Don't panic

'GRBY, animation by Hans Verhaegen
↳ GRBY, animation by Hans Verhaegen

A somewhat peculiar construction can be found the left of the building in Strombeek-Bever. It is a metal covered seat with lengthwise on both sides wooden benches. The most notable, of course, is the position of this construction. The structure is located in front of one of the windows of the exhibition hall of the cultural center. Sitting on the benches you either just look through the window at the exhibition hall or you take place with your back against it. On a large screen behind the window Hans Verhaegen shows a computer animation.

Preview/teaser on Vimeo

Hans Verhaegen animations can be displayed in different ways. The location and the specific characteristics of the exhibition always play an important role. The computer animations have a flexible character. The dimensions, time settings, and all other variables and functions that are contained in the instructions can be adapted to the specific conditions of the exhibition venue. The digital format of the output can also be changed to site specific conditions.

Although the earliest animations were presented in 2003, they have not been seen much in public. In 2003 he showed '128 people', an animation that played in a long, darkened corridor in the Netwerk gallery in Aalst (B). It took some time before the audience finally read the image as a tight grid of dancing, floundering and falling human figures. Six years later, the same animation won the price of the audience on the occasion of an exhibition of digital art in the Museum of Photography in Antwerp (B). In 2006 and 2010 the same set of two animations was displayed once an old computer monitor for the exhibition 'Heilige Geest II' at Voorkamer in Lier (B) and once on a simple laptop for the exhibition Zweierlei at Ausstellungsraum Klingental in Basel (CH). In 2009 there was the premiere of 'Deus Digitalis' at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent. Here the animation was accompanied by a musical composition of Jean Delouvroy in a darkened and acoustically perfect concert hall. A year later the same work was displayed again in a room of a park house at Metal in Southend-on-Sea (UK). In 2014 the animation 'Tumult' was used as part of a concert of Jean Delouvroy in Ghent. On the internet there are only some fragments and screenshots.

The animations show Tetris-like human figures in different ways. Sometimes they are presented, clearly recognizable in a rigid grid or choreography, engaged in a game, a coil or other repetitive motion. Sometimes completely absorbed in abstract, colorful patterns. In this silent animations the figures tirelessly obey the imposed instructions of the program.

'Don't panic' has around twenty different animations. It is a new version of a series that he tried out earlier this year in Museum Dhont-Dhaenens and later in the CC Hasselt. The first time rather as a backdrop for an event, the second time somewhat traditionally in a 'black box'. For the exhibition 'A line is a line is a line' the animations are continuously repeated for the first time on a big, bright screen displayed outside. They will be on display 24/7. These various series of animations can be considered as successive versions of a software.

This version is titled 'Don't panic'. Obviously a reference and homage to the famous book 'The Hitchhiker Guide To The Galaxy' by Douglas Adams. A line is a line is a line, with the technical support by Digitopia, offers a unique opportunity to get to know these animations and enjoy them in very good conditions.

Author: Hans Verhaegen, 2015

Contact: hans—at—hansup—dot—be - Twitter: @hansup - Subscribe to Newsletter