Boolean Works is a selection of artworks by Johannes Bongers starting from 1991.
Boolean Logic originated from George Boole, the 19th-century mathematician, and Boolean Logic is credited for laying the foundation of the information age. From 1991 onwards, Boolean Works appropriates the Boolean operators AND OR NOT to expand the applications of Boolean Logic beyond math, binaries and dialectics, and against the capture of capitalism that is associated with it. This makes clear why Boolean Works is work in progress.
Boolean Works mutates the DNA of Boolean logic - AND OR NOT - to establish a neo-Boolean ecological practice. An artistic-political practice that transversally connects the three ecologies: the ecology of the environment, the ecology of the social and the ecology of mind. Technology and mass media are dominant in the disturbance of the coherence between these ecologies. Boolean Works as an ecological framework, our interpretation of Joseph Beuys Erweiterte Kunst, is a precondition to resist daily life as merely ideology.
Boolean Works spans from works on self, time, death, and other human dimensional constraints, to studies on change, information, capitalism and technology. Sculpture, cosmologies, text works and diagrams, videos, long-term narratives, exhibition and curatorial programs, technology startups, and imaginary organizations are part of the wide and deep scope of Boolean Works.
Recent works and projects link to specific websites or extra info.
ANDSTERDAM is affirmative, open and OOO instead of XXX. MAY 2022 in GROND, https://andsterdam.nl
MED-USA is a sculpture after Le Radeau de la Méduse (1819). View point of the sculpture is the Ship of Hope at the horizon in the painting.
Newspaper article November 20, 2021 in NRC
Artistic political intervention: The hacking of the Socialist Co-Party program of December 6, 2021 LINK to the program
Malus Domestica (Schone van Boskoop) apples are conservated in pages of De Witte Raaf, edition September 2021.
Town Hall of Gemeente Nieuwe IJssel, Gemeente of the Three Ecologies. 2019 - today
Trilemma+ Game started in 2013 and is a study in dimensional relations. In 2017 Information / Technology is added to the Trilemma > Tetralemma. This diagram will be updated after the Corona insights and also the Earth crises are interwoven in the existing trilemmatic structure. The Trilemma+ Game is oldskool Boolean AND OR NOT.
BOOLEAN IDENTITY, socio-psychoanalytic practice, study and diagrams
geeL, Leeg materiaal = NOT (RED, BLUE, ORANGE, PURPLE, ANTRACITE, GREENISH). In semiotics geeL, Leeg materiaal is called an open or empty signifier, an empty meaning. geeL, leeG materiaal is a long term project about re-conquering the capture of capitalism.
Marriage from Hell between Nation and Capitalism (2014)
Proto is a Boolean Park exclave for dimensional prototyping
Thanks to Sean Carroll for basic scheme complexity and entropy
2005. STIP is a diagram for dimensional concepting in a technological environment. The STIP, PITS, TIPS dimensions form a tetrahedron where every node is directly connected to the other three. The non-hierarchical structure of the tetrahedron makes STIP an extremely powerful design tool. Presented at EGOS, Vienna 2007.
To the notions of Post Media, Post Mass Media and 'Digital as Post Media' in art theory and critical theory, BW adds a fourth category that dominates all previous ones: Social Mass Media. The amount of communication it produces is the real problem. Critique on mass media has always been conspicuous and was even offended by Marshall McLuhan: a book is also a mass medium.
STEM connects The Three Ecologies of Guattari with Techne (making, technology).
Diagrams move between the real, the symbolic and the imaginary. Bongers uses diagrams to structure his thoughts and concepts.
Boolean Light collection @ Ligetti.com 1993-2021. AND OR NOT controls and steers the various polarising materials.
Additionally, in the background of STOA (Power Plant), hidden behind an industrial facade, transformers are buzzing; generating mental, social and artistic energy to conquer entropy and homogenisation.
Ensemble of a Dutch axe, a piece of Hedera root, a nomadic/Turkana spear, a German wooden demo rifle (WO1) and a Yellow Entropic Tube.
DENKMAL IS A PUBLIC ART GIFT TO THE COMMUNITY OF GENDRINGEN 2020. LINK TO PDF
CONCEPTUAL DIAGRAM OF PER-SON AND PER-SONATURE 2020
Mind AND Nature, Gregory Bateson 1979. He first suggested an other booktitle: The Pattern that connects
Boolean Family started in 2018. Bongers collects all leaves of one large and old plant structure in yearly collections. Each leaf is prepared and conserved. Boolean Family (AND OR NOT) is an ongoing project about subjectivity and homogenisation.
