For its January issue, the Amsterdam branch of the international city chronicle Time Out invited five of the city’s prominent design-minded companies – architectural firm Benthem Crouwel, advertising agency KesselsKramer, arts and leisure consulting firm LAgroup, interior and architectural design company Concrete, and Non-fiction – to present their images of the city of the future: Amsterdam in 2020 (here’s ours).
To broaden the discussion and promote lively debate on the future of the city, Time Out Amsterdam and Non-fiction will be co-hosting a live panel discussion with the participants in the project on Thursday, 28 January. At this “2020 Vision Forum”, designers from each project will talk about how they envision the city’s future, and then Time Out Amsterdam editor Nina Siegal will moderate a discussion between the participating groups and the public.
WHEN: Thursday 28 January. Doors open at 19.30. Programme starts at 20.15 WHERE: De Verdieping at Trouw Amsterdam, Wibautstraat 131 (463 7788/trouwamsterdam.nl) ENTRY: €5 payable at the door. Email us to reserve a spot firstname.lastname@example.org, or just show up (and join on Facebook)
How can banks, museums, governments and other institutions regain a sense of trust from the public? That is the question that lies at the heart of an ambitious project titled ‘Trustville‘.
Initiated by communication agency Vandejong and its idiosyncratic founder and namesake Pjotr de Jong, Trustville encompasses a series of themed expert meetings focusing on new and innovative ways to overcome the credibility crisis that paralyzes our economic and political system.
Non-fiction was asked to join the editorial board of this interdisciplinary research project and the forthcoming book, which will be published by Valiz later this year. Surrounded by professionals from totally different backgrounds, including an advisor to the World Bank and a young labor union leader, we found ourselves rather optimistic about the current state of affairs and future perspectives.
OK, we don’t wanna downplay the impact of wrongdoers like “Bernie“, the Bushes and Kanye, but luckily we meet more and more trustworthy people and organizations everyday. Like the man who runs Amsterdam and the lady we recently heared talking about the ‘Just City‘, or the museum that opened on time and within budget and the bank who helped us setting up De Verdieping.
Being an office for collaborative actions, co-created visions and crowdsourced sollutions, we feel the obligation to provide sufficient counterweight to the skepticism that dominates the news headlines and the hearts and minds op people nowadays.
Gated communities, fenced off companies and Firewalls.. You don’t want to go down that road, because you might end up in Lars von Trier‘s hellish Dogville. Or even worse, the city of Trussville, Alabama or better know as ‘The Gateway to Happy Living‘. What a difference one letter can make..
Instead of a small dead-end town we prefer a place where people still communicate and connect with one another, whether it’s Amsterdam, Twitteropolis, Wikicity, Farmville or our own interpretation of Niketown. So we don’t have to travel very far to reach Trustville. We just have to help other people opening up their eyes, and it’s right there in front of us.
We’ll keep you updated on our journey into the known..
Still taken from Dogville (2003), directed by Lars von Trier
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.
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 (Roomware, Narb). 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.
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.
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.
Machinefabriek live at Aura in Castrum Peregrini (photo: Jelle Spanjaard)
On a Thursday night in September in 2006, multi-instrumentalist Rutger Zuydervelt performed under his moniker Machinefabriek on the 700th birthday at the Oude Kerk, the oldest building of Amsterdam that is located in the heart of the Red Light District. It was a night I organised when I was still working at the n8 foundation, the collaborative museum platform that works for the Amsterdam museums. This was the beginning of an ongoing love affair with one of the Netherlands’ most productive and imaginative young composers and musicians. Since this concert we have worked together numerous times at the Bimhuis, Lantaren/Venster, Castrum Peregrini, and once even in my appartment in Amsterdam, together with Danish sound artist Jacob Kirkegaard. Machinefabriek, a natural improviser who never performs the same work twice, and has an Olympic amount of releases and bootlegs swerving around. Even when I write, Michiel is listening to his music (and while you are peeking at his Last.fm account, have a look where Machinefabriek stands in my top artists list).
So it should not come as a surprise when we announce that the first artist we have asked to perform in 2010 is our dear friend Machinefabriek. We will celebrate the opening of the new year in De Verdieping with a special performance on Wednesday 6 January at 8 pm. We will also celebrate the proud fact that we have been granted a generous 2-year financial support from the Amsterdam Art Fund to upgrade the organisation and become a more professional cultural institution. The support enables us to notch up our activities and broaden our reach. We are delighted about this and look forward to inviting you to more adventurous programmes on the Wibautstraat in 2010.
