Jonas Blume

Video and installation artist

22.06.2018   - 24.06.2018

Jonas Blume is a Berlin-based conceptual video and installation artist. His art is centered around the theme of the relationship between online and offline self, and how existence in each realm spawns a multidimensional identity that is neither entirely virtual, nor limited to IRL (in real life) personae. When an individual can exist as multiple entities unconstrained from their IRL identity and sociality, this bears enormous potential for egality and liberty, but also prompts us to redefine what is real and what is virtual. If something is created as artifice but has real life effects, doesn’t that make it real even though it is immaterial? And what is the trade-off for committing to a purely online existence? These are the questions Blume ponders in his work.

While much of Blume’s work is based on conceptual online activity materialized in videos, his pieces appropriate representational strategies from installation, sculpture, and performance to create environments that aspire to embed the viewer within the artwork as an exemplary media situation that allows for personal introspection, as well as for situating oneself within the context of online life and the landscape of shared human experience at large.

In 2016, Blume received his M.A. in Visual and Media Anthropology from Free University, Berlin. He also holds a B.F.A. in Sculpture (major) and Art History (minor) from Pratt Institute. He received the Pratt Circle Award for Academic Excellence in 2013.

Besides artistic work, Blume is also a published academic. His paper Exploring the Potentials and Challenges of Virtual Distribution of Contemporary Art was published in 2017 in the Journal Digital Environments. Ethnographic Perspectives Across Global Online and Offline Spaces, edited by Urte Undine Frömming, Steffen Köhn, Samantha Fox, and Mike Terry. Blume’s paper examines the extent to and manner in which artistic production and the Internet, as well as computer technologies more broadly, have overlapped and integrated. He achieves such an analysis by looking at early examples of virtual exhibitions as a gateway towards the question of how digital art may appropriate the technological tools of the Internet in a subjective and advantageous way. Finally, his paper also examines how the shape of digital art online affects notions of artistic distribution and argues that it is not independent from the commercial and capitalist structure of the art market. You can download and read Blume’s paper in its entirety from De Gruyter.

Furthermore, Blume is not restricted to academically analyzing the dynamics of online circulation of digital art, but rather also exhibits his own work through such means. For example, his work may be viewed as part of the online group exhibition Mermaids and Unicorns.

A reflected, symmetrically distorted image mage of media-artist Jonas Blume, gazing dryly into the camera.
Jonas Blume

For the group exhibition Personae, part of the 48 Stunden Neukoelln Festival, SomoS has invited Blume to present his video-work Monument to the 52 Hertz Whale (stills below). This piece employs the sounds of a whale whose song that was recorded in the Atlantic Ocean exhibits a frequency range which has led scientists to believe that it may be the last of its kind. Having been labelled as the world’s loneliest whale, Blume incorporates its song into his work as an allegory to the paradoxical dynamics of intimacy/isolation present in online existence.

Jonas Blume’s homepage: