Joey Holder

Joey Holder’s practice combines research into biology, technology and natural history, with instances of mutation and hybridity as constant themes. This research is then brought into contrast with human societies’ norms and prejudice via installation, video and sculpture. She will have her first solo exhibition at Seventeen in November 2020.

Joey Holder (b. 1986) lives and works in London and Nottingham. She graduated from Goldsmiths with an MFA in 2010.


Joey Holder CV 


Seventeen Exhibitions
Joy before the object


Selected Press

Vice Interview
Art Monthly: Profile, Joey Holder by Tim Dixon
Rhizome: Joey Holder by Jamie Sutcliffe
BOMB Magazine: Faith and Technology: Joey Holder Interviewed by Caroline Elbaor
Elephant: 5 Questions with Joey Holder
The Evening Standard: ‘Conspiracy Week at The Photographers’ Gallery: Pictures from a post-truth world’ by Ben Luke
frieze: ‘The Mutants We Will Become’, Chris Fite-Wassilak
The Guardian: ‘DIY call centres and puppet shows help Athens Biennale fight the power’ by David Batty
Art Monthly: ‘Art and the Chthulucene’ by Jamie Sutcliffe
Dazed: ‘Mutant Hybrids’
MUTE: ‘Mutatis Mutandis’ by Josephine Berry Slater


Artist Websites

Joey Holder, Semelparous, 2019
Digital wall print, unique single channel video (9 minutes 50 seconds), soil, sand, wooden fireplace

A species is considered ‘semelparous’ if it is characterised by a single reproductive episode before death. In truly semelparous species, death after reproduction is part of an overall strategy that includes putting all available resources into maximising reproduction, at the expense of future life. Each autumn, eels leave their European river homes to travel across the Atlantic Ocean to breed for a single time, then die. Tagging studies show that the fish swim more than 3,000 miles to the Sargasso Sea and the deepest part of all the oceans – the Mariana Trench. The centre piece for the installation shows footage of eels at a purpose built farm in South Korea. Here the young eels have been taken from the sea, and grown in captivity for human food. The installation is a kind of domestic shrine to these ill-fated animals; trapped in giant vats, with the promise of death without reproduction.

Joey Holder, Adcredo – The Deep Belief Network, 2018
Installation view at Quad, Derby

Using the device of a fictional data-analysis company called Adcredo, Holder explores the role that online networks can play in the construction of belief. Across a series of exhibitions at Bloc Projects, Sheffield, QUAD in Derby, Matt’s Gallery, London, and the 6th Athens Biennale, Holder expanded this fictional world to examine the rise of political ideologies and fantasies, and how they might affect our worldview. The work develops a series of avatars, CGI talking heads stand in for Kanye West, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Peter Thiel alongside otherworldly creatures drawn from the artist’s online research into conspiracy theory and synchromysticism. The work exists against a techno-socio-political backdrop of fake news, conspiracy theory, cyber-espionage and political populism.

The work is complemented online at Adcredo’s company website: and the research platform for this project can be found at

Joey Holder, Adcredo – The Deep Belief Network, 2018
Installation view at Quad, Derby

Joey Holder, Adcredo – The Deep Belief Network, 2018
Installation view at Matts Gallery, London

Joey Holder, Ophiux, 2016
Installation view at Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge

This installation imagines a future in which synthetic biology has been fully realized and applied to both advance human evolution and increase life expectancy, and where human biology has been computer programmed. Ophiux visualises how current digital developments are used to extract data from DNA. The exhibition proposes that in the future the human population, and millions of other organisms, will have been genetically sequenced in order to extract data, with the aim of furthering life. Holder’s work reflects on the reality of today’s healthcare, in which our bodies are increasingly mapped and digitised. While conceiving the work, Holder worked in close collaboration with scientists she met during a residency at Wysing Arts Centre in 2015 – Dr Marco Galardini, a Computational Biologist at the European Bioinformatics Institute at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Cambridge, and Dr Katrin Linse, Senior Biodiversity Biologist at the British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge.

Joey Holder, Ophiux, 2016
Installation view at Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge

Joey Holder and Viktor Timofeev, Lament of Ur, 2015
Installation view at Karst, Plymouth

Lament of Ur was an exhibition by Joey Holder and Viktor Timofeev inspired by themes of entrapment, conspiracy theories and speculation on post-human life. The exhibition includes video, an interactive computer game, fabricated and found sculptures, prints and mural paintings. Holder and Timofeev’s work weaves together, eschewing the standard “duo show” division into individual practices, in favour of a synergetic in-house collaboration that brings together both artists’ works without emphasising their individual authorship, allowing the works to be re-contextualised and “ebb and flow” into one another.

Proxyah, a computer game installed together with a sculptural controller, floor-print and zine-like instructional guide, deliberately obfuscates the premise of goal-oriented gameplay, a concept mirrored by Holder’s film, in which fictional and scientific lexicons are collaged together in order to speculate on the nature of language, levels of abstraction and a time without humans. The golden spot-light wall-prints surrounding a floor to ceiling JPEG of a Cuneiform tablet refer to the name of the exhibition itself; specifically to the popular theory of the Annunaki, the gold-mining alien race that enslaved the human race and is believed to have centred around the city of Ur of the Sumerian Civilisation. The exhibition softly suggesting the parallel between this speculative theory and our current technocratic state – and reflects on our collective innate tendency to be controlled, to invent new gods to replace old ones, and to march blindly towards inevitable oblivion.