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Soundsbites by Desta Matla.

Interviews & sounds with artists of S.Å.T.E. exhibition

Thordur Hans Baldursson, Ål Nik, Enrica Arbia



S.Å.T.E. sounds at the exposure Exhibition @ SIGN  2/11 -2-12 2023

Until 22 October, the exhibition Obsoletely New! runs in SIGN, showing works of Finn Wagner, Sébastien Robert, Brigitte Louter and Igor Bobeldijk. In this interview, our correspondent Michiel Teeuw talks with Brigitte Louter and Igor Bobeldijk, reflecting on their works and the artistic construction of knowledge and understanding of the world around us.

fig. 1: A Daphnia [x] and a Trilobite [x] fossil.
Michiel Teeuw: Let’s start by setting up a dramatis personae – a list of characters. Both of your works depart from non-human agents, living in liquids. Please introduce these characters!

Brigitte Louter: My work departs from thoughts about the Daphnia, or water flea. It’s a tiny crustacean that is very common in water bodies across the world. They are beautifully transparent, which is one of the reasons they’re a beloved subject to observe under the microscope. The emphasis in this work isn’t so much on the Daphnia itself; In fact, the work doesn’t really show the animal itself. It is more so about how these animals are viewed and treated by humans, and the possibility or impossibility of truly understanding them.

Igor Bobeldijk: I see my creatures as prehistoric and primordial, because I just started creating them. They have the most simple forms, like worms and trilobites. They’re just starting to evolve into this new environment, that’s created with our technology, but no longer with ourselves in it. There’s the creatures I made, like the camera and the worm made out of servo’s. But of course, there’s also a lot more creatures in the imagination. I imagine a whole ecosystem, with crabs and other creatures. The creatures which are there, don’t conceal their mechanics or chips. I wanted to keep it transparent because I like to overtly display how things work. 

BL: It’s very interesting to hear you say that. For the Daphnia, it’s sort of their main appeal – if they have any appeal. You can see what’s happening inside. With your robots, I’d say it’s also kind of practical in a way?

IB: Yes, but I guess with the Daphnia it’s also kind of practical. Maybe there’s a bit of a difference: the Daphnia is a living organism, and it’s a bit cruel that they’re constantly investigated. I wouldn’t like to be a Daphnia that much. They would constantly look at how I function, what I ate. 

BL: Or if you have parasites…

IB: Exactly. Maybe it’s something you get used to. But if I would just become transparent tomorrow, I’d be very uncomfortable. But it’s hard to know if my worms or the Daphnia have enough self-awareness to be shy about what’s happening.

fig. 2: Igor Bobeldijk, 01L Series: Specimen ichtUSB,, installation detail
fig. 3: Igor Bobeldijk, 01L series 1: Omega 3 Sedimental Excavator, installation detail

MT: To zoom out, the environment they’re contained in also contains a lot of transparency, with lots of see-through encasings and transparent oils. Could you tell us more about the surroundings we find the creatures in?

IB: My main goal was a sort of laboratory setting, but I think it could also be an exhibit. One of my inspirations was a scene from Alien IV, where all these failed clones from Ripley are in cylinders. It’s a part of the laboratory that’s a bit like a museum. I like to think there’s this underground resistance movement, creating these fish that can swim inside the servers – to infiltrate the mainframe and hack it. So energy-wise it’s a self-sufficient environment, off the grid.

MT: And where can we find the Daphnia? Brigitte, could you tell us a bit about these surroundings?

BL: The surrounding consists of a folder, based on the shape and function of a ring binder. From the binder, a long paper curls with a drawing resembling a diagram of a sediment core. Collecting sediment cores with dormant Daphnia eggs of different ages, resurrecting and studying them is a way to learn about Daphnia populations through time. The sediment core-paper is placed on an unusually shaped table with two other objects. The shape of the table is determined by the objects it’s holding and adapted to its contents.

fig. 4: Brigitte Louter, Space For Time: Sediment Core Table, installation close-up
fig. 5: Brigitte Louter, Space For Time, installation view

MT: And what kind of display or situation are we seeing in your work?

BL: I would like it to be somewhat of an ambiguous display, posing the question what context it belongs to. I have an interest in educational tools and museum displays. On these, findings are presented in a way that is convincing, and puts you in a line of thought: “Now, information is going to be presented to me”. Hopefully this odd and ambiguous situation leaves room to question for yourself: “What is the information that’s presented to me, is anything being explained here at all?”. At the core of my work are slippery things: feelings of longing, elusiveness, thoughts about value systems, empathy for a water flea… These slippery things find their way into these contexts of objective and factual information – contexts which they usually don’t inhabit.

