About / CV


The Joy of Marketing (1)

The Joy of Marketing (2)

Wet dreams

Interior Design: Machine Gun Fairies

Interior Design: NYE 2021/22

Tiny and Plastic

Intuitive Physics for Soft-Body Locomotion

The Squares Have Taken Over

In company

Onomy Onome

Ana

nielsgercama [at] gmail.com

 

ABOUT

Niels Gercama is a new media artist and author between Amsterdam and Berlin. His work investigates fluidity and mutability as insurgent strategies for narrative building and artistic practice. The function of paradox is embraced to generate cultural objects which reject modern frameworks of reason and control. He uses a mix of simulated methods and textual media to create a nuanced emotional and creative sensitivity, in the form of 3D rendered imagery, audiovisual pieces and virtual / interactive narratives. In his work, people and overheard conversations are translated into landscapes of skin, plastic and gelatinous materials. Themes of labour, sexuality and algorithmic control are investigated, mixed and destroy-destroyed.

Niels was born June 1997 in the swamps near Amsterdam, and spent nearly all his life in small-time places: forest towns, shopping malls, the techno-natural and constructed landscape of Holland. His formative years were spent travelling the space between a trailer park and flatland country side. As part of the the no thing collective in Amsterdam he participated in numerous exhibitions and wrote/directed the short film Onomy Onome.

His formal education is in artificial intelligence, mathematics, literature and liberal arts. This combination of disciplines allows him to criticize the hyper-modern data driven tools of control in a visual and artistic manner. Currently, he works as a chatbot for online entertainment services and writes.

 

Education

2019-2021   MSc Artificial Intelligence, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, NL

2018-2019   Undergrad Hispanic Literature and Film, Universidad de Granada, Granada, S

2015-2018   Undergrad Liberal Arts and Sciences, Amsterdam University College, Amsterdam, NL

 

Events

2022   Selected group exhibit: Anomalie Art Club, "Apelbaum03", curated by J. Apelbaum, Berlin, DE

2022   Virtual Launch: "Wet Dreams", curated by Stichting Simulacrum, Amsterdam, NL

2022   Art direction: NYE 2021/22, commisioned by Interior Design, Amsterdam, NL


2021   Art direction: "Machine Gun Fairies", commisioned by Interior Design, Amsterdam, NL

2021   Selected group exhibit: Anomalie Art Club, "Apelbaum02", curated by J. Apelbaum, Berlin, DE

2021   Virtual Launch: "Wet Dreams", Amsterdam, NL

2021   Exhibition: Undisclosed, "Onomy Onome", Amsterdam, NL


2020   Exhibition: De Vondelbunker, "The Squares Have Taken Over", Amsterdam, NL


2019   Exhibition: Hoogte Kadijk, "Iconograph Ana", Amsterdam, NL

2019   Head editor: "Las Ocho de PASQUET", Granada, S

 

Publications

2022   Arts Of The Working Class, "Aspirin"

2022   Stichting Simulacrum, "The Joy of Marketing: Ibuprofen"

2022   Yes The Void, "The Joy of Marketing: Ibuprofen"

2021   University of Amsterdam Library, "Intuitive Physics for Soft-Body Locomotion"

2020   "Snippets of The First Quartile Blues (I)", text by F. S. J. van der Wulp

2019   "Las Ocho de PASQUET", editorial column and design

2018   Scriptus Magazine, cover design

 

Digital proficiency

Animation   Unreal Engine | Unity | 3dsMax | Maya | MudBox | ZBrush | Substance3D | PremierePro | AfterEffects | Photoshop


Programming languages   Python | C++ | C# | HTML/CSS/JS | Java | Visual Scripting | Lua | Apple Swift


AI Python tools   TensorFlow | PyTorch | Pandas | Keras


(Moving) Image   Photogrammetry | Stereoscopic reproduction | Holography | Cinematography | Photography


Sound   OpenSoundControl | MIDI/Ableton Interfacing

 

Languages

EN  Native

NL   Native

DE   C1

ES   C1

FR   B1

Part of the Apelbaum02 Open Call
Art Club Anomalie, Berlin (2021)


The Joy of Marketing (1) is the immediate landscape, which is positioned between the far- and near planes of the infrared scanner at the Boven 't Y shopping mall in Amsterdam. Each click of the infrared shutter collects information, compares it to a distributed ledger and generates a narrative. This narrative is directly thrown back upon the mall and its people; Boven 't Y constitutes a multitudinous relationship of overlapping processes, between people, their consumer items and the infrared scanner. The Joy of Marketing (1) considers this landscape of skin and plastic and posts it for all to see. An ongoing battle takes place at the micro-chemical level, between the fluidity of control, and the fluidity of identification, individual. Two codes blend into one another across the metahumans of Boven 't Y.

