On the 17th and the 18th of January, the first Urban Typography workshop. In this workshop participants could do (practical) experiments with 2- and 3D design and typography for the street or any other medium. The projects were realised with the help of FabLab machines. Trainers in this workshop were graphic designer Mirthe Blussé, the FabLab employee Bernardo Gaeiras and famous graffiti artist Zedz. Even Jack Baker of Zwarts and Jansma architects came along with inspiring examples of templates and graphics that were created using a laser cutter.
Toys with a twist
From 23 till January 25 participants of this workshop make toys with a twist. The focus is to make (new or old) toys with networked components, sensors and other digital and electronic aspects. Within the short span of three days, the teams managed to make creative and working prototypes. For this workshop, we had an excellent and technically very competent team consisting of Jean-Baptiste Labrune, Dana Gordon, Dirk van Oosterbosch, Auke Roper and Tim Walther. Later in the year on October 23d a Hybrid Toys reading was given by Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino.
Gastarbeider Dating was a series of seven exhibitions on identity, feeling at home, being strange and meet each other. Curators Katja Sokolova and Irina Birger asked 10 artists from seven different countries to create an exhibition project for a week, along with their own social network of compatriots, Dutch or other friends. Each artist created a poster, a flyer and distributed it throughout Amsterdam. On the opening night on January 26 Studio Kinematix groomed the birth of the "universal guest worker": DJ Clone.
Mediamatic launched on January 30th, a beta version of a new online dating site, now for the cultural sector Mediamatic Dating. Looking for a muse, a flatmate, an amour or sponsor? Mediamatic dating is safe, free and open to everyone. Hundreds of people were ready and went to exchange messages an anonymous profile with peers from the Mediamatic network. Within days, the dating was effective; "I found the guest-worker of my life! Thank you Mediamatic" was the joyful reaction of a new couple! Illustration by Thomas Schatz for Amsterdam Weekly.
From 30th of January till the 3d of February the exhibition: Russian Brides, International Marriage Agency and Consulting Service. Russian artists Irina Berger and Katja Sokolova put Western image of (Internet)brides from Eastern Europe into question. Several events, including a casting for Russian brides, a workshop on how to be a real gentleman, making Pelmeni (Russian ravioli) and a drinking vodka training prepared the visitors for the Russian Roulette, an evening where men (and one woman) were speed dating with Russian brides and stereotypes about Russian women were brought down. Irina and Katya cooperate with other Russian artists such as DJ Goldfinger and the Russian Choir Soroki.
Nostalgia and Chaos, A Search for Beauty in Times of Social Struggle
For the exhibition, held from 6th till the 10th of February Nostalgia and Chaos, A Search for Beauty in Times of Social Struggle the Argentinian-Dutch artist Aimee Zito Lema built a space into a large cardboard box, referring to the poverty in her country. They suggested a program with its vision of contemporary Argentine culture, in which she also guided her own memories. As the performance 'Goodbye Amsterdam' Aimee Zito Lema and cellist Lidewij Mahler during the exhibition on the 8 and 9th of February Nostalgia and Chaos. The starting point for the performance is the poem "Farewell Amsterdam". Vicente Zito Lema, the father of Aimee, wrote this poem in 1984, when he returned in exile in the Netherlands after 7 years to his native Argentina. Accompanied by cello Aimee recited the poem. She used a cardboard installation, which referred to the "cartoneros". This is the poor layer of the Argentine population where they live of revenue by selling cardboard found in the streets.
Japan, New & Old, In & Out
13th till 17th February, the exhibition Japan, New & Old, In & Out organised by the Japanese artist Kyoko Inatome and Emiko Chujo. They created a Meeting point to stimulate cooperation between creative people from Japan, the Netherlands and other countries. They formed the exhibition space into a 'Kotatsu' pub with low tables. What was immediately noticed to the highly comfortable, welcoming, joyful hostesses and men who laid the visitors figuratively pampered. The exhibition followed a ritual rhythm, with an opening ceremony, daily activities with crossovers of old and new Japanese cultural expression or a mix of Japanese and 'Western' culture and ritual closing of the project. So visitors went after the ritual opening of a barrel of Sake DIY to work with Japanese rice snack mochi. The other days followed with a series of performances and activities with Japanese animation, Shishimai dance, a Cosplay performance, a performance by the J-pop band Slightly Spring and the band Treehouse and Shabera Night.
