Sitting on the beach, 43 degrees centigrade, looking at the water, the smell of burning trees in the air. The woods are on fire, but no way to fight it in this heat. Our phones keep alerting us, tracking our geographical location, that there is extreme danger and that we have to evacuate and keep moving. Only the drones flying in from aiding countries will be able to save the forest now, only they can use the salty water in front of us to put out the fire. So here we are, sweating, waiting, feeling helpless. What are these drones? What is technology?
The most basic form of technology is the use of tools. We can trace the roots back to prehistoric times, where the first technology is identified: tools to control fire. By controlling the fire, increased sources of food were created, helping us to survive and grow. Now, technological process has grown exponentially, got rid of physical barriers and outgrew our comprehension. We can be anywhere, any time, and communicate globally.
Communication and technology are emblematic for contemporary life. Maybe technology, although always in contradiction to religion, could be a new religion. Even though it fosters unemployment, ecological change, accelerated capitalist systems, and the rise of the leisure class. What is post-leisure, the forced free time; human inefficiency, 24/7 availability? Remember texting your friends from a Nokia 3310? Snake? Nostalgia kicks in, so let’s take a look at the times we live in. 
A fan is working but not working, not making the heat any more bearable. How we praise our mobile phones, putting them on a pedestal. These mobile phones are born out of aluminum cables used in the Amsterdam underground. Technology has become a new sanctuary that creates helplessness. Order and chaos. Travel on your own pace, through the fast lane, surpassing the ideas that travel too slow. Speed up!

The installation “Burning Door Handle” was part of the solo show Fast Lane at WestEnd.

The work is based on the heat wave and wildfires in Greece that I personally experienced in the summer 2021. The installation consists of a container filled with liquid that resembled oil, a topographic scale model of the mountains that I visited during the wildfires and an industrial construction on top of it. I attached electric heaters to the construction that heated the room to uncomfortable 38 degrees. To amplify the physical experience, three fans created a dry and hot airflow through the room. The representation of the mountains was hidden in the liquid and could only be spotted by getting very close to the construction which was the hottest location in the room.

The object installation “Technology Sanctuary” was as well exhibited at the solo show Fast Lane. After experiencing the work “Burning Door Handle” the visitor entered the room in which “Technology Sanctuary” was installed. To create the experience of entering a sanctuary, I decided to make several spacial interventions such as building extra walls to achieve architectural symmetry, adding part of the floor and dimming the lighting. In contrast to the previous room, this room was kept at a very low-temperature level of 5 degrees. The viewer encountered a vitrine located in the middle of the room that presented a variety of old Nokia phones that were cast in aluminium. The phones, though, presented as ancient artefacts, intriguingly are objects which were around us less than 20 years ago. Fascinatingly, the audience lively interacted with the installation. took place. Many visitors tried to remember which models they and their family members used to own in the early 2000s.

Photos by: Lotte Van Uitert and Eva Rietbergen