About Joost Gerritsen
Take a cup of science, a measurement of science-fiction and a doses Funk music and you probably end up with the work of Joost Gerritsen.
When I was a child epilepsy played a major role in my life. The hundreds of small seizures per day definitely left their marks and hard wired my brain. Nevertheless I had a great childhood thanks to my family.
Because of my epilepsy I visited the hospital often, especially for brain scans. The electroencephalograms (EEG) always intrigued me. Although it was no fun having the electrodes being hard handedly rubbed in, the experience was always a time for contemplation.
I found the electric wires that connected my brain with a machine fascinating. The readout that I was allowed to see was like a mysterious scripture, like a secret language, the lines on the folds of paper went up and down with different altitudes. It was as if my thoughts where written down but couldn’t be deciphered yet.
It gave me a fundamental trust in science and the beauty it contained: a machine that made a poetic drawing based upon my brainwaves. It measured my electric traffic, my thoughts and translated these into mountain peaks and ocean rifts. I found these experiences profound and although the process of undergoing a EEG 30 years ago wasn’t as smooth as it is now it still drew the curiosity for science out of me.
When I was twelve I went to a center for epilepsy where I was observed 24 hours a day. I wore a walkman that was attached to my brain with a couple of wires, a mobile EEG machine. It was 1980 back then and Big Brother was on it’s way! Starwars was the new thing and the interaction between technology and the human body fascinated me.
Later on when I went to secondary school my language teacher gave me a whole list of Science Fiction authors. It was bulls eye and I fell in love with the genre. I devoured Frank Herbert’s Dune, Jack Vance and Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. The future technology where robots had feelings and thoughts that could be materialized came close to home.
Another source of inspiration was at art school (the AKI, Netherlands) I came into contact with the funky music of Herbie Hancock. My cousin Merijn Bolink (who attended the same art school) had an amazing record, Future Shock that sparked the love for funk music. It was the start of a journey through the world of funk and jazz. The outrageous suits worn by Bootsy Collins and George Clinton, the super groovy baselines of Chic and Marcus Miller have given me energy and inspiration in my studio.