MT: I think both of you skillfully work with the appropriation of specific aesthetics, shaping sites that grant it a lot of legitimacy. Simultaneously, you display things and discuss topics that go against the normalcies and tendencies of those sites. A laboratory with a lot of hacking and corruption, and a scientific site with lots of space for feeling and empathy. As a visitor of the works, I feel this productive discrepancy is exactly brought forward by the legitimacy granted by these appropriated aesthetics and their spatial organisation.

BL: Yes, I like to question and pay attention to every detail, and play with this legitimacy. Starting from what seem like mundane details like the shape of a table, a ring binder. These are not only aesthetic.
They are a way of organizing information and thinking. I try to consider all details to be equally important.

IB: For my work, I’m thinking of a scenography which gives a suggestion of a certain setting with very mundane objects. These pipes, you see them in every house, if you look behind the cupboard or something. Because the pipes go into the wall, you immediately think they must have some kind of function. Some of them do have a function for me, like hiding wires, but there’s no oil going through them. You could imagine it though, and that’s a child-like way of looking at things I like to explore. Children are very good at immersion, being convinced of something. A stick can be a sword. 

fig. 6: Fritz Kahn, Vibration-free montage in technology and nature: astronomical telescope and blood vessel in the ear, (1929)

MT: In the works you present, the thresholds between the human, machine and animal are subtly exceeded. During our introductory talk, Brigitte introduced me to the idea of mechanomorphic [machine-like] seeing – as an alternative to anthropomorphic [human-like] and zoomorphic [animal-like] seeing.[1] To share some examples, we could look at Fritz Kahn’s and René Descartes’ ideas of the human body as a machine, animal videos and ape theories, bio-industrial instrumentalizations of animals and the humane-looking care robots of the uncanny valley, as ontologically stable examples of these projective ways of seeing. Simultaneously, concepts like the more-than-human, postcolonial hybrids, furry art, cyborg aesthetics and dishumanism challenge these ways of seeing by more deeply disrupting the initial categories, as well as questioning these ways of looking. How do you relate to the anthropomorphic, zoomorphic and mechanomorphic?
[1]  These are part of a larger group of morphics, like the geomorphic [earth-like], theriomorphic [beast-like] and the broader biomorphic [organism-like] seeing.

fig. 7: Brigitte Louter, Space For Time: Daphnia Bellows, close-up

BL: In one of the objects I’m presenting, a cut-out of a water flea is dissected[2] in a number of transparent layers, creating a space connected by textile. This is based on folding bellows, which are made to protect machine parts which are constantly in movement. I was thinking a lot about the daphnia’s protection, flexibility and adaptability. So the bellows are also, in a way, about the space the Daphnia takes up – and the way it takes up space. On the inside, on the transparent layers, there are small circles pointing at body parts of the daphnia – like the heart or the antennae. On one side of the circles, there are very small pictures of machine parts that correspond to those parts. On the other side, the pictures show corresponding human organs. In a text I read recently, I was struck by a paragraph about comparing animals to “Heat-seeking missiles”. I thought it was a simple and arrogant comparison. The challenge that was posed in the text, was to question the use of anthropomorphic and mechanomorphic language. I was wondering to what extent we have the language to describe an animal. Of course, you get into fantasy quite quickly. You’d almost want to be the Daphnia to be able to understand its subjectivity and talk about it. There’s some impossibility there, which for me is at the heart of this interest.
[2] BL: Dissecting anyway is an interesting thing for people to want to do, not only for knowledge. I believe there’s a deeper reason for it to violently understand and oversee.

MT: Igor, you are showing these mechanical animals: servo-operated worms. How do you relate to these in terms of mechano- and zoomorphism?

IB:  I think it’s funny that a little bit of motor movement is enough to get the feeling something is alive, or feels something. I’m also interested in cultures like Japan’s, where everything has a soul – even a rock or something. It’s quite a nice way of looking at the world. Indeed, if you talk about animals as heat-seeking missiles, it depends on the context, cause I think you could even use it for certain behaviours that humans have. Even though some of these lenses to view the world might perhaps be objectively correct, employing just one of them eventually gets boring and joyless.  Even if you can make a computer model that completely predicts the movement of these water fleas, you can still not say you understand them or exhausted all meanings. Maybe there’s something about science that ultimately tries to reduce something in order to get to know its parts.[3] But you can also add things that maybe aren’t scientifically true. That might make things more interesting or fun.
[3] IB: not unlike the Chinese room thought experiment.

fig. 8: Igor Bobeldijk, 01L Series: Specimen ichtUSB, installation detail

MT: As a maker, do you feel the boundary starts to blur a bit between you (a human) and the technology you work with? 