Zhana Ivanova and bring residing in the Netherlands with the Bulgarians exhibition Room Temperature from 20th till the 24th of February, a tribute to filmmaking and to the Bulgarian cinema. Visitors can play in a remake of 'Toplo', a Bulgarian comedy from 1978. An entirely constructed cardboard decor fills the exhibition space. In four days the film was shot and edited. "Room Temperature is on 24th of February, the last night, before an enthusiastic audience at the premiere.
From February 27th till March the 2d exhibition Full Belly. The Israeli artists Gil & Moti went for Full Belly looking for snack employees of Arab origin. The conversations they exchanged were presented in a video installation. They also invited the men for the exhibition. During hours they cooked for visitors skakshuka, a dish she learned to make in the military, in order to create a pleasant environment where critical discussions could be held about cultural identity and cheap labor. In the photo Gil & Moti pose in an EL Hema shirt with the text Halal in Hebrew, with the Arab men in the exhibition space.
Canadia: Land of Myths and Media
In exhibition Canadia: Land of Myths and Media, the Canadian artist Brian McKenna transforms with his Canadian friends Robyn Moody and Denton Fredrickson from 5th till March the 9th the Mediamatic exhibition space into a Radio Broadcast Cabin in the Woods. From this installation he provides along with other artists such as Andre Avelas a continuous audio streaming of live interviews (where Brian spoke with Canadian tourists in Amsterdam), discussions and selected music. In the vast landscape of Canada radio was in McKenna's youth the most important means of communication with the outside world. With performances and short workshops McKenna examines the current state of the Canadian cultural identity. Logger courses, learn how to make bonfires, drinking games, pancakes with maple syrup, all stereotypes passed. Canadia also offered space for guest workers with a Polish-Canadian Cultural Centre, with performances by Kinga Kielczynska and Kristina Petrasova. During the week also performances by Seamus Cater, Mike Ottink, K. G. Guttman and many others.
For the exhibition Spring Cleaning the 12th till the 16th Sara Rajaei invited 11 artists to give their views on her native Iran and Iranian culture. This resulted inter alia in musical crossovers, a poetry reading by Nafiss Nia and a screening of films by young Iranian filmmakers. The public could participate in an Iranian 'Raghs' happening and at the end there was a Fire Party. Besides Sara Rajaei, Nafiss Nia, Hadas Itzkovitch, Nazanin Asgarian, Sahand Sahebdivani, Chantur Chandar, Milan Gataric, Ana Mihajlovic, Otobong Nkanga, Stanislav Mitrovich, Igor Balac, DJ Ishtar and Shila Foroudi were involved .
Sorry for Fitna
In the spring of 2008, Geert Wilders had the media in its grip with his secret horror film "Fitna." Late March 2008 Mediamatic started the action "Sorry for Fitna". We do not want to wait any longer. What can we do? We will make our own Fitna's. As much as possible. A call-up on the Internet to make a video yourself and post it on YouTube, yielded in a few days a flood of responses. Besides hundreds of movies a lot of discussion and media attention: from the front page of NRC, Volkskrant TV and RTL Nieuws, to the websites of Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya.
Kate Bush Party
Prior to the television screening of the documentary 'Come Back Kate', made by Quirine Racké and Helena Muskens, Mediamatic organised together with them a Kate Bush Party, where the film as a special pre-television premiere will be shown on a big screen on April the 11th. But the documentary is not the only reason to come! Visitors can also make their own Kate portrait or 'Wuthering Heights' video clip in the photo and video booths which then directly will be published on the net. Music by DJ 'All Out Kate, a Kate Bush YouTube VJ collection and Imagining Kate cocktails Debra Solomon.
E-Fashion Salon: Pimp your outfit and your profile!
On April 17 e-Fashion Salon: Pimp your outfit and your profile!. During the Salon shows Leah Buechley the LilyPad Arduino, an e-textile kit lets you make your own interactive fashion and a fascinating variety of materials such as conductive rubber. Marina Toeters presents its Lumalive project with clothes in which fashion and technology meets. Jennifer Delano, director of The Artist Advice, talks about the first Second Life Real Life Fashion Show which she organised. A new project of the University of Amsterdam and Govcom.org Foundation is presented: elfriendo. Elfriendo is a service for people who want to create a MySpace profile. Elfriendo helps fill out your profile by measuring corresponding interests with other users.
Five nights long from the 7th till the 12th of May it is possible to stay overnight at Mediamatic! Melanie Bonajo and Kinga Kielczynska placed a 'material spiritual' installation in the exhibition space, but also offer specific activities for each day. The themes The Art of Standing Laughter Experitism, Trance Travelling and ritualism give visitors the opportunity to follow a laugh workshop, to be photographed as spirit, to make a trance-dance-video, or to participate in a séance. On the last day, entitled Resonation, visitors can finally relax by, inter alia, the soundscapes of Ivan Kadelburg and Mhairi Macfarlane and a singing bowl game by Frank Mannens. The Sleep-In was a success; the first days some hesitant sleepers, the last days fully booked. Sleeping in cultural institutions is a trend, "Mind our words"!
Say Yes to No
On May the 28 Say Yes to No, the first in a series of evenings on the power of negative thinking, a concept Melanie Bonajo and Kinga Kielczynska. Tonight Timothy Moore was invited to speak about the development of the Self in the 21st century. The audience was divided during his performance in a 'yes' and 'no' group and challenged to take a critical position.
Augmented Reality Games
The 2th till June the 4th, we organise the first AR Games Workshop. Participants create in this workshop designs and prototypes of an Augmented Reality Game using the ARToolkit. The interaction between the virtual and the physical world is the focus of the game.
In line with the Augmented Reality Games Workshop June the 2d: Superimposing the Virtual Salon, organised to show some examples of AR to a wider audience. After an introduction by <> TAG first Theodore Watson talks about his Funky Forest, an interactive ecosystem where children can influence the environment with their body and, for example, create trees. Followed by presentations by Julian Oliver, Yolande Kolstee of the AR + RFID Lab in The Hague and Jan Torpus and Alex Schaub. Melanie Bonajo and Kinga Kielzcynska conclude with the performance 'The paradigm of intuitive Science.
Interactive Dance Film @ Cinedans
From June 30th till July the 5th, 2008 our first big international workshop Interactive Dance Film@Cinedans. 16 experienced choreographers, dance filmmakers and artists have created beautiful projects within a week. The five best projects were presented during the Cinedans theater festival in Rialto. Coaches and assistants: Jakob Schillinger, Florian Thalhofer, David Hinton, Simon Fildes, Dirk van Oosterbosch, Amy Patton, Louise Mountain and Julieanne Eason. Participants: Marieke Coppens, Nathalie Ho Kang You, Melanja Palitta Goran Turnsek, Bertha Bermudez, Christina Hallstrom, Lucy Nooren, Yvonne van den Akker, Tiziana Cantarella, Lutz Gregor, Klara Elenius, Francesca Penzani, Iwona Hrynczenko, Lucia Galindo Martinez and Lizze Sykes.
In preparation of the Ikikikik! Exhibition, about self-representation on the internet, there are Beauty Parlours given, a series of public studies. How can we, instead of shopping the whole day for a new outfit, upgrade our digital presence, to make it more fun and more interesting? In this Beauty Parlour a reading by Vanmechelen Finding the Perfect Chicken. On February the 7th, he speaks in the Beauty Parlour series about his project Universal Cosmopolitan Chicken and about self-representation. Vanmechelen combines art with science to create the perfect chicken. He talks about the global breeding program he set up to achieve a super-hybrid chicken. Mechelen shows much footage of his work, that is related to ethical issues surrounding cloning, genetic manipulation, racism and globalisation.
