Friday, 27 February 2009

Floris Kaayk

Dutch Artist Floris Kaayk's Bio-mechanical documentaries get under your skin.

Those of you who have ever had to keep a paranoid eye on household electrical items, - lest they should be first to strike in a potential war between man and machine - will be relieved to discover that Kaayk’s realistic documentaries about the evolution of machines are in fact fictional.

Floris Kaayk’s work appears to be from the school of Spinal Tap-esque satire. Loaded with humour (albeit of a darker and more surreal sort than the aforementioned mockumentary), Metalosis Maligna describes how artificial implants in the human body can grow and begin to replace the flesh.

“People associate documentaries with scientific correctness,” Kaayk suggests. “Most of the events in Metalosis Maligna are far from reality, but strangely enough there are people who sincerely believe it. For me, that manipulative power is very attractive”

Having won the St Joost Academy’s gold medal prize of 2006 for Metalosis Maligna, he has also received awards for his previous film The Order Electrus; a nature documentary about robotic insects. This recurrent theme of biomechanics runs parallel to his production method of combining live action footage with computer animation, as Floris explains.

“It gives my work a strange feeling, and at the same time something very believable,” he says, while digressing on the topic of the inspiration for his monsters. “Rusty cranes or old fashioned machines always remind me of gigantic insects or other primitive life forms. In my imagination, insects have a lot in common with industrial machines, concerning their behavior and the way they move. Both represent an enormous cold feeling,”

Yet no matter how convincing Kaayks’s special effects might look, they have thus far been created on a shoe-string budget, which is why he’ so enthusiastic about his next feature, which is funded by the Dutch Film foundation,

“Now I finally have the budget, it feels like getting my creative freedom back and not having to justify every choice against a committee,” Floris says of his new film which strays from the documentary format and depicts a post-apocalyptic world where human remains collaborate to form new organisms “it is a visualization of how the world could look after a big disaster or a horrible war. I use this subject as the basis, from which I start researching how the human body would function without a brain. Perfect collaboration without agreements only exists in the insect world. This concept produces a lot of possibilities and interesting visuals for a short animated film.”

Find out more about the new film at the official Floris Kaayk site

published: Dazed and Confused Vol II #67 November 2008

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