Floris Kaayk Wins Gouden Kalf Award

October 1st 2016

Congratulations to NNN fellow Floris Kaayk, who just won a Gouden Kalf Award for his latest project The Modular Body. The work is an online science fiction story around the creation of OSCAR, a living organism built from human cells. Its inventor is Cornelis Vlasman, a versatile and innovative biologist. Together with a like-minded team of professionals, he starts an independent laboratory in which he experiments with organic materials.

The jury reported: The Modular Body is a playful and clever cinematographic production that exists beyond the website TheModularBody.com. The actual story is set on various social media. Floris Kaayk is known for his work in which he implicitly denounces social media. He poses questions such as: what is the influence of social media on the viewer? What is real and what is staged? What is genuine and what is advertising? And what do you want to believe as a viewer?

The artist explores these matters by implementing the use and abuse of social media. In a refined way, Kaayk uses YouTube and Facebook imagery to stimulate an urgent and topical debate on the ethical issues surrounding the modification of human material. Playfully he excites and angers his viewers, while simultaneously challenging them to overthink new technologies, both in terms of medical innovation, or social media itself, and manages to engage a broad international audience with his work.

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Should men be able to give birth to children?

Koert van Mensvoort: Is the artificial womb frankenstein-like symbol of (male) engineers trying to steal the magical womb from women? Or… is it a feminist project and needed to reach through equality between the sexes? I personally lean towards the latter. To me it feels like progress if a girl can tell a guy to carry the womb for a change.

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