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Autonomous Context

Joppe Venema

My artistic practice is an ongoing investigation about intangible matters drawing from notions such as complex ecosystems, living architecture, archeology, science-fiction and folklore. Through installations, sculptures, drawing and video I link and merge different histories together with fictional narratives. I am intrigued by how the invisible can haunt the present and future, by looking beneath the surface where something eerie is taking place. This can be under a rotten bark where beetles lay eggs which speaks to a global beetle outbreak I am inspired by the aesthetics and attitude of ‘Eco-horror’ which mimics Nature in strange, yet realistic ways allowing for the ‘invisible’ to be omnipresent. By looking at the critical importance of organic and inorganic processes that happen ‘invisibly’, with my work I aim to highlight and (re)present the interconnected relationships between Nature and Humans.

Retain, Restrain, Refrain

Retain, Restrain, Refrain follows a narrative that entangles biographical elements together with science-fiction, archeology and folklore. In this semi-fictional video, a letter is addressed to an anonymous person who is in a simulation experiment towards Mars. With the use of an inspection camera (usually used for plumbing purposes), 3D animations and CGI, the speculative video becomes unsettling and eerie. By ‘tunneling’ through different images of (abstract/ambiguous) landscapes and bodily passages the linear pattern of narrative becomes disoriented. By combining ideas and information about the future with archeology as a backdrop, I attempt to link a deep past with a near future.