a branch of a Monumental sweet chestnut tree