IB: Even the practice of programming a lot or using computer software enters your subconscious. I use computers in my dreams. There’s a digital element to how my brain functions, which is informed by years of using this technology. I think everyone has it to an extent, and maybe I have it more because I use computers way more. That is still distinctly human. The way we think is always informed by our tools and technologies: even when we were making pots out of clay, this also entered our subconscious, culture and language. Of course, it can feel alienating to have a computer in your mind sometimes, but I don’t feel less human. 

MT: And Brigitte, did you start dreaming like Daphnia already?

BL: When I really zoom out to my whole practice, I often think through very human emotions & subjects without depicting people. It is a lot about structures of thinking. Since I’ve been obsessed with Daphnia, I’ve been drawing them a lot. I try to do this with precision and feeling, as I would when making a portrait of a human. Doing that has made me feel closer to the Daphnia. But I feel hesitant to say I know what life is like for them, so I would say that I still dream like a human being for now.

fig. 9: Brigitte Louter, Space For Time: Resting Egg Clock (model), close-up

MT: Do you think we could move from using one of these lenses (the monomorphic), to using multiple at the same time (the polymorphic)? 

BL: I would be interested in this. In the shape of the work, it is important to me that some deliberate ambiguity and unclassifiability hopefully enable you to freely morphize in a critical way. Thinking of the work, apart from its unclassifiability, I don’t think the work itself presents a polymorphic vision. I would really hope that these boundaries feel like they’re moving. For me, art is a beautiful place to move around established assumptions and to explore absurd or fantastic solutions.

IB: For me, it’s more about an awareness of your perspective, of what you’re doing and how you’re looking. To challenge yourself constantly. A mechanomorphic lens can have great benefits (like modern science and computing), but just like everything else, it can be awfully misguided (like phrenology). The same applies to zoomorphic interpretations and so on.

fig. 10: Igor Bobeldijk, 01L Series: Neurocumulus, installation detail

MT: Igor, you describe your earlier work as “hardly cutting edge technology”[3]: a personal rotating platform or a vending machine with a plant inside. Your current installation at SIGN deals with a far more cutting-edge technology, or even a meta-technology: the data server. With its strong embeddedness in our daily IoT [Internet of Things] lives, its colonial architecture and material extraction, and its high environmental impact, this usually hidden technological site of the data center is far more of a hyperobject than your previous subjects. How do you deal with this vastness?
[3]  Igor Bobeldijk, Devices, 2023, see https://igorbobeldijk.com/thesis.htm

IB: For my previous work, I was working with the idea of a submarine, which was originally planned as a set for a TV show for children. The show would teach them about climate disasters and other hyper-object problems in the world, which are basically impossible to easily take apart and solve. I think I was already looking towards these bigger problems or environmental subjects. The way I see it, while this submarine was an interior that looked out into the world, then this oil environment would be that outside world. The submarine would explore that under-oil environment with things floating around. 

When talking about the entanglement of a data server in relation to the singular devices I made before, I deal with this in a fictional layer, within a web of backstories and interconnected mechanisms, that are never explicitly presented. In a way, this makes it more abstract. While there is the suggestion of the internet, it’s quite contained at this moment. I think in a sense, everyone is overwhelmed by the internet. One big reason I studied artificial intelligence is that I always want to learn how things work. In that sense, that may help me to not completely be overwhelmed. The work talks about a future vision, where technology turns the environment into something unlivable for us, but self-sufficient without our interference. It’s quite dark, maybe even dystopic. 

MT: For you, Brigitte, your work deals a lot with the topic of understanding the world as well. Am I correct in assuming that this work deals with a smaller-scale problem than some of your other works? 

BL: Perhaps my way of working has changed over time. In the short scripts for plays that I have written before, children and amateur actors, named after and embodying big and abstract concepts, would search for world understanding. In this, there was a returning main character: a feverish child aged 9, called “humanity”. More and more, in my work I have become an active actor myself. For instance, I had been thinking about world records for a long time. Instead of making work about this as a phenomenon, I realized that I wanted to attempt setting one myself, like one of my characters would.

