Ambient, Aberrant, 2020–2022

Ambient, Aberrant draws attention to ways we mediate our experiences of the Natural world, particularly through the lens of leisure tourism. Employing a combination of abstract photography, cameraless production methods and kitsch aesthetics I seek to expose the inauthenticity of the Nature we experience. The landscape in my work is a symbol of my idea of nature; yet it is tamed, domesticated, managed. There is no nature here.

Ambient, Aberrant raises questions around the artifice of sightseeing, chasing the sublime, our relationship to Nature (or what we think it is). It comments on the way we experience places through our (phone) cameras, rather than through our senses. In my work I explore the way in which the act of photography (and its expanded practices) mediates our experience of the Natural landscape.

Each artwork undergoes a number of iterations of mediation. When taking photos for example, I sometimes placed prisms or other optical modifiers in front of the lens during in-camera exposure; fragmenting, distorting and abstracting the view. I then subjected some images to a second iteration of mediation during print production, through darkroom interventions—in the colour darkroom during exposure of a negative image onto photosensitive paper I used coloured filters, transmissive objects, light sources or other light modifiers to disrupt the image in some way. This process produces a hybrid image produced partly in-camera and partly in the darkroom. 

By laying bare the constructed nature of my light-based works Ambient, Aberrant calls into question the authenticity of the image, of Nature, of any mediated experience. It starts from the premise that the photographic gaze and the tourist gaze emerged at the same time (around 1840) and have been inextricably linked ever since.

2023, Art au Centre #13, Liège, BE
2022, Svitlo, Looiersgracht 60, Amsterdam, NL
2022, Rethinking Nature, Foto Wien, Vienna, AT
2022, HPR Public Space Exhibition, Platz der Republik, Hamburg, DE
2022, This Art Fair, de Kromhouthal, Amsterdam, NL
2021, Struck by Light, Valid World Hall, Barcelona, ES
2021, Performing the Lens, V2_Lab for the Unstable Media, Rotterdam, NL

Analogue c-prints (photograph, photograph with darkroom intervention), 90 x 76 cm

Exhibition view — Svitlo, 2022, Looiersgracht 60, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Exhibition view — Performing the Lens, 2021, V2_Lab for the Unstable Media, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Exhibition view — This Art Fair, 2022, de Kromhouthal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Exhibition view — Struck by Light, 2021, Valid World Hall, Barcelona, Spain