Kristof Van Gestel
the Idiosyncratic Machine

Kristof Van Gestel photo Kurt Stockman 5 web

Kristof Van Gestel develops models of creation from which the visitor can actively gain experiences. Take part in one of his workshops and discover the artwork in a social form.

It was on the basis of his background in sculpture that Kristof Van Gestel (1976, Turnhout) sharpened up his sense of process, intuition, chance and residual space. As part of his oeuvre, he develops models of creation whereby his audience is able to actively gain experiences in these areas. In the course of workshops in this room, one of these models will be put into operation: the Idiosyncratic Machine (IM).

The IM is a drawing and cutting machine that since 2011 has been used to generate forms in accordance with a series of instructions dictated by the artist. The participants draw the outlines of ordinary objects on paper. Then the in-between spaces are outlined, copied and cut out. Throughout the process, it is not only the instructions that count, but also individual choices, chance and dialogue.

Crucial is that, as an artwork, the IM shows a process rather than a product. Moreover, the ‘machine’ comes under collective authorship. After all, Van Gestel creates the forms it engenders in collaboration with his audience. This room is where the residual material from the workshops accumulates. The IM thus does not function here solely as a ‘machine’ or method. It manifests itself as an all-embracing installation that gives material form to the course of the working process and the relationship between the artist, participants and viewers.

Van Gestel arranges a second room with artistic elaborations of the residual material from the IM. In this way he again appropriates the ‘machine’ and its results, something he also invites other artists and participants to do. This emphasises the ambiguous and evolving nature of the IM as an experience, formal language, method, concept, instruction and process of participation and reflection.

Thanks to: KASK/School of Arts van HoGent, Frank, Gastatelier Leo XIII, Oplage, Raf Vancampenhoudt, Lieve Dhondt, Inge Slock, 5de en 6de leerjaar kinderatelier Sint-Lucas Academie Gent, Performing Objects, Gezeever, De Veerman, Manoeuvre, S.M.A.K., Eva Herrijgers, Familie Vergaert, Lauren Grusenmeyer for layout, Kris Kimpe and StudioZuidervaart for design and Anne Reijniers for video.

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