Ips Typographus is a biosemiotic copywriter. Ips Typographus (Per-son) performs in GROND# 2. GROND program 2021-2022
SOON IS SOUND.
For Joseph Beuys, sound was as important a sculptural material as fat, felt, or copper. He was certain that you hear a sculpture before you see it.
Rosetta Stone and Platonic Bodies (2021)
PER-SON performing in GROND #0
NOT (Orphee), clip from MOORD, 1993 Centraal Museum Utrecht. Originally cinematic material is transferred to 'limits of glass' by the 1993 video monitor and in 2021 computer screen or mobile. The longer Orphee is banging on the 'division' between life and death, the more the act is gaining relevance in times of Social Mass Media.
Closing curtains 2011. Architecture, sound, death, montage. I filmed what i hoped was going to happen.
Clip of Beeldbeschrijving/Explosion of a Memory Heiner Müller, in CSHO #6 't Luie End. The landscape beyond life described from death. 2 channel theatre-video. Played by Gerardjan Rijnders.
NOT (Lady Lazarus/Zimmer der Dame). A 5 channel 3D video is compressed in one demo. (Mediamatic BABY 1998). The videos in Boolean Works stretch spacetime, question the dominance of the camera, son + image and montage.
Overlijdensbericht/Obituary (After H. Müller). A public accessible text installation reenacts a physical exhibition of Bongers. 'I may be Japanese' is deconstructed and projected on the deconstructed pavilion of Bernard Tschumi.
Exhibition concept of Bongers with Paul Groot, Beyer, Driessens & Verstappen e.a.
Beeldbeschrijving is a collaborative text piece for the opening show of TENT, Rotterdam. The original play Beeldbeschrijving of Heiner Müller contains parts that were written automatically.
TRUE SELF, FALSE SELF is part of a 10 piece museum installation. TRUE SELF, FALSE SELF is referring to Boolean Logic resulting in TRUE/FALSE, 0 or 1.
Gaze of Orpheus. 2 channel video and glass rooms. The mimetic process of two video's, a 15 minutes museum walk-through, one camera moves forward and one backwards, is similar to The Gaze of Orpheus. Both captured in the control over the real, the imaginary and the symbolic.
WHALE (1991, glass, steel wire)
Psychotic Object # I MAY BE JAPANESE
Boolean Fruit is an exhibition plan and curatorial experiment for De Appel, Amsterdam. Bongers applied Boolean Logic for the exhibition architecture of Boolean Fruit. AND OR NOT was applied on the Route Architecturale drawn for the two protagonists: Logos and Phonos. Both struggling for dominance in our minds and within our culture.
City counsil of ANDSTERDAM
Boolean Park, studio for information and human dimensional interaction in technological environments. Clients in travel (XITIES) and culture (KCO, North Sea Jazz, Holland Festival, Mens + Boek).
Harald Szeemann, the renowned curator, has been a great inspiration for Bongers' way of dealing with art and context.
YELLOW CONTRA MATERIAL WORKSHOP
'Het levende levenloze wezen' is part of I May Be Japanese, 1995, Gallery Sluijmer & Van Leeuwen, mixed media installation
MODEL FOR CHANGE (BATESON, WEICK AND VAN STAVEREN) 2021
LE BANQUET CÉLESTE IS A TRIBUTE TO MESSIAEN.
EARLY PIECE OF OBJECT ORIENTED ONTOLOGY
EARLY PIECE OF OBJECT ORIENTED ONTOLOGY
Case Study House Omega was based on an Omega shaped camera movement in Profession Reporter of Michelangelo Antonioni. The projects of CSHO mark the stages and montage of this moviescene: interior/secret, body, camera, gaze, window, psyche, identity, landscape, psychosis and death (Omega). 100+ artists, architects and authors participated.
GREEN 1.01 & GREEN 2.0, Case Study House Omega #5, Our first project about The Three Ecologies,1997
BONZAI AND ARTIFICIAL TREES + VIDEOS OF HANDWRITING THE THEATREPLAY BILDBESCHREIBUNG OF HEINER MÜLLER
First leaf as per-son of Boolean Family. Multiple with spacetime stamp
The Three Sisters. A Public Art Space Template at GROND 2020
Recommended herbicides by Wageningen University NL for effective crop control
FIRST SOLO 1991. Private portraits standing and sleeping. Inspired by The Poetics of Space of Gaston Bachelard and Oponthoud van de dood van Maurice Blanchot.
