The ninth edition of the TodaysArt Festival unfolded in and around the iconic former Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations building in The Hague.
The ninth edition of the TodaysArt Festival in The Hague unfolded in the iconic former Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations (Binnenlandse Zaken) building, part of a municipal complex of over 124 000 square meters. The festival featured international acts and artists who treated visitors to outstanding performances and works in a program that included a large number of world and European premieres and exclusive shows. Next to the former ministry building the festival took place in the City Hall and surrounding public spaces.
Festival: September 27th and 28th, 2013
Symposium: September 24th – 28th, 2013
Exhibition: September 27th – October 27th, 2013
Former Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations (Binnenlandse Zaken)
The Hague City Hall
The full program
Mohammed Assaf [PS] - First European Concert
Atom™ [DE/CL] | Diamond Version (Alva Noto + Byetone) + Atsuhiro Ito [DE/JP] | Jackson and His Computer Band [FR] | Lustmord [UK/US] | Morton Subotnick + Lillevan [US/DE] | Oneohtrix Point Never [US] | Ryoji Ikeda [JP] - test pattern | Sphæræ (by Cocky Eek): Bas van Koolwijk [NL] - Runaway AV, Dieter Vandoren + Mariska de Groot [BE/NL] - Shadow Puppet, Erfan Abdi [IR] - Radial, Francisco López [ES] - Hantu Hilang, Martijn van Boven [NL] - On Growth And Data, Nenad Popov [RS] - Sonata for Convolution and Feedback, Paul Prudence [UK] - Hydro-Acoustic Study, Robert Curgenven [AU], Synergetica Lab (Evelina Domnitch + Dmitry Gelfand) - 10000 Peacock Feathers in Foaming Acid, Yamila Ríos + Joris Strijbos [ES/NL] - COVEX
2562 [NL] | Clark [UK] | Juju & Jordash [IL/NL] | Kompakt vs Cómeme: Barnt [DE], Jennifer Cardini [FR], Justus Köhncke [DE], Philipp Gorbachev [RU], Saschienne (Sascha Funke + Julienne Dessagne) [DE/FR] | Though The Darkness Gathers: Gangpol & Mit [FR] - The 1000 People Band, Guido Möbius [DE], Mesak [FI], Patric Catani [DE], TVDiSKO [CA/NZ] | TM404 (Andreas Tilliander) [SE] | Untold [UK] | Yosi Horikawa + Florence To [JP/UK] | Something Happening Somewhere: David Cornelissen [NL], Ivan Smagghe [FR], Love Over Entropy [NL], Nuno Dos Santos + Arnout Hulskamp [NL], Presk [NL]
Aram Bartholl [DE] | Ben Dalton [UK] - Chattr | Collective Works (Karin Mientjes + Peter Zuiderwijk) + Onno Dirker + Christian van der Kooy + David Veneman + Annemieke Blaha + Pawel Pokutycki [NL/INT] - 19th floor | Dick Raaijmakers [NL] - De Lange Mars (in collaboration with the Institute of Sonology and Kees Tazelaar) | Frank Loer + Arnoud Herder [NL] - So You Think You Can Shape | iii: Yolanda Uriz Elizalde [ES], Lars Kynde [DK] | Jennifer Kanary Nikolov(a) [CA/NL] - Labyrinth Psychotica | Joris Hoogeboom + Teun Verkerk [NL] - Buqs | Joris Strijbos + Daan Johan (Macular) [NL] - PARSEC | Ludmila Rodrigues [BR/NL] - Approximation | Marina Abramovic Institute: Suzanne Dikker + Matthias Oostrik + Peter Burr + Matthew Patterson Curry + Diederik Schoorl [INT] - The Mutual Wave Machine | Matthijs Munnik [NL] - Citadels: Lightscape | MinSun Kim [KR] - Home For A Moment | Onno Dirker [NL] - Voorbij de wacht | Sebastien Wierinck [BE/FR] - OnSite prototype nr.14, v.03 (Entuber La Haye) | Royal Academy of Art The Hague - Interactive/Media/Design / INSIDE / Type & Media [INT] | WERC [NL] | Media Lostness (curator: Karina Karaeva + Evgeny Umansky - NCCA Moscow) [RU]: Sergey Bratkov - Balaklava Drive, Vladimir Logutov - Pause, Vladimir Seleznev - Metropolis | Past Imperfect (curator: Joseph Backstein + Yasha Yavorskaya - Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art) [RU]: Victor Alimpiev, Aslan Guysumov, Natalia Zintsova, Taus Makhacheva, Alexander Povzner, Alexandra Sukhareva, Anya Titova + Stas Shuripa, Igor Chirkin + Alexei Podkidyshev, The Experimental Group (Yan Tamkovich, Ivan Merkulov, Maria Kharitonova) - Questions, Mikhail Tolmachov, Ksenia Sorokina, Dima Philippov, Stas Shuripa, Anya Titova | Het Nieuwe Instituut - HOT100
