Oliver Ventress (b. 1996, UK) is a video and installation artist who has a primary concern with the idea of Being as a Medium; evidential documentary footage and romantic pursuits to capture isolated natural landscape and existence on tape. Works have included a series of attempts to make contact with aliens, the formation of a UFO spotting network, a para-terrestrial seance and the documented seeking of a sea monster.
Working with rudimentary analogue technology and with concerns of an uncertain future, the documents occupy a physical space in plastic casing, away from the instability of cyberspace and digital corruption. They wait to be discovered by our successors: human or otherwise. Footage is recorded data: it exists post-event, attempting to provide evidence for something which is unproven, or unidentified. Video files and documentary films in cassette tapes produce a linear timeline or pathway of a journey set in time. Placed onto monitors or framed as stills they become objects to be encountered, providing a visual investigation into movement; presence; potentiality.
Recent work explores the notion after us - a quest to capture visual data from elements of human experience to translate into indestructible objects, which could be left behind ready for the future extraterrestrial invasion of the Earth. The piece Everything Has Turned to Dust was installed in a recent show where all that remained was the terrain below our feet and the sun in the sky, and the audience invited to walk amongst this empty landscape.
Oliver is currently based at General Practice Studios and works for the University of Lincoln. He is one of 15 nationally selected artists in the UK New Art Collective, and exhibiting at the Auxiliary Gallery, Middlesbrough in early 2023 alongside Bill Viola, Martin Creed and Vito Acconci.