Niku

Niku, detail animation by Hans Verhaegen
↳ Niku, detail animation by Hans Verhaegen

Niku is a drawing machine somewhere out there, in space. Actually you could see it for the period of one week on a 23rd floor in Antwerp, Belgium. On a small 20 inch screen, Niku was doing what it was supposed to do. running its instructions and creating digital drawings endlessly in four different sequences.

If they ask, I always tell people that Niku is never spinning in exactly the same way. Every drawing, every second is different. You will only see each drawing once. If you are on your own with Niku, it will do its magic just for your eyes only.

I normally include a function in my code to be able to print what I see before it disappears for ever. That print function allows me to shoot pictures much like a photographer would do when she tries to capture an instance of a fleeting moment of what we call reality. Not one moment in our life return exactly a second time. Not even in our dreams. That ability to catch a special moment seems of great importance to many of us.

Niku however does not have that function. You and I can only stand by and watch those wonderful compositions dissolve after a while (45 seconds) into the white or black background.

The two human figures uniquely spinning around on that small screen simply respond to the time instructions written down in the code of this animation. It is a sweet paradox that as a spectator you have to stand still and take the time to enjoy fully the subtle energy and random surprises of this never ending animation.

Standing still to enjoy time passing by, seems close enough to describe of what I hope people might feel when they meet Niku.

Author: Hans Verhaegen, 2016. Dutch translation

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