The artist collective Otomax presents the installation 'Half full - half empty' as a museum-within-a-museum; a transparent, wooden structure that serves as a stage for objects lifted from the 'ordinary'. This project is tailor-made for the city of Sittard as it is now: with vacancy and depopulation being tackled through new urban planning and construction projects aimed at revitalizing the city. Prior to the exhibition, the collective had a working period in an empty school. This served as a base to gather used children's toys and other items from local thrift stores and as a workshop to transform these objects into players in an automated ensemble. An Arduino (an open-source microcontroller) controls the composition of the moving and sounding objects according to a digital score.

The reuse and transformation (circuit bending) of discarded and recycled objects in the animated installation aligns with the strategy that Otomax has set for itself, to balance on the border between the valuable and the worthless. Otomax's productions are always the sum of input from each individual member, and the process is done through improvisation. The group establishes a connection with prevailing (pop) culture through irony. The materials used are second-hand, homemade, or converted. Otomax consists of the artists Joep Hinssen, Fran Hoebergen, Mike Moonen, Nika Schmitt, and Paul Devens.

Wood, converted utility and decorative objects, Arduino, sound amplification, video.


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Otomax: Half Full, Half Empty
Museum De Domijnen / Het Domein, Sittard (NL). (2018)
(click here for video)