The Building As Interface: Tobias Ebsen [DK] - Material Screen, Jeroen Barendse (LUST) [NL] - UrbanSensing, Ava Fatah Gen. Schieck [UK] - Screens in the Wild, Martijn de Waal [NL] - The City As Interface / The Mobile City | Creative Code (in collaboration with DOTS): Ben Dalton [UK], Matthias Oostrik [NL], Jarl Schulp [NL], Klasien van de Zandschulp [NL], Luciano Pinna [IT], Mark Meeuwenoord [NL], Arjan Scherpenisse [NL], Victor de Vries [NL] | Failed Architecture: Tim Verlaan, Arjen van der Burg, Bart Jan Lucas, Ruud Smeets, Thomas Kleynen, Jannis Cappon [NL] | Kennisland + Waag Society - 10 years of Creative Commons NL | Mediating Cityscapes: Geoff Stahl, Catherine Adamek, Özge Özdüzen, Thomas Richard Houlton, Anna Notaro, Judith Collard, Zlatan Krajina, Alexandra Smith, Heather Zwicker, Tommaso Durante, Payal Arora, David Avishy, Licia Calvi, Rhythma Kapoor, Paul Buchanan, Chee Keng Lee, Rafael Bienia, Gregor Campbell, Helen Grace, Benjamen Judd, Mingtsung Lee [INT] | Joseph Backstein - The Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art | UNESCO - International Fund for Cultural Diversity
Aram Bartholl [DE] - Your Art Party | FIBER + SETUP [NL] - Open Tools Lab | Gangpol & Mit [FR] - Music and sound design in the context of animation movies | Joris Hoogeboom + Teun Verkerk [NL] - Buqs | Staalplaat Soundsystem [DE/NL] - Kids-Cobra: The Philharmechanic Cobra Youth Orchestra | Het Nieuwe Instituut - HOT100 | The Creative Industries Fund NL - Open Pitch
Collabs / Periphery
DOTS Digital Art Magazine - Official Re-launch | HOOGTIJ#34 | Creative Commons NL - Ministry of Open | PIP - The Incredible Journey Into Another Night Out | Stroom Den Haag - See You In The Hague | T.I.M.E. - Cyclophonia | VROMm2.0 | Zo niet, dan toch: Mark Meeuwenoord + Arjan Scherpenisse + Klasien van de Zandschulp - Silent Mobile Disco, Sander Veenhof + Victor de Vries - Meet Your Stranger, Luciano Pinna + Lauren M. Dyer - Teken Over
The performance program of this edition was easily one of the most exciting in the history of TodaysArt and included many world premieres and Dutch exclusives. Some of the most renowned, groundbreaking and pioneering creators in modern music and audiovisual performance filled the Atrium of Richard Meier’s emblematic City Hall to capacity with spectacular sounds and images.
The opening performance featured a performance by the visionary Morton Subotnick, a pioneering American composer of early electronic music, one of the inventors of the first analogue synthesizer and co-founder of the California Institute of the Arts and the San Francisco Tape Music Center (with Pauline Oliveros, Steve Reich, Terry Riley and Ramon Sender). Together with video artist Lillevan, Subotnick performed the modern classic piece ‘Silver Apples of the Moon’ live for the first time in the Netherlands.
TodaysArt has a long tradition of collaborating with raster-noton, a label renowned for work that spectacularly blurs the lines between the visceral and the conceptual, bridging the gap between gallery and dancefloor. Diamond Version is a collaborative project between raster-noton chiefs Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto) and Olaf Bender (Byetone). The Dutch premiere of this minimalist post-techno audiovisual show (the opening act of the European Depeche Mode tour) featured Atsuhiro Ito as special guest, known for transforming fluorescent lamps into instruments.
The prolific and versatile Atom™ works under an ever-changing array of pseudonyms (Atom Heart, Señor Coconut, etc.) and collaborative endeavours (with Depeche Mode, Air, Bill Laswell, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Tōwa Tei, etc.). Atom™ presented the Dutch premiere of his new live performance accompanying his long-awaited ‘HD’ album, which was labeled by renowned international media as one of the highlights of 2013.
