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van Bouwhorst

Nothing Something Nothing

Project details

Graphic Design

Jelle van Bouwhorst is a graphic designer. He has studied in Mexico, the Czech Republic and is currently living in the Netherlands. His interest varies on topics on sociology, anthropology, ontology, metaphysics and semiotics.

Furthermore, he is understanding social phenomena and subjects like identity, presence, time, gatherings, structures, growing processes and working within publications, objects, things and physical space.

I am a graphic and visual designer. My practice is based on organizing things. I have always been involved in projects about physical objects, in designing books, events, gatherings, organizational teams, collaborative harmony. I am interested in the contrast between order and disorder and like the idea of curating 

For me, hacking is a method of querying current systems and structures. Whether it is social or technological, or a combination of both. I find it interesting how many things are interrelated, how we accept many things, and consider them to be ‘normal’. It is a way to reflect on our society and/or our (political) systems. 

Trying to make physical manifestations of time. Sculptures that I understand as systems, where the materials allow me to play with the experience of time. 

During the process and research of producing (the now), when the sculpture is balanced (trapped in time) and when it results in a residue (‘ended’). 

I explore the tipping point in some sort of house of cards or the moment when something unknown suddenly falls. I do not investigate new matter, but rather investigate what is present and what is happening at that moment. Working from the possibilities the material offers me.

This work functions as research to reconsider the relationship with time and space. Both are complex systems that play a major role in our lives. It exists around us, provides support and influences certain choices we make. It allows us to speculate about reality and our relationship to it. We see possibilities, which ensures that we exist. I wonder if time is generated by the mind itself and if there is time outside of us. Can our perception of time be influenced?

I use different existing materials with dissimilar properties. Including cardboard, glass, tiles, insulation materials, foam, packaging plastic, plasterboard, styrofoam and stone. To understand and reflect on the concept of time. I did not look for a visually attractive image and did not work with an elaboration plan. A small number of materials already gave me many options. I work from the event and what is happening at that moment. How the materials form their connection and reaction between each other. What means, keep trying to find out how they work together. That’s when I experience time. But also during the observation, once the materials are in balance, the focus is on what happens. Sometimes it is just like a playground in where materials do what they want.

The sculptures often seem to be frozen in time, in a phase between friction and slipping, life and change. Aware that I make use of gravity, looking for a certain breaking point in time. The circulation of air also plays a role. These physical properties made me speculate about beginning and end, existence, reality and other philosophical issues. I question if time exists, when a sculpture does not fall or seems to change. Does this actually represent how the concept of time works? I see time as an illusion around us. A system that is constantly present. But what seems impossible to fully understand.

At the moment I’m presenting the sculptures as videos, but are best shown in physical space. That is the true relationship to the sculpture and the energy in space. They then seem to really exist. Videos can be watched again and on a screen you experience dimensions in a different way.

The residues arise from the sculptures. These are relics of the moment. I find these interesting because they stem from the movement of the materials. Resulting in an untouched composition that lies motionless and silent. I collected these still images in a printed a3 publication, that doesn’t show any motion.

The space has a lot of influence on how the sculptures work and are experienced. For example, changes in height immediately give opportunities to other materials and consequences. The site-specific work stems from a process of building and understanding space. The results are not answers, it is more of an ongoing search. Which is why I’m presenting 9 of the works.

I filmed the works in the studio. It’s not about the quality of the videos, but how the sculptures work. I see them in front of me in an exhibition, where there are several sculptures and residues. Some of which fall immediately and others demonstrate no change for days.

Jelle van Bouwhorst, 2406 2020

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Graduation Work
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