Guy van Belle
|Based in||Vysočina/Hranice u Malče, Czech Republic|
After studying literature and linguistics, a little philosophy and sculpting, he made a radical switch to computer music at the end of the 1980s. He has been involved in experimental media art in its many different forms since 1990. First, he restlessly lived and worked in Belfast, Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels, New York, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, The Hague, Berlin. His most important virtual organisations (all collective) were Stellingname (1984-1989), Young Farmers Claim Future (1990-2000), dBONANZAh! (1998-2002), and finally mXHz.org (2002-?) and Society of Algorithm (2004-?). These setups were merely covers for collaboratively investigating the many different forms of creativity from real and non-physical people, including machines. Then he became co-founder, and active member for many years of OKNO (2004-15), an artist run organization in Brussels. In Bratislava he co-founded the social-artistic organization Col-me(2007). The latter one he suddenly left, but he still remained active behind the scenes of Okno, resurfacing in increasingly sparse moments with less and less material works, almost unnoticed, in a corner of different events happening at the same time. Presque rien, zápisník zmizelého...
His work was mainly synaesthetic, real time generated, abstract, algorithmic, and gradually abandoning the familiar settings, parameters and skills for production, display and reception of the work of art as we know it today. He wrote critico-comical pamphlets about art and technology from an anti-post-modernist anti-neo-liberal background. Like everyone in that field and at that time, throughout his life, he had many money problems, many friends and even more enemies. Between 2005 and 2009 he lived in Bratislava, where he began to work under the name of Gívan Belá. The city does not plan a statue yet. Then he moved to Bubeneč, a quarter of Prague, and lived briefly in "čistirna" an old sewage works. There he started exploring a more eco(techno)logical and environmental approach within the media arts, and wrote his fragmentary 'denizen epos' (unpublished). There are many unverified stories, like: "... around 2010, after a short visit to a small village in Bohemia (Vysočina/Hranice u Malče), and seeing there an abandoned cow house (kravín), he extended his name to Belá-Kravař. Others maintain it is a mutation of Cravan, the proto-dada artist, which he did not admire." On one occasion he would introduce himself as a media data writer, then as a wind time inventor and clock maker, then again as a slide and cigar box guitar musician in a skiffle/spasm band. Often he claimed Graham Bell to be family, since the whole lineage was deaf in the right ear and was interested in flying tetraheder kites.
For the 7th of November, 2022, he was preparing an homage to Arseny Avraamov in Baku and for that purpose set up the organisation without a centre 'The Baku 2022 Foundation' (2006-?).
- Writings and interviews
- mxhz.org, "Pamphlet for a Connected Aesthetics", April 2004.
- db, "The machine is an idea that art makes. Conversation with network artist Guy van Belle", 3/4 magazine 19 (2005), Bratislava. (in Slovak). (Translated from English.)
- "Early Sonic Networker: Guy van Belle in Conversation with Sabine Breitsameter", July 2005.
- with Akihiro Kubota, "Society of Algorithm", in .x-med-a., experimental media arts, 2006, pp 26-27.
- "Before|After|Poetika [An Introduction Only]", in .x-med-a., experimental media arts, 2006, pp 10-13.
- Femke Snelting, "Genereuze Praktijken" Cross-over. Kunst, media en technologie in Vlaanderen, BAM/LannooCampus, 2008, pp 43-63. (in Dutch)
- "An environmental work by the Society of Algorithm", 2011. Includes a 27-minute audio recording.
- Michal Murin, "Iné storočie, iný svet - ďalší skok do prázdna", Enter 16 (2014), Bratislava, pp 58-67. Interview. (in Slovak)
- "Ekológia ako kultúrna kritika a zmena", Enter 16 (2014), Bratislava, pp 68-73. (in Slovak)
- more writings: okno.be, writingthrough.societyofalgorithm.org, societyofalgorithm.org, mtp-teoria list (cont.), A2 (Czech)