Eight years after he released his debut album ‘Smash’ Jackson and His Computer Band returned in 2013 with ‘Glow’, a new album that was released on Warp Records just before TodaysArt. Backed by an array of custom-made instruments, Jackson performed a spectacular live show right after its world premiere in France.
The third audiovisual concert in Ryoji Ikeda’s ‘datamatics’ series, ‘test pattern’, explores the potential to perceive the invisible multi substance of data that permeates our world. The velocity of the moving images is ultra-fast, the work causes intense flickering black and white imagery. We were very proud to present Ikeda for his first appearance in The Hague which proved to be one of the highlights of the festival.
Oneohtrix Point Never’s richly complex audio landscapes demanded attentive listening, but offered listeners little choice other than to be completely drawn into experiencing the journey. A beautiful trip through intimate fields of sound filled with noise, synths, melodies, strange rhythms and beautiful vocal samples. His new album ‘R Plus Seven’ was released on Warp Records just days after his performance.
Hugely influential in dark ambient and industrial music, Lustmord’s (who saw a new album released this year on Blackest Ever Black) lavish sound textures, rumbling bass and powerful visuals coalesced into an unforgettable sensory adventure in the atrium of the city hall.
‘Sphæræ’ is an inflatable multi-dome pavilion designed by Cocky Eek for immersive experiences, synaesthetic compositions, new imaginings and transdisciplinary experimentation. The spherical space can act as an instrument to explore uncharted territories in the phenomena of light, sound and movement. At TodaysArt, ‘Sphæræ’ hosted a program composed by Synergetica Lab with works and performances by Paul Prudence, Bas van Koolwijk, Erfan Abdi, Francisco López, Robert Curgenven, Evelina Domnitch + Dmitry Gelfand, Joost Rekveld, Martijn van Boven, Nenad Popov, Joris Strijbos + Yamila Rios and Dieter Vandoren + Mariska de Groot.
TodaysArt dedicated the 19 floors of the Binnenlandse Zaken building to the presentation of a hybrid selection of contemporary arts in the form of installations, performative environments, experiments and interventions. Most of the works were on display for a longer period of time after the weekend of 27 and 28 September.
Marina Abramovic - as a project of the Marina Abramovic Institute’s Science Chamber - presented ‘The Mutual Wave Machine’ by Suzanne Dikker, Matthias Oostrik, Peter Burr, Matthew Patterson Curry and Diederik Schoorl. This interactive neurofeedback installation embodies the elusive notion of ‘being on the same wavelength’ with another person through brainwave synchronization. Enclosed by an intimate capsule and immersed in an audiovisual environment that responds to and reflects their shared brain activity, visitors were able to directly experience and manipulate their internal efforts to approach each other, or distance themselves from each other. The presentation of this project was the first stage of a more structural collaboration between TodaysArt and the Marina Abramovic Institute.
Best known for his interventions in public space involving the placement of enormous Google Maps markers in various cities across the globe, Aram Bartholl has claimed his spot in both the net art and the fine art worlds. Bartholl’s work creates an interplay between internet, culture and reality. The versatile communication channels are taken for granted these days, but how do they influence us? Bartholl not just asks what humanity is doing with media, but what media does with humanity. The tension between public and private, online and offline, technological infatuation and everyday life are at the core of his productions. In public interventions and installations Bartholl - also a member of the artist group Free, Art & Technology Lab (F.A.T. Lab) - reflects on net transparency and the public perception of anonymity and examines how parts of the digital world can reach back into reality. TodaysArt presented several projects and workshops by Bartholl.
In collaboration with FutureEverything, TodaysArt presented ‘Chattr’, a newly commissioned artwork and provocative design experiment. The lead artist for ‘Chattr’ is Ben Dalton and the inception of the project was based on conversations with media artist Kyle McDonald. ‘Chattr’ asks a deep question about the Internet and our life online – how much of our data are we willing to leak into the public online domain? We live in an always online world, and are growing accustomed to our online interactions being saved, stored, and sold by global online companies. The lines between offline and online, and also private and public, are becoming increasingly blurred. Could private conversations captured in public places be next? Where do we draw the line?
Jennifer Kanary Nikolov(a) presented ‘Labyrinth Psychotica’, an artistic research project about the experience of psychosis. The project transformed the visitor’s direct perceptions into a simulation of psychosis, allowing them to experience how psychosis blends realities and perceptions. The large-scale installation offered an interactive, surreal walk through a labyrinth in which images appeared out of thin air, and walls and other fixed elements seemed to come to life. The visitor was fully immersed in the mesmerizing, risky, and confronting world of psychosis. With surprises lurking around each bend the Labyrinth created a distorted experience of space and time, brimming with additional meaning.
Throughout its history, TodaysArt, along with many colleague institutions and artists, dedicated projects and programs to the spirit of Dick Raaijmakers, one of the most important pioneers of electronic music composition and music theatre. We were very sad to hear about the passing of Dick Raaijmakers on September 4th, 2013. Recent years have been very special, as TodaysArt contributed to the restoration of ‘Ideofoon I’ that was initiated by Witteveen+Bos and realized in close collaboration with V2_, NIMk and the Institute of Sonology. In the coming years we will continue with the large scale restoration project of his ‘Ideofoon’ series followed by both national and international presentations of the works. Hereby we hope to contribute to introduce more people to his oeuvre, spirit and ideas. In 2013, in collaboration with the Institute of Sonology and Kees Tazelaar, TodaysArt presented a special tribute to Raaijmakers. 'De Lange Mars' is a piece for so-called "Chinese violins": non-authentic, one-string violins made of broomsticks and cheap bongo drums. For TodaysArt, a 40-minute recording of the piece was transformed into an "infinite" 'Lange Mars' for eight speakers by Kees Tazelaar (head of the Sonology department and a close personal friend of Raaijmakers), which was played throughout an entire 17th floor throughout the festival as an homage to the life and work of Raaijmakers.
A selection of new installations and performative pieces were presented hat engaged with sensory perception and had visually spectacular results. Matthijs Munnik developed a site-specific work based on his ‘Citadels’ series, of which previous works were shown at BIAN Montreal, V2_ and the Stedelijk Museum as part of Sonic Acts. After a long period in their studios, Joris Strijbos and Daan Johan (Macular) premiered their new work at TodaysArt. ‘PARSEC’ is a kinetic installation consisting of fifteen identical, rotating robotic arms equipped with a power LED and speaker. The installation was set up in a darkened room so that the pulsating lights and sounds seem to be isolated. The objects were able to perform complex choreographies and seemed to imitate or react to each other. iii, a newly formed collective, presented works by Dieter Vandoren, Lars Kynde, Mariska de Groot and Yolanda Uriz.
The ‘Buqs’ project by Teun Verkerk and Joris Hoogeboom won the ‘Ubiquitous Art and Sound’ open call of the European Cities of Advanced Sound and related arts network (ECAS). The project was developed in close collaboration with TodaysArt, FutureEverything and Insomnia. ‘Buqs’ are electronic lifeforms that shift the experience of the streetscape from the primarily visual to a more auditory experience. Large amounts of ‘Buqs’ invaded surfaces within the built environment of The Hague’s city center and used them for the creation of sounds, exploring the city as an instrument through its material properties.
Collective Works (Peter Zuiderwijk + Karin Mientjes), Onno Dirker and Christian van der Kooy are artists and designers who were closely involved in shaping the TodaysArt campaign. During the festival they presented works and interventions on the 19th floor of the building which focused on the substantive designation of the building, in collaboration with David Veneman, Annemieke Blaha and Pawel Pokutycki.
One floor of the former ministry building was fully dedicated to two exhibitions of young and upcoming Russian artists presented in the context of the Netherlands-Russia year 2013, in which both countries emphasized their long-standing bilateral relationship. The exhibitions have been made possible by the contributions of the Mondriaan Fund and the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Netherlands. These two exhibitions symbolized the collaboration between TodaysArt and our Russian partners as we are preparing the first edition of TodaysArt Moscow. The exhibition ‘Past Imperfect’ was curated by Joseph Backstein (artistic director of the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art) and Yasha Yavorskaya and featured works by Victor Alimpiev, Aslan Guysumov, Natalia Zintsova, Taus Makhacheva, Alexander Povzner, Alexandra Sukhareva, Anya Titova + Stas Shuripa, Igor Chirkin + Alexei Podkidyshev, The Experimental Group (Yan Tamkovich, Ivan Merkulov, Maria Kharitonova), Mikhail Tolmachov, Ksenia Sorokina, Dima Philippov, Stas Shuripa and Anya Titova. ‘Past Imperfect’ gave an insight in what it's like to experience the presence of different periods, temporalities and forms of existence in modern Russia. Young artists perceived and visualized the experiences of their generation. The exhibition ‘Media Lostness’ was a collaboration with the National Center of Contemporary Arts (NCCA) Moscow, curated by Karina Karaeva and Evgeny Umansky and featuring works by Sergey Bratkov, Vladimir Logutov and Vladimir Seleznev. Russian media art can be considered a unique phenomenon, marked by a disregard for visual standards and the focus on the artistic statements from, or the behavior by the artists. Artists that create new environments to give their visual status and their messages a proper place. The title ‘Media Lostness’ describes the origin of this quest, while at the same time illustrating the end results.
