Joost Rekveld is an artist who is motivated by the question of what we can learn from a dialogue with machines. He explores the sensory consequences of systems of his own design, often inspired by forgotten corners in the history of science and technology. His films, installations and performances are composed documentaries of the worlds opened by these systems. In their sensuality they are an attempt to reach an intimate and embodied understanding of our technological world. His films have been shown world-wide in a wide range of festivals and venues for experimental film, animation or other kinds of moving image. He realized several installations and did many collaborative projects involving composers, music ensembles, theatre companies and dance companies. Since 1990 he has been putting together many film programmes, he curated several exhibitions and he occasionally publishes essays. He has been giving lectures since 1993, has been teaching since 1996, and from 2008 to 2014 he was the course director of the ArtScience Interfaculty of the Royal Conservatoire and the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. Since 2017 he has been affiliated to the School of Arts University College Ghent (KASK) as an artistic researcher.
#59 / Avant-premiere
Full lenght EXPERIMENTAL FILM
#59 is an abstract animated science fiction film, looking at the experiences shared by humans and electronic circuits. During the cold war, the development of atomic weapons and the associated planetary surveillance systems produced our computing technology as a side effect. During the same period, in 1961, Edward Lorenz and Yoshisuke Ueda independently discovered deterministic chaos through their computing systems. In film #59, humans, aliens and devices vacillate between these poles of planetary control and machinic chaos.
The images of the film are composed according to a morphology of the three main types of electronic display: radar, television and vector monitor. In a re-enactment of ancestral ways of computing, the animations were made using period equipment: this includes an analog computer from 1963, early sonar and radar oscillators, and parts from military flight simulators. Narrative elements in the soundtrack set the stage, and the film gradually evolves into a nonverbal meditation on material existence, driven by chaotic processes and their arrow of time.
all credits: Joost Rekveld.
Chaos in a Closed World, the making of #59
In this artist’s talk, Joost will give some conceptual and technical background to his film #59. He will talk about the main two inspirations for the film: the history of analog computing on the one hand and deterministic chaotic systems on the other hand. Joost will discuss the connections between analog computing and the cultural history of the Cold War, with its characteristic fascination for forms of global surveillance and action. Also he will explain his attempts to ‘re-enact’ Yoshisuke Ueda’s discovery of chaotic systems on the analog computer of Kyoto University in 1961. Going through the various historical and custom-built devices that were used in making the film, Joost will show the continuum between radar, television and vector graphics that is inhabited by his images.