Retort ++

 “The Zen – Zap [ ] describes itself and trhough this gives itself shape. It’s that particular place on the internet. It is the internet on that particular place”

The Zen – Zap [ ] is the first Zap (Zapped Artificial Picture) not produced by ApFab, but by a web-based application developed during the NP3 Retort ++ Project. This ZapMachine continuously grabbs images from the Internet based on Google searches. It manipulates and combines these images and put them back on the net. For Retort + + ApFab put this machine to work to create two 40M2 sized collages located at NP3. As search queery we used: the size, material and GPS coordinates of two individual walls.

What is a Zap?

Zap is short for Zapped Artificial Picture. The production of a Zap starts by feeding a series of queries into Google Image Search. A series consists of between 4 and 10 words. The first image generated in response to each word is considered the most important visual representation of that word, at that time, according to the current internet authority. The generated collection of images is subsequently assembled into a unique collage: a Zap. We cut, we tear and we rearrange until a new order is introduced into the chaos of word-image (dis-)association. The individual images are thus incorporated into a new context, creating a new tense state of meaning and random relations.


We have outsourced the production of Zaps to a web application designed specifically for the purpose of generating Zaps. The ZapMachine is now in charge of the autonomous production of a potentially unlimited sequence of collages based on a predetermined input. Our ZapMachine selects images from the internet and manipulates these, creating ever new Zap collages. Out of the resulting works we select the Zap with the highest quality. The query term serves as the title of the final product.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.