Nr. 13 Wonderkamers - After Cage


In her curiosity cabinet, Reineke Otten set to work in this way: observing the objects closely – their identity, the connotations, the visual characteristics and the properties, but also their relationship to each other. The internet is the most extensive, the most accessible and the best documented source of all sorts of information. Reineke Otten immediately sensed the similarity with the at random composed collection of the project After Cage – 24 Collections in motion: objects that did not seem to be linked are suddenly connected through a collection. In the same way, an internet search engine links all sorts of texts and images that otherwise never would be linked. Otten picked three everyday objects that have become ordinary utensils and are older than the internet, but that still are used frequently: a tooth brush, the 4711 eau de cologne and a globe.

Using images she collected from the internet, she replaced the three objects within their own context. Otten employed several internet tools. For the toothbrush she eagerly made use of the public photo database Flickr. It seems that many people take pictures of their tooth brush standing in a cup in front of the mirror or of themselves while brushing their teeth. That immediately gave the tooth brush a very clear identity. For the globe, Reineke Otten used the very popular Google Earth website. Although the globe from the After Cage collection is very precisely illustrated, it is now completely outmoded. Through Google Earth one can easily make a virtual balloon trip around the world. The streetologist looked up the most iconic places in the world and photographed them as screen shots: the clear blue swimming pools of Beverly Hills, the woolpacks along the Brazilian coast line, the red Grand Canyon, the structured graves of the Pere Lachaise graveyard and the greenhouses in the Netherlands. The world‘s colour sample card no longer consists of illustrations, but of very sharp photographs. For the 4711 eau de cologne Otten used the auction site Ebay. The four-digit name 4711 alone produced seven hundred and eighty search results from all over the world, among others from more than forty collectors who present the same bottle as the one in the After Cage collection. The photo collection showed 4711 sold and photographed by people all over the world, the price and the countries of origin. A simple mouse click leads you to other bizarre, beautiful and surprising collections of those same sellers. This emphasised the similarity to the project After Cage – Cabinets of curiosities even more.

Source: After Cage