Rudi Knoops is a media artist and sound artist. February 2017 he obtained his PhD in media arts at KU Leuven / LUCA School of Arts and the University of Antwerp / Research Centre for Visual Poetics, both in Belgium. His interest lies in creating new experiences by blending technology, interaction, and content into new media forms that audiences can engage with. In his practice-based PhD research he combines this approach with the appropriation of cylindrical anamorphosis. Using a media archaeology inspired methodology of short-circuiting past and present, he gauges the affordances of this 17th century media technology and its significance for how we engage with the techno aesthetics of contemporary society. The resulting series of media installations—DIORAMATIZED #02, MULTIPLE voice/vision, Mirror Mirror, Speculum Musurgica —forms the practical part of his PhD.
Currently Rudi Knoops lectures at LUCA School of Arts, Campus C-mine in the modules Experimental Media, Media Archaeology, Theory of New Media, and acts as thesis coach for Master’s students Interaction Design. But above all, he continues his artistic practice in his own studio.
His most recent creation is the installation DIORAMATIZED #03 (2019), wherein he continues a research line from his PhD work.
The media archaeological focus in my work
Media Archaeology was an important component of the approach in my PhD research, and I notice that it remains a source of inspiration, not only for my lectures, but also for my practice as an artist: look in the rear-view mirror, gauge the affordances of an older and maybe analogue media technology, and explore how it can re-inject curiosity and wonder into our relationship with the techno aesthetics of contemporary society. Cylindrical anamorphosis is one such seemingly obsolete visual media technology. It has its origins in a 17th century Baroque context of natural and artificial magic: a distorted image can be observed in its reconstituted form through reflection in a cylindrical mirror. The analogue cylindrical mirror has the strange pre-digital processual power to generate images based on the position of the observer. In our media-saturated world where digital processual images are becoming standard, cylindrical anamorphosis uses its own analogue processual power and re-injects its wild analogue magic back into this 21st century digital media apparatus. However, by using moving images that are digitally manipulated, cylindrical anamorphosis is contaminated by the present, and becomes a hybrid contemporary version of artificial magic.
A series of appropriations enables—or even demands—cross-links to other art disciplines such as music and dance, and a media archaeology inspired methodology of short-circuiting past and present can fashion new and imaginary media forms that may provide new insights into how we engage with media, and how media define us as human beings.