GROND PROGRAM 2021/2022
BOOLEAN BARS #7, # 13, 2019
Bongers first calligraphy/letter writing at the age of 17.
About Boolean in Boolean Works.
Boolean logic originated from George Boole, the 19th-century mathematician who's logic laid the foundation for the digital circuit and hence, for the information age. Boolean Logic is the final and dominant step in the rationalisation process over human ambiguity and diversity. After centuries of research, by Leibniz, De Morgan and others, Boole found the way to a logical algebra wherein rationality rules over the laws of nature.
The Boolean operators AND (connection), OR (division), and NOT (negation) control each computer equation and results in TRUE or FALSE, 1 or 0. The divisive nature of Boolean logic - connection, division and negation - is the DNA of digital technology. This nature corresponds with human in- and exclusion in mental and social processes, the in/out of architecture, and the binaries of nature vs culture, mind/body etc. But we need to overcome these oppositions to secure a future for all living systems.
Today, Boolean logic, through digital technology, influences the course of human history by deepening and expanding the status quo. For the first time, after 2000 years of Aristotelian logic, Boolean logic radically splits logic from the complexity of life. Boolean logic, being the DNA of digital technology, homogenizes the mental, social, cultural, and even economic diversity. Homogenization further oppresses the artistic, creative and social potential of each human being. It prevents them in the aspiration of Jeder Mensch ist ein Künstler".
How to apply Boolean artistically?
Boolean Works, AND OR NOT, is an artistic practice started in the early 90s', simultaneously with the birth of Tech. AND OR NOT in Boolean Works is about radical thinking, acting and being an artist. By being included, being whole, being excluded and not being, all at the same time. In the three-word poem AND OR NOT resonates Connection (AND), division (OR) and negation (NOT). AND OR NOT transcends oppositions and binaries (mind/body, nature/culture, human/non-human etc.) into a continuous flow of relations, processes, and creative possibilities.
Since 1991 Bongers applies Boolean logic to non-rational topics and themes. In art installations about absence and death, in his first museum soloshow TRUE SELF, FALSE SELF (1993), in the social and political enclaves Hybrid Workspace (2012) and Gemeente Nieuwe IJssel (2020), in Boolean Love, a digital public art work in Amsterdam from 1996, in the exhibition and curational design of Boolean Fruit for De Appel, Amsterdam (1998) and Bongers used Boolean as organisational foundation in Boolean Park and Boolean Proto (2001-2009). The NOT-architecture of the technology platform-as-ecology-of-mind Fazzination (2013-2019) is founded on permeabilty, radical openess, and reflects the neo-Boolean approach. In the project ANDSTERDAM, (2021-2022), the social and ecological structure of Amsterdam is redesigned by applying the Boolean operator AND on the three ecologies. In geeL, Contra Material, an ongoing 10 year project about the color yellow, Bongers developed a yellow NOT-cosmology for personal and social resistance against the capture of capitalism. With the artistic appropriation of Boolean logic, Boolean Works opens up transversal ways of thinking and sculpts new social, technological and ecological practices.
In the meanwhile
While Bongers appropriated Boolean logic artistically, in the early '90s, Boolean logic conquered the world through hyper-capitalist tech. By exploiting Boolean logic as its DNA, Tech annexes and compresses all human structures and dimensions: space, time, labor, knowledge, the mind, and the social. They are re-mediated by Boolean logic into an entangled techno-logical mass media dystopia. Supported by information manipulation, propaganda and data-monopolisation we're diving deeper into dystopia: the metaverse and AI revolution. The official Boolean logic of hyper-capitalist tech, reduces human subjectivity, agency and imagination, turns the social into an arena for attention and conflict and limits mental, social and ecological diversity. The ever growing homogenisation this tech produces through social mass media, the loss of personal agency and breaking down social resistance, affects our modes of belonging and alienates living from life as interconnected and intersubjective processes.
Raised in a family of farmers near the German border, working on the land, played with self-made wooden Lamborghini's and assisting mentally handicapped children, Bongers became politically aware and socially involved in the 1970s. Growing up in a large family, the Zone of Proximal Development provides great diversity. The enclavic and exclavic nature of being a family member though, surrounded and excluded at the same time, is the most influential experience Bongers has had.
