Homo Ludens 5000 by Jan Von Holleben

I once ruled the worlds. Not just one, but many. I ruled them with mirrors and lenses. I ruled them with light and shadow and time. Sometimes I ruled with a trick of the eye.

“I once ruled the worlds. Not just one, but many. I ruled them with mirrors and lenses. I ruled them with light and shadow and time. Sometimes I ruled with a trick of the eye. Through my camera, an entire cosmos took shape, and each world within it seemed to operate by a certain unfamiliar logic, like a sort of magical clockwork.”

Born in 1977 in Cologne and brought up in the southern German countryside, Jan von Holleben lived most of his youth in an alternative commune and identifies a strong connection between the development of his photographic work and the influence of his parents, a cinematographer and child therapist. At the age of 13, he followed his father’s photographic career by picking up a camera and experimenting with all sorts of „magical tricks“, developing his photographic imagination and skills with friends and family and later honing his technique in commercial settings. After pursuing studies in teaching children with disabilities at the Pädagogische Hochschule in Freiburg, he moved to London, earned a degree in the Theory and History of Photography at Surrey Institute of Art and Design, and became submerged within the London photographic scene, where he worked as picture editor, art director and photographic director. He quickly set up two photographic collectives, Young Photographers United and photodebut, followed more recently by the Photographer’s Office. His body of photographic work focusing on the ‘homo ludens’ – the man who learns through play, is itself built from a playful integration of pedagogical theory with his own personal experiences of play and memories of childhood.

Jan von Holleben’s work has been exhibited internationally and published widely throughout the world. His favourite collaborators are: his friends and any pirates, fairies, dragons, monsters and punks that are about. Also the sun behind some tiny clouds, Zeit Magazin, Neon Magazine Dazed&Confused, Geo and Steidl Publishers. Otherwise he greatly fancies loads of cups of green tea, Bircher Müsli, colourful socks & sneakers, his bike and walking in the mountains, Yo yo yo! [Official Website]
09__gun_game

13__gameboys_and_girls

HOMO LUDENS 5000

How to disappear and other existential tricks. I once ruled the worlds. Not just one, but many. I ruled them with mirrors and lenses. I ruled them with light and shadow and time. Sometimes I ruled with a trick of the eye. Through my camera, an entire cosmos took shape, and each world within it seemed to operate by a certain unfamiliar logic, like a sort of magical clockwork.

Today I am a photographer and I am still playing my games with anything that comes my way. Games are my routine. For the last few years I have not only been playing for myself or with my friends anymore, but also for people from all over the world.

They want me to play for them. Usually I don’ t know these people at all; however they seem to be very happy with my results. I have learned that playing is an essential way of seeing things differently, seeing things better, and making great friends! Hermann Hesse writes in his Steppenwolf, “ let’ s play with each other and then we’ ll learn from one another!” In essence, that’ s what I do. I conceptualize the rules for any given challenge that I want to play at any given time and when needed the most. The best time for my creativity is the morning though, when I am still in bed and half asleep! That’ s when the best games surface. And after a good cup of herbal tea and a bowl of a Swiss style müsli with fresh fruit, I am ready for what may come and what there is to be done.

The homo ludens is the playing man. Besides the homo faber, the homo socialis, the homo politicus and many other species of human beings, the homo ludens defines a strong and advanced personal and social developing through techniques of play. Johan Huizinga suggests in his 1938 writing of “The homo ludens” that play is primary to and a necessary (though not sufficient) condition of the generation of culture. He continues that,   ‘ Play is older than culture, for culture, however inadequately defined, always presupposes human society, and animals have not waited for man to teach them their playing’ . He describes ‘ play’ as following:

1. Play is free, is in fact freedom.

2. Play is not “ ordinary” or “ real” life.

3. Play is distinct from “ ordinary” life both as to locality and duration.

4. Play creates order, is order. Play demands order absolute and supreme.

5. Play is connected with no material interest, and no profit can be gained from it.

The culture of developed nations has never advanced so rapidly as over the past 100 years. Never before did technology, politics, social systems and economics advance and influence our personal lives to the extent that it does as I am writing this. Our western civilization accelerated again since the 1980s and keeps on speeding like hundreds of rockets that occasionally explode like mad fireworks! I am truly a child of this hurried and magical time for which I take responsibility. Now the games change by the season, and therefore, the rules must constantly change. Communication itself used to be letters and phones and TV when I grew up. People talked to each other in person. Faxmachines were just invented and emails, twitter, facebook and blogs were terms that nobody had ever heard of.

The human being of today needs super powers to cope with all those changes and I am on a mission to invent tricks and skills to help. Those tricks will not only help us humans in ordinary situations, but they will also make the world a better place – and perhaps even eventually save the universe from all evil!