After taking an interest in the Daphnia, I saw a Youtube video of a Daphnia under a microscope giving birth that moved me to tears. I set out to see if I could move closer to this animal, eventually growing a need to understand her when not seen through the lens of the nature documentary, read through the scientific lingo, or valued through society’s glasses, as live fish food for example. To bridge our differences in space, time and scale. This work shows some of the products of this endeavor. Perhaps a smaller-scale problem, but no less part of the act of world understanding.

The exhibition Obsoletely New! runs until 22 October at SIGN Projectspace.
For more information about the artists, visit their websites: brigittelouter.com & igorbobeldijk.com.


When did I learn how to scream?
What tent was I protecting with my voice?
What enemy was approaching us and why couldn’t I scream?
Why couldn’t I scream?

On Saturday 25 of March, Sarjon Azouz performed their work Khanees Al 3issam at the exhibition ID expired. In this interview, our correspondent Michiel Teeuw reflects with them on the work.

Michiel Teeuw: What is it about gender deviants[1] and weapons?

Sarjon Azouz: Yes! That’s a good question. When we are working with traumatic experiences, creating a weapon for yourself is maybe the easiest way to feel like you’re in control. Most of the time, in these traumatic experiences, we are the victim. In my work, I’m constantly trying to find a way to not present myself as the victim of the story I want to tell. Although I am the victim, I am not anymore. I’m trying to claim back some narrative that I have no agency/power over.

MT: Why do you not want to be a victim?

SA: It’s just about being tired of it, that’s the simplest answer I can think of. When I’m working with those works, I don’t feel like a victim, but I still feel the urgency to still put those stories on the table, discuss and nuance them. I think a weapon is a way to do this.

The dagger is a ridiculous weapon we never see, it’s almost too historical to be real: it’s like so high camp. I feel like it’s the easiest trick to feel like we’re about to fight something. You’re the only one in the space who has a weapon, so you’re surely the most powerful and dominant. You’re gonna win because you made that setting and weapon for yourself. This weapon is so dysfunctional: there’s an iPad in the middle of the blade. When I started making it, I wanted something so awkward to look at. It was another rendition of this idea of creating screening spaces that can be performed. It needed to be useless, just perform as the weapon, and have the dominance and intimidation factors of the weapon. But if you really look at it, you see how toyish and useless it is. 

MT: I’m interested in switching the temporal logics between the still image and the performance. In my own recent works, for example, I have been experimenting with switching these around: having the performance be ever-present and continuous, like a painting on the wall, while the still image only appears shortly and dramatically, like an actor would. 

SA: I’m thinking about the screen as a performer. I am still not sure why I’m interested in using the screen, camera and cinema tropes in performance. Something really strange happens when it comes to those cinema constructions and genres. Action, comedy, horror: you can tell when you’re watching something, and you can orient your body towards it. But once these techniques are used in real-life performance, and you’re using the same techniques, it automatically gets nuanced and everything breaks in. It becomes a subnarrative, a meta-layer to the overall narrative. Especially in the awkwardness of the white cube. Even if you make a joke or say something sweet, there’s always this very intense way that you receive these very well-constructed genres. Playing with the screen while performing gave me quite a fun way of tackling that.

MT: Do you feel the audience becomes more implicated when these cinematic tropes are transposed into the white cube, either as performed actions or as on-screen videos?

SA: When they are both present, there’s definitely more dominance for the body than the screen. You tend to fully ignore what’s happening on the screen. The screen almost becomes evidence for something that you’re watching. When it’s attached to me, and I carry it, you can’t fully follow what’s going on on the screen. I think that’s what’s interesting about it: you’re not seated and watching it right in front of you, getting everything the director put in there. You have to somehow compromise losing information. You can try to follow it, but nobody does that. Most of the time, people are stiff as fuck during performances and will not budge. So even if there are really funny things happening on the screen, the fact that you can’t access it will be quite disturbing. It’s almost unreachable.

MT: In the performance, you switch the screen towards and away from the audience. Your speech and song also switch between English and Arabic. Do you see these as similar gestures of opacity and transparency?

SA: The language-switch was fully for practical reasons, since I knew my audience wasn’t Arabic-speaking. The English parts were only the explanation, tracking down how the entity is present in the space with them. If my audience were Arabic-speaking, the performance would be very very different. I would only sing the songs, and not explain anything – I would completely change the set-up. Most of the time when I’m choreographing, context is always running in my mind. To whom am I performing, and in what place is it?

MT: And you perform in different settings like queer nights, vogue balls, other kinds of context. Is there value for you to perform for straight audiences?

