10 Dec – 13 Feb 2011

We are now, officially, lost

Stijn Verhoeff

With the book ‘Lapon d’une Renne, Voyages into the Arctic Regions’ Stijn Verhoeff investigates the current trend of digitising books.

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The history of Arctic exploration serves as the guideline for this book. In the exhibition and video performance Stijn Verhoeff examines the Arctic and the interpretations and alterations of history further.

Once, the Arctic was a big, empty void. Some called it terra incognita, while others maintained there was a magnetic mountain, from which four rivers flowed, filling up the oceans. Many voyages took place, charting the area. The Arctic was embodied and anchored down in stories and books. Now, at the start of the 21st century, this history is being scanned. In libraries across the world books are taken off the shelves and transformed into ones and zeros. However, quite often, in this digitisation process things go wrong: images fade, colours appear, scribbled, marginal notes become part of the original.

Lapon d’une Renne, Voyages into the Arctic Regions addresses the alterations that occur in the digitisation process. Using some hundred e-books, Stijn Verhoeff sheds new light on the history of the Arctic. It is the outcome of an exploration of the archives of the Internet; it calls into question, in a poetic manner, the digitisation of knowledge. At the same time, the book celebrates the elusive results arising from this process. After all, if we are to believe the Internet, neither history nor the Arctic region itself can be captured in a univocal image.

During the exhibition ‘We are now, officially, lost’ various series of prints will be shown, and at the opening Stijn Verhoeff will present at 21.00h a video performance about archeology and the Arctic. This performance consists of different speakers and underwater filmfootage of divers exploring a wooden shipwreck.

Stijn Verhoeff studied Fine Art at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and subsequently gained a Master’s degree in Documentary Film at Brunel University in London. Since then, he combines documentaries and art in film, photography and books. He developed Lapon d’une Renne, Voyages into the Arctic Regions as a researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie, post-academic institute for research and production in fine art, design and theory. The book is during the exhibition for sale at W139 for € 25,-. After the exhibition the book can be found in bookshops in the Netherlands and abroad.

Lapon d'une Renne, Voyages into the Arctic Regions
Hardcover met dustjacket
128 pages
20 x 30 cm
color and black & white
Dutch and Enlish
isbn: 978-90-72076-54-0
Published and distributed by Jan van Eyck Academie