For a long time I have been working on finding the secret super technique to become invisible. It is not easy at all, but I am working very hard on it – day and night – and honestly, it’ s looking promising. Playing invisible is just one of the many skills that we need to acquire in order to complete our mission. Gaining superpowers, climbing steep walls, finding alternative energy supplies, painting the cities with color, protecting our fragile minds, shooting nasty dragons and other ghosts, avoiding all gibberish, adjusting to all circumstances and developing magic hyper-machines is just a starting point.

My team and I are out to make this all happen. We are equipped with the best and most advanced technology, theories, love, excitement and a bunch of great cameras.

We are documenting every single step of our developments and experiments and hope that we will make it through to the end, so everybody can enjoy our outcome when its needed most or even just for inspiration. We already have results for more than four handfuls of crucial issues and will aim to find at least six more hands full of sense! The images enclosed are a highly reduced essence. If you are interested in seeing more, let us know and we’ ll supply!

One thing is for sure: We will win! The second thing is: Everything we see belongs to us!

And the third thing is:

“ What work I have done I have done because it has been play. If it had been work I

shouldn’ t have done it”

(Mark Twain)

IMG_2304 _MG_8340 _MG_1283 the_day_after_4697 The Van Gogh 1677 30x45Format 13_28_GDI_WE_166 12_08_M-Plan_728 12__hypermaschine 10__ball_game 07__accoustic camera 0002_1 01__hiding

 

More Stories

Boxing; Muay Thai kids by Alain Schroeder

Boxing; Muay Thai kids by Alain Schroeder

Muay Thai kids project was selected and published in our print edition 19. Far from Thailand’s iconic tourist destinations, Isaan, the kingdom’s largest region, reaches north and east to the borders of Laos and Cambodia.
Spirit of India by Jacque Rupp

Spirit of India by Jacque Rupp

India has always held a special place in my heart. My first visit was during an extremely difficult period in my life, as my husband had just been diagnosed with a terminal illness. 
Fotopoesie: The backstage story of a photo book

Fotopoesie: The backstage story of a photo book

An image only makes sense if it "sees the light" and if it is seen by someone. Otherwise it would be just a visual thought. In my opinion, the best way to bring an image to life is through a book.

Call For Entries

We are looking for 6 fantastic photographers
who want to give an incredible impulse to their career.

We are going to put your photographs in front of the eyes of the directors
of the best galleries, festivals and agencies around the world.
Are you coming with us?

DEADLINE | TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2022

PHOTO BY © JULIA FULLERTON-BATTEN
Nude Portraits by Martin Zurmühle

Nude Portraits by Martin Zurmühle

My specialty in nude photography is landscape nudes in beautiful locations. In the last year, however, I have also frequently created nude portraits with my models in my photo studio.
A virtual summer by Thomas H.P. Jerusalem

A virtual summer by Thomas H.P. Jerusalem

A Virtual Summer project was selected and published in our print edition 19. A story about a girl being stuck at home pretending to be on the beach.
Death is a teacher by Srideep Banerjee

Death is a teacher by Srideep Banerjee

It was around 1'O clock when grief crept in with the chilly winds of the Ganges caressing my face. Witnessing death of a near relative isn't always easy to handle.

Featured Stories

Erotic photographs; Inappropriate Images by Alva Bernadine

Erotic photographs; Inappropriate Images by Alva Bernadine

When I first started taking erotic photographs they were for myself and nobody saw them apart from a few friends. They languished in my photo albums for some years until my first book, Bernadinism: How to Dominate Men and Subjugate Women, was published in 2001 by a Swiss publisher.
MiRelLA by Fausto Podavini

MiRelLA by Fausto Podavini

MiRelLa is the story of a woman, a mother, a wife, a grandmother. Mirella is 71 years old, she spent 43 years of her life with the only person loved. 43 years of sharing, difficulties, laughs and beautiful moments
Nickel by Alexandra Gromova

Nickel by Alexandra Gromova

The town of Nickel was founded in 1935. It used to be called Kolosjoki: Finnish geologists who studied nickel ores used to live and work here.
Errance Urbaine by Xavier Rey

Errance Urbaine by Xavier Rey

The work of Xavier Rey is in the early years focused on landscape photography, mainly in long exposure and tends more and more to be part of a research and study on blur.
Still lifes by Belén Argüeso

Still lifes by Belén Argüeso

More or less three years gave me my first camera ...... I'm not a professional photographer ... just a simple fan trying learn and improve every day,. I started taking pictures of my dog, and uploading them to a pet forum
Women hold up half the sky by Gerard Exupery

