Nana April Jun

Seeing itself

Nana.April.JunDesert wars. Human blood in the sand and images of human blood in the sand viewed through millions of screens made of sand, through computer networks driven by micro processors, made by sand… 

With the transformation of matter and it’s multilayered connections to variations of itself as a starting point, the work takes the perspective of the chemical element Silicon and follows it through wind, oceans, mining machines, conveyor belts, extraction fans, storage spaces, server halls, fighter jets and abstract spaces, impossible figures.

Silica (silicon dioxide, or SiO2) is a chemical compound that is found in nature as well as produced synthetically. It most commonly occurs as the mineral Quartz, as well as in various living organisms. Over 90% of the Earth’s crust is composed of silicate minerals. Quartz is the major constituent of sand in several parts of the world.

Many products use Silica in its production: Cement, glass, optical fibres, microprocessors. This is what modern civilisation is built with. Roads, buildings, communication cables, computer processors, mobile phone screens…

Carbon compounds are used by all currently known living organisms on Earth for basic structural and metabolic functions. They use water as a solvent, and DNA or RNA to define and control their form. If life exists on other planets, it is possible that there are organisms with quite different chemistries – for instance involving compounds of another element. The element Silicon has been much discussed as a hypothetical alternative to carbon. In science fiction, at the moment called Singularity, when computer networks gain a super intelligence way above human comprehension, it is often posited, this new form would be the first example of non-carbon-based life. 

The work invites the listener to contemplate issues of control, the border between construction and destruction, the oscillation between matter and image as well as non human perspectives altogether.

Sound recorded on location in Shenzhen China, and in the artists studio in London UK.

Seeing itself is part of a more extensive project that has received financial support from Helge Ax:son’s Stiftelse, Sweden.


Nana April Jun has among other places performed live at Théâtre de la Cité Internationale, Paris, Göteborgs Konsthall, Gothenburg and at the Netmage Festival in Bologna. In recent years the artist has been concerned with the visual aspects of his practice, focusing on installation and sculpture, using materials like microprocessors, silicone and sand.

Nana April Jun’s debut album The Ontology of Noise was released in 2009 by the UK-based audio-visual publisher Touch. Concerned with phase transitions and perceptions of time, The Ontology of Noise-project researches the material-semiotic properties of noise and its relationship with the sounds of nature by using digitally generated white noise shaped into evolving abstract and cinematic soundscapes that mimic natural phenomena.

Nana April Jun is a name used by artist Christofer Wallentin. He is a graduate of the Sculpture department at The Royal College of Art in London and Valand Academy of Arts, Gothenburg.