Boolean Works is a framework for the art, technics and theory of Johannes Bongers since 1991.Boolean Logic, developed by mathematician George Boole in the 19th century, is credited as the foundation of the information age and modern digital technology: Boolean Technology.Boolean logic, both a binary logic and a divisive ideology, (including, excluding, negating), leads to less vitality, increasing homogeneity, and capitalism's obsession with identity – being rules over becoming – repressing any actual potential of radical agency.Since 1991, Boolean Works has appropriated the Boolean logical operators AND, OR, NOT to expand the applications of Boolean Logic beyond the dominant mode of reason and of technology that has infiltrated our minds and communities and is changing the way we understand the world. We learned to interpret the Boolean operators AND OR NOT differently: AND unites amidst diversity, OR diversifies within unity and NOT brings clarity from opposition.From there the Boolean Works framework draws on several key insights: the coherence between the three ecologies (mind, social, and milieu) of Félix Guattari, Gilbert Simondon's concept of individuation, Bergson's and Deleuze's concepts of time, Jesper Hoffmeyer's semiotics of nature, Hannah Arendt's analysis of totalitarianism and Heidegger's essence of technology have been significant sources of inspiration for this work.Boolean Works encompasses a range of magnitudes, depths, and perspectives, embodied in sculpture, mixed media installations, text works, diagrams, video, spatial narratives, exhibition and curatorial programs and the digital knowledge network Fazzination. Boolean Works extends to gardens and the color yellow as a way to subvert capitalism. In Bongers work death is always near.Since 2019, Boolean Works has been constructing an artistic-political cosmology aimed at increasing vitality and variety, focusing on the development of both individual and collective agency. This cosmology includes 'apps' like the municipality Gemeente Nieuwe IJssel, the city of ANDSTERDAM, a pan-ecological political party SOOOS, and a sontological concept for living organisms: Per~son. In 2023, Technotlogy is launched, an open Operating System (OS), a supportive platform for the existing apps and new ones to come. Technotlogy is an Open OS, meaning other developers are invited to build apps and improve the OS.Recent works and projects include links to websites or additional information.
Boolean Works is het raamwerk voor de kunst, techniek en theorie van Johannes Bongers sinds 1991.De conceptuele kunstenaar Johannes Bongers bouwt sinds 2010 aan een politiek-artistieke kosmologie. Het begon met de kleur geel, waarmee het kapitalisme wordt uitgedaagd dit toe te eigenen, zoals het met alle verschil doet. geeL Leeg. De kleur werd uitgebreid met installaties en organisaties die ten doel hebben het menselijk handelingsvermogen te reactiveren en dit om te buigen van statische identiteit naar een actief worden.Na goudsmid en kristallograaf en na een carrière met museale solotentoonstellingen en opdrachten begon beeldhouwer Bongers zijn weg door de dimensies, de verschillende schalen en orders of magnitude van het leven. Eerst als curator en daarna in de technologie, hij was 15 jaar creatief directeur in technologiebedrijven en bouwde expertise op rond het verband tussen informatie en levende systemen. Zijn aanpak groeide uit in de richting van het leven zelf, de vraagstukken van de mens, de maatschappij en het milieu en de betekenis van technologie.De vraagstukken van mens, maatschappij en milieu en de samenhang daartussen, hij noemt deze 'de drie ecologieën naar Félix Guattari, zijn vooreerst kennisvraagstukken. Er is één crisis die alle huidige crises overstijgt waarin de mens een misbegrip heeft over wie en wat die is, wat de relatie is tot diens leefomgeving en wat de essentie van technologie daarin veroorzaakt.De toenemende homogenisering, het afnemende menselijk handelingsvermogen, de toeëigening van het publieke door het private en de verder groeiende technische mentaliteit zijn de grote vraagstukken waarmee Bongers zich inlaat. De kunstmatige scheiding tussen organisme en leefwereld – van alle organismen kent alleen de mens die scheiding – heeft zijn volle aandacht.De conceptuele kunst en de concepten die hij als kunstenaar, creatief directeur en nu in zijn artistieke politiek uitwerkt zijn bijna zonder uitzondering verbonden met tijd, met diversiteit en met de dood. Zijn aanpak is een pleidooi voor het uitbreiden van het kunstbegrip, het buiten de grenzen treden van kunst en kunstenaars, ook om de regie te pakken op vraagstukken die veel te belangrijk zijn om ze aan politiek en massamedia over te laten.De werken vanaf 2019 vormen een zich uitbreidende structuur: de Gemeente Nieuwe IJssel waarin oefenen centraal staat, de stad ANDSTERDAM van de drie ecologieën, SOOOS de linkse politieke partij met een driedubbele SOS, het verdwenen Bosje van Bannink en Per-soon waarin levende wezens door-klank zijn en door stem en klank politiek worden verbonden. En sinds 2023 een nieuw technologie paradigma Technotlogy waarin kunst en technologie hun gezamenlijke oorsprong hervinden.
