2023: CAMPSITE Festival
CAMPSITE was a festival that took place from 24 March to 10 April at TENT Rotterdam, where artists from TimeWindow were grouped together to create and present new works by using existing works as starting points.
This festival was initiated by widdies Didi Kreike and Jette Schneider and produced by Didi Kreike and Marta Worner together with several other members of our community (see the names of these lovely people below), following our own sociocratic system.
To define the collaborations, Widdies Maria Sartzetaki as the dramaturge and Giovanna Di Giacomo as the curator, considered thematic and aesthetic possibilities, as well as artists' availabilities, wishes and needs. On top of that, they had the intention of encouraging artists to experiment with new angles, disciplines and spaces, aiming to further contribute to their artistic development.
> Aftermovie on Youtube
The concept of the festival
At each of the three weeks that the festival took place, different groups of artists joined it. During weekdays, artists collaborated to deconstruct their existing works and combine them with the existing works of the artists they were grouped with. Then, during the weekends, artists showed the outcomes of these collaborations to the audience, as exhibited works and/or performances. Considering this intriguing approach, artists and audience only knew these outcomes at the moment - or shortly before the moment - that they were presented.
The festival kicked off on Friday, March 24, together with the opening of the exhibition Sustaining Small Acts. In the following three weeks, each week new artists started collaborating on site. On the last day of their collaborations, artists joined a Q&A open to the public, where they reflected about their process and outcomes during CAMPSITE. Below you'll read recaps and impressions of every collaboration, written by curator Giovanna Di Giacomo.
Tessa & Olivier performed KUNST (Performance, 2021) in response to multiple works on show at CAMPSITE Festival.
Originally made for children, KUNST is a playful commentary on the art world and its rules. During the opening evening of CAMPSITE, Tessa & Olivier entertained many of the present grown-ups by playing with the glamour surrounding a ‘vernissage’. The duo surprised the visitors by starting their performance at the event’s bar and guiding them toward the festival’s space.
Embodying an exaggerated satire of art connoisseurs, Tessa & Olivier taught the audience comical lessons about museum etiquette -from ways of holding a brochure to reacting when looking at an artwork. KUNST happened during different weeks of the festival to enhance CAMPSITE’s proposal of making and experiencing art in other ways than usual.
“Normally we have this performance in a place where we know about everything. And here we had a lot of difficulties in the sense of we need to perform in English, we are here in a space we dont know, evertytime the space is different… So how are we gonna relate to the space? Also, the audience, some people are not coming particularly for us but all of a sudden they are here, and they are like ‘what are these people doing?’. So this is was all out of our comfort zone but it’s a nice research.”- Tessa Friedrich’s reflection about her participation at CAMPSITE together with Olivier van Klaarbergen
Collaboration between Marie Caye with Thereafter (Installation, 2022), Marta Wörner with Earthrise (Performance, 2021) and Ryan Cherewaty with Immanence (Audiovisual Installation, 2023)
Making from multiple angles, the works of Marie Caye, Marta Wörner and Ryan Cherewaty explore how everything on this planet connects with nature. Thereafter is an installation composed of plastic and natural materials found in the Maas, transformed by their travels through this river. Earthrise explores gravity as an anchor point that connects us and our environment to the present. Immanence displays algorithm-generated forms, as a reference to the idea of humans living in balance, not only with other living creatures, but also with technological devices.
The collaboration between Caye, Wörner and Cherewaty happened very organically. The objects of Caye were placed on and around the screens that displayed the visuals of Cherewaty. It almost looked like the objects found in the Maas were emerging from the algorithm-generated images. When Wörner performed, this set-up gained a new layer. The sounds from Cherewaty's images became the soundtrack of Wörner's explorations of gravity, while the objects of Caye added to the spatial scenery. The live performance was also projected on one of the walls of the space, playing with the idea of overcoming gravity. After the performance was concluded, it continued being projected in the space, as a means for the three works to be constantly dialoguing with each other.
