Jannis Neumann

Jannis Neumann is a mixed media and performance artist with a training in fine arts, biology and education from the Justus-Liebig-University Gießen. Currently, he studies the master programme ‘Art&Science’ at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. His approaches often aim at the intersection of various disciplines as he engages with topics of environmental issues, relationships with nonhuman entities and their representation in an anthropocentric world, hybrid forms of being as well as notions of queerness in the realm of nature. In his work the relationship with plants plays a recurrent role. Working in public space is another interest of him, lately also including the digital space, partly because these venues enable the art to be approachable for broader audiences. Moreover, his practice involves holding workshops as he enjoys to share his skills and knowledge, while aiming for a non-hierarchical atmosphere and a mutual learning experience. He understands art as an important way to envision the world and to make sense of our environment, society and personal relationships. Accordingly, he feels the need for education to be further enriched by creative practices and artistic methods. His work has been presented internationally in solo and in collaboration projects. He participated in exhibitions and festivals such as HÜZÜN (Kunstverein Familie Montez, Frankfurt a.M.), Haydi, Haydi. Foreign Visions on Istanbul (TAK-Design Center Kadıköy, Istanbul), 27 Neighbourhoods (European Capital of Culture 2020, Rijeka), Boxels (Biennale Sessions, Venice), EcoFlirt (Smolka Contemporary, Vienna) among others.

project in process

Thinking with Hedges

With the attempt to think with the hedges, various issues emerge. Rather little space is given to field hedges in the vastness of our modern agrarian landscapes, which are largely occupied by uniform monocultures. However, they play an important role for the preservation of biodiversity. Whereas the garden hedge performs a demarcation, the one in the fields also functions as a linear biotope. By connecting different places with each other, they serve a multitude of plants and animals not only as a habitat and food resource, but also as a migration route. This is especially important for plants, since they spend most of their lives sessile and only move as seeds or with rhizomes.

Since always being pushed to the edges of agricultural lands, a field hedge can be understood as marginalized entity. Interestingly, they are actually not a single being but rather a composition of a closely entwined multiplicity. Thinking with the hedges aims at researching these aspects of marginalization, spatial
distributions and landscape structure, migration, biodiversity and the possibility of pluralist entities. Different strategies of forming entwinedness between hedges, humans and places seek to establish the notion of a transregional network formed through vegetation by using methods of drawing, collective storytelling, performance and intervention.

By focusing on life on an everyday basis, Els intends to portray an inclusive and grounded account of ways of reaching out. An account that embraces the complexity and the “situatedness” of everyday life-as-lived. She will explicitly concentrate on sensational and bodily forms of awareness, mixing anthropological, (micro) phenomenological, and artistic research methods. 

In collaboration between Els and the participants of the Octopus Programme, personal ways of reaching out will be collected, documented, and presented as portals to the beyond. Through a dialogue between absence and presence, materiality and transcendence, the everyday and the eternal, Els intends to tell stories of situatedness and searching.