GEM Z: The Farthest from Earth We’ve Ever Been


Meet the core Team behind the GEM Z Talent Accelerator Programme

Frank Verkade

divides his time between his own artistic practice and those of others, supporting artists through the nebula of skills requisite to a successful art practice. As a part of his Talent Development responsibilities at CO, he co-developed and manages the GEM Z programme.

Marina Elenskaya

is the co-founder and creative director of Current Obsession; she focuses her research on the advancement of critical discourse in the field of contemporary adornment —jewellery, fashion artefacts, AR filters and body modifications— as essential cultural and personal signifiers.

Sarah Mesritz

is the co-founder and managing director of Current Obsession, and the managing director of Munich Jewellery Week. She organises events, makes the yearly plan and budget, keeps an eye on the overall trajectory of the brand and develops exciting new partnerships with artists and CO-conspirators.

Tobias Groot

is a Berlin-based artist working with photography, video and computer-generated imagery. Tobias’ digital conglomerations contend with artificial intelligence and humans’ fleshy embodied experience. As a part of the GEM Z Digital team he has developed the GEM Z identity and animations for our website and social media.

Elizaveta Federmesser

is a digital artist and creative consultant. She studied theater stage and costume design in Moscow and later graduated from Gerrit Rietveld Academie Moving Image department in Amsterdam. In collaboration with Tobias, Federmesser is working on the digital content for the GEM Z exhibition and accompanying publication.

Veronika Muráriková

is a jewellery artist currently studying for her master’s degree at Konstfack University in Stockholm, Sweden. In her master’s thesis, she is exploring the notion of new materialism, perception, and sound interaction. Veronika has joined the GEM Z team as a research assistant for phase two of the programme: development.

Rebecca Schena

is a California-based jeweller, maker, writer, baker, and aspiring maximalist. She earned her BFA in Jewelry + Metalsmithing with a concentration in Mind, Brain, and Behavior from Rhode Island School of Design. She is a contributor to Making Progress: Resources for Social Justice in Craft, and Current Obsession, including the GEM Z initiative, for which she does editing and writing.

Sofia Nikolaeva

is a graphic designer and explorer currently finishing her bachelor’s degree at The Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. Sofia focuses on working in an editorial sphere and is majorly fascinated by type and it’s interconnections with image. As part of the GEM Z team, Sofia is responsible for the post-production of the filmed content.