'In order not to become a houseplant, I study wild plants. Their survival strategies, growth, and dispersal are a valuable source of inspiration for me. The way in which some plants can grow between tiles, survive on barren soil, or manage to infiltrate beautiful landscaped gardens is truly admirable to me.'
Til, J. van der (2019). Begrijp ik mijn tuin? Groningen, Nederland: Rhizomebook.
Jan van der Til is a visual artist who employs natural concepts such as growth, self-regulation and spread of species to construct theoretical frameworks for his work, which aims to counteract narrow-minded thinking. His work, which is consistently titled 'Book' followed by a Roman numeral, is displayed in galleries and museums both domestically and internationally.
To reduce dependence on art institutions he increasingly utilizes the internet (excluding social media) and the concept of rhizome, as outlined in rhizome theory, to exhibit and further develop his work. As of 2021, he has dedicated significant time to exploring the realm of crypto and the limitless potential of blockchain technology. He sees similarities between the idea of blockchain technology and rhizome theory where both have the concept of decentralization and power distribution among the network and the idea of growth, where the network is expanding and new nodes are added.
Concepts of work
The original of each work is digital, and its material manifestation is a copy, interpretation, imitation, or translation that is not fixed to a particular form or quantity of production.
The term 'Book' is synonymous with 'work' and denotes a collection of information that can be read, stored, reproduced, distributed, and presented.
All technical and aesthetic choices in a material manifestation are linked to the context in which the work is shown.
Because the meaning (outcome) differs per material manifestation, only the outcome is dated; the original is not.
The work is rhizomatic in every respect, and all information about the work is an integral part of the work.
The development and production of both the original and the material manifestation should protect the environment as much as possible.
The material manifestation of the work does not have to be preserved.
The work waives copyright if this leads to greed, hinders the exchange of knowledge/creativity, deprives the possibility of criticism, or leads to hypocrisy.
The original is not for sale, and unlike the material manifestation of the work, it is not a possession.
It is possible to deviate from one of the concepts above, but only if this does not lead to a contradiction with any of the other concepts.