Talking with David Stjernholm

Expert Maria Foerlev

Danish artist David Stjernholm (b. 1986) is currently working on his masters at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, The School of Visual Arts. We asked him 5 questions about his art.


First, tell us a bit about your art practice?

D.S: My methods and processes are the results of a time when many crafts, disciplines and profession are either arising from, or actually taking place in front, of a computer. This fact and what it entails has been particularly motivating for my recent work, which is currently revolved around questions of how digital spaces affect the physical world and how our analog environment affects digital (re)presentation.


Why is the digital evolution so interesting to you?

D.S: In working with physical sculpture and installation I am trying to get closer to understanding and expanding the immaterial and hidden aspects of the world that surrounds us. How the things that cannot be directly perceived can still have a major effect on our mind, body and culture. Paradoxically a practice engaged with materiality and human perception seems to me to be the best way to engage with things that cannot be directly perceived.


Can you describe the Danish art scene in 5 words?

D.S: An art scene with Internet.


If you could get inside another artist’s brain for one day, who would it be? And why?

D.S: It sounds a bit like spying... I guess who I would choose depends on if I’m getting inside as a passive host, or with the ability to gain control over the other person. If you’re the “puppeteer” it more becomes a question of whose world, persona and power you want to take as hostage.

But if it’s more about getting to understand the world around me better, I would use the opportunity to experience the life of someone with another gender or ethnicity than mine - artist or not. If it all went well without any major complications, we could consider making it mandatory in primary schools.


Say one word about...

The past: Layers

The present: impact

The future: concept


What is the next step for you?

D.S: At the moment I’m working on my exhibition Pathfinder for Tranen Contemporary Art Center, housed at Gentofte Central Library. The project examines the mental and physical infrastructure of the Internet, how information is being distributed and shared, and also how we often get lost in the digital architecture. I find it fascinating that the technology is becoming more and more present and correspondingly less visible. We forget about how data is materializing all the time, the need for power consuming data centers and undersea fiber optics transporting all our newsletters and shared folders. How the Internet is not a representation of the physical world but a place of its own that can be entered and inhabited.


Visit David Stjernholm’s webpage for more details about his work: www.davidstjernholm.com. Also make sure to visit www.formic.dk - An exhibition space presenting works by contemporary artists for a colony of European fire ants, curated by Stjernholm


Pictures from an exhibition at Last Resort Gallery