Gluon Art and research

Voldemārs Johansons

Meet the artist of our Studiotopia residency programme


During the course of almost two years artist Voldemārs Johansons will participate in the European Studiotopia program alongside GLUON. This is a unique opportunity to conduct a long-term ArtScience research and present their results in exhibitions, pop-up labs, lectures and workshops across the partnering institutions.


“I am interested to create live and experimental situations that invite for perceptual experiences to arise and excite imagination. In my artistic work physical phenomena such as diffraction of light, flow of fluid and light waves are presented in perceptual translation of theoretical knowledge and data. In projects such as Uncertainty Drive, Thirst, Oscillations and Attractors, nonlinear dynamic processes, fluid dynamics and patterns of change are observed in a hope to transmit organising principles that extend beyond a subjective viewpoint. Another line of my work concerns observation of natural environments in dynamic with human interaction. Over the years these artworks have led me to survey expeditions to remote places as Svalbard in High Arctic or Fukushima exclusion zone in Japan. I appreciate the unique opportunity that Studiotopia presents. I am looking forward to encounter science and explore phenomena that humans can observe by way of knowledge of the physical world but can rarely meet by way of direct experience. In the light of Sustainable Development Goals, I feel most connected to the goals of innovation and clean energy for maintaining sustainable environment on the planet Earth. Since Sun is the source of mostly all external energy radiating towards our planet, in this regard I am particularly interested in Solar physics and observations. Like many other active stars, the Sun is surrounded in plasma atmosphere and so the plasma physics and fusion energy are naturally within the area of interest. These subjects are closely related to research that holds promise of safe and clean source of future energy by means of producing fusion reaction here on Earth. One of the most ambitious energy projects today is the monumental International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) that seeks to create the necessary conditions for nuclear fusion reaction. More specifically I would be interested to explore two of the currently known and researched pathways to achieve fusion: either by laser plasma generation, with high-intensity laser light or by electrical field in a rarefied atmosphere, confined within surrounding magnetic field. More generally these branches of research involve light and optics and interaction of magnetic fields within plasma environment.”


The work of Voldemārs Johansons merges his interests in visuality, sound and science and explores the perception and nature of experience in visible and audible domains. He creates experimental projects that synthesise art, science and technology to explore diverse phenomena and represent the experience through environments assembled from the visual, acoustic and spatial structures. His research interests address the organic combination of acoustic information and spatial forms in creation of sonic environments and sculptures, examining the joint morphology of acoustic, visual and spatial domains. In his work borders between the perception of the visible, the invisible and the audible dissolve to create a unified perceptual situation. “Art has the privilege of being able to reflect about the unproven, the unrecognised, thus broadening the horizons of thinking,” comments the artist. Johanson’s work has been presented at events and diverse venues internationally such as; the Venice biennial of Architecture, Ars Electronica Center (Linz), BOZAR (Brussels) Ruhrtriennale (Germany), Kochi-Muziris Biennale (India), TodaysArt Festival (The Hague), STEIM (Amsterdam), Sound Forest (Riga), Unsound Festival (Krakow), CAC (Vilnius), Concertgebouw Brugge (Belgium), WRO Media art biennale (Wroclaw), LISTE art fair (Basel), the Latvian National Opera and elsewhere.  

Commissioned by GLUON within the framework of STUDIOTOPIA

In collaboration with BPHOT Vrije Universiteit Brussels
Supported by The Creative Europe programme of the European Union