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29.05.2019 | Words by: Studio The Future + De School

Following the first introduction of JEMAPUR, our very first artist-in-residence, Studio The Future talked to JEMAPUR about his time here and the ideas behind his exhbition.

Q: Now that you have been here for 3 weeks, how has it been? Last time you were here, which was also your first time, was for only a week. How has it been different?

A: It has been super. I am very much enjoying everything. This time around it has been very different. I feel like I have been able to understand and tap into the vibes and the atmosphere here; understanding why I felt really comfortable here the first time around. It feels like I am a lot more in touch with or aware of the kinds of processes that have taken place to create the situation here in Amsterdam, as it is now. Also, last time I was here for a week. I liked the city, but there was always a sense of distance. Now I feel like I understand things a bit better, and things have become a lot more normal.

To be honest, I really don't want to go back to Japan. There is no place wherein I could work on my own thing, really. Here in Amsterdam, I feel like there are so many more possibilities to expand what I do and how I do it. To experiment and to challenge my self to make things that I have never done before, but have always wanted to try out. At least that is how it feels right now.

Q: Why do you think / feel that?

A: It is probably because of two things: the, for the most part, flat society [in terms of social and age hierarchy] and the diversity of ideas. Maybe this is rooted in the geographical location of the city and the country. I feel that this is really unique to Amsterdam — I can't say the same for Berlin or Paris etc.

Q: You were saying before that in Amsterdam there this a certain sense of freedom?

A: In some parts I feel free, but of course this is compared with Japan. I feel like there is a difference with Japan in terms of the average degree of positiveness in the average person. When I am in Japan, everyone looks really tired, maybe it has something to do with the fact that there are so many people. Here, the city has a good size, where people can focus on their work and on their communication with people. In Tokyo it is really one or the other, from my experience, it is either work or communication—and the latter is still very difficult.

In Tokyo, there are too many people and it is very difficult to make specific communities. Maybe there are too many subcultures, even. It is very difficult to meet up with people with the same interests. This is not to say that they don't exist, it is just difficult to connect. People can't really come together in any regular way. Life revolves around work, and due to the size of the city, there is really no extra time or space to connect and to create any sort of meaningful community. It happens, but it is very difficult. 

Q: To change the topic a little bit, before you came here and while you were here, and right now, the idea for what kind of work you will make has probably changed a lot. How has it changed?

A: At first, it is a bit overwhelming. De School has infinite possibilities in terms of activating the space. The space is like a living animal, it keeps changing, and depending on each event, or what kind of people are coming, there is a huge change in atmosphere. I would even say that maybe it even changes every 5 or 10 minutes. This makes it interesting of course, but how to deal with that is a big question.

Q: One of your very first ideas was to interact with people in a certain way, and through that interaction to make samples, but that idea has become a lot more radical, I think.

A: First it was only about using sensors to identify how many people are going through the space. Now I want to play with this idea of making new spatial instruments, and using the space itself as a node for feedback, and then also looking at how people are moving in it. All of this interaction becomes the basis for the creation of the samples, that are then fed back into the space, and into the audience. It is now expanding beyond what I first wanted to try out.

Q: In a way, you are now not only collaborating with one other artist [Victoria], but you are collaborating with all of the people in De School. 

A: Its like an amoeba. It is like the behavior of quantum physics — combining it with the movement / expansion of the amoeba.

Q: We are heading into phase 1 of the exhibition. Is there anything you want to tell the people/ want to say to them?

A: Please come as a human — leaving your individual personality behind — you might be able to discover something new. Or maybe, come as an alien, and than maybe you will discover something totally new.

JEMAPUR's exhibition RESONANCE: Synesthesia + Feedback opens this weekend and will be on show until the 23rd of June. Read more about it here

Interested in our artist in residence program? We'll tell you more about our open call soon.
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