Crush and generate is a research into the initial meaning of the image in a context of transformation in which the material remains the same but the appearance of the image is changed.
The research will start from the artistic practice of Nicolas Baeyens. In 2013 he started to systematically crush and transform his works. The artworks are compressed by a hydraulic press in the form of the stamp of the machine. The results can vary in depth, but their width and height will always be the same.
This artistic process has three clear phases. In a first phase, the works must be autonomous works of art. The second phase is the performative act of transforming and the final phase is the crushed form. By systematically crushing and transforming, only the physical form of the work changes, while the carrier, the materiality and the artist remain unchanged. Does the work get a new meaning through the added action or does the initial meaning of the work remain? And does the newly created physical form still carry the history of the first work?