SA: Not much actually, it’s like screaming into the void. Especially when I’m talking about stuff that relates to my national identity, to a white audience. The audience – to whom I’m performing – is really important, but this work in particular was for my mom. I knew it was going to be filmed and I really wanted to make something for her. She’s referenced a lot in the poem. I wanted to create something really beautiful for her, so she was 50% the audience I was performing for. Yes, she wasn’t there, but she was in my mind while I was making all of this. 

Another part of who I’m performing for, is the vision that I have, which I want to happen at all costs. Even if it’s for a white audience, it doesn’t matter as long as it exists. I need the vision to come to life and see how it does that.  For example, this was the first time I worked with my brother, with the bust piece that he made. It was a perfect timing and project to do so: to give him this shirt from my dad to lace and feminise. 

So with all of those things, it’s like: Oh, it was a shame that in the end it was a predominantly white cis audience, but it doesn’t matter. As long as all the things that I wanted to happen did come together. I was able to make it happen. So it’s almost fine, but it didn’t really bring me anything. Especially the white cube audience, even if it’s a queer audience. It always feels to me like a research space; a space to test things, not to gain something back but rather to make things happen for yourself. I’m still processing what it is to be a performer in a white cube, especially in drag. It’s literally the strangest thing. How quiet it is… In the club you don’t really hear the heels walking you know?

MT: I want to discuss a fragment from your text:

But when the war did come, everything changed, 
and instead of protecting the tent,
they protected him, and him, and HIM!
He and him, the pronouns I could not protect. 
And so I fled. I fled the war and manhood.
The pronouns and the land. 

Could you share something about how this part came together?

SA: I wanted to write about both fleeing and craving a national identity, as well as a less fluid national identity that doesn’t drive you crazy. But I also experience a lot of gender-envy from men. Although I’m AMAB, I don’t feel like I am. When I act like it, behave like it, or perform my (he/him) pronouns, I feel like I am scamming. I feel like I’m so feminine, that everything which relates to (he/him) is beyond my access. But at the same time I want it. I’m so envious of men. I want to be a man. In the text as well, I want to be the man – for my mom. But also culturally, being the man of the house is partially patriarchal of course, but there’s also this safety that a man should be able to provide. The performance refers to my memory of a military exercise: protecting the tent by screaming at an ambush. I remember not being man enough to scream STOP when the ambush person came… That stuck with me as one of the ways that proved I wasn’t man enough. I like when people use he/him on me, cause it’s a little chuckle between me and myself – like hehe, I made it. But I don’t believe it myself. This poem was claiming Syrian manhood. Syrianhood was quite claimed by the regime and patriarchy. There’s a lot of longing in the poem. I want to access this but I can’t claim or defend you and I don’t even want you but there’s a lot of longing, homesickness, and gender envy. That is what’s going on, and it’s quite diaristic in that sense. There’s no political statement, no trying to fight nobody or trying to point fingers. I wrote it from how I feel. 

At the beginning of my research, I stumbled upon the google question: Why do arab men carry daggers?

And historically, they never fought with them. They never used daggers for territory stuff. They’re really small knives, they don’t do much. But when you put it on your waist, it really performs your manhood. I said to myself: if I want to be a man, I need a dagger, I need a sword. I found another prop for my gender expression, and for my national identity. 

MT: I’m interested in what happens when you say that you weren’t able to defend the land. The inability you describe doesn’t sound essentialist to me, but rather actually opens up the space of being able to defend the land – especially by the past tense, which ascribes a certain momentariness to this inability. I want to contextualise this in relation to earlier described cinematic tropes, especially the Psycho cinematic horror trope of a transfeminine killer. Somehow for me your statement already opens up the imaginary of the gender deviant as a defendant of territory – something I think is unthinkable for lots of people. 

SA: I think I got what you’re trying to say. Again, it’s not a statement. When I say I can’t defend anybody, I’m not saying that to anybody – just to myself. This is also really for my mom to see something trying to figure out itself, and saying it’s okay it can’t defend the land. I’m definitely not proving something to anybody. This entity is talking to itself, self-assuring rather than addressing what’s going on.

MT: It doesn’t feel like an address or statement, but at the same time it ontologically opens it up.

SA: Even then, all of us in the Queer community say that to ourselves from a sense of guilt. This or any other thing. The fact that we don’t really have a choice in any of it doesn’t mean we can’t say it. Have I had the choice? There’s a constant questioning there, even when we’re aware that we’re not in control. At the same time, on the complete opposite of that spectrum: We’re so fucking powerful, that we’re doing impossible things. That’s why it’s really confusing to figure out what we are and aren’t able to do. I really need to say that because sometimes we feel like we’re so not on that table deciding what’s going on in the world. But we’re creating our own rules at the same time, which is quite the move right?

