Contemporary Art: Who Cares?

Following our contribution to the ACCESS2CA seminar at the Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana (Slovenia) last year, the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage (ICN) has invited us to give a number of workshop at this year’s symposium ‘Contemporary Art: Who Cares?’. This international event will take place at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam this summer and is organized for (up-and-coming) professionals, from diverse disciplines, who are connected to the conservation of modern and contemporary art.

The symposium is co-organized by the Foundation for the Conservation of Contemporary Art in the Netherlands (SBMK) and the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Key note speakers include Stedelijk Museum‘s conservator Bart Rutten, Van Abbemuseum‘s director Charles Esche, Tate‘s Pip Laurenson, artists Eija Liisa Ahtila and Nedko Solakov and various other people from around the world with an interest/stake in contemporary art conservation with a special focus on complex, large scale multimedia installation works.

Our series of workshops will look at how contemporary art conservation can be made accessible to the public and the role of conservators and conservation information in this process. Participants of the sessions will learn about how organisations (in and outside of cultural heritage) are using new media and emerging technologies to engage with audiences. The workshop exercise wil give participants a first hand experience with (online) media, including various social networks, gaming, mobile applications and data visualization.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila, ‘The Wind’ (2002) from reel aesthete on Vimeo.

By Michiel — Posted April 12, 2010 — 2,928 Comments

Non-fiction in 2009 (and we’ve only just begun..)

It has been an exciting first year (in beta) for us at Non-fiction, with projects ranging from social media strategies for the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ and Tropenmuseum Junior, via new concepts for an illustrious canal house ánd an ancient castle to a range of workshops in a.o. Ljubljana and Zürich. Together with our friends at TrouwAmsterdam we opened the temporary project space ‘De Verdieping‘, hosting a wide range of cultural and social events. The year ended with a cover story in Time Out magazine, giving our co-created vision of Amsterdam in 2020. The start of the next decade promises to be even more innovative, collaborative and challenging..

So what happened in 2009?

At the beginning of the year we worked with the renowned Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, the Concerthall of the 21st Century, helping the organization with their public strategy, new media development and visual identity.

In the months leading up to the summer we organized Aura: an exhibition and a series of events in the historic premises of Castrum Peregrini Foundation, where in WWII young German Jews survived in hiding.

Since March we are responsible for the artistic direction and strategic development of a cultural project space, De Verdieping, in the basement of the Berlin-style club and restaurant TrouwAmsterdam, resulting in a series of lively public discussions, art and architecture exhibitions, experimental performances and film nights in collaboration with half the city (and soon the world).

Around the summer working with the Tropenmuseum Junior (TMJ) in Amsterdam to devise a social strategy for their new exhibition ‘Qi of China‘ and an online game that enables children in the age of 6 – 13 to experience a number of key cultural values in Chinese culture.

Halfway through the year Non-fiction relocated its office from the Scheepvaartmuseum (National Maritime Museum) to the former laboratory of the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage, right in the cultural heart of Amsterdam overlooking Museumplein (Museumsquare).

in July 2009 Non-fiction’s Juha van ‘t Zelfde co-founded VURB, together with Ben Cerveny, design strategist and data visualization theorist and in collaboration with James Burke (RoomwareNarb). VURB is a European framework for policy and design research concerning urban computational systems.

Next spring and summer we will be organizing several projects at Duivenvoorde Castle, a stately museum-mansion and unique parkland (see below) near the city of The Hague. We received a request from the organization to make a contribution to their yearlong celebration of the museum’s 50th anniversary in 2010.

In the past four years, we have been organizing experimental music events at Bimhuis, Melkweg, De Verdieping and TrouwAmsterdam. These nights are organized under our electronic music label Viral Radio, which has a regular show on Dutch public network VPRO‘s 3voor12.

In december we visited lovely Ljubljana to give a presentation and a series of workshops for the Access to Contemporary Art Conservation conference, organized by the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage in collaboration with Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid and kindly hosted by the Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana.