'Approximation' by Ludmila Rodrigues is a set up which invited the public to play a haptic game. Differently from the other senses, touching is always mutual. One touches and consequently is touched. A dialogue which approaches proximity and trust. By connecting their fingers to the elastic system and touching each others' faces, participants entered a mirrored experience.
Various departments of the Royal Academy of Art The Hague contributed to the program contributed with a series of interventions and solutions to both augment the visual aspects of the space as an interaction between the public and the building, including the Master Interior Architecture INSIDE, Interactive/Media/Design in collaboration with the audiovisual collective WERC and the Master Type & Media. INSIDE alumni MinSun Kim presented her project ‘Home For A Moment’ on the 14th floor.
‘Entuber La Haye’ (also known as ‘OnSite prototype nr.14, v.03’), a dynamic series of furniture designed by Sebastien Wierinck commissioned by TodaysArt in 2008 and 2010 (which led to the design of semi-permanent benches on the Spuiplein commissioned by the city of The Hague in 2012) were reinstalled in the reception area of Binnenlandse Zaken on the ground floor.
Although new technologies provide magnificent tools for new forms of architecture, tangible results are often lacking. Instead of using innovation for the refinement of monumentality and permanence, technology is often misused for the iconic and the disposable. The third industrial revolution and a firm believe in craftsmanship enabled Arnoud Herder and Frank Loer to build their own CNC foam-cutting machine, fueling their search for architectural applications. For TodaysArt Herder and Loer reacted on recent local developments in art and architecture, showcasing a technique which arms a new generation of designers.
The cafeteria of the Binnenlandse Zaken building, a space in the city centre where 17 500 government employees used to have lunch, was transformed into a stage for some of the finest developments in electronic music. Our first ever self-built club venue was dominated by techno, house and bass music, through unique live shows and dj sets on Friday and Saturday night.
Electronic heavyweight Clark presented a brand new audio-visual live show following his upcoming epic new release on Warp Records featuring remixes and reworks of Massive Attack, Depeche Mode, Amon Tobin, Battles, Nathan Fake and Kuedo to name a few. Untold (who runs the Pennyroyal label and has releases on Hemlock, 50Weapons and numerous other labels), who has reinvigorated the climate of dance floors around the globe and elevated dubstep into uncharted territories – combining it with grime, jungle and more recently techno – was on board for a two-hour set. Andreas Tilliander (releases on Kontra-Musik, raster-noton and Type, aka Mokira), who has a strong interest in analogue music machines, brought his latest live project TM404 for its Dutch premiere. Dave Huismans, who laid out a singular and influential vision of broken rhythms, off-time percussion, inventive sampling techniques and field recording, re-imagining techno and bass music at each and every turn, brought his 2562 project back to TodaysArt for the world premiere of a new live set featuring 100% previously unheard music. We were also very proud to present the first-ever Juju & Jordash show in The Hague. The Israeli-Amsterdam duo’s roving, jazz-infused live performance was fully improvised and pushed dance music conventions to the limit. Yosi Horikawa, who released his mesmerizing debut album on First Word Records in the beginning of 2013, was joined by video mapping artist Florence To for his first-ever performance in the Netherlands.
A special night dedicated to ‘Though The Darkness Gathers - Spirituals Remixed’ - the new release by Guido Möbius on Karaoke Kalk - saw energetic and eclectic performances by Gangpol & Mit, Guido Möbius, Patric Catani (aka Candie Hank) and Mesak, as well as dj sets from TVDisko. It became a dynamic night full of intimate sounds, complex arrangements, groovy tunes, synth assaults, digital pop, dirty bass, global groove and chip tunes.
