Until recently Amsterdam North was the forgotten part of the city on the other side of the canal IJ, with an Industrial history. In 2000 the area began to gradually undergo a process of gentrification.
KijkRuimte takes on the identity of the ‘other’ being literally and figuratively on the other side of the canal. Using the quality of otherness as a method of engendering political and social subjects, artists and theoreticians will build their research based on direct contact with the immediate environment.
Within its current shifting climate, the KijkRuimte wants to research the importance of momentary, short term contact between people in the public space for social cohesion or rather the social tissue as a whole. The creation of an obvious meeting place where people not necessarily get to know one another but begin to recognise and gain a sense of familiarity, forms a starting point for this research. Anonymity is afterall inherant to city life, but this shouldn’t be an obstacle to our ability to connect and have meaningful yet brief relationships in the public sphere.
As a space the kijkRuimte creates the conditions for potential form-giving through the means of being used by its participants. Certain qualities like emptiness and flexibility are necessary for this to take place. Users (participants/ and or the public) are confronted with an overlapping of functionality in every part of the ‘house’. The workspace is also the presentation room; the kitchen is the office and reception where conversations take place between visitors, neighbours and artists. On a practical level this means that the space has been stripped of its origional function and becomes open to new possibilities for overlapping, meeting and confrontation.