Sjoerd Houben

Sjoerd Houben (Vlissingen, The Netherlands B.1990). After first earning a Bachelor of Business degree Sjoerd Houben decided to pursue photography in a more serious manner and went to study at the Royal Academy of Arts in Ghent, Belgium, where he graduated with honors from the B.F.A. photography department in 2016. He is currently pursuing an M.F.A. with a focus on photography at the Royal Academy of Arts. He focuses on photography as a means to visually research socially conscious subjects and their current representation in image culture.

“The ultimate social outcome” 2016 – ongoing (Working title)

“The ultimate social outcome” was sparked by the reading of the “World Happiness Report 2015”, the absurdity of the will to measure happiness, something that is per-definition, intangible. This project is about “happiness”; happiness as the ultimate goal for every living human, happiness to be pursued in every possible way, happiness as an intangible goal, happiness as a factor that can(t) be measured.

The questions this work poses are: how do people pursue happiness (mental and physical)?; how is happiness represented in popular culture?; what kind of ‘tangible’ aspects are there to happiness? and; What is happiness?
The project researches the possibility for individual humans to be happy or for humanity to be happy, if measuring happiness is ethically correct and how this happiness can possibly be visually represented.

To view more of Sjoerd’s work please visit his website.