The Universe of Floris Kaayk
Tom Van Vliet
Floris Kaayk’s work focuses on futuristic concepts and fantasies, and visualises technological progress, sometimes by demonstrating its advantages and at other times by presenting negative consequences.
Kaayk became known with his fictional semi documentaries The Order Electrus and Metalosis Maligna. His animated films have received several international awards. In 2011, The Origin of Creatures was selected as the Dutch entry for the Academy Awards in the Best Animated Short Film category. In that same year, Kaayk made headlines with a number of social media videos posted on the weblog of his alter ego, Jarno Smeets, who claimed to be the first human able to fly like a bird. International television stations used the images in their news programme.
Another project was Rayfish Footwear (2012), a fictitious company and web shop that invited people to grow their own personalised sneakers using genetically modified stingray leather. A carefully prepared narrative was distributed via various media platforms, where it proved sufficiently credible for a loyal group of followers, who were eventually disappointed when the truth was revealed.
The experimental online project The Modular Body (2016 – 2019) visualises a future where a prototype of the human body has been designed and created using 3D printing and cell culture technologies. The videos featuring the central character Oscar – a prototype Modular Man made up of various self-assembly modules – are frighteningly realistic. In this project, Kaayk was clear about the fictitious nature of the images from the start while leaving room for viewers’ own interpretations and beliefs.
At the recent STRP festival in Eindhoven Floris Kaayk released his latest project: Next Space Rebels. Next Space Rebels is an innovative game about the democratising of the universe and the pursuit of an independent internet. Open source space-communities that develop rockets and satellites at low cost play a large role in the game. The aim is to bring the rockets into a lower orbit around the Earth and to transform space into a new public domain.
In 2014, Kaayk won the de Volkskrant Visual Arts Prize for his animated films and semidocumentaries. In 2016, his video for the song Witch Doctor by Dutch alternative rock band De Staat received numerous prizes, including a UK Music Video Award, an Edison Award, and a European Music Video Award. In 2016, The Modular Body won a Golden Calf Award at the Netherlands Film Festival in the ‘Best Interactive Work’ category. In 2017 Kaayk received the Witteveen+Bos award for Art+Technology for his complete oeuvre.
Date/Time:Aug 30, at 10:00 pm
Image: The Modular Body, Floris Kaayk