Installation THE TRIBE    


    The survival kit of the modern man is his TV set: a device that receives moving images by way of cable transfer. The television is his heart, his knowledge, his conscience, his moral, his mirror, his entertainment, his ... Remote controlled and fragmented, safely digesting experiences within the four walls of his own house. Even when nothing is broadcasted and the screen is showing only noise, he sits and stares.

In front of this spellbinding box our man is under the illusion that he can catch the world in all complexity seated in his sofa, by way of magic power. He travels in two minutes from China to South Africa, from sparkling joy to sorrow, from game to war. Within that context he empathises and sympathises - the compassion of the TV license fee, the fellow feeling of a subscription; that is all he spends. The fire that is warming the heart of this human being is artificial, lacks odour and ardour. Yet, he still has enough memory of the origins of his existence that the erratic impressions of an artificial world at times reflect his deepest human nature.
The tribe reconsiders ... a tribunal?... The Last Supper? What is this all about? Who is pulling which wire?

Outdoors, against a background of bushes, nine TV sets in dark brown boxes mounted on posts that are increasing in height, are situated in an oval form around an artificial fire. Another three boxes function as seats. The position of the boxes can be understood in the way the planets of our solar system orbit the sun. Furthermore, the number twelve has some specific
  connotations in our culture. The brown boxes are covered with all sorts of coloured structures, reminiscing primitive cultures. These colours are fixed with transparent brown stain in such a way that the colours are dimmed. The fire is built up from pieces of stone, planks and an orange warning light and is placed in the middle of a large piece of black plastic. Wires from the television sets come together in the centre of the installation under the warning light. All TVs are turned on: every device tuned in to a different channel. The visitor can take a seat and experience a feeling of 'being connected' - being a part of this tribe, although real communication is not possible.

The first version is set up outdoors in the park that surrounds exhibition space de Villa in Enschede. It is already peculiar to see the televisions working in the public space that the park is in broad daylight, but especially in the evening it is extraordinary, when the casting televisions illuminate the environment and have their equivalent in the apartments behind the park which radiate their rooms with their televisions. Note that the Dutch never close their curtains ..

A second version is built indoors for installation Puzzled Windows in Hoorn and shows some technical extensions. Some technicians and myself experiment with possibilities of connecting the TV sets in such a way that the various channels are able to respond to each other and that the visitor can interfere and influence the broadcasting.

  4.6 - 4.7 1993   Installation the Tribe is also part of the exhibition of installation Puzzled Windows, Stichting de Achterstraat, Hoorn (NL) (solo)

  28.3 - 22.4 1993   Overleven of Over Leven?(Survive or Be alive?), exhibition of installation the Tribe, Stichting de Villa, Enschede (NL) Dimensions Ø 315in / 800cm.