Jan Adriaans

analytisch - audiovisueel - conceptueel - natuur - sociaal-maatschappelijk

In my work I’m revealing the fallacy of the idea of the human as an independently operating entity or free subject, and I show it as an illusion, directing my focus to hierarchical and heterarchical power structures and forms of self-organisation. By drawing a parallel with the animal, the set of constraints we are subjected to become more apparent. My work contains video, sound and performative work, as well as writing and curating. For me capturing modes of behaviour within specific power relations is an attempt to cut through to the merging of social and neuro-biological patterns and abstractions. Art can make these patterns tangible and detectable through its aesthetic representations.

The Geography of Crisis - In this video essay, the game of American Football functions as a metaphorical structure, portraying the unpredictable stock market as a seemingly isolated activity from the world. When students from a business faculty practice the sport, they learn how to control their bodies, internalize strategies and tactics, and channel their emotions. This is to get better at the game. Individual trades in the stock market interact relatively randomly, as they are not directly synchronized or organized by a central agency. Collectively and spontaneously, transactions provide a coherent understanding of value. Human contingent behavior is intertwined with the way the value of assets fluctuates, a self-organized system, like the way birds interact and flock together. With the increasing ability to collect and model data, the tools for analysis to predict erratic phenomena are increasing, providing a sense of risk management, but at the same time becoming a tool for more risk taking. In the video you hear a multitude of voices trying to get a grip on the situation and trying to interpret the stock market fall in deterministic terms. When we understand crisis as a human abuse of an ideal model, or alienation from a perfect situation, we overlook that these models are already part of our judgment, operating with prejudice all the while. Stock markets have created a huge inequality in wealth in the world. "A bank run is not due to an error in the model, but rather to the implementation of the model in practice." Janet Roitman – Anti-Crisis
Swarming Chants - Sound-work Swarming Chants explores how their chants spontaneously erupt during football matches and become a collective singing voice without a singular body or defined epicentre. Jan Adriaans connects these chants with the swarm intelligence observed in flocking birds or swarming fish, which involves an unconscious process whereby the individual action is subordinated to the dynamic of a group. The lyrics of football songs usually associate the fan’s group identity firmly with a specific geographic location, unifying its members against an opponent, defined as ‘the other’. However, the different chants in Adriaans’ composition blend into one another: the swarming voices switch language, national identity and location. These songs derive from folksongs, classical operatic repertoire, poptunes, hymns, military marches, nursery rhymes etc. By entirely separating these chants from the original singing bodies, Swarming Chants exposes the power of the collective voice by turning its swarm dynamics and affective impact into a unique sonic experience, which also evokes the peculiar vocal power of operatic choirs. - Kris Dittel In the orientation of a pre-conceptual phase (feeling) turning into a conceptual phase, identity is build. Stigmergy; a spontaneous emergence of coherent activity leading to a group feeling, is dominant in this process. It’s a biological term for a form of self-organization. Because the situation of football fans in the street or in the stadium is agonistic, the identity of anyone outside of this group is also build from it, either as an opponent or as a complete outsider.
Swarming Chants Act 2 SPARTA - A polyphonic chanting piece performed by 16 supporters of the SPARTA football club, in collaboration with composer Dante Boon, as part of the 3x3 series at V2_Lab for the Unstable Media. Duration: 2 x 10 min. Thanks to the SPARTA fans.
The Third Potential - 9 Screen video Installation by Jan Adriaans, Gerwin Luijendijk, and Marianna Maruyama. Duration: 23 min. Somewhere in a wooded area of the Netherlands, three men stand attentively in front of a mental healthcare facility (their stage?), they greet everyone who enters (their choreography?), they perform a role, they ride their bikes around the campus (with props?), they follow their directors, they discuss strategies for cooperation with the neighborhood (their audience?), and they wear uniforms (costumes?). They all agree this job is different from others they have held. What does it mean to perform the role of security here, to perform a role that makes people feel safe? The Third Potential focuses on a segment of the psychiatric treatment community that is often overlooked - the security team - and by doing so exposes a paradox: the visibility and presence of security is fundamental aspect of the job description. And yet, their verbal and body language have more than just a symbolic function, it is a means of positioning, mediation, estimation, prevention and de-escalation between the different parties involved. The presence of a security team can create a feeling of safety, while at the same time it brings up the question, "are we safe here?" The exhibition The Third Potential is one result of the residency and is a coproduction of The Fifth Season, Beautiful Distress House Amsterdam and BeamLab. The Third Potential was made possible by Altrecht GGZ, The Mondriaan Fund and Fivoor Forensic and Intensive Psychiatric care.
Performing Security - Only half a year after a violent crime took place in the area, artists Marianna Maruyama, Gerwin Luijendijk and Jan Adriaans temporarily relocated from Rotterdam and The Hague to the artist's residence "The Fifth Season", on the grounds of Altrecht and Fivoor in Den Dolder for a period of three months. During the residency, the artists found themselves in a position to reflect on the recent changes in the atmosphere and thinking around mental health and security while they interviewed and filmed the security team on site. Their publication made in collaboration with graphic designer Claes Storm, is a look into on the complex situation in the psychiatric clinic and the village of Den Dolder, following the shocking event in the summer of 2017, and the role of the security team during this period. The artists ask how the different positions of officer and town resident, or resident patient and guest visitor relate to one another, what verbal and physical language is used on and off-site, and what role artists have in this tense situation.
Accuracy - A cockfight begins with a ritual. Two roosters are confronted with each other by being held in close distance. Here the animal can’t avoid the opponent no more and both minds get locked in. If one smells another it gets wound up, but it really tightens its muscles when the other enters its field of vision. Back in the farm the roosters are kept in cages, where the sight to their neighbours is blocked by wooden plates. Shielded from each other the impulse to fight simply disappears. In what way are organisms determined by their environment? And how do we interact with our environment if perception is a product of prediction? Are we looking for something we already know? When a rooster attacks it narrows its vision, like a hawk. When it is lost and needs to orientate it broadens it, trying to find a familiar point of reference.
In The Best Possible Condition - publication 2019 in collaboration with Iván Martinez. Text contributions by: Lynette Smith, Neva Lukic, Michelle Carmody, Aarti Sunder, Ivan Martinez, Jan Adriaans By finding analogies with human behaviour, neurology and culture the writers in this publication reflect on the bloodsport 'Roosterfighting.' From personal experience or from distant observation.
STAY - In a car workshop between the pristine surfaces of car parts and archetypes of mass production, a construction of power is unfolding. A Doberman Pinscher and its owner are the protagonists. The camera floats through the space frequently encountering a dog posing in standstill, commanded by a disembodied voice coming from somewhere in the workshop. A Doberman is a special breed, it is constructed out of many different types of dogs for the purpose of guarding, often used by police or military. It is specifically gracious, loyal, and potentially aggressive to strangers. It needs severe training. Both the owner’s and the dog’s consciousness are formed within this relationship. By the obedient appearance of the dog, it seems to concede to the rules it’s been given. But by knowing the rules it starts to gain power itself. In the constant intermingling of the concentration on the dog’s behavior and the hypothetical assumption of what the dog might do, we recognize a ‘manifest’ and a scientific’ vision, being different but in continuous movement with one and another.