NXT creatives

Jonas Holmer

Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design

Self-harnessing harness

In Self-harnessing Harness, Jonas Holmer chooses musical instruments, guitar pedals, motors, microphones and speakers to constitute the organisms of an ecosystem. This ecosystem consists of elements that are woven together into a pulsating network of sounds that seems to live and breathe on its own. A violin is playing by itself alongside bongo drums, while an mp3-player keeps shuffling through clips of the artists voice. The way the sounds keeps rearranging themselves suggests a temporal dimension reminiscent of a musical piece. Although in this case it goes on forever; the piece itself does not loop. There’s also an architectural aspect of the work in the sense that you can stand outside and experience its exterior sounds but also walk into it and witness it from the inside. Depending on one’s perspective Self-harnessing Harness could be seen as a kinetic installation or as a musical composition of indefinite length.

Artist Statement

I think I am more comfortable knowing what I don’t want than what I want. I see my work as more as guiding a process rather than expressing myself. The projects that turn out the best are the ones driven by a sense of discovery. When I started working on ‘Self-harnessing Harness’ I was exploring the idea of creating a generative sound piece in the most transparent way I could think of.

I’ve been interested in the music and artistic processes of minimalist composers for a long time. ‘In C’ by Terry Riley had a particular influence on this project. The idea of using a few basic elements that are constantly rearranged seems to emit its own particular kind of beauty. It’s hard to make choices and thus constraining yourself can be one way to move forward. When I’m working on a project my goal is usually to create a framework or a system where the artwork can emerge, seemingly by itself. Being receptive to what you’re actually doing rather than what you imagine you are doing would be one way to put it.