Duivenvoorde 2: get ready for the next episode..

After the fairytale-ish midsummer night edition of the Nacht van Duivenvoorde, the beta-version of the critically acclaimed mini arts festival in and around Museum Duivenvoorde Castle (Kasteel Duivenvoorde) last June, we are now making preparations for another edition in October. Thanks to a generous grant from the SNS REAAL Fund we are able to broaden and deepen our contribution to the yearlong celebration of the museum’s 50th anniversary in 2010, trying to open up this hidden world to new forms of art and to a wider audience.

Live performance by sound artists Machinefabriek and Wouter van Veldhoven at Duivenvoorde Castle on June 26, 2010.

Taking the vast and rare collection of family portraits as our starting point, we will concentrate future activities in and around the castle’s richly decorated grand ballroom, aka ‘the Marotzaal‘ after the famous French architect Daniel Marot (1661–1752). The walls are covered with life-size portraits of former residents dating back to the 16th and 17th century. They will serve as a backdrop for an innovative art installation and series of events that focus on the use of portraits in the arts and science throughout the ages.

The grand ballroom, aka ‘The Marotzaal’ at Duivenvoorde Castle, serving as an exhibition space and events platform in October.

For the design and realisation of the art installation we have teamed up with Jarrik Ourburg and Paulien Bremmer, two young Dutch architects who both work at the intersection of architecture, heritage and art.  They recently won the 1st prize in an international competition for their daring design for the transformation of an old military barack, the UNESCO-listed Genieloods at Kunstfort Vijfhuizen near the Dutch city of Haarlem, into a center for contemporary art.

Winning design for the Genieloods at Kunstfort Vijfhuizen.

At Duivenvoorde they will develop a temporary spatial intervention that on the one hand will intensify physical qualities and aesthetics of the the existing interior and at the same time will add radically new forms and viewpoints. Drawing inspiration from different ideas and examples, ranging from SANAA’s design school at Zollverein and Jan de Cock‘s and Krijn de Koning‘s art installations to technological breakthroughs in face detection and recognition software and social media applications, we will try to push the limits of what museum innovation can be.

Curious? Save the date: the art installtion opens on Saturday 16 October and the grand finale takes place on Saturday 23 October..

By Michiel — Posted August 20, 2010 — 8,402 Comments

Laying a new foundation for arts funding

Being invited by one of the largest private art foundations in The Netherlands, the SNS REAAL Fund, we had the privilege of giving an hour long presentation of not-to-be-missed trends in the fields of the arts, technology and science, followed by a lively Q&A. For this occasion our host had invited the management and staff members from two other foundations, the VSBfonds and the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, in a much appreciated effort to start an inter-organizational exchange of ideas and expertise.

The meeting centered around one question: how can private art foundations stimulate artistic innovation and a vibrant cultural life in the Netherlands in the face of current artistic and technological developments? In our presentation we focused on the forces that shape our world, from the timeless human need for social connection and peer recognition to the unprecedented scale and speed of cultural production and distribution and the unstoppable rise of locative media and augmented reality.

Among many other urgent matters, we discussed the moral and financial implications of ‘digitally born’ art works like Aaron Koblin’s ‘Flight Patterns’ and the ‘commercial creativity’ in projects like Olafur Eliasson’s concept car for BMW. How can foundations avoid a conflict of interest by funding private corporations, without missing out on artistic breakthroughs within the commercial sector? And how can needy artists and cultural institutions benefit from innovative and lucrative consumer-led business models like NIKEiD, an online store for customized Nike-merchandise, and Sellaband, a crowd- or fan-funding website for aspiring musicians?

Our audience assured us that most of these issues had not escaped their attention. Interdisciplinary art projects and public-private partnerships have become very common in recent years. SNS REAAL Fund has supported Streetlab, a platform and festival for young creatives, providing a gateway to (inter)national markets and a professional career. And in Amsterdam, Sellaband and the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK) announced that they will develop a fan-funding platform for art projects in the near future.

However, a number of challenges still need to be addressed by both public and private art foundations:

  1. Accessibility: opening up the application process to more people by introducing scouts, outreach programs and a (more) search- and user-oriented website that can be navigated easily and that combines prescribed instructions with user generated folksonomies (tagging).
  2. Transparency: using off- and online tools to inform the public on relevant developments and data, like the number of submitted, granted and refused applications or the output of funded projects in terms of visitor numbers or media coverage etc. with the real-time Dashboard of the Indianapolis Museum of Art as an inspiring example.
  3. Knowledge sharing: integrating and disclosing information that will help improve the quality of applications, such as matching tools for applicants that are looking for collaborators, application forms that leave room for comments and tips for future users, and an online market for trade in skills, money and connections.

Given the (other) priorities and limited capacity of these private foundations, we suggested that they should create a new business unit or satellite organization that could function as an independent think tank and advanced R&D lab and certainly would accelerate new developments. There are various instructive examples of organizations that have set up an experimental counterpart, both individually like OMA‘s AMO, Benetton‘s Fabrica and Google Labs, or collectively with the n8‘s play- and fruitful collaboration with the museums in Amsterdam as as a good case in point.

We will continue our conversation with SNS REAAL Fund and we invite everyone with an interest in arts funding (intellectually and/or money-wise) to provide us with new and fresh ideas. In the meantime you can see our travels around the world in 80 slides:

View more presentations from Non-fiction.

By Michiel — Posted January 26, 2010 — 11,064 Comments