Do it yourself, but not alone
All individual members (we call them Widdies) trace their own trajectory and goals. Our creative biotope is a solid home base and a safe environment to experiment freely, without the pressure of time limits, themes and targets. But as we say: do it yourself, but not alone! Everyone’s talent development is supported by all the knowledge, experience and connections that are present within the community. We’re with (around) 50 people, after all.
Our biotope acts as a permanent artistic residency for the individual members, as opposed to being tied to projects to use a workspace. Since 2016, we inhabit our home base at Teilingerstraat 120 in the ZOHO quarter in Rotterdam. It’s not just a space, it’s a network, a living room, an ecosystem, hence: the biotope.
By sharing our experiences in the art world, we found that we agree that things need to change. As a new art institute, we develop alternative organizational systems through trial and error. For example, instead of a top-down hierarchy, we work with sociocracy and adapt it to artists’ needs. Each individual member is part of a committee that takes care of the daily organization of the collective. We also develop a new method for paying creators for the value they bring to a project, both as an artist and as a committee member. Read more about our philosophies here.
We invite audiences to become part of the creative process in all stages. Our events, big and small, are all about experimenting and sharing. Read more about it on the events page.
There’s still a lot of progress to be made in the art world. Fair pay, a safe work environment, gentrification, creative license… As a platform we are vocal, give advice and share our methods.
1. How do I become a member?
We work with an estafette a.k.a. relay system: every current member can introduce one new member. There are three criteria the member should meet: 1) has to live in Rotterdam, 2) makes work that interests you, 3) would fit in the community, be an active member and understand our values.
2. I still don't understand how it works
Well, what we’re doing is quite unique, so it’s understandable you can’t wrap your head around it immediately. We struggle with that too, sometimes ! This is what we know for sure about all the practical stuff:
- Most of our members are individual artists and some work in collectives. Each Widdie is part of the TimeWindow collective.
- There are 14 seperate studios and a basement. Most members own a shared studio. We also have a communal space: Het Binnenplein. Some members don’t rent a studio, but they have a membership.
- Every member takes part in the daily organization of the collective. They are part of a committee, help to organize events and take care of shared spaces. There are no leaders, everyone has the same amount of ownership.
3. But does it work?
4. Can I rent a space for a rehearsal (or photoshoot or workshop or yoga lessons or business meeting)?
Not tomorrow. It is possible to rent spaces from our studio owners for a limited time. There’s one dance studio and several rehearsal spaces. Please note that it’s difficult to rent a space on very short notice, since the owners only rent them out if they’re not using their space. Don’t know anyone personally? Contact us so we can forward you to the right people.
5. What language do you speak?
Most of our members are from The Netherlands, but we also have a lot of Widdies from all around the world who don’t speak Dutch (yet). Same goes for our audience. We choose to do all of our communication in English, so nobody feels left out. Sometimes some Dunglish may stick up its head, yes.
Our events are mostly in English, sometimes in Dutch. In practice we just organically switch between both. Always check the event info to make sure.
6. Can I rent a space tomorrow morning?
See question 4. But probably, no.
7. Do you guys receive funding?
Yes! We are included in Cultuurplan 2021-2024 of the city of Rotterdam. We receive structural funding for events, facilitating the talent development of individual members and professionalizing as a collective. However, we do not receive any funding for renting the space. Because we’re a big collective, we can afford it ourselves.
8. What does the name stand for?
Once upon a time, in an empty office building not far away… TimeWindow started out as a festival. The idea: every artist makes the festival. No curators, no managers. There were no limitations to what the artists could show, except for a time frame ranging from 5 minutes to three days. And it was a window of opportunity. A time window. You see?
Made possible by the city of Rotterdam...
Next to some incidental support from various funds, we are included in Cultuurplan 2021-2024 as a talent development institute. With this structural funding, we can keep the biotope alive and change the system from within. For the Dutch art world, we are a unique concept that puts artists and their needs in the forefront. Through our activities we hope to spread this spirit. First in Rotterdam, then the rest of the world.
… and Stichting Transistor
TimeWindow was initiated by Stichting Transistor in 2014, first as a festival. Made by artists, for artists. Following this experience, Transistor and participating artists founded the collective and biotope we know now. Stichting Transistor designs & develops initiatives in performing arts and collective art practises.
Want to support 50 artists at once?
Pay what you want!
To continue our activities and to keep making progress, we need your support. As a collective we don't just run on money, but also lots of coffee and toilet paper. If you want to donate, but you’re not sure how much, we made some calculations for you:
- €5 = 1 pack of filter coffee
- €7 = 1 family pack of toilet paper
- €10 = 4 beers
- €20 or more = for people with a big heart for the arts (and a steady job outside of the cultural sector)
You will be redirected to this site after you finished your payment