Process: procedure - philosophy - scale

For over two decades, I  develop and refine an image making procedures combining photography, optics, light and chemistry. A visual technology that explores detailed visuals that exist in tiny configurations of liquid. A method based on the complex behaviour of materials, constructed in the chemical potential of different compounds and liquids. The configurations often appear to be found, resembling real-world structures of materials or organisms. They are in fact, entirely hand-made.


In a modular set-up, optical instruments and filters regulate how light spreads through sequences of chemical interactions. These chemical interactions are activated by systematically inserting units of liquid measurements in a custom made glass. To be able to isolate a specific configuration, the space in the glass is reduced. This increases control and limits movement and turbulence. Then, after several trials and extended periods of observing, the detailed structure that eventually settles (deposition) provides visual elements with which I can build a new configuration. Or, if you will, a new work.  

I initially developed this procedure borrowing techniques from scientific film and (optical) microscopy. Methods where laws of physics and chemistry apply and regulate processes. Studying these laws is extremely interesting of course, but scientific explanations are not the concern of someone in search of shapes.
While following these techniques and modifying them to best fit my set-up, I became interested in the conversation between artistic and scientific representation, being wedged in the ambiguity of that conversation.
Developing my craft, I was able to gradually shift my focus - from a rather formal and systematic method of working - towards a more imaginary making. Going beyond the traditional notion of observation and recording to enhance the ability to compose with an inexhaustible number of configurations. An approach that both contests and facilitates the exchange between the scientific and the poetic. Resulting in a presentation in which the artificial and the natural become indistinguishable.  

The various configurations operate on different scales. From the microscopic, or cellular scale, to the macroscopic or cosmic scale. Oscillating between these different scales, moving through various perspectives, every visible detail converts, confuses and evolves, leading to a loss of scale, making it impossible to decide what it is you are actually seeing. Sometimes you can’t tell if you’re hovering an inch or a few hundred feet above the subject. This particular notion of scale - or loss of scale - is key to the experience of my work. A process of unmaking, where associations are disconnected, relayed and re-connected. Where scales and perspectives merge, being both curiously familiar and strangely remote.