By Yasmijn Jarram

It was as a student that Floris Kaayk developed a fascination for evolution, insects and futuristic visions. In his films he visualises technological advances, partly by demonstrating them and partly by singling out the negative consequences they involve. His work balances on the edge between truth and fiction. He arouses a sense of tension by creating a ‘suspension of disbelief’: onlookers know, rationally, that what they see is not real, but they believe because they want to believe.

This is really apparent in his film ‘Metalosis Maligna’, in which a mysterious illness turns a man into a half-robot. Surely that’s impossible – or is it? Kaayk managed to create the same sense of incredulity with his ‘Human Birdwings’ project that has followers throughout the world. The film shows the fictive engineer, Jarno Smeets, ‘proving’ that he can fly like a bird with his home-made wings. Modern technology and science are so advanced that people are barely capable of distinguishing between what is natural and what has been manipulated.