The German label, Kompakt, in collaboration with Matías Aguayo’s imprint, Cómeme, took over the club night in the main hall on Saturday to showcase the diverse nature of these two labels through live and dj sets. Justus Köhncke, an electronic music mainstay since the late 80s who finds his inspiration in house, disco, punkrock, acid, ballads and techno, mixed these genres elegantly with his personal signature, a style for which the terms ‘nü-german compu-soul’ and ‘sci-fi-techno-disco’ were coined. Sascha Funke and his partner Julienne Dessagne created Saschienne far away from the romantic hokum of crude feel good songwriting. Besides the harmony and bliss that great love brings with it, they also explore the discord in music. A resident dj at two of the most influential venues of the French capital, Jennifer Cardini became the first French female artist to sign with Kompakt and started her own label Correspondant as an outlet for her musical vision. Barnt is one third of the Magazine label in Cologne once described by Innervisions as one of the biggest talents in Germany. Barnt’s increasingly explosive solo output led him to release lots of cosmic classics on Cómeme supported by Daphni, Four Tet, Dixon, Optimo, Tale Of Us et al. His latest release was even described by Philipp Sherburne in Spin Magazine as “easily the most insane dance track I’ve ever stuffed in my ears”. Philipp Gorbachev is a young Russian-born artist who joined the Cómeme fold in 2011. Since then Gorbachev has teamed up with Matías Aguayo for The District Union and has consistently been developing his power as a flamboyant live performer. The Kompakt vs Cómeme night became a very special night full of outer worldly dance music, music made in motion for people in motion.
On a different floor, Trouw Amsterdam resident Nuno Dos Santos presented his new label Something Happening Somewhere (SoHaSo). TodaysArt and SoHaSo joined forces to find a fitting headliner for this special night, and came up with none other than Ivan Smagghe (Kill The DJ). For this special occasion Nuno Dos Santos and Arnout Hulskamp premiered a brand new audiovisual set, and Presk, Love Over Entropy and David Cornelissen provided top notch live and dj sets. This was a night to remember for lovers of different electronic music styles ranging from minimal techno to deep house and from electro to garage.
The focus of this year’s Symposium, ‘Bright Collisions II’, was art, technology and society in the framework of urban, artistic and cultural developments and strategies. Touching upon various themes together with a great variety of partners, participants and formats, TodaysArt embraced the context of using the building recently vacated by a Dutch ministry as the primary venue for the festival. These themes create not only a theoretical framework, but also a practice-based approach to deal with contemporary topics. By inviting a selection of international thinkers the Symposium provided the audience and participants with greater insight into cultural, artistic and political explorations, and celebrated, criticized and discussed these developments. All of the public Symposium programs took place on the 28th of September except for the ‘Mediating Cityscapes’ conference, which took place from the 24th until the 26th of September.
In ‘The Building as Interface’ (a collaboration with The Mobile City and Martijn de Waal) a panel of practitioners explored how digital interfaces organize and empower the public to appropriate a city’s buildings in new ways, where the building itself can become an interface: a media surface that can adapt a building to various uses and connect sites with the wider social fabric of the city. The panel consisted of Tobias Ebsen (Material Screen), Jeroen Barendse (LUST, UrbanSensing), Ava Fatah Gen. Schieck (Screens in the Wild) and was moderated by Martijn de Waal (The City As Interface).
‘Failed Architecture’ unveiled some of the former ministry’s hidden secrets and unique qualities through a program of lectures, guided tours, screenings and contributions from people with direct connections to the building including architects, employees, nearby residents and artists. The program featured contributions by Tim Verlaan, Arjen van der Burg, Bart Jan Lucas, Ruud Smeets, Thomas Kleynen and Jannis Cappon.
We hosted a ‘Creative Code’ session in collaboration with DOTS Digital Art Magazine consisting of Q&As and interviews with, and presentations by Ben Dalton (Chattr, FutureEverything), Matthias Oostrik, Jarl Schulp (FIBER, LIMA), Luciano Pinna, Mark Meeuwenoord (Avans Hogeschool), Arjan Scherpenisse and Victor de Vries. Additionally, 'Zo niet, dan toch' (an initiative of Sander Veenhof en Klasien van de Zandschulp), the first Dutch festival dedicated to augmented reality and location-based projects that takes place entirely in the virtual world, demonstrated various projects as part of the ‘Creative Code’ program.
