Hyper Souvenirs (2020-present) is an organisation that develops souvenirs, not for you casual Côte d'Azur-holidays, but for global events. Time is always ticking, and consciousness only stumbles after it, so we need objects that help us think what we tend to forget, or even want to forget. Souvenirs are small "tokens" that help us to think something bigger, for example that nice holiday at the Maldives, or even Grandma who couldn't go because she can't walk that well anymore. We then look back at a shell cast in epoxy resin, a photo of Berlin in a key chain, or send that Grandma a postcard in which we describe the environment. In short, we use objects as souvenirs to think bigger things, and to get 'to' them. These larger things, such as the climate, are what philosopher Timothy Morton calls "hyperobjects". These kinds of things are so large we cannot pinpoint them, while we also continuously experience them. We can 'think' these hyperobjects through what Morton calls "subscendence." If transcendence is the superlative of things, so that the scale becomes so large that we can no longer see it with our eyes, then subcendence is the "entrant" that makes hyperobjects smaller and more approachable. The ideal form for doing so is souvenirs.
Cognitively we are very capable at remembering and even re-feeling positive memories. However, biologically we are similarly able to remember bad memories, but we can't re-flee them, allowing us to pursue life once more against all knowledge. However, this rushes us beyond what has passed even though much is to be learned from these experiences, such as COVID-19. Structures like souvenirs help us te recognise bad past experiences on a personal level. www.hypersouvenirs.com
CARRY IT WITH YOU
"Carry it With You" part of Hyper Souvenirs, 2020. is a series of keychains (ø30mm, PVC) based on virus diagrams. Carry It With You allows you to build a new relationship with viruses. We need to picture these 'things' in order to build a new relationship with them now that we have to face the fact that the global pandemic – the emancipation of the virus – has become and will very probably stay a part of our lives for a considerable time to come. However, any depiction of viruses that we know regresses necessarily into fantastical interpretations. The up-scaling from an otherwise intangible microscopic infectious particles wrapped in a shell of protein to a for us cognizable scale necessarily gives an aesthetic interpretation to viruses which through time has become the way we know them by. In the case of Covid-19, this soft looking bumpy gray sphere with pastel red bulges with here and there a yellow-orange bump in its surface. Although this description invites for anthropomorphising – imagining human-like qualities such as eyes and ears onto this 'things' called viruses – viruses only become 'alive' (or 'biologically active' as they call it because viruses are not organisms and thus cannot be 'alive') once they have entered cells of living organisms; once they have penetrated a host-cell which they become part of. Viruses are only alive if they are in something alive, and hence somewhat are the ontological classifier that demarcates the alive from the inorganic: that what can get sick is alive.Your can order one through this link. (transaction through Mollie, while supplies last).
MAKE NATURE SCARY AGAIN
Make Nature Scary Again (2021) part of Hyper Souvenirs is a guided audio tour through nature for those who hate nature. Starting with an intriguing thought by Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek who notes that nature is not a balanced, well ordered, 'designed' totality but a series of unimaginable catastrophies the guide takes the tour-taker through a set of 16 abstract locations questioning these such as legacy, trash, essence of being and so forth. it can be freely borrowed up to 24 hours through www.hypersouvenirs.com. Read the preview copy here
A quote from the audio-tour:
"Did you know that nobody has even entered nature, precisely because nobody has ever left it? Just to supply you with an example – that works for rational beings such as you with arguments that sound somewhat spiritual. Nobody and neither you can precisely point to where you enter a forest, transverse a pass, step into a sea or climb a mountain all of which are just stupendous categories that tie phenomenon in a straightjacket. You wonder when you might say you have entered the forest? [beep sound, 10 seconds]. Is the criterium 3 trees per square meter, or perhaps 5, or does it have more to do with bushes and undergrowth? Does forest from not-forest demarcate by that eerie smell of ground so wet that it boils with fungi, or the fact of a certain number of centimetres of dead leaves amassed? Should you measure the interval between trunks, or rather count them, and if so, should those be horizontally ordered or vertically? Should we refocus to contextualisation and look at that which calls the forest its habitat? Or should we de-essentialise and look at what a forest does, turning to its effects. As if a forest is that which is walked by hikers. Or should we look at what causes forest, and realise that it thereby cannot be something in which you and others partake?"
GREETINGS FROM CORONA
"Greetings from Corona" part of Hyper Souvenirs, 2020. Postcard-set of six with custom post stamps. Hyper Souvenirs develops souvenirs not for your regular Costa Del Sol holiday destinations, but for global events, appealing to new forms of commemoration. Drawn from thinking in OOO and New Materialism, Hyper Souvenirs are objects that help us think 'stuff' that both transcends us, but also influences our everyday lives. The Greetings from Corona postcard set takes six locations affiliated strongly to the 2020 Corona crisis, and re-frames those locations in a well-known souvenirs postcard style. These sets are sold for €14,95 (incl. taxes and €4,00 shipping). Your can order one through this link. (transaction through Mollie, while supplies last).
COVID-19 CHRISTMAS CARD
5G-Antenna statues (2021) miniatures have long been made of monuments. Already since the ancient Roman empire these types of souvenirs function to commemorate the accomplishments of humanity. The internet is definitely such an accomplishment, however due to its abstract being, there are no distinct landmarks that honour it: dull box shaped data centre's, fiber optic cables concealed under the ocean. The 5G-Antenna, however, could function as such landmarks. Hence Hyper Souvenirs set out to make miniatures of these tributes to internet. The odd abstract being of the internet, easily intertwines with all kinds of myths, as we have seen during the COVID-19 crisis, where people linked the virus to these antenna's, attacking and burning them. Hence these miniatures are burned too, commemorating how the internet intertwines with culture. These miniatures are made of cast bronze and they stand on a plinth of concrete.