From 20 February onwards, I will join Lighthouse in Brighton as new Artistic Director. It is an incredible honour and opportunity to join one of my favourite international institutions of contemporary culture, and to succeed the great Honor Harger, who has worked miracles for the agency in the past 4 years.
This means my role at Non-fiction will unfortunately change.
I have always regarded our studio a collective of creative nodes, collaborating on groundbreaking projects together when possible, but on our own when demanded. We are friends, working together on beautiful projects trying to create public value for the greater good.
Michiel and I founded the office in 2008, when I had just left the Museumnacht, and Michiel was unwinding at LAgroup. We have matured together as friends and professionals in arms and arts. Highlights have been the 2010 Nacht van Duivenvoorde, our exhibition-as-midsummer-festival. Hear it!, a sound art exhibition-as-playlist at Stedelijk Museum in 2011. And setting up De Verdieping, the cultural space at Trouw, inspired by Palais de Tokyo and Palast der Republik.
Then Radna joined us, also after leaving the Museumnacht. The three of us quickly complemented each other in ideas, approach and network. We had fun working in Rotterdam for the Netherlands Architecture Institute in 2012, as curators of the Summer Programme. Radna and I have known each other since the early days of Lijn5, in 2005, and it has been great working with her within Non-fiction, and seeing her direct programmes with Michiel, Boris and Rafe. Like Studio Verwey, Week van de Stad, and World Heritage Podium.
The arrival of Boris and Rafe upgraded and matured the office, and made us more into a creative studio, that self-initiated projects and designed products. Like Failed Architecture, Tussen-ruimte and World Heritage Now. Boris – who has now left on a nomadic journey through digital Europe – has been instrumental in rethinking digital media. Rafe, a young award winning graphic designer and book maker from New Zealand, has added precision and dedication of the highest standard. And solid, deadpan, humour Finally, last year, Mark took a natural slide from Failed Architecture – who work in our space – to Non-fiction, bringing editorial rigor and patience to the table.
This is the Non-fiction of 2014. A collective of very talented friends with high ambitions, with funky and wonky tastes in music and art, and with vital enthusiasm for and criticism of the modern world.
With Radna, Michiel, Mark and Rafe at the helm, and an entire social network of other arts practitioners around them, Non-fiction is one of the most fun and contemporary cultural organisations on the pitch today.
I will be away for a bit, trying to find my way in my new role in Brighton. Fortunately, I will still spend the lion’s share of my time in Amsterdam, with my friends and loved ones. I will stay connected, and when in Amsterdam, will work in the studio at Museumplein. As we have always done, when friends were in town and needed a place to work.
You can read this as an out-of-office reply. Not a goodbye.
I hope to see you soon at one of our irregular Friday drinks again, and of course, at the amazing Lighthouse in Brighton.