Artist Statement

In my visual work I document personal observations into the multidimensional nature of solitude, approached as an essential part of the human experience. I also explore the meaning of ‘home’ in various ways — seen as an evolutionary, fluid, contextual and very dynamic part of human physicality and self-consciousness.  I use my meticulous analyses of these observations to create new conceptual and visual elements that are then projected onto an immediate possible future. These elements are supernatural, or magical, but they are allowed to coexist perfectly with ordinary reality. In this slightly, super-natural future, I expect to be successful in adding ingredients that can lead to the emergence of evolving stories about the ‘interconnectedness’ of all things.

My explorations so far are realised in a 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 my works is the calculated (and purposeful) use of light as a main character. The light in my works is meant to touch all other characters at a deep ‘genetic’ level. Additionally, I often use clouds, antennae, birds and other elements to encode the story of a specific house. The identity of the Lonely houses also embodies natural and cultural aspects of the places where I have lived. This translates mostly as tropical elements from my childhood in Venezuela, speaks about the influence of Scotland in my early adult life, but above all the lonely houses are deeply connected to Portugal, where I live and work.

Biographical Information

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.