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Shell Shock

Shell Shock

Commissioned Sound Installation

As part of the Shell Shock programme at Eye Filmmuseum, Amsterdam, I created a commissioned interactive sound installation. Visitors can listen to stories of refugees by picking up old rotary telephones. These stories were recorded and provided by the BMP Foundation as part of the European refugees oral history project Specially Unknown.

 

 

For this installation several rotary telephones had to be mechanically modified and powered by Raspberry Pi’s. Every time a phone gets picked up, a random soundfile is triggered through a python script, so a different story can be heard through the handset.

 

 

Coinciding with the exhibition A Tale of Hidden Histories, Shell Shock provides a forum to the cinematic representation of violent conflicts and traumatic memories. It not only includes films but also socially engaged specials featuring talks, Q&As and performances. The programme focuses on such themes as memories and narrativity (Hannah Arendt), psychiatry (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) and the tales of Syrian refugees (storytelling).

Year

2019

Kind

Interactive Sound installation

In cooperation with

BMP foundation

Anna Abrahams

Ronald Simons

Job van Nuenen (Studio Beneden)

Location

EYE Filmmuseum, Amsterdam

Shell Shock’ programme (films, events, talks, exhibition), curated by Anna Abrahams & Ronald Simons

HKU Media Bot

HKU Media Bot

A twitterbot that publishes an auto-generated poem once every hour, based on the words used in all first grade teaching modules within the Media Faculty of the Utrecht University of the Arts (HKU).

 

For this twitterbot I used tracery, a story-grammar generation library for javascript. The script generates a short new poem, loosely based on the Japanese Haiku poetic form. It uses all nouns, verbs and adjectives from the teaching module descriptions of all the fields of study within HKU Media (Audio Visual Media, Image and Media Technology, Animation, Illustration, Graphic Design and Photography). I used cheapbotsdonequick to create the twitterbot part.

This twitterbot, together with the Teaching module generator installation, was part of a research project commissioned by the Expertisecentrum Educatie of HKU Utrecht University of the Arts, on the possibilities of language technology within an art curriculum, whether for analytical purposes, or as a toolkit within a creative process. This project, with this installation as a ‘proof of concept’, is also a plea for embracing more emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, data visualization and natural language processing in art education.

Year

2016

Kind

Twitterbot / Installation

Location

HKU Media, Utrecht

Symposium on language, curated by Corrie Nagtegaal

Teaching Module Generator

Teaching Module Generator

In cooperation with David Jonas Castanheira, I developed an automatic Teaching module generator, that generates new lesson content, based on the texts of all first year teaching modules within the Media Faculty of the HKU. 

 

We used Processing and the RiTa library (Version 1.12; Howe 2015) to perform natural language processing of all existing teaching module descriptions and made an automatic teaching module generator. It generates a randomly assembled, but perfectly readable text. This way, one gets a good impression of the language use and ‘tone of voice’ across the different disciplines.

This installation, together with the HKU Media twitter bot, is part of a research project commissioned by the Expertisecentrum Educatie of HKU Utrecht University of the Arts, on the possibilities of language technology within an art curriculum, whether for analytical purposes, or as a toolkit within a creative process. This project, with this installation as a proof of concept, is also a plea for embracing more emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, data visualization and natural language processing in art education.

Year

2016

Kind

Generative video installation / printed text generator

In cooperation with

David Jonas Castanheira

Location

HKU Media, Utrecht

Symposium on language, curated by Corrie Nagtegaal

Cowboy bij Nacht – Music and Sound Design

Cowboy bij nacht

Music and sound design for theatre

From 2005 until 2014, I was a core member of theatre group Cowboy bij Nacht in Utrecht.

 

Over the course of almost ten years, we made several theatre performances and participative performance installations, which were shown on national theatre festivals like Oerol, Over ‘t IJ Festival, Spring Performing Arts Festival and Karavaan Festival. We also made a several nationwide theatre tours.

 

For most of the performances we made, I composed the music and was responsible for the overall sound design.

