Grow on you


In 2008 Hess started a longterm series of experiments into the growth of artificial matter on human skin. The aim was to create an unnatural substance that strongly resembles a natural origin. The research shows variations of this synthetic vegetation as well as its uncontrollable mutation as Hess imagines it.


The starting point of the research was the animation Grow On You. The short film shows a male model’s skin rapidly taken over by a digital mold-like material. The blue texture organically grows onto the skin, changing the skin’s surface.


The base of the blue particles is a pattern of blue stickers strategically applied on the body. Hess later isolated/keyed these dots of color and used them as a foundation for his fictitious evolution process.

Grow on you


Pins and Needles


For several years Hess researched the possibilities of materializing his Grow on You findings. In the 2014 short film Pins and Needles in collaboration with filmmaker Ruth Hogben he succeeded.


During a 2 day shoot at London’s SHOWstudio, dancer Eric Underwood fought his way through piles of steel with more then 200 small disk magnets applied to his skin. The magnetic body attracted about 80 kilograms of pins, chains, and balls that formed a new skin of metal vegetation

Grow on you - Installation

commissioned by Centraal Museum,

14 March 2105, Utrech (NL)


Latex, magnets, iron




13:32 1 OKT 2013