The Joy of Marketing (1) was made in collaboration with Giuliano Bolivar, who designed the tattoos coded upon the animated bodies.

(Old) event link

Promotional video

still: The Joy of Marketing (1) [2021]. Animated video still: The Joy of Marketing (1) [2021]. Animated video still: The Joy of Marketing (1) [2021]. Animated video still: The Joy of Marketing (1) [2021]. Animated video

Published by
Yes The Void (2021),
Simulacrum Magazine (2022)
and Arts Of The Working Class (2022)


The Joy of Marketing (2): Ibuprofen is the first of a series of illustrated texts, combining digital media, storytelling and art research.

Each story in the series describes a character from the Boven 't Y shopping street in Amsterdam Noord and their relationship to a consumer product from said mall. It is no secret that in our time people are shaped by consumerism, advertisement and marketing as much as they shape those phenomena within themselves. The Joy of Marketing investigates the 'photo-reality' which arises from this parasitic feedback loop – a world where life twists and bends to fit into data-generated categories, a reality which has shifted into the infamous valley of the uncanny. Not quite real, but almost: 'photo-real'. The marketing boardrooms analyse swaths of surveyed data, creating banks of latent and distributed information; these banks contain in their rawest form the stories of our time. Each short in The Joy of Marketing is the result of sampling a life and a moment from those latent distributions. In the way of consumerism, this moment is fragile and prone to collapse, at which point a 'photo-real' image is all that remains of that collapsed and condensed life. Using 3D animated media I capture the collapse of each story in the series, in a way which shows the twisted nature of this generated character.

The Joy of Marketing (2): Ibuprofen [2022]. Illustrated text

Excerpt from The Joy of Marketing (2): Ibuprofen

  [...] "It's a real job, Mencke, at an internet corporation, with Joe-ann."
  Mencke snorts in disbelief. She's bent over the sachet again, burning her fingers on the packet's grease, tearing at it, scratching the sides, jealous. She's always been jealous of Rubie. Hairy Rubie, who was a little older, who showed her things, embarrassed her. "You got no business reading that stuff, Mencke." She scoffs. She grunts, gropes the packet and attempts to drive a nail through the rubbery material, ultimately failing. She needs the plastic to tear, for it to give way to her frustration, for it to cover her pores and cavities with its smooth stringy threads. Exasperated, she drops the packet to the ground. "It's no different than talking to them in there," says Rosie confidently while pointing her thumb at [Bar] Sofia.
 "Just chatting online. Joe-ann does admin. I just chat."
 "That woman is no good," whispers Mencke at the edge of tears, jealous. [...]



The Joy of Marketing (2): Ibuprofen [2022]. Illustrated text

The Joy of Marketing (2): Ibuprofen [2022]. Illustrated text

The Joy of Marketing (2): Ibuprofen [2022]. Illustrated text

The Joy of Marketing (2): Ibuprofen [2022]. Illustrated text

Wet dreams: It is no secret that the pandemic has been used to shift the consumer class into a digitized sector. This shift allows for an instant conversion of the individual to price signals in an increasingly latent market structure, controlled by intricate codes and data mappings. How is it that while bodies are subject to more rigidly imposed boundaries in this control apparatus, notions of fluidity seem to emerge from the same noisy swirl of information. We talk about a generation of dissociation, political versatility, machine subconsciousness, etc. Simultaneously, counter-cultural movements seem to exist at a limit experience – a bubble where this fluidity meets itself on the flip side of the same coin. A resistance using counter-intuitively similar tactics: the abolition of the binary, be it in gender or truth, the desire to live those spaces where the other fluidity does not leak into. A soapy, wet dance between two immiscible liquids. In the foam bubbles a certain violence takes hold. This is the space of Wet Dreams. A vibrating string upon which moments contract and processes overlap, giving rise to a languishing yet fleeting creation. The audience can navigate the \'limit-bubbles\' and take part in their imaginative, rhizomatic creation. Wet Dreams is a collection of virtual, personal and post-pornographic experiences, which echo the crashing of these opposing fluid waves.

The Wet Dreams environment is available at:

nielsgercama.com/WetDreams

Untitled [2021]. Virtual Environment

Untitled [2021]. 3D Animation

Untitled [2021]. 3D Animation

Untitled [2021]. 3D Animation

Untitled [2021]. 3D Animation

Untitled [2021]. 3D Animation

Machine Gun Fairies: Art direction and teaser video for Interior Design, an experimental music outfit from Amsterdam.

Full video available here.

Machine Gun Fairies [2021]. VFX

Machine Gun Fairies [2021]. Graphic Design

Machine Gun Fairies [2021]. VFX

Machine Gun Fairies [2021]. VFX

Machine Gun Fairies [2021]. Graphic Design

NYE 2021/22: Art direction and rave visuals for the Interior Design NYE 2021/22 event.

