The Stack

The Stack

2023 Utrecht - The Netherlands Impakt Festival Ceramic, brass, stainless steel, electronics

Producers : Werktank, Impakt

Support : Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles

Photo credits : Dana Savic, Guillaume Slizewicz

Artwork of tablets in equilibrium, representing layers of knowledge and techniques in digital arts.

“The Stack” is a project that delves into the intricate layers of understanding and creation in the realm of digital arts. It’s a representation on the artist’s personal journey through the intricate world of artistic creation, exploring the balance between the quest for pure expression and the complex realities of technological mastery. Borrowing its name from both engineering lexicon and cultural theory, “The Stack” acts as a metaphor for the incremental layers of knowledge and techniques that designers and artists must navigate to bring their vision to life.

The artwork consists of tablets in equilibrium, chained to one another, each representing a layer in this maze of knowledge. From the basics of atoms and electrical circuits to the complicated algorithms behind computer programs, each tablets symbolizes a piece of knowledge and a stage in the artist’s journey towards understanding. Yet, every layer reveals another, even more complex, begging the question: What does mastery really mean in a digital age?

The tablets that make up “The Stack” are crafted from clay, echoing one of humanity’s earliest forms of information storage. This choice of material serves as a reflection on the historical evolution of knowledge-sharing and record-keeping, from ancient clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform to today’s digital displays.

On top of The Stack sits an ESP-32. Every 15 seconds, it generates a new WiFi network, each with a unique name. These networks sequentially populate the network lists of nearby devices. For each device, the list becomes a fragmented poem, its structure influenced by the specific refresh rate of the device scanning for networks. This feature adds another layer to ‘The Stack,’ not just as a static object but as an entity that generates an evolving narrative or mantra, unique to each observer’s technological interaction.

The title itself is a nod to the term “full stack” in computer engineering, denoting an individual proficient in all aspects of a project and contrast to it with our collective interdependency—how we stand on the shoulders of intellectual giants, benefitting from generational wisdom while adding our layer to “The Stack.”