(Excerpts from) ‘MAN [MADE GODS] AND COMMUNICATION’ is curated by the Department of Man and Communication*, one of the design departments of the Design Academy in Eindhoven and pays homage to technology, failure and curiosity. Departing from the pioneering explorations of the former research and development department of Philips’ ‘Natlab’ and Le Corbusier, Iannis (Yean) Xénakis and Edgard Varèse’s le Poème Électronique, the program will take the audience on a time-traveling quest for the future, confronting the complexities of every day life by illuminating contemporary digital means and sensibilities within media explorations and technology battles.
Accompanied by an interactive orchestra of students and recent alumni from the department of Man and Communication and followed by a discussion about ‘The role of film in design education’.

* in dialogue with the EYE film collection (films presented by the EYE senior curator, Mark-Paul Meyer)

With: Magnús Ágústsson, Georg Gross, (Misha Gurovich,) Quentin Pechon, Filip Setmanuk, Stefania Vulpi (interactive orchestra), Daniela Treija (triptych), Valéry Overhoff (Tweets), Tessel Brühl, (Matthijs Holland,) Thalia de Jong and Hannah Vischer (alumni)

Moderated by: Catelijne van Middelkoop & Ryan Pescatore Frisk

Original performance by: Rebecca Absil, Magnús Ágústsson, Tao Chan, Jella van Eck, Eelke Eugelink, Georg Gross, Misha Gurovich, Kim Hou, Ymkje Kamphuis, Anastasia Kubrak, Dewi Kruijk, Laura Mangone, Valéry Overhoff, Quentin Péchon, Gwendolyne Röttger, Willeke Scholl, Aina Seerden, Filip Setmanuk, Dion Soethoudt, Sara Sturges, Emma Verhoeven, Stefania Vulpi & Jinny Wonggornworawej


Georg Gross, Quentin Pechon

“When the era of digital breakdown will really happen, all inputs, medium and media, computers…, will be gone. The electronic will subsist in its most simple way. We anticipated this and brought together as a curiosity cabinet, the most essential electronic machines, and give them a voice, this speechless voice, where the technology is outdated, but still receives and produces: waves, lights, noises… So that people can bound with analog technology, we propose several forms of interaction, and forms of creation It is a poetic approach towards the interaction with analog devices and whether they still can belong to our future. We refer to the Nat Lab couple: Dick Raaijmakers and Tom Dissevelt in the sense that they were pioneers of the analog.”


G. Gross, Q. Pechon (Natlab 22-11-13)

Homegrown Soundscape
Magnús Ágústsson

“I envision a future genre of music. It is living, and originates from two worlds which we encounter every day, but never hear. It is the sounds of the planets and the microbes living around us. By recording the growth of certain microbes (yeast for example) and harvesting the radio signals emitted by the planets. The songs are living and evolve according to the growth patterns of the microbes and the state of the planets. The soundscape has an aesthetic quality obtained from the contrast in size, the rhythmic properties of the microscopic sounds and the slow melodic ambience from the macroscopic These methods of growing and harvesting sounds could be used as a platform for a new music genre. The two different worlds offer a living source of sounds, constantly changing, which can be obtained for composing music. Creating a new genre of a homegrown soundscape.”


M. Ágústsson (Natlab 22-11-13)

Be Thou My Vision – Psalm 139:1-18
Filip Setmanuk

“The Internet has become our everyday religion, we follow its rules and systems that have been given to us, many of us dedicating our daily time to this medium. Since the internet works as an open database of information, it consists of many different branches, both positive and negative. We individually and communally, use these to our advantage in many different ways, which is also an idea that reflects though out religious practice. Religion itself holds tradition and knowledge of the past but on the other hand it can also sometimes be described as radical and in some cases violent. My intension was to create computer pipe organ which consists of sounds from different branches that we find on internet: social networks, supranational institutions, advertisements, chat rooms, pornography, games, pointless and brand websites. With the internet as our religion, the content creates our hymns. Religion has inspired music over hundreds of years and I believe that as our world revolves more and more around the internet, it in turn will do the same.”


F. Setmanuk (Natlab 22-11-13)

Stefania Vulpi

“The word was the power of men. They invented machines and created technologies to extend the possibilities of communication, beyond the given limits of nature. Thanks to them men could see, talk, write to anyone in the world, with no effort at all. The distance in time and space was suddenly solved. The emotive distance instead was only enhanced. Men started hiding behind screens instead of talking to each other, alluded that communication was just growing easier, faster and better. They were in touch with the whole world in the loneliness of their rooms. This is the future. This project is the exasperation of future communication. A striving attempt to communicate with the world and the impossibility of understanding the message.”


