Symbiote is a kinetic installation, a machine designed with a performative deconstruction in mind. The installation is constructed out of borosilate glass and supported with a wooden frame. The linear lowering of the ornithopter inspired arms is powered by rotating glass gears and a glass chain. That rotation is powered by a single stepper motor.
Symbiote was developed in 2021 with the support of Highlight Delft for the presentation at the Highlight Festival in November 2021. The exhibition was postponed due to COVID and Symbiote was first presented at PROSPECTS Art Rotterdam 2022. After this exhibition adjustments were made, the work evolved and Symbiote .2 was created.
“It is a machine that seems to destroy itself. The glass gears and glass chains threaten to get stuck in distorted forms and through this process ink is released. Verloop sees work as a deconstructive performance, adopting the role of assistant herself. The title refers to the intensive way in which we have collaborated with technology and have become dependent on the usefulness and efficiency. Verloop would like us to think about the impact that this symbiosis has on human’s imagination.
– Mondriaan Fonds, Prospects catalogue
[Materials] Borosilicate glass, wooden frame, metal nuts and bolts, copper reinforced polylactic acid (PLA), NEMA 23 Stepper Motor, TB6600 Stepper Driver, Arduino Uno, paper, ink.
[dimensions] 90 x 90 x 190 cm
The flame surrounds and shapes me,
I flow and rest where she’ll let me.
I know our work will never be done.
I watch her,
I love how we work late into the night.
I cherish our ever-evolving state.
I find myself in a different place,
I am surrounded by humans.
Something pulses within me,
I know this won’t last.
My elongated distorted forms turn,
I might break.
But I am more than this ephemeral exoskeleton.
All eyes are on me,
my transparent body shimmers.
I embrace my fragile existence.
I see her,
she assists me with a smile on her face.
I made that, I think, as I slowly decay.
Fleeting thoughts is a poem written from the perspective of Symbiote, who ponders its changing existence, relationships, and environment.
My fascination with printing devices started during my Illustration study. I was looking for a way to reanimate the dull repetition of production. My first device Printer 1.0, is an analog printing machine that could produce an endless pattern. A homage to tactile devices. Producing a print was the main goal. Since then the machine has moved to the foreground. The print is no longer the intended goal but confirms the machine. Reawaken and Testinstallation Cognizant are two kinetic printing installations that I developed with the machine in mind. Although both works produce abstract prints on paper, they are primarily visualizations of my quest for imagination and beauty around technology.
After graduating in 2018, I have shown my work a lot, including at the Dutch Design Week (Eindhoven), the International Film Festival (Rotterdam). During these specific exhibitions, I have experienced the value of my presence next to the installation. During the Dutch Design Week, several motors broke. Instead of doing “maintenance” after closing time, I decided to do the repairs for the public. This decision has led to reflection on my presence and the resulting actions required for the installation to function. By turning on the work, some elements or gears jump. These vulnerabilities cannot be resolved by the machine itself. In itself it is helpless.
I have increasingly come to see the interaction between me and the work as a performance, in which the machine is the performer and I the assistant. As a person, I am not the lead act because the performative actions do not necessarily have to be performed by me. For the International Film Festival, I wrote instructions so that someone else could switch on and correct Testinstallation Cognizant. The instructions felt like a poem that became part of my work.
My print installations started with a focus on the print. Reawaken and Testinstallation Cognizant shifted the focus to the machine, with the print confirming the machine. With my new steps, the machine develops into a performer and the print into a memento of performance.