Artist Statement
Jong Pairez

There is a situation in the game of chess where the only possible way for a player to move is not to move. Germans call it Zugzwang! This term as a combinatorial game theory in chess aptly describes my situation as an aspiring artist.

I see myself in a situation that everyone is forced to produce and accelerate knowing that any possible move forward will result in a disastrous consequence – Zugzwang! This is the reality of Capitalist accumulation that formed the epoch I languish. However, applying Zugzwang in my art making helps me critically scrutinize this notion of productivity and allow myself to initiate critical distance from the culture of making.

I believe the opening to various possibilities of new worlds can be achieved through the creative impulse of “not making as making.” As Nakamura Hiromi, curator of Tokyo National Museum of Photography said: “Not coming up with an answer does not mean zero – it means infinity.”

My works reproduce rather than represent infinite possibilities of new worlds embedded in our fluctuating future present. By gathering pre-existent forms, remixing forms and creating new meanings out of these forms without bothering to produce any tangible fetish objects I hopefully convey in my work (whether it’s an installation art, video, constructed situations, and social sculptures) the production of sustainable and significant life different to the culture of accumulation where we are forced to move towards the brink of collapse.


Swarm Bibliotheque (2015)
Constructed Situations, Radio, File Sharing
Ethos, Bathos, Pathos Exhibition
Vargas Museum, University of the Philippines Diliman



Swarm Bibliotheque was a tactical library composed of information materials temporarily loaned from the personal library of various people. However, the materials were selected according to the categorical research goal of the project, namely: Survival, Sustainability, Ecology, and Resistance. The shared materials varied from printed matters to digital and the participating public were encouraged to use it whether they download or photocopy the materials. Further, the tactical library also includes a radio station where people from different academic fields within and outside the university premises exchanged dialogues and discussions related to the exhibition topic. This piece was part of the series of exhibitions and events under the ecologically-conscious arts festival Project Bakawan.


Dystopic Future Memory (2014)
Artistic Research, Installation, Radio, Events
Studio Arts Thesis Exhibition
University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts





  1. Swarm Bibliotheque, Installation (2015)
  2. Dystopic Future Memory, Installation (2014)
  3. Civilisation Laboratory, Installation (CIV:Lab) (2014)
  4. The Monstrous Arrivant, Installation (2013)
  5. Tokyo Diary, 8mm Film (2006-present)
  6. Multitudfest, Performance/Art Project (2009)
  7. Postalbox Posties, Installation (2008)
  8. Displacement Series, Group Show (2007)
  9. Seppuku 1 & 2, Curator/Art Produce (2005-2006)
  10. Video Works