S. Vulpi (Natlab 22-11-13)

Human Made Nature
(Misha Gurovich*)

“Explanation #1: We are homo sapiens, which means that we are smart. The fact that we are smart makes us ambitious, and our ambition is to control and influence everything around us. We are comforting our existence by implementing technology into our surrounding. It started many centuries ago when the first men made their first tools, weapons and learnt how to control fire. For a long time we were just organizing things into order. Building cities, gardens, parks. Then we scarred the surface of the earth with highways and trains. We pollute, genetically modify and clone. We learnt how to modify something, that maybe we shouldn’t modify. We started to change alive beings, we interrupted sacred process of evolution, we play GOD. If we can make things that look, taste, smell, grow and live diverse from the natural way, i guess there is no big deal that it also sounds different.
Explanation #2: The truth is I really wanted to make music instruments.
Explanation #3: The truth is I really wanted to make music instruments and connect it to one of the topics in the Poème Électronique. I chose harmony. I believe that harmony is something that could be achieved by total compromise of A and B. In my situation nature would be A and technology would be B. By mixing them together I hope that harmony could be reached, with the little help of music.”

* Played by Magnús Ágústsson

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 11.22.52 AM

(Rebecca Absil, Valéry Overhoff, Sara Sturges &) Daniela Treija (triptych)

“Shrine [shrahyn] noun · a place regarded as holy because of its associations with a divinity or a sacred person or relic.
As we move into a time where we become our own gods, become one with technology and involve ourselves in worldly matters more than ever before, how does technology and outer influence change the way we see ourselves? We want to celebrate and commiserate this with our own interpretation of a shrine, an interactive experience where the amount of information and involvement is controlled by the participant, a shrine for us in our modern time.”



T. Brühl (DAE, Man and Communication, June 2011)

T. Brühl (DAE, Man and Communication, June 2011)

in de hoop dat rouw draagbaar wordt
Tessel Brühl

“een film die in visuele metaforen een persoonlijk verhaal laat zien dat bij iedereen die het verlies van een naaste kent herkenbaar is

het rouw ritueel is in onbruik geraakt.
we rouwen niet openlijk meer
we dragen geen rouwkleding
we vieren geen sterfdagen
we vinden dat rouwen iets persoonlijks is,
wat je dus ook persoonlijk op moet lossen
iedereen rouwt op zijn eigen manier,
zeggen ze.”


M. Holland (DAE, Man and Communication, June 2013)

M. Holland (DAE, Man and Communication, June 2013)

Escapism ’13
Matthijs Holland

“It is 2013.
The world is so accessible that everything comes towards you all at the same time. We have access to almost all the information and choises are innumerous. Sometimes it is so much that you would like to escape it for a while. Escapism is something from all times however now in 2013 we have put our ability to escape in somebody else’s hand. Nowadays we are surrounded by passive entertainment such as video games, social media and downloadable movies that give us the chance to comfortably slip away for a moment.
We have lost the contact with our own capability to escape hence to the overload of input and choises. We have become so accustomed to only taking without looking for it within ourselves. However the most beautiful tool to escape is something we all posess, namely our abilty to imagine and fantasise. They are our access to a greater world where all freedom lies to dream.
With a film I wanted to show that in our selves there is a much bigger world that can let you escape reality. The viewer is sucked in the mind of a man and exposed to his fantasy and imagination until you are brought back again in the present. His world shows us bizarre scenes that stimulate us in their incomprehensibility. In the same manner everyday life can trigger your fantasy and let you escape. With this movie I want to show us the wonderfull world of fantasy and imagination that we all posess in ourselves that we can use to escape reality.”


H. Vischer (DAE, Man and Communication, December 2013)

H. Vischer (DAE, Man and Communication, December 2013)

Informatie als product
Hannah Vischer

“Informatie is een product, net zo goed als een stuk kaas of een rol ducttape dat zijn.
Ergens aan het begin van het productieproces zijn al allerlei keuzes gemaakt, is een benadering gekozen, zijn kernzaken vastgesteld en bijzaken weggelaten, en is het onderwerp afgebakend en ingekaderd.
Dat wil zeggen dat informatie eigenlijk altijd een menselijke stempel heeft. Of met andere woorden: informatie en data zijn in wezen altijd subjectief. Maar het gekke van informatie is dat het wel wordt gepresenteerd als de waarheid, de manier ‘hoe het nu eenmaal ís’.
Wanneer je deze subjectiviteit zo veel mogelijk verhult, lijkt het of de data objectiever zijn, dus ‘waarder’, en dus ook waardevoller.
Hier schuilt dus een contradictie in. Het lijkt alsof het zijn waarde verliest, op het moment dat we ‘bekennen’ dat het eigenlijk een weergave is.
Piecharts functioneren in het project als icoon voor data en informatie.
In deze film laat ik informatie (piecharts) de rol innemen van een tastbaar product, waar zowel producenten (het maken van informatie) als de consumenten (het gebruiken van informatie) worden getoond.”

Texts by: Catelijne van Middelkoop & Ryan Pescatore Frisk and students and alumni of the Department of Man and Communication @ Design Academy Eindhoven


Hand-out:Hand Out Design Academy EINDHOVEN


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