Plug was created as the antithesis of the "millennium bug" phenomenon. He is an inspirational device to balance the Y2K catastrophe scenarios. The insect, technology and corporate themes, where naturally imbedded and became the main components in the development process of the character. He is pieced together by leftover materials from projects I have been working on during the last year. In a peculiar way composing him out of "visual debris" suits his complex persona, appearance and the environments he roams. His enemies are based on studies for a larger series called "Transmigre, Cases of Corporate Reincarnation". 24 portraits of high executive title holders that return to life as insects. It's a series that combines theories and research on social insects, traditional and contemporary corporate structures, job descriptions and reincarnation scriptures (more specifically the controversial teachings of Pythagoras on transmigration of souls). The studies for these portraits emerged as evil and intriguing as they need to be, in order to fit into the worlds of Plug. They personify symbols and weapons of their trades in a number of levels, some instantly visible and other hidden, avoiding the obvious and the expected.

Viktor Koen

Since Plug was created as a reaction to the Y2K bug, he is reiterating the ever-existing struggle between Good and Evil through contemporary means. The deference is that Koen's iconographic methods are challenging and unique. In our cyberspace age, Plug is constructed with equivalent methods: on the computer and by digital output. At the same time the creatures that fight with and against him in the chaos of the "Landscape" are created by manipulating vintage photographs, depicting upper-class males and fusing them with various monstrous or mechanical insects that bring to mind the surreal photomontages of Raoul Housman or Hannah Hoch from the 20's and 30's. The knowledge and application of these prototypes of mature modernism along with the use of contemporary scientific-mythology, render Viktor Koen's work scholarly and multilayered. Now that painting is in question or dead, according to pessimists, Koen's work becomes intensely interesting and Plug's persona as the product of transformation, assumes symbolic dimensions. Art will live again through itŐs successive reincarnations.

Manos Stefanides,
Curator of the National Gallery, Athens, Greece