Two giant cartoon eyes pressed against the windows stare out from the stairwell at De La Warr Pavilion.

They belong to Felix The Cat, the black and white feline whose face was one of the first to be broadcast on television.

The reason is 2008 Turner Prize winner Mark Leckey. He’s taken over the gallery and crammed his favourite character in a place where he won’t be missed.

“I had to have Felix fully inflated and he is ten metres tall,” he says of the blow-up mouse-chaser. “He’s no good outside the gallery because he’d just become what he is: a novelty balloon. But when you put him inside he looks strange and peculiar.”

Leckey hopes visitors might want to leave gifts or offerings to this huge, primitive idol, who is a figurehead for the show. “I have personal history with Felix: I discovered about six years ago that the first ever image broadcast on TV in 1927 was of Felix The Cat.

“That was the beginning of everything because TV had a massive influence on me. Felix is like this avatar of broadcasting, and he is also like an avatar of every other form of transmission, including the internet.”

Leckey won the Turner Prize for Industrial Lights And Magic. Nick Cave gave him the £25,000 prize at Tate Britain for a work which included the film Cinema In The Round, with the Scouser lecturing about his love of animation. He says he is obsessed with how images are transmitted and how he receives them.

One key idea for The Universal Addressability Of Dumb Things (a real term now appropriated by Google “describing a point not so far in the future where everything has an IP address so everything can correspond and communicate with everything else”) is that each item is connected to every other item; everything is in communication.

“I’m not a curator, I’m an aggregator. I feel we are in this interregnum, this period of change, in which I am trying to access digital images, collate them together and then I have to step back into the 19th-century model of a gallery, with white walls and echoey space.”

Leckey has frozen the moment by creating a series of screen grabs in the gallery. “Part of this display is how you translate your experience now into this older form of exhibition.

“That was a problem, in an interesting way.”

Another answer, of course, is to stuff Felix The Cat into the space to show how tricky it is to get a handle on technology. Other seemingly bizarre correlations arise from Leckey becoming a human search engine.

“What I was trying to do was allow myself to operate more like a search engine, more like an algorithm. Ultimately, if this show was what I wanted it to be, I would have had someone write me an algorithm and I would have had nothing to do with it, but that would be a dry academic exercise.

“So it needs a hand, and I wanted the process to be automated. The point of the show is that the internet produces weirdness. It’s a computer which is essentially this logical procedural machine but which produces the weird things you get on YouTube. That is what fascinates me.”

So he searched for everything using Google. He looked for items and their equivalents – other things which look like them, which are corresponding – just as Google does.

“I had ideas of what I wanted. I had a big cat so I searched for a dog. I ended up with a dog that is headless with a speaker instead, which is a pun on a woofer.”

Only a search engine allowed him to get so far removed from the original.

“It is part of how Google changes our concept of what things are.”

The aggregator’s collection of objects, placed on green, blue and red-screen backgrounds which become the show’s desktop, include Herman Makkink’s Rocking Machine. The phallic sculpture was used by Alex in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange to bludgeon the wealthy catwoman to death.

There is a bisected 3D model of Snoopy by David Musgrave, with the cartoon character’s organs on show.

“It’s supposed to be a funny show. It’s not a serious show. Of course that is what would happen if dissected Snoopy – as a cartoon character he is so full of life.”

Past and present

A 13th-century singing gargoyle is displayed alongside a Cyberman helmet. There is a medieval silver hand, a reliquary from the V&A containing the bones of a saint, next to an electronic prosthetic hand – a Touch Bionics i-Limb™ Ultra, which connects with Bluetooth.

“I think there’s quite an obvious relation between them: it’s the past and the present. The i-Limb Ultra is the most sophisticated prosthetic hand that’s available and then the hand reliquary is a fairly ancient artefact.

“So the idea of having both in the show and having both together is that, between them, they hold the extent of the show. It’s a question of faith, isn’t it?”

What makes the collection art is that the objects are all singular and unique.

Leckey, who has just had a child with Tate curator Lizzie Carey-Thomas, took an odd route to reach the Establishment. He spent his infancy glued to the television in Birkenhead and later was a designer label-loving Casual.

He left school with one A-level and later had a mixed time at art college in Newcastle. He went to America and met Gavin Brown, who encouraged him to make videos. He really came to attention with Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore, the 1999 video made of found footage from the 90s rave scene. “I took too many drugs when I was young, that is why I make the work I do.”

He’s a big fan of American artist Jeff Koons, whose work is on show in another free show at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, running until September 8.

Leckey has made a film which honours Jeff Koons’ Silver Rabbit for The Universal Addressability Of Dumb Things. “He is one of last great interesting artists. He engages with the world without a kind of critique.

“Most artworks, especially in the 1980s and 1990s, had a post-Marxist critique. You can look at his work and see it as some critique of capitalism, but it is more than that.

“It has exuberance, a delight in the pleasure that the contemporary world holds for us. His things were technologically and culturally in the moment he made them and there was an excitement.

“He is also trying to make things for the world. That, to me, is very ambitious. Most art is made for the art world.

“He is trying to make icons for the world and I admire that.”