The ‘Mediating Cityscapes’ conference, which focused on creative and artistic responses to the mediated cityscape, ran from the 24th to the 26th of September. Academics, artists and practitioners presented papers (submitted following an open call launched in advance of the conference) which considered the multiple ways in which various media, creative practices, and technologies put in to play a diverse array of encounters and interfaces that engage with, interrupt, reconstitute, or resist the hybrid spatialities which define the contemporary cityscape. The conference was organized by Dr Geoff Stahl, Senior Lecturer School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies at the Victoria University of Wellington. Participants: Geoff Stahl, Catherine Adamek, Özge Özdüzen, Thomas Richard Houlton, Anna Notaro, Judith Collard, Zlatan Krajina, Alexandra Smith, Heather Zwicker, Tommaso Durante, Payal Arora, David Avishy, Licia Calvi, Rhythma Kapoor, Paul Buchanan, Chee Keng Lee, Rafael Bienia, Gregor Campbell, Helen Grace, Benjamen Judd and Mingtsung Lee.
Ten years ago the Institute for Information Law (IViR), Kennisland and Waag Society joined forces to introduce Creative Commons in the Netherlands. By 2013 Creative Commons licences became the number one global licensing system for setting creative works free from strict copyright restrictions. Some rights reserved instead of all rights reserved. During TodaysArt, Creative Commons NL celebrated its tenth anniversary with a seminar about the future of open. And from Friday until Sunday one floor of the former ministry was transformed into an open workspace.
Joseph Backstein is the Art Director of the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. TodaysArt invited Backstein for a lecture about the Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art and about current developments in Russian contemporary art.
The International Fund for Cultural Diversity is an international cultural cooperation platform established by the UNESCO’s 2005 Convention. Francisco Gómez Durán showed videos and provided information on the UNESCO's International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD), on funding opportunities the IFCD offers in developing countries, as well as on some of the projects that have been supported. The video presentations were followed by a Q&A and exchange session on the IFCD. The IFCD invests in projects that lead to structural change in developing countries, demonstrating the value and opportunities that the creative and cultural industries bring to sustainable development processes, in particular to inclusive economic growth and social cohesion.
At TodaysArt Het Nieuwe Instituut presented the HOT100 talents of 2013: the best alumni in arts, media and technology. The New Institute organized the HOT100 days at TodaysArt and published the HOT100 talent booklet for the seventh year in a row. The HOT100 were literally in the centre of power: the building of the former Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations. What would the HOT100 do if they were in charge? On Friday they worked together in the HOT100 WORKSHOP on issues that have to do with systems and sectors in society that could use a review. The issues were launched by several interesting experts (from Amsterdam Hackable Metropolis, AVRO, Stichting Toekomstbeeld der Techniek and more). In the afternoon the HOT100 presented the results of the workshop in a presentation and network event. The HOT100 2013 book was also launched. On Saturday The New Institute organized the HOT100 SHOW in which the talents presented themselves to the public with installations, short lectures and other actions on a dedicated floor.
Staalplaat Soundsystem gave a special ‘Kids-Cobra’ workshop in which kids learnt to playfully and safely misuse everyday household items. The workshop stimulated and explained the creative process, clear techniques and simple tools were provided while participants were being guided in the design and realization of their unique ideas. Great care was taken not to influence the children’s creative choices, instead focusing on inspiring confidence in their own individual concepts and decisions. By keeping the workshop a kids only event, the children took a leading role, resulting in impressive and various creations. The event marked the first time a Kids Cobra workshop was presented in the Netherlands. At the end of the workshop the kids formed their very own Philharmechanic Cobra Youth Orchestra and performed for festival visitors.
Aram Bartholl presented his 'YOUR ART!! PARTY' workshop, in which people created their own 'YOUR ART!!' golden necklaces. Visitors who brought their own art (digitally on phones and tablets or physically) to TodaysArt created a necklace from it.
A lecture and workshop about the Gangpol & Mit project and about the topic "music and sound design in the context of animation movies" included an introduction of work, videos, pictures and working methods, technical setup and tricks, plus an overview of their influences. Then the lecture evolved into a kind of contributory demonstration, in which the workshop participants started working all together on rebuilding the sound of an animation sequence.
Joris Hoogeboom and Teun Verkerk presented a workshop about the ‘Buqs’ project. 'Buqs' are electronic lifeforms that invade surfaces within the built environment and use them for the creation of sounds, exploring the city as an instrument through it's material properties. In the workshop Verkerk and Hoogeboom gave an introduction to the project, followed by a hands-on experience for participants in which they learned how the 'Buqs' are programmed and build.