In his first occupation as goldsmith, mineralogist and metallurg, Bongers studied and assembled earth's materials and material phenomena in a micro-scale cosmology. It was his first encounter with craftsmanship, material skills, scale and expert knowledge and with the limitations that come with it. During this period Bongers became fascinated by the construction and interplay of mental, social, and political concepts and processes. Subsequently educated as a sculptor during the ‘80’s, influenced by architecture, narrativity, and film, and inspired by Mies, Fabro, Beuys, Antonioni, Dan Graham, De Maria and Smithson, Bongers became an artist. In the ‘90s he presented his artwork, installations and performances in museums, galleries and in commissioned projects. In the process of becoming he choose to be an architect and lent the statement of Gerhard Merz (after Bouleé): Et io anche son Architetto. An architect, not of housing and buildings, but of creative, mental, social and technological constructions; temporal, spatial, conceptual, material and imaginary dwellings.
From 1992 until today, Bongers explores technology in all its depth, from coding, as creative director, concepting and founding tech companies, and by the philosophy of technology.
In 2013 Bongers terminated his Facebook account and launched the tech counter-narrative Fazzination and Fazz.io. Zuckerberg cum suis represents everything you do not want; not for yourself, for your children, not for society and not for business or organisations. But even art institutions, until today, keep addicted to the attention industry Zuck offers.
In the 70's Bongers was fascinated by the relation and interaction between the psyche and the social. Raising up in a family of 10 makes one aware of safety, freedom and being an individual. His first artwork was 'The Fear of Freedom', after a book by the psychoanalyst and philosopher Erich Fromm. In 1977 Bongers copied and calligraphed the summary of this book.
At the age of 19 Bongers studied the works of Palladio, Mies van der Rohe and houses of Eisenman. In the 80s’ and 90s’ he studied architectural theory and was influenced by Heidegger, Bachelard, Colomina, Wigley, Vidler and Simmel and learned to connect psychoanalysis, poetics, antropology and architecture. By reading Foucault, Arendt, Blanchot, Nietzsche, Derrida, Latour and Deleuze & Guattari, philosophy entered Bongers life and work. He dived into the geographies of temporality and space and developed the S.T.I.P. diagram connecting Place, Time, Information and Social in a techno-context. He completed his study in dimensions and foundations with information theory, and via Shannon, Boltzmann and Susskind he entered the worlds of cosmology and quantum theory.
Today (2021) Boolean Works reinterprets Beuys, Bateson, Braidotti, Deleuze, Spinoza and Guattari. Guattari's 'The Three Ecologies' had a huge impact since it matches seamlessly with Bongers intuitions. The authors addressing making the loop back to art, ecology and stand up against homogenisation. Bongers defines technology as the final and devastating force against a new coherence between the ecologies. Techne needs to be readdressed towards making as a human condition and much less to extension and invention.
Bongers zigzags between old and new universes of material, scale and information and interconnects them transversally. His wide-angled, deep-focused and critical practice turns out to be a sound foundation for dealing with the predicament.
Erweiterte Kunst and artistic extensions
In the mid 90's Bongers lost his artistic and intellectual trust and interest in the art world: art stood on the brink of absorption and turning to the other side: hyper-capitalism. Bongers started curating projects on art, architecture, ecology and social theory, involving other artists, activists and theorists. Today Boolean Works is a Neo-Boolean eco-logical practice and AND OR NOT a resonating three-word poem.
In the works and projects, Boolean Works conquers homogenisation of all sorts, re-captures per-sonal agency, and is re-thinking and designing technology to increase per-sonal, social and ecological diversity. Boolean Works keeps producing energy for a life of thought, making and being with others.
In 2020 Bongers and Arienne van Staveren founded Gemeente Nieuwe IJssel.
t: +31(0) 681831510
1019 LS Amsterdam,
Links to Boolean Works websites
Selection of works: Booleanworks.nlGemeente Nieuwe IJssel: Nieuweijssel.nlGROND: GROND.amsterdamPer-soon site only: Per-soon.nlidoviewthisasthenextchapterofarthistory.comBoolean Objects: Ligetti.comArtistic cosmology: geeL, Leeg Materiaal ANDSTERDAM
© Boolean Works 2021, All rights reserved.