SA: Also, the weapon in itself starts to mould into a shield. I’m showing something and hiding behind it, rather than being about to attack. The iPad being heavy, and needing to be in a screening position. I’m showing something. This shifted the choreography, which was based on this (now) cultural practice called Harradad (?), this group of folklore sword dancers who fight for entertainment at weddings. With that sword I made, I can’t do this movement. I can’t attack. It materialises that particular need for defense rather than attacking. And when the sword turns to me, it looks like a mirror. 

MT: A sword always punctuates or slashes. Who is the sword’s recipient here?

SA: There’s always a victim to a weapon, you mean? I’m first thinking of the intention of making it, which really was to affirm gender. At the same time, making it was creating a dysfunctional weapon. It’s not even sharp. When you hold it, it’s like a branch. In any way or form, it cannot stab or slash anything. And I think that fundamentally, this is what that prop was made for, to resist that weapon, and to blur the line what that tool is about. In the poem, I reference: how can I fight the land in the diaspora? This is the weapon for fighting an enemy which isn’t around you. You don’t know what you will slash, and the only thing you have is evidence it exists. So the evidence, or the screenshots, are your weapon. Which I think is what a lot of people in the diaspora do: sharing, screenshotting, following the news, producing media. You’re so not even in the land where the actual problem is happening but you’re so much an affected byproduct of the thing you’re trying to fight. This sword is an awkward attempt to be in the picture, but being shunned away by it. 


text by Michiel Teeuw
with quotes from Khanees al 3issam
featuring images from Sarjon’s Instagram stories
and Khanees al 3issam (stills) – recorded by Klaas Koetje & Enrica Arbia

[1] In this article, I’ve opted to use the term “gender deviants” as an alternative to “gender non-conforming” and “transgender”, both of which are more specifically rooted in West European notions of gender. Of course, the phrase “deviant” begs the question: deviating from what?





Samen met Koos Buist organiseert SIGN het project Grasland Ezinge. Sinds 1 september jl. verblijft de jonge Chinese kunstenaar Peng Zheng in Ezinge om Grasland a.h.w. artistiek te ontginnen. De eerste 2 weken van zijn residentie zitten erop. Hij heeft de omgeving verkent, heeft veel gefietst en hardgelopen. Zijn plan is als volgt: (zie poster) en je bent uitgenodigd om een bijdrage te leveren. Bereikbaar met auto, fiets of trein/bus of trein/fiets combinatie:)

Together with Koos Buist, SIGN organizes the Grasland Ezinge project. Since 1st of September, the young Chinese artist Peng Zheng has been staying in Ezinge to develop GRASLAND artistically, so to speak. The first 2 weeks of his residency are over. He explored the area, did a lot of cycling and running. His plan is as follows (see poster) and you are invited to take part with an contribution.
Accessible: by car, bike or train/bus or train/bicycle combination:)

Sterk stuk geschreven door Michiel Teeuw in Jegens & Tevens. Naar aanleiding van de PaperCuts tentoonstelling in SIGN, februari jl. en de kunstenaars Oliver Doe en Alice Slyngstad.


Strong piece written by Michiel Teeuw in Jegens & Tevens:
 Written in response to PaperCuts exhibition at SIGN, last February and the artists Oliver Doe and Alice Slyngstad.


Michiel Teeuw https://michielteeuw.nl/

Olivier Doe https://www.oliverdoe.com/

Alice Slyngstad https://www.aliceslyngstad.com/


De ultieme travel agency voor A WAY @ Supermarket Artfair 10 – 14 mei

A WAY, de travel performance te voet door Lily Dollner & Olivier Arts van Groningen naar Stockholm vond z’n weerslag in een dynamische presentatie op de non -profitmanifestatie Supermarket Artfair te Stockholm in SIGN’s stand. De prettige internationale art fair, ook geschikt voor contacten met gelijkgestemden voor zowel kunstenaars als organisaties, werd goed bezocht. SIGN kreeg veel aandacht in de pers zowel in Zweden als in Nederland. Zie lijst PERS

Olivier en Lily waren zelf veel aanwezig bij de stand voor tekst en uitleg. Ook de loopband was opgesteld, zodat bezoekers de laatste meters nog mee konden lopen. Een drietal video’s diende als een verslaglegging van de reis, waarbij op hilarische wijze teruggekeken werd op wat ze tijdens de tocht hadden meegemaakt. Met een sterk relativerende luchtige vormgeving in beeld en geluid die hun vaak tegengestelde, contrasterende ervaring weerspiegelde. De Iphone kwaliteit van de films onderstreepte het reiskarakter van dit project: dat was tenslotte de manier om de belevenissen vast te leggen.