Promotional video

Tiny and Plastic is an experimental novel digging fictional tunnels between J. Staal's New World Summit [2012] for illegal parliaments and the Israeli Defence Force's deployment of "Deleuzian tactics of war".

Elevator pitch
Tiny and Plastic investigates hope as the result of discarding aluminum foil wrapping paper from the landscape of our comfort and shame. It is written as a collection of morphing and fluid interactions between shopping-mall customers, a dysphoric elevator, an IDF deserter and nomadic war machine, wet paper and Helga-Agathe Kazan.
 I wanted to write a novel that has a digestible complexity. Neoliberal, plastic, tender humans who survive by dissociating and live in diseased GMO luxury. I developed a literary strategy of fluid description, a sort-of interpolation between one scene and the next, which creates a plasmic flow which in turn generates imagery — imagery generated by taking objects, smells, textures and looking at what's between them. Drawing spectrum everywhere! Or rather, acknowledging that language has been used as a means for control and categorization and using it against itself. Therein lies a paradox: language produced to categorize gives itself the tools to speak outside and in between its categories. [...]

Tiny and Plastic [2021]. Cover design

Tiny and Plastic [2021]. Sampled Illustration


Excerpt from Tiny and Plastic

Back in the mall, nr. 367, at the supermarket on the 21st of May, two-ten on the clock, Eyal realizes the commence of her terminal expiration. It can't be more than three minutes before they've caught me after all. She sinks to one knee under an enormous pressure, feeling G. P. Ammann's calculation string her together and suck her onto the tiles between the mustard jars and the vacuum-sealed sausages. Cold death nears for Eyal as the ISL recovery team finally succeeds in leaching her symbolic plasma, bombarding her from inside out to spallated fragments in the supermarket aisle. Two-eleven on the clock. I've got to think of something. I'm not going out like this. Not to the whistle of those ISL goons. The debilitating pressure thickens and the lines of calculation cut the fabric of her skin, cleaving flesh from bone, cold niggled lint entering her porous body. Eyal's death goes black and white: the TL lamps blow gray light across the supermarket articles, the bitter smell of iron zings through the air. The bits flip on two- twelve. With a minute to spare, this may be a good moment to consider why it is that Eyal does not detonate one her trusty tactical explosives, travel out of this compromising plot line and simply escape. Exactly, why not? As Bishop Ludwig D. Hagblatt, PhD. will postulate in the periodical Destroy, Destroy (ed. 45), Sgt. Booker's ultimate demise will arrive at the hand of divine providence, an infallible calculation administered by the righteous 'cavalry, so to speak', of the ISL recovery team. According to Hagblatt's essay, their success in defenestrating the image of Sgt. Booker from the face of history are the living proof that

Gercama / Tiny and Plastic / 106

narrative, power and creation lay safe in the hands of the military clergy. The generative paradoxical effect, as stipulated in earlier editions of Destroy, Destroy, will no longer have a place in the world. What's more, it cannot be allowed for paradox to create! What is created, must inversely also be destroyed, return to ashes and fall back on itself in an all round satisfying manner. Thus will speak Major L. D. Hagblatt, PhD. With Eyal dead, there is no longer any threat to the established order of things, to the clergy, the military nor to the shadow academy. Her history will return to their home at the archives, forever blank and left unseen. So the Hagblatts will preach, with the nefarious support of such prominent figures like Mencken and Kokhavi, important and hidden in plain sight. But it still does not explain Eyal's sudden disappearance, her failing to deploy another narrative tunnel in the nick of time. With the clock on two-thirteen, why does she not simply escape? Has her training completely abandoned the fictional paratrooper at this precise moment of extreme pressure? Exactly that will determine Eyal's unlikely fate, exactly the incompleteness of training scenarios, the moment that her military instinct fails. Seconds before the ISL recovery team gets to her, seconds before the symbolic leeches mine her porous body entirely, Eyal side- steps into a desperate and wholly off-the-books evasive maneuver. At the complete limit of experience, under the intense calculated pressure, she exits into dissociation, spreading herself across the aisle, the produce, the jerky bar, the yogurt jar, the toiletries, the pastry, the TL lamps, the mall, Helga, Worker no. 2, the green river, the dam, G. P. Ammann. Across everything, in short. Her porous body stretches and slings thick, wet, strings around the supermarket and its world, a near flat wave, a thin and invisible plastic sheet. In that moment, when Patrice and the ISL team realize her exact position, Eyal's dissociation forms the

Gercama / Tiny and Plastic / 107

vacuum sealed sausages, the insect, the elevator, the soda bottles, mumbling Karl, the child on its pile of red bricks. At two-thirteen, Worker no. 1 and 2 enter the supermarket on their lunch break. At two-thirteen, Helga contemplates the jar of yogurt in the shelves. At two- thirteen, the storm draws to a close. At two-thirteen, Sgt. Eyal Booker dies.

