Anne de Vries (NL)

Anne de Vries – Technocracy (2018)
Hybrids (2018)
Photography Gert Jan van Rooij

Anne de Vries - Technocracy (2018)

Anne de Vries (b. The Hague, the Netherlands, 1977, lives and works in Berlin), who grew up in the era that saw the emergence of the internet, social media, Photoshop and mobile phones, makes work that explicitly relates to the digital age and which also creates and manipulates realities, without being fully digital itself. De Vries often combines everyday objects with new materials, digital media technologies and printing techniques. He is fascinated by the influence of technology on our perception of the world and particularly by the potential of technologies to defeat physical and mental limitations and to move people into a different state of being.

The large electronic dance events that took place at the beginning of the internet era are an important source of inspiration for De Vries. Even back in the 1970s, the emerging dance scene promoted the unification and empowerment of minorities and alternative communities, which eventually influenced the mainstream and became more widely accepted. Dancing crowds played a part in socio-political transformations. Loud, illegal techno parties evolved into spectacularly staged environments, which created different states of consciousness through the use of high-tech audio and visual effects and drugs. These kinds of total experiences were about individuals dissolving into the mass and losing themselves.

For Hybrids, De Vries took inspiration from flyers and stickers for illegal techno parties in the early 1990s, which he believes had a similar idealistic, democratic vision and impact as the internet. They not only provided information in coded language but also called for action and had a uniting and strengthening power. De Vries collected texts and visual elements from lots of flyers and stickers and used these in the production of a colourful plastic signpost, on one of the paths. The arrow signs, in the style of The Flintstones and Halloween and packed with separate cryptic words and slogans, sent Lustwarande visitors towards the fictional locations of our future ideals. Could these ideals ever become reality in a completely digitally manipulated world?