Year

2005 – 2014

Kind

Musical compositions and sound design for several theatre performances

Pecking the red dot

Pecking the red dot

a theatrical lecture

To celebrate the 65th anniversary of Behaviour and the 40th anniversary of Niko Tinbergen’s Nobel Prize, Dutch theatre company Cowboy bij Nacht and behavioural biologist Carel ten Cate will team up to deliver a special theatrical lecture about the life and work of Niko Tinbergen (1907 – 1988).

 

Inspired by Tinbergen’s work with herring gulls and his classic experiments on supernormal stimuli, this lecture will provide a brief account of Tinbergen’s experiments on the begging responses of Herring gull chicks, illustrated with a short movie and pictures of Tinbergen’s old notes. Tinbergen’s original data on the famous experiment on the colour of the spot on the lower mandible differ from the well-known textbook figure showing the strongest response to a red spot.

 

Ten Cate will discuss this and show how recent data also provide a novel twist to the story of the supernormal beak. He will end with some modern examples of supernormal stimuli with humans, which is the main subject of a longterm project on Tinbergen by theatre company Cowboy bij Nacht.

Year

2013

Kind

Theatrical lecture

In cooperation with

Theatre group Cowboy bij Nacht

Prof. Carel ten Cate (Institute of Biology, Leiden University),

Brill Publishers (Michiel Thijssen)

Location

International Ethological Conference Behaviour 2013

Newcastle (UK)

Tesla Theatre

Tesla theatre

Tesla Theatre is a short musical theatre performance about inventor and eccentric genius Nikola Tesla. In this performance for actor and a musical tesla coil, we share our fascination with wayward inventor, physicist and futurist Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943). Although he was often regarded as a mad genius in his own times, nowadays Tesla is seen as one of the biggest inventors of all times in the fields of electricity and magnetism. In this performance his miracles and radical ideas regarding a global network of unlimited wireless energy come to live.

Year

2013

Kind

Musical theatre performance

Location

Nacht van Kunst en Wetenschap’, Groningen

In cooperation with

Roel Voorbij, Daniël Eindhoven (megavolts.nl)

De meeuwen van Tinbergen

De meeuwen van Tinbergen

Theatre performance

exhibition

bird excursion

lecture

De meeuwen van Tinbergen was een interdisciplinair kunstproject over supernormale prikkels en het leven en gedachtegoed van Niko Tinbergen (1907 – 1988), dat plaatsvond van 2010 – 2013. Het project vormde een eerbetoon aan deze Nederlandse gedragsbioloog, vogelaar, schrijver, tekenaar, filmer en Nobelprijswinnaar en bestond uit een proloog in 2011 en deze theatervoorstelling, tentoonstelling en excursie in 2012. Daarnaast werden in het academische jaar 2012 – 2013 een reeks theatrale lezingen georganiseerd rondom supernormale prikkels en menselijk gedrag op Nederlandse Universiteiten. De meeuwen van Tinbergen werd daarmee een interdisciplinair project op het kruispunt van kunst, natuur en wetenschap.

 

 

Het project De meeuwen van Tinbergen was een samenwerkings tussen mediakunstenaar Arnold Hoogerwerf, theatergroep Cowboy bij Nacht, Museum Boerhaave, Staatsbosbeheer Nederland, Universiteit Leiden en Studium Generale Nederland.

 

 

Na een reeks festivals, voorstellingen en lezingen met ruim 6000 bezoekers is het grootste gedeelte van het project De meeuwen van Tinbergen nu achter de rug. De hele ontwikkeling van het project, evenals de makersinspiratie en de nieuwsberichten van afgelopen twee jaar is nog terug te lezen op de projectblog.

 

 

Op dit moment realiseert initiator Arnold Hoogerwerf, samen met verschillende theoretici, beschouwers en de al betrokken wetenschappers een publicatie over supernormale prikkels.