SOOOS sound-logo: 3 times S.O.S for The Three Ecologies. SOOOS is a political movement that defends the ecology of mind, the social and the environment.
The Three Ecologies + Technotlogy. Oil and acryl on canvas, 2024
Pentalemma Game (January 2024) is an educational and strategic game about how to get the 5 political ideals in balance that steer todays biggest crises. Only 2 limits can be realised in full and simultaneously. The Game is to have either 3 passed (not possible) or have all 5 balanced out in great detail.
'L'inconnue de la Gaza' is a perspective relief created in 1991, from a black and white photograph of the death mask of an unidentified young woman who was found drowned in the River Seine in Paris during the 1880s. In 2016, we reproduced her scaled porcelain death mask. The Möbius band of 2024 adds the conceptual layer of inside-outside asymmetry – of life – and of endless cruelty and sorrow.
The Technotlogy Diagram is telling the story of how life, art and technology diverted, 2022-2023 live in 2024.
S.O.O.O.S represents a concept for pan-ecological politics. S.O.O.O.S is the Morse-coded emergency call for saving the ecology of mind, the social ecology, and the environmental ecology, emphasising the coherence among these three ecologies (2022).
DENKMAL, public art gift to the community of Gendringen, bronze, 2023 Link
Kiran Varanasi, Professor at Hochschule für Technik, Wirtschaft und Kultur Leipzig (FH) is also very much into Indian non-logic. He wrote a great article on Chatuskoti, the 4-sided negation. 'Chatuskoti' (Sankrit) is the ultimate answer to the binary and divisiveness of Boolean Logic, and it supports our decennia exploration to overcome Boolean Logic.
Invitation to two simultaneous exhibitions: 'Green 1.01' and 'Green 2.0,' which together form the 5th project of the Case Study House Omega, 1997. In the realm of art, this initiative was pioneering in its approach to connect psycho, socio and environmental diversity within the context of capitalism. Today, as climate and social politics are increasingly being linked (as demonstrated by the XR movement), the psyche – our primary ecology – remains neglected, as it is caught in the crosshairs of mass media, social technology, AGI and growing conformism.
ANDSTERDAM 2020: City of the Three Ecologies. This city embodies the Power of AND and BECOMING instead of BEING. ANDSTERDAM
MY DREAM, YOUR FUTURE (BOOLEAN WORKS MARCH 2022)
'seeing is not saving' is a sculpture project inspired by "Le Radeau de la Méduse" (1819) by Théodore Géricault, which hangs in the Louvre. The painting is the first political artwork that was inspired by a mass media newspaper article about the despair of survivors on a raft, who were left by the officers of the ship they worked on. The viewpoint of the sculpture is taken from the rescue frigate on the horizon in the painting. It shows the men on the raft but from the reversed viewpoint of the painting. From this position, today's hopeless predicament is depicted. The title is added later after Friedrich Tietjen who wrote about a photograph of drowned refugees: "Seeing does not mean saving" pointing in this work at the lacking agency to bridge the distance between reality, art, and action.
