That Which Makes Manifest is Light
Michaelis Upper Gallery
08:00 - 15:00
18th November 2022
Click the Speaker icon to play the installation audio
Online Catalogue
The video below is a walkthrough of a 3D model replica of the exhibition
Artist Statement


Photography by Mia Thom

Artist Statement

A photograph of sliced kiwifruit on a while plate

I am a South African artist, musician and programmer who works in a variety of mediums, including video, sound, new media and traditional mediums. As a programmer, I work at the intersection of code and form and employ the former as a symbol — a structural and visual language — for the encoded nature of reality. According to my research, if a program requires a programmer, then the same principle should also apply to the laws of physics, as they too have the appearance of being a functional language. The scientific method assumes the immutability of the laws of physics, but neither accounts for their origin nor their unchanging nature.

I regard the harmonious interplay of patterns in the natural world — cycles, repetitions, rhythms and recurring themes — as echoes and reflections of a greater Meta-Narrative. I use the term Meta-Narrative to describe one great overarching narrative framework, corresponding to the functioning of reality, that imbues it with meaning and is itself meaningfully expressed in naturally existing forms and symbols. All narratives are written in a language and inscribed in a book, encoded in software, or passed on from generation to generation by spoken word.

The evidence of a higher “language” is visible in the fixed laws of the universe — like a written code integrated into the fabric of reality. I have studied Etymology and am fascinated by language and its origins. Most letters in an alphabet are symbols that have been distilled from ancient pictographs. My art is situated at the intersection of a range of disciplines, including metaphysics, science and linguistics.

My personal symbology is a distillation of these patterns and representational types found in nature — an exploratory process in which I seek to funnel this Meta-Narrative into a language of meaning punctuated with symbols. My work deals with microcosmic and macrocosmic fractal systems that imply design in the natural order. Nature acts like an archive of information, but is it curated? My pursuit is as much an intellectual, scientific and programmatic fascination with the structure of the natural world as it is a love of beauty and harmony. My exhibition is titled That Which Makes Manifest is Light. Biologically, light is essential to seeing (the refraction of light off the retina) and being. Symbolically, the mind only understands an idea when it is “illuminated”. My work is dependent upon light. The projection of a video requires light. Many of my works were laser engraved using concentrated light. The very wood and paper I work on required light to grow.

I use charcoal, a form of carbon produced by the burning of wood, as a medium through which to express my own finitude. I have a qualification in Sound Engineering which has enabled me to create ambient soundscapes that complement my video art. My practice involves the visualisation of sound and the audification of visuals. I insert myself into my videos as a type of originator, artist, designer — an echo of the reality that lies behind a dim reflection.

Time and deconstruction are central elements of my praxis. It is my hope that the viewer identifies with my inclusion as the artist in my artworks — a human point of access and relatability. As the artist, by inserting myself into my artworks, I navigate a landscape of symbology by stepping through the picture plane — a metaphorical incarnation. My art lies in the liminal space between an immaterial idea and its embodiment. It is meant to evoke contemplation as to humanity’s existence within the Meta-Narrative. There is a certain paradox: we exist within the physical universe, are contingent upon it for our existence and yet we can conceptualise it as though we were without