Year

2010 – 2013

Kind

Theatre performance

Exhibition

Bird Excursion

Lecture

In cooperation with

theatergroep cowboy bij nacht

Rijksmuseum Boerhaave

Staatsbosbeheer

Studium Generale Nederland

Location

Oerol Festival

Fortenmaand Utrecht

Museum Boerhaave

Festival Karavaan

Smile! You’re on cctv

Smile! You’re on CCTV

Security is both a feeling and a reality, and they’re different. You can feel secure even though you’re not, and you can be secure even though you don’t feel it.”

 

—  Bruce Schneier

An installation about feeling secure even though you’re not, and being secure even though you don’t feel it. In Smile! You’re on CCTV the visitor enters a room with several hidden IP cameras and one central video surveillance monitor placed on a desk. On several sticky notes placed on the walls and the floor, the visitor can read quotes on the subject of privacy, CCTV, security, safety and the rise of the ‘politics of fear’. The video monitor shows several (delayed) video streams of the cameras capturing the image of the visitor. Because of this delay, the visitor can watch himself on the monitor walking around the room, while he was reading these quotes. 

Year

2011

Kind

Interactive video installation

Location

Neudeflat, Utrecht.

Exhibition ‘10 jaar 911’, Vrede van Utrecht.

Curated by Willem Westermann.

Extra information

In the video below (in Dutch), I explain a bit more about the conceptual motives for this project.

De Meeuwen van Tinbergen – Prologue

De meeuwen van Tinbergen – prologue

participative performance installation

Een participatieve performance installatie over ‘watching and wondering’, de zelfbenoemde grondhouding op basis waarvan gedragsbioloog Niko Tinbergen (1907–1988) uiteindelijk de Nobelprijs won. Het vrije veld in, goed kijken en jezelf daarbij de juiste vragen stellen, dat was in essentie hetgene waar hij zijn latere roem mee vergaarde.

 

Waar het uiteindelijke project in 2012 vooral zou gaan over de invloed van Tinbergens gedachtegoed op het moderne leven hier en nu, richtte het vooronderzoek in 2011 zich vooral op ‘waar het allemaal mee begon’; de grondhouding die voorafging aan alles en dankzij welke Niko Tinbergen zijn nieuwe wetenschap (de gedragsbiologie) heeft kunnen ontwikkelen.

 

Met deze theatrale installatie nodigt Cowboy bij Nacht de bezoeker uit om even in de geest van Niko Tinbergen te kruipen. Samen met de makers worden de voor die tijd unieke uitgangspunten en voorwaarden voor Tinbergens pionierswerk onderzocht. Het onderzoekresultaat zelf wordt op een centrale plek verzameld zodat er gedurende het festival een collectief gegenereerd resultaat ontstaat, dat mede als basis zal dienen voor de verdere ontwikkeling van dit project.

 

Niko Tinbergen (1907–1988) was een briljant vogelaar die de Nobelprijs won. Het vrije veld in, goed kijken en jezelf daarbij de juiste vragen stellen, dat was in essentie hetgene waar hij zijn latere roem mee vergaarde. Theatergroep Cowboy bij Nacht zal Niko Tinbergen en zijn gedachtegoed tijdens Oerol 2012 een groot eerbetoon geven. Dit jaar presenteert cowboy bij nacht alvast De Proloog: een uur lang in stilte turen over De Boschplaat door de ogen van Tinbergen.

 

Wie durft?

Year

2011

Kind

participative performance installation

Location

Oerol Festival, Terschelling

Mozzhukhin

Mozzhukhin (2008) is a performance installation by cowboy bij nacht, inspired by a classic cinematic experiment by Lev Kuleshov, known today as the “Kuleshov effect”.

Around 1918, Lev Kuleshov edited a short film in which shots of actor Ivan Mozzhukhin, looking into the camera, were intercutted with fragments of various objects. The audience praised the acting skills of Mozzhukhin; first an object made him hungry, then sad, etc… 
 In reality the audience always watched the same shot of the actor, in which he actually looks quite expressionless.

Cowboy Bij Nacht is curious about the theatrical implications of this experiment, and invites the audience to act as a test person.

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