Survival mode

2017.
Interactive sculpture
190 x 90 x 60 cm
Osb wood, silicone, raspbery pi, impact sensor, movement sensor, speakers, computer power source, neon lamp

Survival mode is an interactive sculpture that is activated by movement in its proximity. It consists of a wooden construction, a silicone brain with an impact sensor in it which is connected to a raspberry pi, a movement sensor and speakers.
When a person approaches the work a sound track is played from the speakers; “ I have a question and I am very serious, how much money would you like to be making?...“ – a line from a pop- up spam add that I used to come across often on the internet. This track is being repeated in a loop, as long as the person is moving in front of the work. A silicone brain with a sensor in it is hanging from the wooden construction. It resembles a boxing bag. Visitors can punch the brain and when they do the track is interrupted and for each hit one of the three sounds is being heard: “uhh!“, “auuh!“, and “1000 euros“. The work illustrates a virtual problem that we cannot solve in the present moment and the brain is constantly reminding us of that problem until it is resolved. This induces and keeps us in a so called survival mode, a tense state of the body linked to our survival, the body is trying to make itself more ready for action, to defend against an impending threat. But the threat remains unresolved. Since the problem is virtual it can sometimes be difficult to discern what is a rational and what an irrational fear or worry. Over time the person starts to “ beat their brain“ because they cannot solve the problem. This stems from our biological beginnings when we needed to survive in the wilderness. Today our “virtual“ problems are as real to our body as a tiger was in the past, because our survival depends on them. So our perception is shaped in a way to best serve our survival, that is, we adapt to the system we live in, be it natural or virtual. The work is a critique on the neoliberal – over competitive society and way of life that forces individuals to become their own tyrants. The system is internalized, so the person ends up fighting them selves.