Jol Thoms

Staff details

Jol Thoms


Studio Lecturer




j.thoms (

Goldsmiths Research Centres/Groups

Jol's practice engages more-than-human worlds, critical comparative eco-cosmology, and quantum meta/physics.

Jol Thoms (b. Toronto) is an artist, sound designer, experimental theorist, 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 sciences and environmental stewardship. His practice challenges the 'scientific cosmology' of the West and its meta/physics that invents an indifferent, disenchanted universe - believed to be a key source from which the exploitation and expropriation of Earthly bodies is permitted.

Thoms is the founder of 'Radio Amnion: Sonic Transmissions of Care in Oceanic Space' relaying artists and musicians compositions 2.5kms deep in - and addressed to - the Pacific Ocean during each full moon.

His 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.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD, University of Westminster, London, UK 2021
  • Meisterschüler, Städelschule, Frankfurt aM, DE 2013
  • Honors BA, University of Toronto, CA 2009

Teaching and supervision

Studio Lecturer

Research interests

Thoms is a transdisciplinary generalist interested in creative and ethical approaches to sentient landscapes and other more-than 'non-human' entities. How can we meet Earthly sentient beings on their terms, in their times, outside of anthropocentric, western, patriarchal and capitalist systems? His practice includes communing with mountains, ice-shelves, forests, and Ocean(s) at sites of western sciences. His research as comparative-cosmology therefore crosses and reconfigures boundaries between the non/human, the ineffable, and the scientific using strategies from quantum field theory, environmental humanities, indigenous & ancestral epistemology of place, mysticism, and feminist anti-colonial science studies.

Thoms’ critical practice advocates for an expanded understanding and ethical engagement with diverse knowledge practices by attending to radical pluralities of sites, phenomena, and experiences in and beyond the measurable and quantifiable.

Grants and awards

2022: Project to Realization Grant for Radio Amnion from Canada Council for the Arts
Commissioning support for one year of operating the project

2021: Project to Realization Grant for Radio Amnion from Canada Council for the Arts
Commissioning support for one year of operating the project

2018: 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'

2016: 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

Publications and research outputs


Jung, Julia; Gupa, Dennnis; Hash, Colton; Thoms, Jol; Owens, Dwight; Threlfall, John and Juniper, Kim. 2022. Doubling Down on Wicked Problems: Ocean ArtScience Collaborations for a Sustainable Future. Frontiers in Marine Science, 9, 873990. ISSN 2296-7745

Thoms, Jol and Engelmann, Sasha. 2017. Intra-acting with the IceCube Neutrino Observatory; or, how the technosphere may come to matter. The Anthropocene Review, 4(2), pp. 81-91. ISSN 2053-0196

Book Section

Thoms, Jol. 2021. Diffractive Aesthetics & Holographic Literacies: Transcoding the Gigaton Volume Detector [A Diffracted Photo-Essay]. In: Kai Merten, ed. Diffractive Reading: New Materialism, Theory, Critique. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, pp. 235-248. ISBN 9781786613967

Professional projects

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.

Selected Exhibitions 2022
23rd International Triennale Milano – Unknown Unknowns: An Introduction to Mysteries, IT
Radio Amnion: An Oceanic Hearing during ‘Ecological Futurisms’ – AmbikaP3, London
Die Vibration Der Dinge – 15th Triennale Kleinplastik, Fellbach, DE
Becoming Fresh and Salty Drops of Water – Ocean Space, Venice, IT
Othering – Dittrich & Schlechtreim, Berlin, DE

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).

Jol's award winning video '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)

Conferences and talks

2022: DRIFT with Karen Barad, University of Toronto
Post Keynote conversation at the closing of the DRIFT exhibition in Toronto

2022: Natrurarchy Summer School, Joint Research Centre/ EU Commission, Italy
Invited as expert speaker on the relationships between ArtScience, Policy, and Climate Catastrophe

2021: 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

2019: Assembly: Extractable Matters, Arts Catalyst and CREAM, London
Presentation of recent work

2018: '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

2018: Being In Two Places at Once: art, apparatus, and the geopolitics of remote-sensing. NYU
Thoms, his collaborator Dr. Sasha Engelmann, and Prof. Karen Barad discuss their work in quantum physics and ethics.

2017: Ecologies of Toxicity
A discussion of DDOS attacks and nonhuman agency at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Boston

2017: The Grammar of Things
A discussion and presentation of G24|0vßß at the Society for the Philosophy of Technology, Darmstadt