Esther Kokmeijer

wetenschap & techniek, land art, installatie, Ecologie, Documentair, cross-over, Conceptueel
Terra Nullius - Terra Nullius — Ownership and Pioneering on Ice Collection of (150+) maps with correction tape / 2013 – ongoing ~ Antarctica has always appealed to the imagination not only because of its isolation, harsh natural conditions, and heavenly serenity, but also because of the opportunities which ‘untouched’ no man’s land entails. Since the Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1959, Antarctica has been a preserve for peaceful purposes, scientific investigation, and environmental protection. It is a continent without a native human population, without any weapons, and without any ownership. Although technically not owned by anyone, Antarctica plays a major role in the world scene now more than ever. More and more countries mark their presence on the continent with science stations. Several nations reserved the right to claim parts of Antarctica in the future. Argentina has even formed a village at Base Esperanza where families are living. There is a school, a hospital, and a Chapel. Some people can even claim Antarctica as their birthplace. Even individuals challenge the continent’s pristine condition. Many expeditions emerge from the desire to reach somewhere nobody has ever been before, tourist ships occupy landing sides, and there is an annual marathon on Antarctica. Kokmeijer started to collect historical and current maps of Antarctica showing the various, sometimes overlapping, claims to Antarctica. The maps are made for different purposes by different nations and with various information. These include, among others: historical expedition routes, scientific research stations, mineral deposits, contour lines, terrain type, magnetic anomalies, bedrock topography, and historical claims. As a statement urging us to keep Antarctica pristine, she stripped the continent of all details using correction tape.
Sedimentary Rock (Rotterdam) - Concrete core samples and wooden crates, 2020-2021 ~ Sedimentary Rock (Rotterdam) is an installation of cylindrical concrete core samples and wooden crates. The cores were excavated from a fenced area situated in the North-East of Rotterdam - a wasteland covered with a deep layer of concrete slab. The last usage of the land was by a private factory called the Rotterdamse Beton Centrale. They had a secret patented recipe that they mixed together with waste and toxic waste materials to create concrete. The 80 cm long core samples function as contemporary artifacts that narrate the hidden and complex geology and history of this piece of land and human excistence. It brings pieces of glass, plastic, metal, wood, bones as well as other unidentified substances to the surface. They further tell an essential part of the story of Rotterdam - a city that witnessed massive destruction, re-construction, and like many cities, the extensive urbanization process. Like the natural sedimentary rocks, these artificially produced samples explore a knowledge that is normally visually absent from the eyes of the local inhabitants. The work was produced in the frame of a recent ‘If Paradise Is Half As Nice’ (Ipihan) project that took place in August 2020, when the group settled on the concrete slab for 6 weeks and lived there for exploration and research purposes.
Cassandra’s Eye - Installation made for the IJssel Biennale 2021, Time, Tide and Temporality. The installation of the artwork (pavilion) is outside the dike, in the overflow area of ??the IJssel, next to the sewage treatment plant in Deventer. The installation is inspired by Cassandra, the Pantheon in Rome and the experience of our natural environment in a changing landscape in a changing time. Cassandra is a goddess from Greek mythology who possesses a gift of divination. However, due to a curse from Apollo, no one believes her. Nowadays the term "Cassandra prophecy" refers to dire predictions that are not believed but later turn out to be correct. "Forecasters" whose warnings of imminent environmental catastrophe are not heard and believed are sometimes still labeled "Cassandra." The design of the Cassandra's eye pavilion is partly inspired by the Cyanometer. The blue pantones (color codes) on the ceiling of the roof construction touch the sky, so that the blueness of the sky can be read at any time of the day. The ring that forms a seat around the 'Eye' is also made up of blue and green tones that refer to the different colors that water can take on. These colors are merged in this Cyanometer of Cassandra's eye. Just like in the Pantheon in Rome, the rain, the wind, the sun and the moon will also have free rein in 'Cassandra's Eye'. It will not offer visitors sufficient protection against rain when they take a seat on the seating area. It is a place where you can be in the middle of 'nature' and which inspires you to look differently at your 'natural environment' and to enhance this experience.
Measuring the Blueness of Glacier Ice - An exploration for measuring the color intensity of blue with the intended alternatives to find the 'blueness' of the 'sky', 'ocean' and 'glacial ice'. Inspired by the analog instrument of the Swiss scientist Horace-Bénédict de Saussure (1760).
Sheep - (installation, book, journey from Inner Mongolia (China) to Mongolia with a sheep as travel companion / pet trolley, marble pedestal, printed photographs, text / 2014) ~ Once I promised a friend from Mongolia to bring him a sheep. In a way it felt like a nice gesture of sharing the special bond we both have with sheep. In my childhood I took care of sheep and my friend from Mongolia still herds a flock of sheep. While we didn’t speak the same language, we somehow could communicate via the language of sheep. It began as a joke but materialised after I was invited by Land Art Mongolia (LAM 2014). That year the topic was the interaction between man and animal. Approaching my proposal politically, I bought a sheep in Inner Mongolia in China. After I had him pass the necessary health checks, I prepared an animal passport, got a trolley and carefully planned a travel route to Mongolia. It is forbidden to cross the border with a sheep. All of the aforementioned preparations were taken as a precaution for avoiding serious trouble if I would be caught during the smuggling action. The intentions for this journey were not only to arrive safely in the company of the sheep, but also to demonstrate the special bond between human and animal when they need to rely on each other, and to question the endangerment of nomadic life due to severe regulations. The sheep and I journeyed for two weeks, in which we travelled by car, bus and train. I succeeded in smuggling the sheep across the Chinese-Mongolian border and arrived on time in the capital of Ulaanbaatar for the opening ceremony at the Union of Mongolian Artists. Photographs and (extended) captions show a personal travelogue with universal consequences. The texts, containing hidden political and social messages, were written as brief letters to Tessel, the then six year old daughter of a friend who saw photos of the travelling sheep on Facebook and asked me for an explanation.
Stillness, Brash Ice, Pack Ice, Growlers, Bergy Bits and Icebergs - Stillness depicts tranquil, gliding images of icescapes from the North and South Pole. I filmed these landscapes during my biannual visits to Antarctica as an expedition photographer. The meditative images invite reflection on the unparalleled beauty of this glacial ecology, which appears both vulnerable and resilient. Scored by Rutger Zuydervelt. (video 36 min / Antarctica / 2014 - 2017)
Agreement with Nature - (installation / porcelain A4-sized sheets (0,5 mm thick), Millions of cornflower seeds / 2015–2020) Agreement with Nature comprises the texts of four international treaties, which set down the agreed terms of our interactions with ‘Global Commons’. A term used to describe international, supranational, and global resource domains. Global commons include the earth’s shared natural resources, such as the high oceans, the atmosphere and outer space and the Antarctic in particular. Collectively, we have agreed not to use hostile methods to influence the weather, to give everyone free passage across the world’s oceans, and to protect one continent, the uninhabited Antarctica, from non-peaceful intentions. To emphasises how vulnerable such agreements are, the text from the original treaties are transferred on wafer-thin sheets of fragile porcelain. The treaties are placed on a bed of cornflower seeds. The cornflower, a beautiful wildflower usually considered an unwelcome weed. For me it symbolizes faithfulness and constancy. The acts printed on the porcelain sheets relate to the three stages of water. Through intensive pesticide use and seed homogenisation, the sky-blue cornflower is currently on the list of endangered nature.

Antarktikos Magazine

Locatie: World Wide

Antarktikos is a printed magazine, published once a year. This annual journal combines artistic and scientific exploration within the awe-inspiring and thought-provoking context of Antarctica.
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