Conversation with Dries Depoorter

Posted by Steve Maher on 25 Sep 22:12


Arlene Tucker (AT): Hi Dries! How has the development of the project been going?

Dries Depoorter (DD): Good :) 

AT: The last time we spoke was in February and now it’s full on springy April.  It sounded like things were very much in the air at the time, which is a good thing!  Open and endless possibilities. What and how is your process for when developing a new work?  

DD: The new work is named Quick Fix. It’s a small looking vending machine where you can buy instant likes and followers for just a few euros. Few years ago I made also a vending machine where you can buy lottery tickets to win 25k followers. But with this you can buy it just instant. 

AT: Oh!  What hAppens when you win 25k followers?  Could you continue playing and buy yourself more followers?  Curious as to why you made the change from lottery mode to instant gratification.

DD: When you have a winning ticket you see an unique code and a website where you need to fill in your username. But this was the old work. Now with the new work Quick Fix you can have them instant and super fast. You can also can have 50 likes just for a small amount of money.

AT: Would you say you are more concept-driven as opposed to technology-driven or human-driven, for example?

DD: It’s both concept-drive and technology-driven. For me it’s important that everything works and it’s not just the idea that I’m sharing.  

AT: Is there a deeper meaning to it besides buying more likes?  I understand that this is very subjective, but I am curious what spawned your particular motivation to make this game/platform.

DD: I think there are 2 layers to my work. I use humour and than I know it will raise some specific questions. I don’t answer them with my work. I point them out. I made this work because a lot of people don’t know how easy it it to just boost up your likes or followers. With this new work they can test for their self how easy it is. 

AT: Right.  Putting things in front of people for them to figure it out for themselves.  A moment to self reflect. And everybody has access to play this on their phones or is there also a physical vending machine to make these purchases?

DD: You don’t need your phone. Just make your selection what you want. Followers or Likes and the amount, pay, type in your username and you will have a it in less than a minute. 

AT:  Where do the funds go towards?  I mean, the sold tickets. Your project, just the nature of it, having a gambling element made me immediately think of UK’s National Lottery and how they support thousands of individual artists, community and cultural organisations.

DD: (sorry, Quick Fix and Get Popular Vending Machine are 2 different works. This is not gambling) 

AT: Thanks for the clarification.  Where did the funding for Get Popular Vending Machine go towards?  

DD:  buying fake followers

AT: Quick Fix also uses real money though, right?

DD: Yes

AT: I think it’s quite nice that you are modifying and making a newer version of a previously made piece.  Have you done this before?  

DD: I don’t think so. 

AT: Was their something you found or noticed from Get Popular Vending Machine piqued your interest?  For example, how people were interacting with the machine, reacting to the prize, or it having some sort of social impact.  I see this as a way for the artist to better understand their craft, their audience, their idea. Interested to hear your insight.

DD: I wanted to give people direct likes or followers instead of the lottery system. Now you can start buying 50 likes cheap and you get them few seconds later. 

AT: In context to current events happening in worldwide, do you feel the relevance in breaking this wall?  How so?  

DD: Everyone using social media know that you can buy likes or followers.. But it’s not always easy to see. I think with this work it shows how easy it is. 

AT: Let’s put it to the test at Pixelache!  For more information about Dries and his work, click