Een dag-tot-dag verslag op ansichtkaarten met teksten stond in een folderrek, de bepakte bolderkar stond in het midden, inclusief ontplofte en lekgeraakte banden. Al met al: een travel agency uitstraling voor de ultieme DIY reis.

Flashback A WAY: The ultimate travel agency for A WAY @ Supermarket Artfair May 10 – 14

A WAY, the travel performance on foot by Lily Dollner & Olivier Arts from Groningen to Stockholm ,was reflected in a dynamic presentation at the non-profit event Supermarket Art Fair in Stockholm in SIGN’s stand. The pleasant international art fair, a great way to get in touch with like-minded people for both artists and organisations, was well attended. SIGN received a lot of press coverage both in Sweden and the Netherlands – see list below.

Olivier and Lily were often present at the stand to explain their endeavours. The treadmill was present, so visitors could still walk the last few meters. Three videos served as a report of the trip, hilariously looking back on what they experienced. With a strongly relativizing fun design in image and sound that reflected their often contradictory, contrasting experience. The iPhone quality of the films underlined the travel character of this project: after all, that was the most easy way to record their experiences.
A day-to-day report on postcards with texts was placed in a brochure rack, the packed wagon was in the middle, including exploded and punctured tires. All in all: a travel agency look for the ultimate DIY trip.


De kunstenaars werden gevraagd voor een pitch bij de persconferentie van Supermarket Art Fair, hierbij deelden ze al vies en bezweet van hun lange reis een kort verslag. Olivier deed zelfs een deel in het Zweeds!

The artists were asked for a pitch at the press conference of Supermarket Art Fair, where they shared a short report, dirty and sweaty from their long journey. Olivier even pitched a small part in Swedish!

Zwedens grootste krant Dagens Nyheter schreef dat de kunstenaars de prijs hadden gewonnen voor het meeste doorzettingsvermogen bij deze fysieke en psychologische prestatie.

The biggest Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter wrote that the artists won the prize for the most perseverance in this physical and psychological feat.
Het Dagblad van het Noorden en RTV Noord schonken beiden aandacht aan het werk van Olivier en Lily door reportages en live interviews op de radio en tv. Leuk feitje: het werk heeft het zelfs geschopt tot de quiz van RTV Noord!

Dagblad van het Noorden and RTV Noord both paid attention to the work of Olivier and Lily through reports and live interviews on radio and TV. Fun fact: the work has even made it to the quiz of RTV Noord!

Na een aantal succesvolle projecten afgelopen driekwart jaar doen we het in juni even wat rustiger aan qua activiteiten. Na de kleding experimenten van Wearables dat op meerdere plekken in de stad plaatsvond, het geluidsrijke Scrape, Click & Flow, het smaakvolle Food Processors, het talige PaperCuts, en de gelaagde identiteiten van Id Expired culmineerde deze reeks in het grensoverschrijdende en uitdagende A WAY dat succesvol eindigde op Supermarket Art Fair in Stockholm te Zweden. Juni zal een periode worden van afronden en voorbereiden.

Juli: “Grasland, Ezinge”
Proloog Grasland, een project in samenwerking met kunstenaar Koos Buist. In de context van ‘Ezinge verbindt’ en Landschap Werkplaats/ Toukomst. Grasland = 1 weide, 1 hectare, een klein stukje van Europa’s oudste cultuurlandschap. Een aantal kunstenaars gaat Grasland artistiek ontginnen en legt relaties tot dat land en die omgeving. Een langdurig en duurzaam project.

After a number of successful projects over the past three quarters of a year, we are taking it a bit easier in terms of activities in June. After the clothing experiments of Wearables that took place in several places in the city, the sound-rich Scrape, Click & Flow, the tasteful Food Processors, the linguistic PaperCuts, and the layered identities of Id Expired, this series culminated in the cross-border and challenging A WAY which ended successfully at Supermarket Art Fair in Stockholm in Sweden. June will be a period of rounding up and preparations.

