Sharon Houkema
BIOGRAPHY
Sharon Houkema graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 2001. A few years later she was nominated for the feminist Mamacash Art Awards. After finishing the Rijksakademie Beeldende Kunsten in 2009, she won the Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst audience award. In 2015 she was nominated for the Longlist of the Prix de Rome. She was invited to various international artist-in residency programs, including El Eco in Mexico City and ViaFarini, in Milan and received fellowships and stipends from, among others, Fiorucci Art Trust, Mondriaan Fund, Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds and the Ministry of OCW.

Houkema set up solo exhibitions in among others Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam and MU Eindhoven. She participated in group exhibitions in La Casa Encendida, Madrid, White Box, New York, Estrany de la Mota, Barcelona, CTM festival in Berlin, and Fact in Liverpool. Outside the context of four walls and a ceiling, her work was hosted by art organisations such as Museum M, Into Nature and Land-Art Contemporary. Her works have been included in collections such as Fiorucci, KRC, Fam Sanders and LUMC.

Both her institutional presentations as well as the works in the public space received interest from among others NPR, El Pais, NRC, Volkskrant, and MetropolisM. Houkema made several print and digital publications and contributed to publications by Roma, Node, Kunstlicht, and Kulturo/LABAE, and others.

She gave presentations and took part in discussions in El Eco Museo Experimental, Omstand / Collection De Groen, the KunsthalKade Land art expert meeting. She also contributed to educational programs related to her work at home and abroad, and organised these herself in the context of solo exhibitions. In addition she had the pleasure of working as an art teacher.

SOLAR SERVER
SOLAR SERVER
the extended body

You are visiting my website via a solar server that is currently located in the dunes of Den Helder. The server is no bigger than a lunch box and is powered by a small solar panel with a battery. The solar server needs little energy, but if its days are dark and busy, it can happen that the website goes offline. If this is the case, then it is not a malfunction, but a message.

Media philosopher Marshall McLuhan viewed any form of technology as an extension of the body that enhances its capabilities. The hammer makes stronger, the wheel makes faster, and with the smartphone eyes and ears reach further. These extensions influence the way we perceive and interact with our environment, often without us being aware of that influence.

The production, transport and disposal phases of all consumer products largely remain invisible to us. This is perhaps even more true for our media consumption. Yet this form of consumption also uses matter and energy, and that use is felt by humans and non-humans somewhere on the planet.

While our technologies are becoming increasingly efficient in their use of resources, overall consumption worldwide is increasing. Jevons' paradox explains this as follows: more efficient use of resources reduces costs, this enables greater production, which leads to greater consumption. This growth of consumption is not so much the outcome of general population growth, but due mainly to the increased consumption of a small, prosperous part of that population. Greening the technologies alone will not improve those problems. What it requires is a culture shift and associated regulations.

To achieve that goal, there are countless smaller and larger strategies that can reinforce each other. This is just one of them: Choose one of your bodily extensions and get to know it intimately, through all its life stages. Acknowledge the banalities, the impurities, the leakages, and the way these reach into the lives of others. Tinker with your outreach until one emerges that best serves the needs of all. Our extended bodies are no temples, but they can be servers.

Sharon Houkema, 2022




With thanks to:
Maarten van Maanen for the web design and typeface.
Daniel Versteegh (Bit of pepper / Ai-Captain) for building the solar server

This project was made possible in part by a contribution from Tijlfonds
NED / ENG
biography
Sharon Houkema graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 2001. A few years later she was nominated for the feminist Mamacash Art Awards. After finishing the Rijksakademie Beeldende Kunsten in 2009, she won the Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst audience award. In 2015 she was nominated for the Longlist of the Prix de Rome. She was invited to various international artist-in residency programs, including El Eco in Mexico City and ViaFarini, in Milan and received fellowships and stipends from, among others, Fiorucci Art Trust, Mondriaan Fund, Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds and the Ministry of OCW.

Houkema set up solo exhibitions in among others Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam and MU Eindhoven. She participated in group exhibitions in La Casa Encendida, Madrid, White Box, New York, Estrany de la Mota, Barcelona, CTM festival in Berlin, and Fact in Liverpool. Outside the context of four walls and a ceiling, her work was hosted by art organisations such as Museum M, Into Nature and Land-Art Contemporary. Her works have been included in collections such as Fiorucci, KRC, Fam Sanders and LUMC.

Both her institutional presentations as well as the works in the public space received interest from among others NPR, El Pais, NRC, Volkskrant, and MetropolisM. Houkema made several print and digital publications and contributed to publications by Roma, Node, Kunstlicht, and Kulturo/LABAE, and others.

She gave presentations and took part in discussions in El Eco Museo Experimental, Omstand / Collection De Groen, the KunsthalKade Land art expert meeting. She also contributed to educational programs related to her work at home and abroad, and organised these herself in the context of solo exhibitions. In addition she had the pleasure of working as an art teacher.

SOLAR SERVER
SOLAR SERVER
the extended body

You are visiting my website via a solar server that is currently located in the dunes of Den Helder. The server is no bigger than a lunch box and is powered by a small solar panel with a battery. The solar server needs little energy, but if its days are dark and busy, it can happen that the website goes offline. If this is the case, then it is not a malfunction, but a message.

Media philosopher Marshall McLuhan viewed any form of technology as an extension of the body that enhances its capabilities. The hammer makes stronger, the wheel makes faster, and with the smartphone eyes and ears reach further. These extensions influence the way we perceive and interact with our environment, often without us being aware of that influence.

The production, transport and disposal phases of all consumer products largely remain invisible to us. This is perhaps even more true for our media consumption. Yet this form of consumption also uses matter and energy, and that use is felt by humans and non-humans somewhere on the planet.

While our technologies are becoming increasingly efficient in their use of resources, overall consumption worldwide is increasing. Jevons' paradox explains this as follows: more efficient use of resources reduces costs, this enables greater production, which leads to greater consumption. This growth of consumption is not so much the outcome of general population growth, but due mainly to the increased consumption of a small, prosperous part of that population. Greening the technologies alone will not improve those problems. What it requires is a culture shift and associated regulations.

To achieve that goal, there are countless smaller and larger strategies that can reinforce each other. This is just one of them: Choose one of your bodily extensions and get to know it intimately, through all its life stages. Acknowledge the banalities, the impurities, the leakages, and the way these reach into the lives of others. Tinker with your outreach until one emerges that best serves the needs of all. Our extended bodies are no temples, but they can be servers.

Sharon Houkema, 2022




With thanks to:
Maarten van Maanen for the web design and typeface.
Daniel Versteegh (Bit of pepper / Ai-Captain) for building the solar server

This project was made possible in part by a contribution from Tijlfonds
NED / ENG
The eye of the Storm
video-installation, 2009, ca. 7x7 meter

A line of 34 simultaneously playing clips is projected on all walls of a space. Each clip is a loop with a duration of 53 seconds, taken from a road movie. Upon entering the viewer is surrounded by cacophony, but after more careful attention its internal logic will unfold. As soon as this happens, the same clips are viewed in an entirely different way.


Produced at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam.

Photo: Willem Vermaase