Anyone interested in sharing code, digital tools and knowledge with other creators, in brainstorming about new ideas, or to present a project or prototype could bring their computer to join the ‘Open Tools Lab’ meet-up and workshop organized by FIBER and SETUP to complement the 'Creative Code' program. The lab was a meeting place, open work session and presentation platform for all creators and visitors of the festival. The lab was an informal gathering; everyone could join or just visit. The event was part of FIBER’s 'Coded Matter(s)' event series, which explores the impact of code and digital processes within the realms of art, design and music.
The Creative Industries Fund NL was present at TodaysArt on the 27th of September to provide information and advice on funding possibilities for E-culture projects.
TodaysArt Periphery included a diverse range of contemporary visual and performing arts programs by local partner organizations. The program consisted of:
DOTS Digital Art Magazine - Official Re-launch | HOOGTIJ#34 - GEMAK, 177 vierkante meter, Baracca, Galerie Sophie, REFUNC, Andergrond, West, Liefhertje en De Grote Witte Reus, project space Parterretrap, Walden Affairs, 1646, Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Grafische Werkplaats, Nutshuis, Acte de présence, Nouvelles Images, Vonkel / Nu’e kunst, Volkspaleis, Nest, Galerie Helder, Quartair, Arte Sin Limites Studio-Gallery, Livingstone Gallery | Creative Commons NL - Ministry of Open | PIP Den Haag - The Incredible Journey Into Another Night Out: Marius, Kobie, Dick & Piet, Philou Louzolo / Blacktapes, Still Serious Nic, Pirate Cinema, Nieuw Haags Blik | Stroom Den Haag - See You In The Hague | T.I.M.E. - Cyclophonia | VROMm2.0: Phèdre, Keluar, Yes..PinkPink, Ji Young Kang, Gartmalen, Ravage Ravage, Virginie Dubois, Rob Bothof & Mike Rijnierse, Klara Ravat, Katarzyna Szugajew, Judith van der Made & Sara Nuytemans, Evelina Rajca | Zo niet, dan toch: Mark Meeuwenoord + Arjan Scherpenisse + Klasien van de Zandschulp - Silent Mobile Disco, Sander Veenhof + Victor de Vries - Meet Your Stranger, Luciano Pinna + Lauren M. Dyer - Teken Over
Acts of exposure and revelation are, it seems, a sign of the times. The lifting of curtains; the publishing of secrets; the outing of things previously hidden. We celebrate exposure as a triumph of transparency because we are forced to rely on non-transparent systems that we increasingly don’t understand. But is it a triumph of transparency? Such times demand new approaches, as do we.
Shifting powers are a defining feature of our times. Shifts in power create new opportunities and new modes of operation. This year, TodaysArt is taking advantage of the rising vacancy and a physical shift in the seat of governmental power to position ourselves in the epicenter: Binnenlandse Zaken, the former ministry of the interior and kingdom relations, a building never before open to the public. The ex-ministry is the former seat of the National Crisis Centre, the Emergency Office and the Secret Service, a building that previously accommodated the few who made decisions for the many, and is now the main venue for the ninth edition of the festival.
This won’t be the festival you are expecting from us. We’ve left the theatres and the cultural institutes. The economic climate has changed. The cultural climate has changed. The festival has changed. New ambitions mean using all the available opportunities.
We don’t presume to offer answers, but we do ask questions. Our role is not one of institutional critique. We want to ignite a firestorm of creative action, to draw in as many actors as possible.
The high-rise venue fuelled vertical rather than horizontal thinking in the curatorship of the program, and the temporary nature of the location demands that the space be activated rather than transformed. Works must be accommodated in the space, but the space itself must also be accommodated.
The festival will create a new momentum for our audiences, artists and partners. New players are occupying the seat of power.
We are not the solution to any crisis. We are not the answer to the rising vacancy of buildings. We neither have the appropriate response to the skepticism about the need for art and culture, nor do we theorize about what the future will bring us. Instead, we show you what is here, today.
This is the situation: we have 124.000 m2 of free space in the middle of the city centre of The Hague that is publicly accessible for the first time. We have a powerful network of creators and thinkers. And we know how to present them and their work within the context of a festival.
Before us lies a huge challenge, but at the same time a great opportunity. Instead of answering questions, or asking more questions, we do what we do best; we present innovative art and music from the front lines in an interesting and new setting and we invite you to come and join us.
City of The Hague | European Cities of Advanced sound and related arts | European Commission – Culture Programme | International Cities of Advanced sound and related arts | Heijmans | Creative Industries Fund NL | SNS REAAL Fonds | Mondriaan Fund | Fonds 1818 | Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds | NTV Europe | Marina Abramovic Institute| NCCA Moscow | Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art |