Jol Thoms (b. Toronto) is an artist, sound designer, and researcher. His audio-visual compositions, lecture-performances, and educational experimentations emerge from site-based fieldwork in remote ‘landscape-laboratories’ situated at the forefront of experimental physics and environmental stewardship. His practice critiques the master discipline of physics, the western cosmological paradigm of scientism, and the creation of an indifferent or disenchanted universe – each entangled with the exploitation and expropriation of Earthly bodies.
Thoms is the founder of the ongoing Ocean sound art project, relaying artists compositions 2.5kms deep in the Pacific Ocean during each full moon: 'Radio Amnion: Sonic Transmissions of Care in Oceanic Space'. His critical practice addresses our troubled relationships with nature, technology, and the cosmos by signalling beyond the purely measurable and quantifiable, and by thinking, feeling, and sensing with more-than-human worlds.
- PhD, University of Westminster, London, UK 2021
- Meisterschüler, Städelschule, Frankfurt aM, DE 2013
- Honors BA, University of Toronto, CA 2009
Teaching and Supervision
Thoms is interested in creative and ethical approaches to sentient landscapes and other more-than-non-human entities. His research crosses and reconfigures boundaries between the non/human, the ineffable, cosmological, and the scientific using strategies from quantum field theory, environmental humanities, and feminist anti-colonial science studies. Thoms’ critical practice advocates for an expanded understanding and ethical engagement with knowledge practices and vocabularies by attending to radical pluralities of experience and phenomena beyond the measurable and quantifiable.
Further profile content
Doubling Down on Wicked Problems: Ocean ArtScience Collaborations for a Sustainable Future
In 'Frontiers in Marine Science' Vol.9
Diffractive Aesthetics and Holographic Literacies
in “Diffractive Reading” New Cultural Humanities, Rowan & Littlefield Pub.
Phase Velocity and F-T-L in the GVD
in “The Live Creature and Ethereal Things: Physics in Culture”, Fiona Crisp and Nicola Triscott, Eds. Published by Arts Catalyst.
Intra-acting With the IceCube Neutrino Observatory; or, how the technosphere may come to matter
with Sasha Engelmann, “Anthropocene Review: The Technosphere Issue” - Sage Publishing.
Thoms has recently participated in the residency and touring exhibition project 'Drift: Art and Dark Matter' generated by Agnes Etherington Art Centre, the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute and SNOLAB. In 2021 his new installation 'n-Land: the holographic (principle)' has been shon in the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queens University, Kingston, CA and the Belkin Art Gallery, UBC, Vancouver, CA (2021). In 2022 the project will be shown in the Carlton University Art Gallery, Ottawa and in Art Museum, University of Toronto.
Thoms participated with Deep Field Projects in the exhibition 'Who Wants to Live Forever?' curated by Stefanie Hessler at Kunsthall Trondheim (2020).
Thoms collaboratively developed and led an experimental ecological arts pedagogy ‘IAK’ for grad and undergrad architect students with artist-architect Tomás Saraceno at the Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany (2014-16).
G24|0vßß was installed alongside work from Susan Schuppli and Ursula Biemann in 'Logics of Sense 1: Investigations' curated by Christine Shaw at Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto Mississauga (2019)
Thoms participated in the exhibition 'Blind Faith: Between the Cognitive and the Visceral in Contemporary Art' at Haus Der Kunst, Munich (2018)
Goldsmiths Research Centres/Groups
Conferences and talks
DRIFT Opening Discussion with Denise Ferreira da Silva and Jol Thoms
Thoms and Da Silva discuss the intersections of their recent works exhibited at the Belkin Art Gallery, UBC, Vancouver
Assembly: Extractable Matters, Arts Catalyst and CREAM, London
Presentation of recent work
'Behind the Sun' in the Aerocene Symposium during Tomás Saraceno's ON AIR at Palais de Tokyo
A discussion at with the director of the European Southern Observatory and Philosopher Heinz Wismann
Being In Two Places at Once: art, apparatus, and the geopolitics of remote-sensing. NYU
Thoms, his collaborator Sasha Engelmann, and Karen Barad discuss their work in quantum physics and ethics.
Ecologies of Toxicity
A discussion of DDOS attacks and nonhuman agency at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Boston
The Grammar of Things
A discussion and presentation of G24|0vßß at the Society for the Philosophy of Technology, Darmstadt
Grants and awards
Project to Realization Grant for Radio Amnion from Canada Council for the Arts
Commissioning support for one year of operating the project
Creating Earth Futures project Grant from Royal Holloway University's Centre for the GeoHumanities
A project grant for collaborative the fieldwork and research that led to 'Viriditas: In The Future Perfect'
MERU Art*Science Award Ed. IV (Bergamo Scienza & GAMeC Bergamo)
Award to produce and acquire a new video work shot in Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso: G24|0vßß