24/7 Birchwood Crackling Fireplace For Your Home
by Jules Jannsen
In the video installation 24/7 Birchwood Crackling Fireplace For Your Home Jules Janssen exposes how 'prefabricated' nostalgia is a paradoxical product of our current socio-technological condition. The moment we try to superimpose home and abroad this frame catches fire. In our current state the 'homesick' symptoms of our time are being commodified over and over again — creating an endless loop in which we find ourselves sleeplessly tossing and turning.
A cinematic image of nostalgia is a double exposure, or a superimposition of two images—of home and abroad, of past and present, of dream and everyday life. The moment we try to force it into a single image, it breaks the frame or burns the surface.
While digging into old family photobooks I suddenly noticed the commercial implementation of polaroids on screen everywhere. In digital advertisements, music videos and algorithmic slideshows. The digital imitation of cultural 'artifacts' to generate a nostalgic sentiment seems to be popular in these ethereal times. But what's our obsession with using new technologies to imitate the past? Why does it keep haunting us? And why does it sometimes rub the wrong way?
The contemporary is characterised by an acceleration of technological development and pursuit of capital. Yet, while in the past the emergence of new technologies enabled the emergence of new cultural forms, today new technologies are subordinated to the repetition and refreshment of already existing cultural forms from the past. A past that still had a vision of a future.
 Svetlana Boym (2001) The Future of Nostalgia. New York: Basic.
 Mark Fisher (2014) Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures. London: John Hunt Publishing.
 Rowan Fortune (2020) What's Real After COVID-19? From one Revolutionary Impasse to the Next. Medium.
 Colin Davis (2005) French Studies: Hauntology, spectres and phantoms. Available from https://doi.org/10.1093/fs/kni143 (accessed on 12 May 2021).
At the very start of the project I collected every photograph that contains my face. I emptied all my clouds, made use off the GDPR to retrieve all my personal data from social platforms and snatched away all my family photobooks from the shelves of relatives.
Prototypes & Experiments
Within the proces I explored how photographical superimpositions of home and abroad would interact. Would the frame burn as Svetlana Boym wrote?
Part 1 - Vintage Style Photo Book Video
In my final video of part 1 I tended to show how the pre-fabrication of nostalgia paradoxically undermines it's existential purpose. I used the polaroid as a formalistic cliché of prefab nostalgia (cultural artifact) and combined it with private photographs of my childhood. By jumping back and forth between my personal photobook scans and a tutorial video how to fake an analog shot video, the viewer get's confused what the context of the video actually is.