Graphic Design

Hic Sunt Dracones

Tim van Hooft
Practice Autonomous Practices
Project Digital Craft
Major Graphic Design
Year Fourth Year

Nominee: Bachelor Research Award & Drempelprijs Autonomous Practices

My research and project investigate the value of the monster figure throughout history, as a means to better interpret questions that are difficult to understand and overcome. The project explores the meaning, impact, and visual language of potential 21st. century monsters and how they can help us to understand and critique Anthropocene crises such as climate change, mass population and global extinctions.

"Monsters ask us how we perceive the world. They ask us why we have created them. The figure of the monster may thus be used to question, disturb, and alter the conventions it helps us to analyse." - Jeffrey Jerome Cohen

We have a tendency to believe that the upcoming generations will fix the many crises we are currently unleashing. Crises which are so dense, untouchable, and out of our reach that we have no good way of understanding them. We cannot see nor touch these crises, but elements that are considered part of it, we can; plastic pollution, oil spills, deforestation, and many other things surrounding us in our daily life. By 3D scanning these elements and putting them together I am aiming to create a speculative embodiment of these crises and propose the question: “Could these be the Anthropocene monsters?”

Hic Sunt Dracones is a speculative, first-person experience which explores an archaeological site, set in a distant future, which contains time capsules with the monsters and their remnants that have taken shape in, and reflect upon the 21st century. Within the 21st century, the time capsules functioned as a way to warn and instruct, reminding the people to think about the very things they were all fighting against.

These time capsules showcased the ability to be buried, as a last resort when extinctions had been set in irreversible motion. For the generations after us, these capsules would not only function as instruction and warning but also possesses the need to teach. To educate the successor of mankind on the immense questions and problems we were dealing with. May they be more aware, and not make the same mistakes.

It has been many centuries, you find yourself at the beginning of a, yet undiscovered, burial site. Containing artefacts of a lost world. You submerge yourself on the history that exists within, and on these walls.

This work can be found and experienced online

Artist's website