Experiencing Interruptions?

Searching for an Electric Peanut

"Searching for an Electric Peanut" is a video artwork (Full HD, 16:9, 11'), which has been screened and exhibited twice In South Africa, first at Priest Gallery in Johannesburg and then recently at the Michaelis Galleries in Cape Town.

(excerpts from exhibition text, Michaelis Galleries, Cape Town, 2019) :

"In Searching for an Electric Peanut Jonathan Silverman reconstructs the lost experience of encountering nature as landscape. In the age of the screen and real-time technologies, the lost tradition of artist and easel on a bucolic hilltop sketching the expanse seems tragically outdated. However this is not what lays at stake here, rather it is the encounter and its hidden potential to render life to the material and the digital...
...Silverman’s search is after the most elusive aspect of human experience, that which stubbornly evades us, the experience of leaving the present behind as an unknown...

...Depth supplanted for flatness is experienced in the video-art projected in the darkened room. A slow succession of gaseous, unstable spherical images appear, endowed with autonomous reverberation. An eerie encounter, nature now is a recognizable unfamiliarity. Their slow movement evokes a form of primal sentience and the three dimensional immerses into time removed. Something is missing. Where is humanity? It is as though nature is being rebooted without us.

Searching for an Electric Peanut disturbs the longing for a natural nature. In the hyperreal of the Age of the Human Silverman’s paintings reconstruct the comfort of observing nature while his video defuses the loss of its innocence. He reminds us of the necessary comfort we find in nature while drawing us into the discomfort of our lost presence. Where is humanity when the digital predominates the real? "

  • Jonathan Silverman
  • Jonathan Silverman
  • Jonathan Silverman
  • Floy Krouchi, sound artist and composer
    Soundtrack by
  • Remo de Vico, sound artist and composer
    Soundtrack by
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 45 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 29, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    South Africa
  • Country of Filming:
    South Africa
  • Shooting Format:
    digital animation
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Searching for an Electric Peanut (part II), Michaelis Galleries, Cape Town (visual art installation)
    Cape Town
    South Africa
    February 13, 2019
  • Searching for an Electric Peanut, Priest Gallery, Johannesburg (visual art installation)
    South Africa
    July 5, 2018
    South African premiere
Director Biography - Jonathan Silverman

Jonathan Silverman is a visual artist who works primarily in the mediums of painting, digital painting and video. Of an Anglo-Tunisian background, he was born in Manchester, UK, and grew up in Israel, moving to Italy in 2001.

He holds a BFA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy (cum laude, 2006), and an MA from The Royal Drawing School, London (2011). In 2012 he was artist in residence at the Sanskriti Foundation in New Delhi, and in 2015 was selected for the BoCs residency programme in Cosenza, Italy. He has taught at the Royal Drawing School in London, at the IIFA in India, has been a visiting lecturer at Rhodes University and Nelson Mandela University and runs regular portraiture classes in collaboration with ArtWorks For Youth (NGO).
Silverman has exhibited extensively in South Africa and internationally (Italy, UK, Israel, Portugal, India), and has work in various private collections as well as the Royal Collection.
He currently lives and works in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

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Director Statement

Is it possible to be in the forest, and perceive it as a flat screen? This is a metaphor for an aspect of contemporary living. Our lives are shaped by our connection to physical objects and our digital experiences. Beyond what we are consciously aware of, our interaction with the digital and virtual have a profound effect on our psyche. With its negative and positive implications, it is our inevitable reality.