Installation with clay, brass, steel and electronics
“The Stack” is a project that delves into the intricate layers of understanding and creation in the realm of digital arts. It’s a representation on the artist’s personal journey through the intricate world of artistic creation, exploring the balance between the quest for pure expression and the complex realities of technological mastery. Borrowing its name from both engineering lexicon and cultural theory, “The Stack” acts as a metaphor for the incremental layers of knowledge and techniques that designers and artists must navigate to bring their vision to life.
The artwork consists of tablets in equilibrium, chained to one another, each representing a layer in a maze of knowledge. From the basics of atoms and electrical circuits to the complicated algorithms behind computer programs, each tablets symbolizes a piece of knowledge and a stage in the artist’s journey towards understanding. Yet, every layer reveals another, even more complex, begging the question: What does mastery really mean in a digital age?
The tablets that make up “The Stack” are crafted from clay, echoing one of humanity’s earliest forms of information storage. This choice of material serves as a reflection on the historical evolution of knowledge-sharing and record-keeping, from ancient clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform to today’s digital displays.
On top of The Stack sits an ESP-32. Every 15 seconds, it generates a new WiFi network, each with a unique name. These networks sequentially populate the network lists of nearby devices. For each device, the list becomes a fragmented poem, its structure influenced by the specific refresh rate of the device scanning for networks. This feature adds another layer to ‘The Stack,’ not just as a static object but as an entity that generates an evolving narrative or mantra, unique to each observer’s technological interaction.
The title itself is a nod to the term “full stack” in computer engineering, denoting an individual proficient in all aspects of a project and contrast to it with our collective interdependency—how we stand on the shoulders of intellectual giants, benefitting from generational wisdom while adding our layer to “The Stack.”
This new work by Brussels-based artist Guillaume Slizewicz is commissioned by IMPAKT and our Belgian partner Werktank (Leuven) with the support of Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles.
Guillaume Slizewicz― Artist
Guillaume Slizewicz speaks in the language of technology but tells an emotional story. He translates complex social issues, from local air quality to online surveillance, into objects and installations that combine digital and physical (im)materials. Glass, algorithms, wood, social sciences, ceramics, circuit boards, literature, photography, code, a botanical garden, robots, computer voices, and light – in Guillaume’s mind and hands they are all materials to be shaped into engaging experiences for all audiences, from the interested amateur to a demanding specialist. Right now Guillaume focuses on the notion of vernacular electronics, or how to give new technologies a local shape, form, and content. After graduating in politics, philosophy, and economics in 2012, Guillaume worked as a strategist and consultant for different agencies and clients who were looking to innovate how they relate to their audiences. During these years he gravitated towards design thinking, product design and finally data visualisation and machine learning, leading him to complete a BA in Production Technology at Copenhagen School of Design and Technology (KEA) and an internship with interactive design studio Superbe in Namur. Landing in Brussels, he started to work as a design researcher for the Urban Species research group by LUCA School of Arts and ULB in Brussels. In parallel, he set up his own studio in 2020 to create, produce and exhibit more artistic design projects that reflect on the plural relationships between technology, nature and society. Often working in collectives such as Algolit, Anaïs Berck or Tropozone, Guillaume Slizewicz’s work has been presented by institutions like Design Museum (Ghent), Kikk (Namur) and BioArt Labs (Eindhoven), by universities in Brussels, Basel and Hong Kong, as well as in grassroots venues deep in the local urban fabric such as Biestebroekbis, La Maison du Livre St Gilles and Constant in Brussels.