"Sculpting in time (Putin)" explores the concept of living time as described by Henri Bergson in 1889 and later reinterpreted by Gilles Deleuze in 1968. These ideas highlight the potential within each present moment, produced by the past memory and extending into the future. The latest piece "Sculpting in time (Putin)" contains different elements, including a 1974 blackboard by Joseph Beuys, a social sculptor and former German World War II pilot. Beuys' work is influenced by a personal narrative from his war experience, claims to have been rescued by Tartars in Crimea, a narrative that disrupts traditional historical accounts. Alongside this, there's a future diagram from the Pentalemma Game created from 2011-2024, a project by Johannes Bongers. These two elements provide a spatio-temporal-technological and speculative context for the early work of sculptor Vladimir Putin in a school in Sevastopol, Crimea, during the early stages of Russia's invasion in Ukraine.
Newspaper article November 20, 2021 in NRC
Bosje van Bannink demolished, 2019-2022. 1000+ images of this tiny forest. Bosje van Bannink
Closure is a collection of minimal sculptures and conceptual models exploring the asymmetrical relationship between organisms and their environments. Sculpture, as an art discipline, inherited the deep knowledge about how an entity and its environment is related; not biological but ontological and material. Making this tacit knowledge available, is extremely relevant today, as the cascade of crises and catastrophes often finds its origin, both epistemological, mental, and social, in misunderstandings about this relationship. (02/2023)
'The Family' is a collection of 300 (and growing) gold and platinum leaves, thinner than paper, all from one single rhubarb mother plant that is approximately the same age as the artist. The rhubarb leaf is a "pattern that connects," referencing to Gregory Bateson: its five-fingered shape is related to the human hand.Gold, platinum and palladium are created in the collisions of neutron stars. When two neutron stars collide, they create a massive explosion known as a kilonova. The intense heat and pressure of the collision can fuse atomic nuclei together, forming new heavy elements like gold and palladium. These elements are then scattered into space, where they can eventually become part of new stars, planets and, finally, meet rhubarb leaves. In contrast to the metals, the rhubarb mother plant is located at one single spot in our universe, grows regularly each year, and its leaves are collected and prepared at a specific point in time. In 'The Family' spacetime vectors cross in a perpetual process of individuation between orders of magnitude, modes of matter and ideas.
In front of a primary school, a small meadow with three apple trees is transformed into a garden that celebrates the coherence between the three ecologies: the mind, the social and the milieu. To teach children about the importance of the mind and ideas, community and increasing diversity (not conformity), and the environment as united with the organism. Destroy the environment and you destroy yourself v.v.
Malus Domestica (Schone van Boskoop) apples are conserved in paper of De Witte Raaf, edition September 2021.
CHANGING THE MODE OF BEING BETWEEN THE INDIVIDUAL, THE SOCIAL AND MILIEU: ANDSTERDAM (BW 9/2022)
NOT (Fettecke, 1982 AND Fountain, 1917) merges Beuys' and Duchamp's radical art. This piece is co-created with the mother of the artist. The AND operator connects what both artworks have in common. The Boolean NOT operator inverts this connection and negates the result.
Town Hall of Gemeente Nieuwe IJssel, Gemeente of the Three Ecologies. 2019 - today
The Pentalemma Game, which began in 2011, is a study in dimensional relations. In 2017, technology/media and Earth's crises were added resulting in the Pentalemma.
BOOLEAN IDENTITY, Diagrams of 'A psychoanalytic practice without the shrink' 2012-2015
A priori, 2012
geeL, Leeg is a long term project about overcoding capitalism with the color Y=100. In semiotics this color yellow is an open or empty signifier. geeL Leeg inhabitates this emptiness (leeg) and inflates it.
The Marriage from Hell between Nation State, Capitalism and Technology (2014)
Proto is a Boolean Park exclave for dimensional prototyping
Thanks to Sean Carroll for basic scheme complexity and Leonard Susskind for entropy
2005. STIP is a diagram for dimensional concepting in a informational 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 social design tool. Presented at EGOS, Vienna 2007.
Boolean Lights @ Ligetti.com 1993-2024. The Boolean AND OR NOT operators in full operation, steering the various physical and optical qualities of the wall light materials.
In the background of STOA (Power Plant), hidden behind an industrial facade, high voltage transformers are buzzing; generating mental, social and vital energy to energise life and conquer death, entropy and homogenisation in this archaic column glass architecture (Stoa).
