I research the origin of ‘nature’ through mappings of intersections between man-made and ‘natural’ forms of reality.
Esther Kokmeijer (1977), is an artist, explorer, designer and photographer, currently residing in Rotterdam and working around the globe. From 1996 until 2001 she studied graphic design at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts. Between 2001 and 2008 she managed her own design studio, besides working as a (travel) photographer for magazines and newspapers. Since 2008 she works as an independent artist. For some of her projects she collaborates with scientists and other professionals. In 2013 she studied Arctic and Antarctic Science, a minor at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG). Since 2013 she also seasonally works as an expedition photographer, sailing to the Arctic during the Arctic summer and to Antarctica during the Antarctic summer.
Geography is literally describing the world. During her travels across the Earth she explores quantifiable positions related to geographic coordination systems, climatic phenomena and politically vs topologically defined borders. The invisible but continuous presence of connections, borders, coordinates and meridians fascinates her.
She’s interested in how ‘landscapes’ are shaped, interact and interferes in the lives of people and vice versa. This stems from an urge to discover, order and represent the world’s natural phenomenon on a macro and micro level, to create manageable versions of systems that are too big, small or complicated to consider them in full size.
Summary of the World
Summary of the World is an installation made in 2008. It’s located at the NAI, Netherlands Architecture Institute, in Rotterdam. This work id composed by 924 meters of ribbon with world Nation printed on it. Every continent is created by its center in a ray system.
(research project, collection / 2008–ongoing)
Definition World is an ongoing research project and an expanding collection about man’s obsession with gaining understanding of the world through measuring, indexing and categorising.
One sketch from the project consists of an installation I set up in 2015 of 70 measuring tapes laid out in a grid pattern. Because visitors were allowed to walk over the installation, the grid was slowly disintegrating.
Another example of the sub-project part of Definition World is a miniature globe (appr. 4 cm in diameter) stuck into a wall up to the equator.
Diary of a Polar Traveller
(installation / silk-screened mirrors / Arctic region, Antarctic and The Netherlands / 2014–2019)
An installation consisting of two large circular mirrors showing the Polar areas, the earth’s longitudes and latitudes and the migration routes of the Arctic tern. The flight of this seabird is monitored by scientists. The close observances of the tern’s behaviour offers us a different perspective on distance, our planet and the opposite Polar regions.
“Like a tree being a silent witness to the place where it is rooted, I see the Arctic tern as a travelling witness – the observer of the magnitude of the earth and its changes.”