about: ‘Series patchmaker’ N°1 by Pieter T’Jonk

New media have opened enormous possibilities for the representation of the human body, but in a paradoxical way this field is colonized almost completely by the industry that tends to present bodies in an objectified way. Marloeke van der Vlugt is doing almost the exact opposite. In the installation ‘Patchmaker’ she explores the constant readjustments people have to make to adapt the mental image they have of their bodies to what is really there. She also explores how this mental image is constantly colored and deformed by intimate memories and fantasies.

With the help of an IT research group she developed a device to show how the body itself is a kind of interface that triggers this kind of memories and fantasies. The sensors that are applied on her body are to be touched ore rubbed upon by the one who beholds this work. Upon doing this, a cinematographic image of a body is projected on the narrow space she is sitting in.

The installation as such has a doubly interactive character. On the one hand it is a gripping illustration of the way in which bodies provoke thoughts and feelings, and it is the viewer who sets this mechanism in motion. But on the other hand it also exemplifies to what extent we are dependent on each other to obtain an image of what we are ourselves, because it is only through touching the actual body of Van der Vlugt that we can fully experience what she wants to show us. In that she reminds us of the fact that every image of ‘self’ is at first the image of ‘other’. Evidently, this leads to a very strong confrontation between the artist and the visitor, both of them being at once ‘actor’ and ‘spectator’. For that, this work belongs at once to visual arts –being an installation- but is very close to live art –depending completely on the action that is taken.