CONCEPTUAL DIAGRAM OF PER-SON AND PER-SONATURE 2020
Mind AND Nature, after Gregory Bateson's 1979 book. He first suggested an other title: Pattern which connects. Crossing borders between disciplines and connecting different epistemologies, and switch between disparities.
Ips Typographus is a biosemiotic copywriter. Ips Typographus (Per-son) performs in GROND# 2. GROND program 2021-2022
PER-SON performing in GROND #0
NOT (Orphee), Remake clip from MOORD, 1993 Centraal Museum Utrecht. Originally cinematic material is now transferred to 'limits of glass': from the 1993 video monitor in the artshow, to the 2021 computer or mobile screen. The longer Orpheus is banging on the 'separator' between life and death, the more the act is gaining relevance in times of Social Mass Media: I want to get out!
Closing curtains 2011. Architecture, Original 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 1997. The landscape beyond life described from death. 2 channel theatre-video. Concept Bongers and played by Gerardjan Rijnders and 7 boys.
NOT (Lady Lazarus/Zimmer der Dame) from 1998 is a 5-channel video that has been compressed into one single demo. The videos in Boolean Works explore the stretching of spacetime architecture, the virtual lens of the 3-D software, sound and montage. Soundtrack of this video is the reversed version of "Duinpad" by Richard Bolhuis.
Overlijdensbericht/Obituary (After H. Müller) is a public text installation that reenacts a physical exhibition of Bongers' work. The phrase "I may be Japanese" is deconstructed and projected onto the deconstructed pavilion of Bernard Tschumi.
Exhibition concept of Bongers with Paul Groot, Beyer, Driessens & Verstappen e.a.
'Beeldbeschrijving' is a collaborative text piece created for the opening show of TENT, Rotterdam. The original play by Heiner Müller, also named 'Beeldbeschrijving', depicts a landscape beyond this side of life and includes passages that were written using automatic writing. The text is made heard in the show.
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. The show is about death and resurrection.
Gaze of Orpheus is a 2-channel video installation and glass rooms. The mimetic process of the two videos – each a 15-minute museum walk-through, with one camera moving forward and one moving backwards – is similar to the concept of the "Gaze of Orpheus" where life and death swap by looking back and forth.
WHALE (1991, glass, steel wire)
Psychotic Object # I MAY BE JAPANESE
Boolean Fruit is an exhibition plan and curatorial experiment created for De Appel, Amsterdam. Bongers used Boolean logic to create the exhibition architecture of Boolean Fruit. The principles of AND, OR, and NOT were applied to the "Route Architecturale" drawn for the two protagonists: Logos and Phonos. These two concepts are in conflict, struggling over dominance in our minds and culture.
City counsil of ANDSTERDAM
Harald Szeemann, the renowned curator, has been a great inspiration to us.
Buying Yellow at the HEMA (2013)
'Het levende levenloze wezen' is part of I May Be Japanese, 1995, Gallery Sluijmer & Van Leeuwen, mixed media installation
REAR WINDOW (1954), Boolean sculpture for Stichting Vedute in 1993 (Collection Museum Boijmans van Beuningen)
BONZAI AND ARTIFICIAL TREES + VIDEOS OF HANDWRITING THE THEATREPLAY BILDBESCHREIBUNG OF HEINER MÜLLER
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
Bongers' fascination for the relation between the psyche and the social, especially in times of crisis and destruction, originates from a very early age. This is Bongers' first calligraphy/letter writing at the age of 17 about Erich Fromm's "Fear of Freedom" (1941).
1019 LS Amsterdam,
The NetherlandsGrotestraat 91
NO SOCIAL MEDIALinks to Boolean Works websites
Selection of works: Booleanworks.nl
Pentalemma Game: website
Gemeente Nieuwe IJssel: Nieuweijssel.nl
Boolean Lights: Ligetti.com
geeL Leeg : website
City of relations and becoming: ANDSTERDAM
Pan-Ecological Party: sooos.org
New art and technology paradigm: Technotlogy.com
© Boolean Works 2024, All rights reserved.