I began to document my personal observations into the multidimensional nature of solitude in the summer of 2014 . My approach to this self-referential phenomenon is grounded in various foundations. One of them concerns different existing notions of ‘home’, all seen in a wide — yet physical — sense. Loneliness and aloness may thus be framed in the human body and its extensions; in human-made dwellings; or even in the human experience of connection with nature and the cosmos.
My work process starts with gathering images and stories, taking notes and studying the theory (from e.g. Philosophy, to Cybernetics). I also spend a lot of time analysing previous related works. With all this, I perform meticulous ‘data’ analyses. In the next step, I identify and construct visual narratives, and project them onto a set of possible next future states. These altered narratives almost always contain supernatural or magical elements. However, these elements are allowed to coexist in perfect harmony with ordinary reality. The whole process and its outcome then turn into some kind of unrealised — but concretely specified — path between the present time and those possible futures.
So far, these explorations have led to a ‘Debut’ series of ‘Lonely Houses’ — digitally altered photographs that often portray vibrantly coloured houses standing alone in the backdrop of a pastel, crystalline blue sky. Perhaps one of the most important representational elements in Debut is the calculated use of light as a main character. The light used in my first houses is meant to touch all other characters at a deep ‘genetic’ level. Additionally, I often use clouds, antennae, birds and other elements to encode key parts of the story told by a specific house.
The identity of the Lonely houses also embodies natural and cultural aspects of the places where I have lived. This translates often as the presence of tropical elements brought from my childhood in Venezuela, or speaks about the influence of Scotland and closeness to the Arctic circle in my early adult life. But above all, the first Lonely Houses are deeply connected to Portugal, where I live and work.
I am currently working on my second project, the release of which is expected in the first half of 2018. It will be a follow-up from Debut. However, the focus changes from finding and healing identity, to the exploring the choices involved in bringing a possible future into being. The project mixes fine-art photography and writing.
Sejkko Eri (artistic name), was born in a Portuguese family of immigrants that moved to Venezuela during the oil boom of the 1970s. He began reading the literature classics of Magic Realism at the age of seven, and showed strong predisposition to maths, science, drawing, painting and sculpture from a very early age as well. Eri was sent to a Catholic school for secondary education at the age of eleven. There, he showed interest for Programming Languages, Logic and Computers. Later, vocational pre-university tests indicated equal abilities and preferences for arts and science. Not finding a suitable degree that integrated both artistic and scientific elements meaningfully, Eri was persuaded to choose Computer Science over Art Foundation. After completing his BSc degree, Eri moved to Scotland in the 1990s to pursue doctoral studies in Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science in the University of Edinburgh. His main research goals were to understand the emergence the human ability to represent knowledge explicitly, and to understand the mechanisms of collective information processing in nature, and societies. The pursuit of answers to these research questions eventually led Eri to doing postdoctoral work in the field of Complex Systems, first in Systems Biology and more recently in Computational Social Science.
During his doctoral and postdoctoral studies, Eri pursued his passion for photography privately. It was not until 2012 that Eri started to share his photographic work, motivated by growth of new social media channels, particularly Instagram, and mobile photography. In 2014, he organised the first European meeting of instagrammers (instameet) in Lisbon, Portugal. A year later, Eri was featured as the top creative account on instagram by the Huffington Post. After a busy and stimulating period in social media that included interactions with other artists, Eri withdrew to concentrate on shaping the concept of this artistic work. Shortly after, the first visions of his series of lonely houses started to appear.
Since then, Eri’s work has been featured regularly in major channels and international news, including Wired magazine, World Photography Organisation, the British Telegraph and The Guardian amongst others. Some of the work that is now part of Eri’s first artwork collection — Debut — was presented in a group exhibit called Concept Home. This exhibition was organised in the spring of 2016, and curated by Anna Mola, as a satellite event to the Venice Bienale.