“For the future of technology, Jeanine Verloop looks at techniques from the past, noting that we have become too dependent on usability and efficiency and are therefore alienated from our ability to dream. Her printing device Reawaken combines analogue and digital technology and connects us again with the lost beauty and magic of our technical means. “
- Manifestations at Dutch Design Week
What is your current occupation?
I am a visual artist, I exhibit my autonomous (free) work and am involved in several projects focusing on art in the public space. After my graduation, I was invited to show my work at several places, including Dutch Design Week, GOGBOT festival and TecArt, which I am very happy about. My work involves a lot of research in theory and prototyping. After spending an extensive time of exhibiting my work I am now focused on research again.
In the public space, I work on various projects in collaboration with Iris Roskam and Arno Coenen. Creating art in public space is a really good occupation for someone with an illustrative mindset. In addition to a large audience, it offers a great opportunity to work with different materials and techniques.
Guardians of Democracy, 2018
This is an ode to service. The characters portray the staff as game characters performing tasks individually and as a team.
Illustrations for this artwork were created by me. The concept, pitch and production in collaboration with Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam.
Location: Communal desk inside De Hoftoren, The Hague.
Photography: Jean-Michel van Braak
These working areas provide me with an opportunity to mix my passion for craft with a fascination for technology. Craft, art and technology go hand in hand. I strive to retain the soul and skill of the human hand while working with the precision, efficiency and ever more fading limits of digital design and manufacturing.
What did you gain from your study at WdKA?
Trial and error. I have gained a lot of knowledge from working in the Stations, they were like big playgrounds for me.
I have majored in Illustration, but am not a traditional illustrator really. Not fully fitting in the programme inspired me to search for likeminded people. The minor Digital Craft (Autonomous Practices) was perfect for me, it triggered us to dive into theory and prototyping. Digital Craft gave me a firm foundation in working methods and research.
Offset Press 2.0, 2019
The Offset Press is part of a series of machines that produce analogue prints. 'Plugged in, neurotically wi-fied and G3d as we are, we yearn to re-establish contact with the actual, the primal, the old. We dream of something real, something unmitigated by the filter of profit-making portals and franchises. We want the as-was, the erstwhile. We languish for the non-mechanical and the pre- or post-industrial. We are pilgrims seeking the past, the genuine, the individual.’ - Robert McLiam Wilson, introduction Wild at Heart for WilderMann.
Instead of leaving the Illustration department, I stayed and tried to define what illustration is and what it meant for me and my work. Because of this constant reflection, I had learned a lot about myself. In the end, studying was all about self-development.
Favourite WdKA memory?
During my internship, I worked with freelance assignments. Part of the internship was setting up a working environment - together with a couple of colleagues, I had set up a shop in Academy building. It was inspiring to work side by side and to make visible steps towards the outside world, yet in a safe environment. In summer we all moved to the studio on Delftseplein (with a magnificent view here below), where I still work.
What is the future of your profession in your opinion?
Illustration is about telling a story or sharing information, with any medium possible. I think the future of illustration is not in the medium but in the way illustrators think. An illustrator thinks in a narrative, we are always telling a story or sharing information.
When I write, I want to be illustrative, descriptive. When I exhibit my work, I look at the space as if it is a storyboard. What is the sequence of images the viewer will see, how do I tell my story? All the various elements are brush strokes supporting my narrative.
Illustration usually supports the text. The consumption of text and image go hand in hand. For this reason, I believe that there must be a strong development in the interests of theory and text. We need more illustrative spirits who are not restricted by a medium and surf freely through disciplines.
We need illustrative spirits who are not restricted by a medium and surf freely through disciplines.
You never leave your house without…?
I always carry a measuring tape. Als,o you can probably find in every bag I own a variety of small tools like pliers and screwdrivers.
Any words of advice to future students?
Be open-minded and discover all the variations of you. Do not adopt a popular vision but work on developing your own. Be critical towards your teachers but above all yourself. Feel free to voice your thoughts and doubts, do not let fear of looking silly to stand in the way of learning something new. Use all the Stations to your full advantage! There is so much stuff to be learned and made. Have fun studying, because it is.
Name your favourite recent project
My favourite project is Reawaken. Reawaken is a kinetic sculpture with 55 arms, each arm powered by one of the 55 servo motors. When slamming down and touching the paper the tip of the arm leaves a mark.
In this work, I reflect on how we consume technology. Most important for me is the abstract story I wrote about an alien seeing us humans for the first time. This piece of text connects my body of thought to my work. The philosophy behind this is essential and will be further developed in my next project.
All the various elements are brush strokes supporting my narrative.
Future plans and hopes
It has been amazing to show my recent work in so many different places and contexts. If my work inspires new ideas, however small they might be, that feels like a fantastic accomplishment. Now, I hope to develop a range of machine-like sculptures that will stimulate the imagination. And I want to bundle and publish my research.
In the near future, I have some exhibitions planned and will continue being very active in the public space. I will deliver my first production in public space. Part of this production is a three-storey high ceramic tableau for renovated ’50 apartments in Den Helder (Production footage will be up in a few weeks).
I am also very happy to be starting a big project in the public space in Amsterdam. This will also be a collaboration between me, Iris Roskam and Arno Coenen.
Curious about Jeanine's future projects? Visit her website!