Non-fiction’s Juha participated an intimate workshop in Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich in his role as editor of Soundmuseum. ‘Audio Art on the Radio’ was organized by the Institute for Contemporary Arts Research of the Zurich University of the Arts, and focused on the question how open, interactive and democratic radio should be?

Recently the Amsterdam branch of the international city periodical Time Out invited us to come up with a vision of the city in the year 2020, so we decided to provide them with a collaborative urban visions by collecting dozens of thought-provoking Twitter-style messages from our friends and heroes from around the world.  The magazine has just hit the stores, so check it out or contact us if you wish to receive a copy!

Wow, that’s a lot..

And we even forgot to tell you about Curating the City, our night long interview series with museum professionals and artists about ‘the museum in the city and the city as museum’ during the annual Museumnight (n8), and about our latest publications and our friends, new and old, and about the birth of Michiel’s daughter and Juha’s hobbies.

And what are our plans for 2010?

Now the ‘noughties’ make way for a brand new decade, Non-fiction is gearing up for yet another year of recession-defying activities and  intelligent pragmatism. We will continu our exploration of the pro’s and con’s of co-creation, social media, urban interventions, guerilla gardening, data visualization, public accessibility, augmented reality, ubiquitous museums and other innovative ideas that will fundamentally change our lives.

And we will jumpstart the new year with presentations and proposals for such diverse organizations as the local municipality, SNS REAAL Foundation, Binger Filmlab, the Zuidas, PICNIC, ICN, Paradiso, Duivenvoorde and ING. And we are happy to receive more inquiries and invitations, since we can always outsource some of our activities to our man in India.

We will keep you updated on our website and on Facebook and Twitter (and here and here), but please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you are looking for a stimulating conversation, a good laugh or a place to meet kindred spirits.

Please join us for the opening of the new year in De Verdieping with a special sound performance by our dear friend and multi-instrumentalist Machinefabriek on Wednesday 6 January at 8 pm. And later that month, on Thursday 28 January at 8 pm we are hosting the ’2020 vision’ event at De Verdieping in collaboration with Time Out Amsterdam, showcasing different perspectives on the future of Amsterdam by KesselsKramer, LAgroup, Concrete, Benthem Crouwel and… Non-fiction.

Drive and shoot straight on New Year’s Eve!


By Michiel — Posted December 31, 2009 — 6,534 Comments

Making things public

We are in Ljubljana at the moment, preparing a presentation and a series of workshops for the Access to Contemporary Art Conservation conference. This is organised by the Netherlands Institute of Cultural Heritage in collaboration with Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and kindly hosted by the Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana.

The title of our presentation is ‘Making Things Public’, and it is a further elaboration on the ubiquitous museum. We are making slides like Carsten Höller and Tony Hawke.

By Juha — Posted December 9, 2009 — 3,049 Comments

Ljubljana calling

Moderna Galerija Ljubljana

On 10 December,  the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage (ICN) in collaboration with Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia will organise the seminar Access to Contemporary Art Conservation, at the Moderna Galerija in Ljubljana. The seminar is part of the European project PRACTICs of Contemporary Art.

PRACTICs (Practices, Research, Access, Collaboration, Teaching In Conservation of contemporary art) represent “excellence and innovation in conservation research, a profound will to share knowledge and experiences and continuous collaboration in knowledge development and education.” It is formed by 34 leading European museums, institutions and universities, who have joined hands to assess and implement knowledge gained through European projects in the last decade. This project will set the course for key issues of conservation, preservation, education and public access to conservation.

We are delighted to announce that Non-fiction’s Juha van ‘t Zelfde and Michiel van Iersel have been invited as keynote speakers for this seminar in Slovenia. The theme of their presentation will be in line with last year’s Open Museum marathon at PICNIC, their British Council competition entry Collection of Crowds, and their thoughts on the ubiquitous museum.

We look forward to meeting new friends in Slovenia.

By Juha — Posted October 7, 2009 — 4,265 Comments