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Process |  Procedure - scale -  philosophy


For over two decades, I developed and refined an image making procedure that combines photography, optics, light and chemistry. A visual technology that explores detailed visuals found in tiny configurations of liquid. Over time, by observing and studying these complex behaviours, I am able to carefully construct and control images that lie curled up in these liquid configurations. 
These ‘configurations’ often appear to be found or collected, being (part of) an ancient artifact or relic or sometimes resembling the natural structures of organic materials. They are in fact, entirely hand-made, conceived and produced in the studio using analogue techniques; In a modular set-up, optical instruments and filters regulate how (coloured) light spreads through sequences of chemical interactions. These chemical interactions are activated by systematically inserting units of liquid measurements in a custom made glass. Then, to be able to isolate a specific event, the space in the glass is further reduced, allowing for a reasonable control over movement and turbulence. After several trials, the detailed structures that eventually settle (deposition) yield the visual elements with which I can build a new configuration, or, if you will, a new work.
Scale   
From the microscopic, or cellular scale, to the macro- or cosmic, each work coming out of this image making procedure manifests itself on a different scale. Oscillating between these often paradoxical scales, trying to determine what is actually displayed, the viewer hovers an inch or a few hundred feet above the subject and moves through various perspectives and narratives. 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.

Philosophy
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 crafts this way, I was able to gradually shift my focus  from a rather formal and systematic method of working, towards a more imaginary making.
Now, I am able to go beyond the traditional notion of observation and recording and 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.