Tiny and Plastic [2021]. Sampled illustration

Tiny and Plastic [2021]. Sampled illustration

MSc Artificial Intelligence Thesis. Published in the University of Amsterdam library.

Abstract: Artificial intelligence has become a widely applied heuristic for the control of fluid and malleable structures, in an effort to reconcile intricate systems with similarly complex forms of control. In the vein of this new appreciation of softness and variability, a search of its accurate representation and training in digital format has gained traction. The intention of this thesis project is to construct a specific relation between this field of computer graphics and artificial intelligence. More specifically, this thesis project offers a novel approach to physically modelling soft-bodied objects and applies geometric artificial intelligence networks to control their motion for chosen locomotive tasks. It is situated at the intersection of two recent areas of research in artificial intelligence: intuitive physics and machine learning for geometric modelling. A pipeline is determined which tackles problematic issues when physical simulation and machine learning are combined. In doing so, it is possible to train end-to-end for locomotive tasks, without having to rely on differentiable physics engines or reinforcement learning. Its applications range from modelling for the construction of (soft) robots, advances in soft-body representation in computer graphics, animation and physical research. Ultimately, the project will show promise for intuitive physics while training for control over physically simulated environments, although the obtained results need to be improved to compare favorably with other soft-body locomotion models.

The thesis is available for download as a PDF document at:

nielsgercama.com/NGercama_Thesis_2021.pdf

MSc AI Thesis [2021]. Diagram of the soft-body locomotive pipeline.

The Squares Have Taken Over was an exhibition under the the no thing collective at the well known autonomous cultural center De Vondelbunker.

I exhibited a number of large paintings, AI -generated imagery, a holographic video and a sculpture.

(Old) event link: radar.squat

The Squares Have Taken Over [2020]. Photograph by Andrew Kambel

The Squares Have Taken Over [2020]. Promotional banner

The Squares Have Taken Over [2020]. Photograph by Andrew Kambel

The Squares Have Taken Over [2020]. Photograph by Andrew Kambel

The Squares Have Taken Over [2020]. Sample of shown work

The Squares Have Taken Over [2020]. Sample of shown work

In Company is a three part series of 3D interior scenography, focussing on corporate themes of bonding, relaxation and essentiality. Images display an eternity, copied into the company.

Untitled [2021]. Digital Scene

Welcome to the firm [2021]. Digital Scene

Fluid exchange at the company picknick [2021]. Digital Scene

detail: Fluid exchange at the company picknick [2021]. Digital Scene

detail: Fluid exchange at the company picknick [2021]. Digital Scene

Upcoming screening at Apelbaum03
Art Club Anomalie, Berlin (2022)


Onomy Onome is a ~40 min. film shot in 2021. Based on personal experience, Onomy Onome relays the abstracted events leading up to the rape of main character MICHELLE. I wrote, directed and made the animations for Onomy Onome.

This part animated, part live action film was conducted under the the no thing collective to be featured on a large scale UV-Crystalized display as a holographic image. Photos (3) and (4) were taken during a screening of Onomy Onome, capturing the effect of the holographic projection.

I have made a selection of footage from the film available on YouTube for the purpose of this portfolio. It can be accessed here:

Sample footage link

1. still: Onomy Onome [2020-21]. Short film

2. still: Onomy Onome [2020-21]. Short film

3. photo: Onomy Onome [2020-21]. Short film

4. photo: Onomy Onome [2020-21]. Short film

5. still: Onomy Onome [2020-21]. Short film

6. still: Onomy Onome [2020-21]. Short film

7. still: Onomy Onome [2020-21]. Short film

8. still: Onomy Onome [2020-21]. Short film

9. still: Onomy Onome [2020-21]. Short film

Ana is a digitally worked photo-series, projecting virtual folds of organic material onto the environment of the Hoogte Kadijk social projects in Amsterdam.

Ana [2019]. Digitally worked photo-series

Ana [2019]. Digitally worked photo-series

Ana [2019]. Digitally worked photo-series

Ana [2019]. Digitally worked photo-series

Ana [2019]. Digitally worked photo-series

Ana [2019]. Digitally worked photo-series

Ana [2019]. Digitally worked photo-series

Ana [2019]. Digitally worked photo-series

Ana [2019]. Digitally worked photo-series

Ana [2019]. Digitally worked photo-series

Ana [2019]. Digitally worked photo-series

NIELS GERCAMA     |     Digital Media

CONTACT     |     @niels_gercama

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