We are a team of four students of Hanze Academy Minerva Groningen, following studies in Time Based Design, Fine Arts (2x) and Graphic Design. We share a common interest in meme culture, and interrogating+negotiating the border of the virtual and the actual.
KARYNA SHEIKH ( UA / PK ----> 2001 )
In the works I create I try to express emotions and concepts that are quite abstract and at times surrealist. I want to allow people to get out of the borders of normality and notice smaller details in completely ordinary things, to create their own form of reality. My practice is heavily based on pop and internet culture, references to history, mythology, philosophy and music. Mainly my work is digital (filmography, photography, 3d modelling and visuals), performance art, abstract painting. Furthermore, I aspire to branch out into the field of ai and simulations as well as music, due to my strong dependency on it as a tool for creating my art. I also enjoy reworking older material such as archive footage etc. to create a fresh perspective as well as produce something new with a reference to its roots. Which brings me to meme culture, because it majorly consists of reworking references to particular concepts, people, events and turning it into new content with a variety of perspectives. I enjoy memes referencing occurrences on the internet, music, art and also sarcastic and ironic content that is self-aware and cynical at times. Some of the latter are extremely abstract to the point where each person using them gives them their own interpretation, sometimes becoming “deep fried memes''. In my view memes are becoming an extension of our languages, a “universal” type of communication that allows us to relate to each other on multiple levels and in relation to all sorts of subjects. I’d like to create memes on the same level of complexity as art works but at the same time allow them to nor possess overbearing seriousness and let it be a playground for a lighthearted discussion of subjects that are tough to discuss irl.
LILY DOLLNER ( IR / UK ---> 2000 )
I am an artist who deals with familiar unfamiliarity, and creates work whose primary function is existing On The Cusp. Working mainly with Artificial Intelligence and technological processes, she translates these algorithmic processes into traditional mediums. In my work, I explore The Uncanny, and try to produce images that are just beyond recognition. My aim is to provoke feelings of eeriness and alienation, in combination with familiarity and comfort. I also deal with language and meaning, using wordplay to the same effect. My work
manifests as paintings, drawings, and installation. I am interested in juxtaposing cutting-edge software with a handmade, analogue approach to creating, in order to reflect the dependent and turbulent relationship we have with technology today. My work reflects transhumanist values, whilst taking a more critical stance to the way smart technology is entangled with our lives. I am currently in my third year BA Fine Arts at Academie Minerva, based in Groningen, The Netherlands. I take an experimental approach to my artistic practices, and am heavily influenced by culture; especially the online ecosystem. I am fascinated by mapping cultural shifts through social media, and using this information to gauge the attitudes of young people towards current events. I think by studying the “herd mentality” that exists on social media, you can predict the directions that popular culture will go; this is something that heavily influences my practice. I’ve been fascinated by memes throughout my childhood, and have recently become interested in the cultural and artistic implications of them.
TILL SCHÖNWETTER ( DE ---> 1998 )
With my work I hope to create open-mindedness, induce awareness of one’s environment, that can allow the observer to simply be an observer, to be ok with confusion or whichever situation/ environment they find themselves in. I try to zoom out in every way to see the bigger picture, naively trying to break apart our bubbles of perception. Zooming out as well as looking inside. My artistic practice consists of painting (plein air and in studio), installations out of cameras and projectors, in order to connect and bend spaces, photography, programs, text and every task that involves running the Nowhere Gallery. My fascinations, such as spiritual/mental health and philosophy, flow into the way I work.
When it comes to memes, i tend to save the ones that use the viral formats of meme culture but express an honest, real, helpful, inspiring message. Perhaps using memes, that we know, as their landscape makes these posts a possibility to encounter cliches with fresh eyes. The counter to the typical postmodern sarcasm and irony. Especially in the times that we live in, the aspect of spiritual/mental health, seems more important than ever. I am planning to exhibit my archive of memes in the Nowhere Gallery. It’s a virtual environment, which offers a better way of interacting with art than scrolling. Being a part of the Meme Manifesto project could expand this gallery into a virtual museum.
MICHIEL TEEUW ( NL ---> 1999 )
I make images that make people do things. My work aims to make people laugh, think, and ask questions. Its common ingredients are language, image, and performance. In the last two years, I've started working intensely with generative methods, in which given parameters decide the "going" of a work - in combination with adaptation to any circumstances. In this, I've been using media such as P5JS, VR, Unity, Video on the one hand, and more analog media such as multiple print forms and (recently) object on the other hand. I feel deeply attracted to the revolutionary and dissentive potential of meme-making (or mapping) as practice. I've been really inspired by Metahaven's text "Can Jokes Bring Down Governments?", and would like to explore more what visual non-sense-making can bring in this time, that is non-sensical already. I think absurdist memes are perfect for this! At the start of the lockdown I initiated SURF (Surfacing Unused Realities Forum), a platform for finding new ways of being together. Working together with Hannah Neckel (AT), Jens Huls (NL), Johann Köop (ES) and Hinke Ann Eleveld (NL), we held several editions in various forms, prototyping how to adapt to the "new" sharedness of online space, which now fully became daily routine. I've shown performances and work at Het Resort (Groningen), Dutch Design Week (Eindhoven), Ormston House (Ireland), WORM (Rotterdam), Motel Spatie (Arnhem) and NP3 RE:Search Gallery (Groningen). (Online) publications include Zelda Zine (FI), Depressiontakeover (World), Mohoimo Space (VN), Rizoom (NL) and Sassify Zine (US).