July: “Grasland, Ezinge”
Prologue Grasland, a project in collaboration with artist Koos Buist. In the context of ‘Ezinge connects’ and Landscape Workshop/ Toukomst. Grassland = 1 meadow, 1 hectare, a small part of Europe’s oldest cultural landscape. A number of artists are going to cultivate Grassland artistically and establish relationships with that land and that environment. A long-term and sustainable project.


FOLLOW Olivier Arts & Lily Dollner from Groningen to Stockholm:


SIGN participate with the young artist Lily Dollner (UK/IE 2000) and Olivier Arts (NL, Maastricht, 1994) at  the non-profit manifestation ‘Supermarket Art Fair Stockholm in Sweden from 11 to 14 May 2023. At 28th of February  they started their travel performance A WAY, a challenging foot  journey of 1187 km. from Groningen (NL) to Stockholm (SE), in which findings, experiences, activities are recorded in a variety of ways in their own artistic form. The results are forwarded to SIGN as much as possible in the meantime. Its a physical commentary, a reflection on the consumer society with all its excesses and the relationship to it.
Apotheosis and finish of the hike will take place at the start of Supermarket Art Fair on 11 May in Stockholm (SE). The result will be presented in the SIGN booth at Supermarket Art Fair, which will also be activated during the art fair by the artists.

Statement van Olivier Arts & Lily Dollner
SIGN projectspace, Groningen -> Supermarket Art Fair, Stockholm
“An object cannot be more important than an experience.”
– Hamish Fulton

Taking a treadmill on a hiking trip: 1187km, we seek to challenge Hamish Fulton’s assertion regarding objects. In our neo-primitive nomadic approach we will embrace our hunter-gatherer survival instincts, as anarcho-primitivism advocates for,  but without neglecting or denying our modern technological advantages. We can’t go “back to Monke” but we can move forward to Goblin Mode. Does minimal comfort truly equal maximum satisfaction? Our hypothesis states that minimizing comforts such as varied food, reliable shelter, and relaxation, and emphasizing movement and basic needs in a primal manner, we will achieve a passive contentedness that will rival that of our primitive ancestors; without fully sacrificing the resources that modern day living afford us.

5/2 – 5/3 2023
Oliver Doe
Ra’fat Ali
Mariana Jurado Rico
Alice Slyngstad
OPENING Sunday 5th of February at 16.00 ‘o clock
With performances by Olivier Doe & Ra’fat Ali, workshop by Mariana Jurado Rico

Come to celebrate the New Year with us!

At 7/1 2023 at 16.00 hrs. there is a New Years Toast & Apotheose of FOOD Processors at SIGN. With lots of activities that involve eating, tasting and interacting with food. Experience the ultimate taste of the Flavor bar of Nicolas Rotta / join the eating competitions and more workouts lead by Olivier Arts, discover the sweetness of the New Marshmallow Shawarma of Diego Virgen, enjoy the first scenes of ‘Oz the bee’ by Alex Murphy, share bread & olive oil with Antoine Guay. Also to be seen: The final phase of tiling SIGN and the constant circulation of Urination Station or the cosmic survival of the salmon (Lily Dollner).


Kom met ons het nieuwe jaar vieren!

Op 7/1 2023 om 16.00 uur is er een Nieuwjaarsborrel & Apotheose van FOOD Processors bij SIGN. Met tal van activiteiten die te maken hebben met eten, proeven en interacties met voedsel. Ervaar de ultieme smaak van de Flavor-bar van Nicolas Rotta / doe mee aan eetwedstrijden en meer workouts onder leiding van Olivier Art/ ontdek de zoetheid van de New Marshmallow Shoarma van Diego Virgen/ bekijk de eerste scènes van ‘Oz the bee’ van Alex Murphy/ deel brood & olijfolie met Antoine Guay. Ook te zien: de laatste fase van het betegelen van SIGN, de constante circulatie van het Urination System en het kosmische overleven van de zalm (Lily Dollner).


Olivier Arts

On the evening of the opening Saturday 26-11 @ SIGN there will be an opportunity to show your strength and determination with a challenge.
 The contenders will start eating a frikandel or vegadel (for the vegetarians).
When they finish eating they have to burn the calories they just consumed as fast as possible.
The fastest time at the end of the evening will win:

-a one of a kind “fat for free” tanktop
-a 50 euro giftcard

5 PERSONS per timeslot:
1600- 16.30
Choose a timeslot & sign up via:
email signnl@gmail.com
Insta:  https://www.instagram.com/sign.projectspace/
whats app:  +31623631796

See you there!