Karl Philips

Hand Pump Car

Karl Philips  Hand Pump Car

source: vimeo

A functional sculpture: this welded vehicle can be placed on a guardrail as a travelling method for one or two persons. The traveller has to provide the energy manually.
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source: karlphilipsorg

Karl Philips is an emerging young Belgian artist for whom a mild kind of activism is inextricably linked to his work. With his ‘performing art’, he explores the distinctions between public and non-public, common- and underground, ‘us’ and ‘them’. To capture and represent his actions, Philips uses various disciplinary methods, often assembled into one (unconventional) monumental installation, where he flirts with the boundaries of what is possible or even legal. His work is the result of the interconnectedness of his practice and way of life – for Karl Philips, art is never non-committal.

Karl Philips describes his studio practice as a flexible, pragmatic construction. In 2012 he acquired an antique fairground attraction called Jacky, which now functions as his artistic workplace. Jacky is a pirate’s nest, a space for experimenting and tinkering with concepts like society, open space, financial systems and architecture. Trying out various alternatives, the studio practice of Karl Philips feels much like a nonconformist city development.

The artist mostly collaborates with a diverse, flexible group of professionals on a semi-permanent basis. Because of their specific skills, all of those involved play an important role in the development of Karl Philips’ artistic practice.
In addition, Karl Philips receives productional and administrational support from O.C.A.M., a non-profit arts platform that assists artists with a hybrid visual practice.

Studio Karl Philips offers a limited number of internships throughout the year. Send us your application (cv, portfolio & motivation) and we will inform you in due course.
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source: we-make-money-not-art

Karl Philips is a Belgian (h)activist, performance and conceptual artist. I discovered his work a couple of years ago when i visited the exhibition Mind the System, Find the Gap at Z33 in Hasselt (BE.) But i really took the time to click around his portfolio when my favourite blog selected him for its watchlist.

Philips casts a critical but always witty glance at society, paying particular attention to cracks in consumerism, town planning, advertising, and turning upside-down their logic. He is also one of those artists who understand that, to have any impact, activist art is best deployed in the street, not just inside the white walls of a museum or gallery.

Some of his projects involve hacking a street lantern to provide passersby and local inhabitants with free wifi and power, dressing like a train seat to cross Belgium by train, screening movies streamed from Youtube in a drive-in movie theater set up under a bridge, substituting ads on billboards with a map detailing how survive in the city of Hasselt without any financial expenses, etc. Pretty simple and pretty brilliant.