TORCH gallery Amsterdam is pleased to open its doors for The Land of Virtually Nothing, the first solo-exhibition by Dutch artist Thijs Zweers at the gallery. In his imposing drawings Thijs describes the new habitat for the younger generations; a digital wilderness of subcultures, images and stories with a very distinct romanticism. Using pitch black Siberian charcoal he describes the digital existence in detail.
All works by Thijs Zweers start from the thought that the digital universe has become an autonomous biotope. Although all things seen on a screen are created by human fingers, the scale and expansion of this universe are way beyond human control. Simultaneously, staring at screens has become both a form of entertainment and a guideline for existence. Thijs is a true digital native, a contemporary nomad using the internet as his benchmark. He reports on his travels through his work.
In this work he investigates illusions of space and movement. From immense 3D-worlds in computer games to the current popularity of virtual reality; our senses have grown accustomed with navigating through digital environments. Nonetheless, these images are made up of lights flickering on a flat surface. By tracing these lights he materializes data into charcoal on paper. And by doing so he shows how abstract the origins of these images really are.
As the starting point for his recent works he creates convincing 3D models of looming, dense jungles, oceans and forests. Then he lets the 3D illusion collide with the 2D nature of the medium by covering the image with white, vector based scribbles, somewhat resembling cave paintings. After printing the resulting image he starts drawing it in charcoal on a large scale, letting the scribbles become blank sections of paper. This lets him deconstruct any illusion of space while simultaneously emphasizing the digital origins of the piece.
For the The Land of Virtually Nothing Thijs has created his first multiple; an abstract screen print in black and white. This piece can be seen as a description of an essence of his recent works; humans are capable of creatively arranging immaterial mathematical data. A sequence of binary values, ones and zeros, can be used for expression and creation without material boundaries. A logical system of data is ra[idly transforming into a chaotic choreography, a jungle of images, movements and flickering lights.
Thijs Zweers (1986, Hoorn, NL) graduated from the Artez Academy of arts in Arnhem in 2010. Since then he has been active as an autonomous artists and recently completed a residency at Drawing Center Diepenheim. His work has been exhibited during Art Rotterdam, This Art Fair, Unfair and group exhibitions in the Netherlands, Belgium and Mexico.