Eva L’Hoest (1991, lives and work in Brussels) comes from a generation which was born at the same time as the exponential developments of what it has now become outmoded to term ‘the new technologies.’ A melancholic geek, curious about everything but effortlessly diverting her gaze from that of the Medusas of technology, Eva L’Hoest strives to master the latter to better use it against itself, as a means of reaching the limits of algorithms, the failures of code, and thus the pathos and the emotional charge of the systems.
Working on the outer edge of perception where it becomes affect and emotion; starting out with accidents of various recording techniques like, as she wrote, “the operator of a memory who interprets, distorts selects or sometimes saturates and alters the images”, she was the one who made me discover Donna Haraway. The latter, and her Manifeste cyborg in particular, came to join the general movement of the reversal of perspective that Eva L’Hoest work endeavours modestly to translate. The refusal of distinctions, of statuses and categories of existence that Haraway advocates to try and renew political thought operates in particular between the organic and the mechanical. “With the machines of the end of the 20th century, distinctions between the natural and the artificial, body and mind, self-development and external creation, and so many other elements that juxtapose organisms to machine, became very vague. Our machines are strangely living, while we are appallingly inert. (...) It is difficult to know whether man or machine creates or is created by the other. It is difficult to know where the mind stops, and the body begins in machines that are dissolved in coding practices.”*
There is also a fascination for the eye and its derailments from the first video works of Eva L’Hoest. An interest for undefined forms, for the blurry movement, for the monster in its etymological meaning: the Latin monstrare means in fact “show,” “indicate” and “monstrum” means to “alert.” Far from keeping away from reality thanks to her skills, behind a screen that would filter her relationship with the world, Eva L'Hoest takes a physical plunge, positioning herself in fact, irrespective of the media she uses, from video to virtual reality, via scans and 3D printing, in the crossroads of the body, in acting and performing dimension, and technology, in its analytical dimension and calculation of the real.
In these two installation at the very edges of virtual and sculptural object, she presents the first version of a hitherto unseen piece in VR recorded during a long-haul flight, as well as samples of 3D printing in which she intervenes manually. This physical and visual immersion, together, injects a drive in the technique and gives room to interiors inhabited by matter concurrently vibrating and cold, corporeal and mechanical.
— Anne-Françoise Lesuisse
*Donna Haraway, Manifeste cyborg et autres essais, Exils Editeur, Paris, 2007 (initial publication of A Cyborg Manifesto: 1985), p.75.