Disturbing the visual worlds of a digital age

electronic art

“Vision is revealing”: The visual worlds of the digital age are disturbing and deceptive

The House of Electronic Arts presents new video installations by Belgian artist Emmanuel van der Oyera.

Emmanuel van der Auera: «VideoSculpture XIV (Shudder)», 2017.


He has a very strange feeling right now. The strangest feeling attached to the male voice from the voiceover. Green hedges and entire supermarket shelves pile up on oversize screens.

The appearance of American suburbs is deceptive – our eyes stumble upon a wall of a house when its features are suddenly distorted. “We live in the digital age and everything is stored,” the same voice predicts. It comes from a survivor of an attack on the school, Digital Immortality. The floor of the three-dimensional world is opening up. Not really, but as an effect of a computer application that artist Emmanuel van der Oyera, born in Brussels in 1982, uses in his 3D construction of the objects depicted.

His work in Vision Reveals skillfully deconstructs narratives of the digital age through the deliberate distortion, manipulation and replay of medium and content. Faced with a stylized sensory load from virtual abyss and shelters, viewers themselves become embezzlers and creators of reality. The aesthetic construction of wretched emotional worlds is thus a veneration and antithesis of the art form itself.

This discrepancy is particularly evident in the way the Belgian works with his picture holders. While the installation “Heaven on Fire” described above is visually stunning with LED screens, the destruction of a dozen computer screens in “VideoSculpture XVII (O’Hara’s on Cedar St.)” gives insight into the artist’s way of working.

He removed the polarizing filter from the screen sector by sector and, by manipulating the shooting function, achieved a new confrontation with the medium. Driven by the curiosity of a generation that can retrieve all the content constantly, the work guides you not only to decode the 20-minute video snippet.

Emmanuel van der Auera: «The sky is burning», 2019.

Emmanuel van der Auera: «The sky is burning», 2019.


Slow down reproduced images, created on the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, along with the damaged fabric of the medium, forces one to slow down.

Peeping and virtual reality

The two works “VideoSculpture XX (The World’s Sixth Sense)” and “VideoSculpture XIV (Shudder)” created between 2017 and 2019, presented in the largest viewing area, show a deep examination of digital imagination and virtual reality. You can see four white screens on which the polarizing filter has been removed.

Apparently blind spots reveal their effect only with the help of black plexiglass or mirror surfaces, which provide access to a kind of parallel world. In it we see a veteran in a wheelchair embracing a girl, or a couple holding hands on the streets of Las Vegas. This was filmed as part of an advertising campaign – veteran registration comes from online databases.

annoying liborello

The sources that van der Auera uses for his work also provide audio and images. This shows his most recent untitled work in three tones in a black box, completed in 2022. Van der Auera responds to the reactionary waves on social media that followed the violent death of George Floyd with disturbing yet mysterious images.

Drone-edited footage of the Black Lives Matter protests has been nearly altered beyond recognition by three different pieces of software. It reveals the strange view that machines have for people. In each case, only the outlines or color fields of a arrested or fleeing person can be recognized – the images are almost unbearable subside.

In his installation “VideoSculpture XXV (Archons)”, also completed in 2022, Van der Auwera became more involved in aesthetic images that were actually created. “I miss you,” says the AI ​​avatar of a child extending their digitally animated hand to the opposite person.

Emmanuel van der Oyera:

Emmanuel van der Auera: “Wake me up at 4.20”, 2017.


This perfect amalgamation of digitally embodied personalities and human emotional realms is fascinating and strange at the same time. Van der Auwera provides an impressive examination of Generation X in “Wake me up at 4:20,” a short film in which actors turned avatars comment on the suicides of two young men online. Timeless or not – the digital age is polarized.

“Vision reveals”
HEK . Electronic Arts House
up to 15.8.

Leave a Comment