©Pleun van Dijk, Replika, 2018, copyright Bram van Dijk : Nahmlos, commissioned by Roskilde festival
©Pleun van Dijk, Replika, 2018, copyright Bram van Dijk : Nahmlos, commissioned by Roskilde festival

 “Everything keeps on changing and I love to investigate those transitions and turn them into future speculations.”

Name

Pleun van Dijk

Profession

Speculative artist/designer

Website

pleunvandijk.com 

©Pleun van Dijk, Portrait, 2021, copyright Bram van Dijk : Nahmlos
©Pleun van Dijk, Portrait, 2021, copyright Bram van Dijk : Nahmlos

Where are you from?

The Netherlands

Your style in 3 words?

Speculative future scenarios

When did you decide to become an artist?

To be honest I never really decided to become an artist. Thanks to the context in which I grew up I could always follow my interests and desire to create which all resulted in what I am today.

©Pleun van Dijk, Objects of Desire_004, 2021, copyright Bram van Dijk : Nahmlos
©Pleun van Dijk, Objects of Desire_004, 2021, copyright Bram van Dijk : Nahmlos

Do you choose your art form, or does the form choose you?

I think it is the concept that chooses the art form in my case. The medium should support the story I want to tell, sometimes it is best to do this through a video piece, other times through a series of sculptures etc.

What do you find most fascinating about your work?

What fascinates me the most are the themes my work is touching upon. The process leading up to a final piece is often the part I enjoy the most, it allows me to completely dive into a topic and create new thoughts and perspectives based on the current developments. Everything keeps on changing and I love to investigate those transitions and turn them into future speculations.

A few words about your favourite creation?

My favourite creation is often the most recent work as I every time try to reach a new level of quality and relevance within my work. Beside the latest work called ‘Objects of Desire’ it is my BA graduation project ‘Reborn’ that still has an important role for me. It was during the development of these sculptures that I found my main fascinations and took the first step into the direction of speculative design. Looking back, ‘Reborn’ has been the starting point of all the projects I have created ever since, it is a work about evolution and became a new step of the evolution of my own practice.

What surprised you most about your first art shows?

The biggest surprise is always how people react to the work. It is always my goal to provide different perspectives to the audience and trigger new thoughts. While guiding the viewer into the right direction I also try to leave enough space for them to formulate their own stories. Being next to your own work on a show is therefore a perfect moment to listen to the viewer’s interpretations which can vary from my intended directions to complete surprises.

©Pleun van Dijk, Transcience_001, 2016
©Pleun van Dijk, Transcience_001, 2016

Someone else’s work that inspired or inspires you…

Instead of looking at other designers and artists my work is mainly based on the current developments in science, technology and technique philosophy. Those are the fields that my work often reflects upon and that I look into whenever I start a new research. The people that inspire me therefor vary from other artists to scientists, psychologists, journalists, philosophers, writers etc.

Do you think about time as an artist?

Time is a really relevant part of my practice as my work is often a speculative future scenario based on the current developments in science and technology. It allows us to not only rethink our future but also get a new perspective on the now and the decisions we have to make today that might radically change our own evolution.

©Pleun van Dijk, Reborn_001, 2016, copyright Ronald Smits
©Pleun van Dijk, Reborn_001, 2016, copyright Ronald Smits

What does freedom mean when it comes to art?

Being able to provide the viewer with new perspectives that could be utopian as well as dystopian. Art can show us beauty as well as confront us with our human imperfections. It is freedom when you can visually communicate all those different angles without restrictions or limitations.

A new project coming up or an idea you want to work on?

At the moment I’m looking into the possibilities to continue with my most recent work ‘Objects of Desire’. In this project, human (designer) and technology (an algorithm) collaborated in the design process of new hybrid forms, a method that exemplifies the ever-existing relationship between human and technology. The series of sculptures in which this resulted confronts the viewer with a new scenario and leaves them to decide whether they perceive the outcome as human, non-human or something that exists in between.

©Pleun van Dijk, Reborn_002, 2016, copyright Ronald Smits
©Pleun van Dijk, Reborn_002, 2016, copyright Ronald Smits

2022: Where are we going?

With my work I never want to give an answer to the question, what our future is gonna look like cause the reality is that we don’t know where we are going. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t think about it. I do believe that it’s very crucial to think about the consequences of the decisions we make today and how it will not only affect our lives but possibly change that of many generations after us. Eventually, it will even impact who we are and what we will become.

Tell us about your future plans…

At this specific moment in time I don’t have any defined future plans yet but what I do have are dreams. The most important one is that I hope to be able to continue my artistic practice and keep on developing new projects.

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