Women hold up half the sky by Gerard Exupery

It’s another beautiful day in paradise. Dark, and rainy. It’s one of those days that suggest the beauty of film. F-stop wide open, the darkness and grain, the feeling of an impressionist painting.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Mono-banner.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Monochromatic Awards. We are eager to see photograhs with new focus points and innovative approaches

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/banner.jpg

The book where words and images meet to never leave each other, The book contains 20 evocative paintings; each of them is a double page. 56 printed pages | 235x165mm

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/call21.jpg

Call For Entries #21 | After 20 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Under the sign of the rat; Roger the Rat by Roger Ballen

Under the sign of the rat; Roger the Rat by Roger Ballen

Surreal, refined, disturbing: Roger Ballen has made a name for himself with his special eye for what is usually considered minor or outside, yet is nevertheless profound and touching.
Saving Orangutans by Alain Schroeder

Saving Orangutans by Alain Schroeder

This series documents the incongruous behavior between man and the environment in Sumatra. On the one hand, humans destroy virgin forests wounding and killing animals, while on the other, they do everything possible to save them.
Fine art photographs; Big Appetites by Christopher Boffoli

Fine art photographs; Big Appetites by Christopher Boffoli

Big Appetites (2003-present) is a a series of fine art photographs that features tiny, meticulously hand-painted figures photographed against real food environments.
Northern Siberia; Like Last Year’s Snow by Oded Wagenstein

Northern Siberia; Like Last Year’s Snow by Oded Wagenstein

In the remote village of Yar-Sale in Northern Siberia live a group of elderly women. They were once part of a nomadic community of reindeer herders.
Urban sprawl, emptiness by Emmanuel Monzon

Urban sprawl, emptiness by Emmanuel Monzon

This project was selected and published in our print edition 19. Deserts of the American West and their poetic and chaotic processions of motorway interchanges, cities without centers, residential zones without inhabitants.
Riccardo La Valle ; Inusual and alienating

Riccardo La Valle ; Inusual and alienating

Riccardo La Valle is a photographer based in Milan, he was born in Latina in 1987, he came in touch with photography at the age of 21 years. Riccardo La Valle creates images that are ripe with juxtapositions: delicate yet bold, sensual yet strong.

Monochromatic Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the monochromatic awards. We are looking
for the best monochrome picture for this year, 2022.

The contest is open to any interpretation of monochromatic photography,
black and white, grayscale, sepia or any type of tone.

DEADLINE | THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2022

PHOTO BY © SVETLIN YOSIFOV

Trending Stories

Travel Photography; Dutch Delight by Rene Siebring

Travel Photography; Dutch Delight by Rene Siebring

I wanted to create a series about some of the great parts of the Netherlands. The general idea being: If it is not possible to travel to the Netherlands and enjoy some of the highlights of our country, I want to bring some of the highlights of the Netherlands to the world.
My Love as Herbarium by Nino-Ana Samkharadze

My Love as Herbarium by Nino-Ana Samkharadze

This is my life as a herbarium. My memories converted into the dried flowers I kept from people I met throughout my life.
Odd buildings by Olivia Hathaway

Odd buildings by Olivia Hathaway

The theme of the collection is "odd buildings," whether they're odd for their paint job, their architectural design, their graffiti, or their relation to other buildings.
Interview with Dimitri Weber; published in our print edition #15

Interview with Dimitri Weber; published in our print edition #15

I like the colours on my pictures to pop a bit. To be as natural as possible, while catching the eyes of the people looking at my pictures. So, I enhance some of those colours during my editing process, mostly to give them a homogeneous look that suits my style.
Steven Lee – Director of the Kuala Lumpur Photography Awards

Steven Lee – Director of the Kuala Lumpur Photography Awards

KLPA is an annual international portrait photography competition attracting a serious core of internationally renown and emerging photographers.
Ripe by Evelyn Bencicova

Ripe by Evelyn Bencicova

Youth has no age. Powerful personality remains strong despite the time which is passing. RIPE portraits woman of great courage and character, ladies who are not afraid to display their natural beauty and ageing. 
Christine Simpson ; Environmental concerns of the 21st century

Christine Simpson ; Environmental concerns of the 21st century

My work is a response to the ongoing and unresolved environmental concerns of the 21st century: the changing weather patterns, disappearing ice, rising sea levels, deforestation, pollution etc.
Nudity : Underneath the clothes by Lucie Nechanicka

Nudity : Underneath the clothes by Lucie Nechanicka

This series of photographs represents nudity in a pure and natural way. It is something innate that has always been here, and always will be.
Tamara Knight – The world as I see it

Tamara Knight – The world as I see it

I am originally from the Crimean peninsula, so my vision is a little different. I was born and grew up in Sevastopol, learned photography in Moscow school and developed and polished my skills in America. A wild blend!

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact hello@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.