Ikikikik! is about Do it yourself fashion and publishing. A permanent exhibition/catwalk/photoshoot/sewing/video booth/story herring festival, form the 18th of July till October the 5th, in order to look good, out on the streets and on the net. With this exhibition Mediamatic alarms about the subsidy we are likely to miss out. We get support from the Paris activist and fashion collective Andrea Crews and the Salvation Army ReShare. Andrea Crews is a group of artists/activists/fashion designers who specialise in designing spontaneous gay fashion from rags. They change with visitors a huge pile of used clothing into fashion. With the workshops: upcycle yourself, professional catwalk - not just for models and Make your own Nike.
Seven days 30 hackers, programmers, interaction designers and multi geeks in Hackers camp have worked hard to lay down an interactive/RFID installations at PICNIC 08 what took place the 24th, the 25th and the 26th of September. Day and night they have worked and the result was striking. Seven projects are created from which eventually 5 turned out bug-free. PICNIC is a great 3-day conference on media technology, art, culture and science. The visitors got a ikTag (RFID) which was linked to their profiles on the PICNIC Network.
Kiki! on Steroids
From October the 17th 2008 till January the 4th, 2009. Kiki! on Steroids is an intimate exploration of transgenderism and part of the ikikik! series about self-representation on the internet. In a dark maze admiring photos of transboys were made by Kael T Block. Bogomir Doringer presented the new work "Lupe" and the calendar series Women with Beards by Ine Poppe and Jetty Verhoeff graced the toilet space. Visitors were able to exchange gender with the IkCam photo booths or relax in the Youtube Video Lounge where transboys and -girls tell you how it really is to change gender.
The Kiki Museum Night was very well visited on November 1st. The whole evening there were possibilities for a DIY gender change with the photo booths and the make-up artists of House of Orange. The Barberini Ensemble played 17th and 18th century music with vocals by a countertenor with a high pitched voice. They were followed later in the night by DJ Lupe and Vitamin K. The Buttkraaker Collective gave a performance and brought a piercing installation with them.
Moving Image Lab
The second workshop was from the 27th of October till the 1st of November in collaboration with B3 Media in London and was a success. During five intensive days, participants made several projects for different types of media, including public displays, mobile phones or interactive film projects with Korsakow for 'normal' screen. The opening and final presentation took place at BAFTA. Participants: Leonie Castelein, Stefan da Costa Gomez, Triny Prada, Roshini Kempadoo, Edd Vossen, Marcella Haddad, Dami Akinnusi, Alana Kakoyiannis, Bunge Annie Roth, Karen Palmer and Kevin Logan.
Docs Doing Differently evening
Cassian Harrison, director of Britain From Above, and Maartje Nevejan of Couscous & Cola speak on November the 21th about innovative ways of making documentaries during the Doing Docs Differently evening. Harrison put satellite data, GPS routes, airline information and demographic statistics to visualise aerial UK. Nevejan's series Couscous & Cola was broadcast worldwide and formed the basis for the online platform Couscous Global, where young people through videos discuss about their lives. Both speakers were also connected to the Any Media Documentary Workshop at IDFA.
Any Media Documentary Workshop
In preparation for the IDFA Festival, from November the 21th till November the 26 the Any Media Documentary Workshop took place. Participants are challenged to use new media technologies in their documentary practice, from GPS systems to visualise online data. Instructors Klaas Kuitenbrouwer, Florian Thalhofer, Louise Mountain and Jacob Schillinger are the filmmakers. Keynote lectures will be given by Cassian Harrison, Esther Polak, Erik Borra and Alexandre Brachet. On the last night the results were presented for an audience.