The combination of the qualities of the positive photographic paper and the impossibility to fully control the oddly staged happenings evokes 19th century’s attempts to photographically capture paranormal activities
As usual, this year’s program was packed with dramatic commissions and entertaining debates but it was also anchored in today’s most pressing concerns: the plight of refugees in Europe, the legacies of colonialism, the plague of fake news, violation of human rights, climate change, etc.
The conference brought together leading artists and thinkers from the world of art, technology, science and documentary. The food was a bit revolting. Everything else was amazing
Robots and computers are acting more and more like people. They’re driving around in cars, hooking us up with new lovers and talking to us out of the blue. But is the opposite also true— are people acting more and more like robots?
Do artists using biotechnological materials and scientific processes have the same obligations, rights and responsibilities as scientists? Or should they enjoy more liberties and particular prerogatives?
The aim of the gamma-radiation project, is to develop an emergency-infrastructure that can be deployed within minutes, by activating your (covered) webcam from a webpage
Can art help us understand the ethical complexities of emerging (bio)technologies? Are artists able to uncover our hidden desires and demystify the promises emerging technologies represent? Are living artworks allowed and is art allowed to alter life?
Famous Deaths, IDFA International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam. Photo Nichon Glerum Would you like to know or even experience […]
DocLab Expo: Seamless Reality, IDFA International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam. Photo Nichon Glerum The DocLab Expo: Seamless Reality exhibition […]
The event is a one-day meeting for filmmakers, producers, artists, designers, entrepreneurs and anyone else interested in exploring how digital technologies and new forms of interactivity are shaping the future of documentary storytelling. The conference is one of the highlights of the Seamless Reality program set up by IDFA DocLab, a festival program for ‘undefined art and unexpected experiences’
Visit the scene of a crime by live webcam or inform the police of an offense. In Sheriff Software, media artist Dries Depoorter allows us to peer over the police’s shoulder – or even play traffic cop ourselves
Pater is a graphic designer who gave himself the mission to create visual narratives about complex political issues. He is not only interested in flying machines of death but also in disaster floods caused by global warming, Dutch sweets that evoke everyday racism, fishermen vs oil tankers, citizen journalism in countries with censorship, digital surveillance, etc
Internet Yami-ichi (japanese for Black Market) is a flea market where people sell Internet-ish things face to face. It’s a place where artists, designers, art students and hackers sell objects, offer food and DIY workshop, set up hilarious performances and more generally bring Internet offline.
The last edition of the market took place in Amsterdam on 9 and 10 May. More precisely at the Flemish Arts Centre De Brakke Grond
The most compelling part of the day for me was when i discovered the nominees of the Digital Storytelling competition. Because the focus of the selection is as much on new forms of interactivity as it is on strategies to weave a compelling story, all the projects were deep, multi-layered and compelling. Some took me ages to explore. Take the super addictive podcast of the now cult “Serial” for example…
Finally! I found some time to type down my notes from the DocLab: Interactive Conference, a one-day event that looked at how artists, film makers, designers and entrepreneurs are exploring digital behaviour and redefining the documentary genre in the digital age
The conference (ridiculously interesting and accompanied by an exhibition i wish i could see all over again but more about all that next week) looked at how practitioners redefine the documentary genre in the digital age. In his presentation, artist James George presented artistic projects that demonstrate how fast computational photography is evolving and how innovations are changing our relation to the image
Ivan Henriques collaborated with scientists from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam to develop the prototype of an autonomous bio-machine which harvests energy from photosynthetic organisms commonly found in ponds, canals, rivers and the sea
The Symbiotic Machine uses the energy collected from micro organisms to move around in search for more photosynthetic organisms which it then collects and processes again
his month Foam has a show titled Primrose – Russian Colour Photography and the word “Russia” always does it for me. The exhibition charts Russia’s attempts to produce coloured photographic images from the 1860s to 1970s. Room after rooms, the visitor realizes that photography is a cogent filter to reveal the history of a country in the course of a century
There are stuffed toys quietly seating around a rug as if they were having a picnic. Handmade dolls have been dismembered and used to create a wall composition. There’s also a banana man, colour exercises based on asinine adult humour magazines, bird houses of various architecture styles, etc. Which sounds cheerful, except it’s not. It’s nostalgia, except that it’s a bit dirty and bedraggled
Charlotte has donated parts of her body to stem cell research. Her tissue and blood samples are now in a lab where they will be transformed into induced pluripotent stem cells and from there into a range of completely different substances. A second self of Charlotte will be created, made from a collage of in vitro body parts.
The project is called Ergo Sum and it recently received the Designers and Artist’s for Genomics Award. It will be exhibited this Summer in The Netherlands. But until then, Charlotte is in the studio to tell us more about this work.
uring my short stay in Amsterdam, i enthusiastically entered the exhibition
Yasusuke Ota: The Abandoned Animals of Fukushima. What had i imagined that i’d see? Birds flying over beautiful urban ruins? Pets sauntering gaily on car roofs and pigs fooling around empty supermarkets? I couldn’t have been more mistaken
A quick, frustrated post about an exhibition i saw while in Amsterdam for the conference Blogging the City. Quick and frustrated because the show is as charming as it is bonkers but i could only find tiny images online to illustrate it.