We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday and toasting on the new decade. In the mean time, follow De Verdieping on Facebook and Twitter. Drive and shoot straight on New Year’s Eve.
The Rijksakademie BeamClub is an initiative by artist and Rijksakademie resident Sarah van Sonsbeeck and De Verdieping, the cultural project space in the basement of TrouwAmsterdam that is programmed by Non-fiction. It is a night where artists present works that inspire them in their own practice. Previous speakers have been Hans Aarsman, Nicoline van Harskamp and Ben Cerveny.
Here is a first reaction after our 5 hour interview marathon that took place during last Saturday’s Amsterdam museumnacht. We first would like to thank all our guests from the various institutions, our visitors in De Verdieping, and the n8 organisation for kindly letting us participate in the 10th museumnacht. We are very happy with the start of this ongoing discussion on the (changing) role of museums in 21st century cities, and the influence of networked urban environments on museums. We will take our time to write up a summary of the event, and hope to update soon.
The Great Dictators is a new monthly film night at De Verdieping, the cultural project space of TrouwAmsterdam, focussing on ‘the vanity of evil’. Each night centers around one absolute ruler, both past and present, and shows how tyrants and populist leaders are (re)presented in (documentary) films. Non-fiction’s Michiel van Iersel is curating this series.
The August edition of CDR was picked up by Time Out Amsterdam
Create, bounce, and burn. This is the vernacular of a new generation of beat makers around the world. They use software with swanky names as Logic, Reason or Live to contribute to the ever growing architecture of rhythmculture. Forming scenes in Glasgow, Los Angeles, London, Amsterdam, and in many other outskirts, they are the dark metabolism of nightlife and music culture of today. With social networks reaching semantic cruising altitudes, the exchange rate of music is getting more spectacular by the day. Virally communicating and freely sharing through Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, iChat and (even) MySpace, a faceless herd of avatars and monikers roam the digital present in search of a beat.
With CDR, Viral Radio and Beat Dimensions have joined London’s Burntprogress in creating a common ground for these producers to present their music. CDR, which takes place in De Verdieping in the ‘Berlinesque’ Wibaustraat in Amsterdam, acts as a hub and social hive for musicians, music professionals and the general public to exchange new beats. The process is basic: people bring their music on a CDR, hand it in to the DJs of the night, who will play them over the weighty club soundsystem. Each artist name and track title will be projected on the wall. The night will be opened by interviews with the visiting artists from the following Viral Radio night upstairs at TrouwAmsterdam. Entrance for musicians with a CDR is free; 5 euros is charged for other visitors. As a bonus everyone can stay for Viral Radio later on.
The third edition of CDR is about to start tonight at 8.30 PM at De Verdieping. We look forward to seeing you there.
A few months ago we asked our good friend Aardvarck, if he was given the chance to invite someone for Viral Radio, who he would choose. “Mala,” was his immediate answer, followed by an endless stream of unintelligible animal noises, “hoer” and “zijn we er al?” Mala will now play alongside Aardvarck, Cinnaman and Juha at the sixth Viral Radio event at TrouwAmsterdam. He will be joined by his friend, brother-from-another-mother and fellow demilitarized zone pacifist Sgt. Pokes.
In the evening, starting around 8 PM, Viral Radio will present the second CDR night. Adopted from London, the night is intended to create a social network, platform or hub for aspiring producers, avid supporters and kindred spirits who enjoy new ventures into electronic music. Hosted by Juha, Cinnaman and Mamiko Motto, a line of guests will be interviewed about their music practice, amongst whom Mr. Aardvarck himself. Visitors can bring their music on CDRs, which then will be played on our professional club soundsystem, while their names and track titles will be beamed on the wall.
CDR has been adopted by De Verdieping as a monthly night to share ideas and music. It has been transferred from the Wednesday to the Friday, to connect with Viral Radio and to benefit from the presence of international artists as Hudson Mohawke, Mala, Nosaj Thing, Harmonic 313, and all the others that come through the Viral Radio hub.
Viral Radio starts at 10.30 PM. Tickets are 12 euros, and are available at Rush Hour, online and at the door of TrouwAmsterdam. CDR starts at 8 PM. Tickets are 5 euros, but entrance is free of charge with a CDR of your music. Visitors of CDR can stay for Viral Radio without paying any more.