Rudolf Boogerman is an artist who communicates in visual metaphors. His work takes the form of video art, often with hypnotizing visuals and soundscapes that offer a transformative experience.
After studying graphic arts in Belgium, Rudolf began his career as an apprentice of many artists, one of whom being Eduard Leibovitz. Rudolf shared a studio space with Eduard in 1985, where he worked on developing his art and created work for various advertising agencies and publishers. In 1990, Rudolf began creating series of artworks, such as “Wooden Dimensions” and “Lost Corners“. It wasn’t until 2007 that he began experimenting with video art and cardboard-based artwork, later combining them to feature cardboard pieces as the main subjects of his video art.
In late 2020, Rudolf began tokenizing his video work in the Ephimera marketplace, and has created a variety of pieces navigating themes of human nature and evolution. To learn more about his approach to video art, we interviewed Rudolf about his process.
Ephimera: Let’s talk a bit about your work. How long have you been creating video art?
Rudolf: It came quite gradually for me because for a long time I saw photography and video primarily as a tool to document my artwork, like the “Wooden Dimensions” project and “Lost Corners”. Since 2001, I have been experimenting with a webcam and a Sony Cyber-shot with a 640×480 resolution. The quality of the footage wasn’t that great in those days but it sometimes gave interesting results. Later on, in 2008 I obtained a Sony HDR-FX1 to make presentation videos for clients and to record my “Wooden Dimensions” project. Besides that, I experimented with that camcorder in my spare time. It would take me until 2016 before I actually processed and officially published my first art videos. So, it was a long and winding road, so to speak.
Ephimera: You talk about David Lynch being a key inspiration for your video work. What is it about his filmmaking that so heavily influenced you?
Rudolf: Lynch’s film “Blue Velvet” starts with a generic of waving blue velvet curtains and then there is a scene where the camera slithers through the grass. That somehow stuck in my mind because the technique was so simple, yet it created such a bizarre and mysterious atmosphere. There is also a scene where he zooms into an ear, simply magnificent. All of his films are a bit like that. “Mullholland Drive”, “Eraser Head”, the series “Twin Peaks”, all contain small pearls that could be art videos in themselves. I also like his storylines but I’m not a storyteller myself, I like to convey ideas via metaphors.
Ephimera: Can you tell us a bit about your “Patterns & rhythms in nature” research project?
Rudolf: Everything has a pattern and a certain rhythm. We just don’t notice it in daily life because our brain filters out any information that isn’t crucial to us, to avoid overload. Same goes for sound, by the way. You think it is silent in the room until you record it. A video camera is an excellent tool to show these patterns & rhythms because you can slow it down in post-production to make these more obvious. For this project I film primarily outdoors in the Ardennes, registering movement of rivers, lakes, trees and clouds. I called it originally “Water Series”, but after a few shoots I saw the patterns and rhythms in the footage in slow-motion, so I renamed it. It also gave me more freedom to film other subjects, like insects flying into a spotlight, for example. For the sound art in the videos I use random sound generators (in the tradition of John Cale) and digital synthesizers for more precise control. From time to time I use royalty free music when it fits a project.
Ephimera: In your opinion, how important is it that we hold space for video art NFTs? Where do they fit in?
Rudolf: Experimental video projects are usually sponsored through grants, apart from that it is very hard to make a living from selling art videos, let alone recuperate the cost of creating them. Video art is also not an easy genre; it is often art for artists, comparable with jazz for musicians. However, I find the NFT community more open minded, artists and collectors here love to see the unusual. Yet, other art forms can be found in abundance, therefore it is important that we have a lens-based platform for our work, so that collectors know what to expect. Ephimera fulfils that role perfectly with its high limit of 250MB per artwork and the vision board. None of the other platforms have that, at this time of writing.