Guido van der Werve spent 24 hours in almost complete immobility on the axis of the world at the geographic North Pole. His only movements consisted in turning slowly clockwise as the planet under his feet turned counterclockwise.
This means that in these 24 hours, he didn’t indeed “turn with the world” but let the Earth rotate around him
Heath Bunting gives insight into the networks at play that constitute an identity, like banks, health care and education. By using these different networks Bunting creates new synthetic identities. In his ‘Identity Bureau’ one can purchase official and legal UK identities
As surprising as it may appear, Scarlett Hooft Graafland takes analogue photographs, prints them straight from the negative and never uses Photoshop. The artist is fascinated by remote, unusual and sometimes even inhospitable locations. She went to Salar de Uyunu in the Bolivian Andes, the largest salt desert, she travelled with the Inuit across the sea ice of Igloolik on the Arctic plains of northern Canada, moved around Southern China and the lava fields of Iceland
If you find yourself in Amsterdam too, don’t miss Battered at Melkweg’s photo gallery. For obvious reason, the exhibition has the support of the Finnish Institute of Culture rather than the Finnish board of tourism. The photo series by Harri Pälviranta shows men (and a few women too) in the middle of or after a physical fight in the streets of Turku. The powerful flash leaves nothing to imagination. It’s bloody, messy, a few teeth have probably been lost and the subjects will wake up the day after with ecchymosis all over their face
When the budget cuts for arts and culture are accepted by Parliament on Monday June 27th, all New Media Art institutions in The Netherlands will lose their funding. Institutional support for New Media culture will come to a grinding halt. From 2013 onwards there will be no development platform for New Media Art in The Netherlands. Please help us prevent this from happening by signing the petition
There is a fantastic exhibition right now at the Netherlands Media Art Institute in Amsterdam and if i were you, i’d go there immediately.
Not only because the 5 videos by Omer Fast NIMk is showing are worth the trip but also because NIMk (as well as other Dutch new media art centers) needs all the national and international support it can get right now
None of the panelists could (or rather would) answer Marcus Fair’s request to give a clear-cut definition of open design. The practice, said Evers, is not fixed, it is in constant flux. Open design is more about a mentality than a strict definition. The book is indeed about what open design can be and what you can do with it, it is only the starting point of a discussion
Interview with Arne Hendriks about The Incredible Shrinking Man, a speculative design research about the consequences of downsizing the human species to 50 centimeters. It has been a long established trend for people to grow taller. As a direct result we need more energy, more food and more space. But what if we decided to turn this trend around? What if we use our knowledge to shrink mankind?
Another winning project from the Designers & Artists 4 Genomics Award, 2.6g 329m/s is a project aimed at building a bullet proof skin by providing transgenic human skin with cast-iron spiders’ web. The work expressly asks the question if this technological innovation is socially desirable.
The winning projects of the first Designers & Artists 4 Genomics Award were revealed last month: a bullet proof skin, an ecological bioreactor and an opera performed by mutated worms. I’m going to dedicate several posts on the winning projects as well as on the award itself in the coming day. And i’m opening the series with the Microscopic Opera! Matthijs Munnik is going to collaborate with Netherlands Consortium for Systems Biology on an audiovisual installation in which tiny, transparent mutated lab worms are producing sounds and images
Sex Cinema Venus is the oldest sex cinema in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, which will soon disappear as a result of the city council’s regeneration plans. Using a slide show and several single photographs Van der Burg portrays the stories that take place behind the doors of this particular cinema
The VivoArts School for Transgenic Aesthetics Ltd., Adam Zaretsky and Waag Society’s temporary research and education institute on Art and Life Sciences, will be focusing this month on body art
What does it mean to work with living, semi-living or formely living beings? What’s the meaning of tissue culture for artistic purposes versus health application? Or the development of a new weapon? What are the dilemmas that come with tissue culture technology?
Notes i wrote down during a talk that Oron Catts gave to kick off the TIssue Culture workshop. His presentation, which put our wet lab into a historical narrative, was titled ‘An alternative timeline for regenerative medicine – A biased history’
It was at the Rijksakademie that she made her first series of animal portraits – five police dogs – which grew from a fascination with the portrayal of controlled aggression
Over the course of two years, Muzi Quawson attempts to uncover the reality of this outlandish, boondocks location. Her camera silently follows Ivar “Duke” T Pederson: an aging cowboy who incarnates the Old American West of our most used and abused cliché.
Waag Society and Adam Zaretsky’s series of workshops and lectures are back in Amsterdam and this time the focus will be biology and bacterial transformation
VASTAL is a temporary research and education institute that Adam Zaretsky has set up in Amsterdam following an invitation by the Waag Society. Zaretsky will give lectures and workshops on Art and Life Sciences. The School was born with the objective of showing what it means to work artistically and scientifically with living organisms and materials. It also aims to make this form of art-science accessible for a broader audience and invite them to discuss the ethical and aesthetic issues at stake.