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Artist Collages Digital Still Lifes Inspired by Evolutionary Processes

Mathias Vef's "digital ecosystems" are ripe with the overgrowth and infestation of visual culture.
Scion XImages courtesy the artist.


Berlin-based speculative artist Mathias Vef wants viewers to get lost in his collaged “digital ecosystems.” For his current solo show, Syncretics at Galerie 3punts in Berlin, Vef has transferred his photographic collages onto massive sheets of paper and objects like skateboards.

“The process of the creation of an image is then again opposing the process of evolution, which is an emergence out of coincidence,” the artist tells The Creators Project. This opposition, he adds, is why he decided to name the show Syncretics. Of the series, all images that are named Scion are made out of a single original motif that is repeated, so that “in each copy, my creations overgrow and fill up a world.” Images called Amphigony, a biological term for sexual reproduction, combines different Scion pieces.


Vef finds inspiration from a variety of resources, from screenshots of video games to the images he captures on his own camera. Combining all of these, and seeing which new visuals emerge is like a “survival of the aesthetics,” he describes. “Like in evolution, our visual entities can grow and overgrow the world.” Vef also likens the process to how spam, weeds, and infestations spread. To ground the images in reality, he often merges them with solid forms such as skateboards and sculptures.

Vef hopes that attendees are reminded of the “visual infection” our reality is facing, from the onslaught of wearable technologies such as Google Glass, Oculus Rift, and more on the horizon. The future, he predicts, will split creation in two paths: one that emerges from a genuine, conscious source, and another that’s a wild, untameable growth—much like the visuals he brings to life.

Scion III

Amphigony V

Crescent II

Scion XV

Syncretics III

Syncretics IV

Scion Board III

See Mathias Vef's Syncretics at Galerie 3punts in Berlin until March 21st. 


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