“We chose a floor for the performance that is not a dance floor because it’s less academic. Marie chose to frame and leave her objects as existing objects in the space. And also the music of Ryan was coexisting with my piece, which is actually now our piece. I was very physically affected by it. But I didn’t know that until I performed… I think it all fell into place because we all came with works that were very defined in their essence, but very open in their shapes.”- Marta Wörner’s reflections about the collaboration with Marie Caye and Ryan Cherewaty
Collaboration between Lotte Louise de Jong with STUCK (Video Installation, 2023) and HipSick (Nadîja Roza Broekhart, Sylvia Weening and Stefan Julizar) with DIGITAL DUCTTAPE (Performative Installation, 2022)
The works of Lotte Louise de Jong and HipSick engage with online culture and how it mirrors and shapes our society. While STUCK uses footage from porn films to highlight patterns that relate to problematic notions of consent and abuse, DIGITAL DUCTTAPE researches the influence of social media on identity and authenticity.
De Jong and HipSick combined their works in a set-up that resembled the altar of a church. But instead of holy images, this ‘altar’ was composed of screens of different types and sizes, which simultaneously displayed the visuals of STUCK and DIGITAL DUCTTAPE. In some of these screens, visitors could see women stuck in home appliances and furniture, and in others, the constantly moving silhouette of a performer accompanied by sentences that reflect personal struggles intensified by our digital lives. Although these works focused on different angles of the internet, they found each other in many ways. Often, the sentences on DIGITAL DUCTTAPE could be associated with the images displayed in STUCK, either as the thoughts of the vulnerable characters or as interpretations of the absurdity of these images. At the same time, the stuck characters could be deciphered as visualizations of the feelings brought by excessive use of social media explored on DIGITAL DUCTTAPE.
Either way, the room where these works were found -illuminated by lights that slowly faded away to change color and plastic seats that played with the idea of fakeness- provided a great environment for visitors to reflect on the role of the internet on a personal and social level.
Collaboration between Cem Altinöz with a borderless existence (Video Installation, 2021), Daphnis with Neo-Swan song (Noise Performance, 2023) and Neuf (Mark Ridder, Nikos ten Hoedt and Zalán Szakács) with UMBRA (Audiovisual Performance, 2020)
During CAMPSITE Festival, Cem Altinöz, Daphnis, and Neuf engaged with themes of transformation. While a borderless existence takes inspiration from the autoimmune condition to investigate the self/non-self theory and Neo-Swan song delves into how music can contribute to eliminate stereotypes of neurodivergent minds and queer/trans identities, UMBRA combines performance with sound and light effects to create a transcendental ritual.
Altinöz, Daphnis and Neuf filled the space with multiple parts of their works, which included prints, objects, screens and lights. When there was no performance, visitors could experience a dark room with neon lights and a route formed by parts of the works of Altinöz and Daphnis, which lead to the biggest screen of the room, displaying a borderless existence. When the artists performed, the audience got immediately immersed in an introspective experience. Daphnis produced different sounds and noises that blended beautifully with the poem performed by Altinöz.
Following this piece, the set-up got smoothly taken by UMBRA in a mindblowing sequence of soundtracks and visual effects achieved by the combination of lights and shadows. Together, Altinöz, Daphnis and Neuf created an immersive atmosphere that guided the audience into a journey of empathy, connection, and transcendence.
“Daphnis and I were constantly pulling and pushing each other… While I was going a bit faster, Daphnis was arranging stuff… And then as they went slow, I slowed down myself. So who was pulling and who was pushing was constantly shifting. With Neuf, there was a real coexistence in terms of technicality. We were using Neuf’s screen and speakers. At some point, Nikos was also controlling my voice. Also, Zalán used some of my textures in Neuf’s visuals.”- Cem Altinöz’s reflections about the collaboration with Daphnis and Neuf
Collaboration between Teddy shouldn’t smoke (Marijke de Vos) & Show Pony (Laura Nygren) with I was old before I was young (Performance, 2023) and Terrorkittens (Annique Nahumury) & Ko de Kok with Thigmofiel (Costumes & Installations, 2021)
During CAMPSITE Festival, the works of Teddy shouldn’t smoke and Terrorkittens combined installation, costume and performance to reflect on how to treat our bodies with compassion and respect. I was old before I was young is part of a series of performances that explores the fragility of the human body. Thigmofiel focuses on how cats can inspire humans to be more mindful in the way their bodies interact with different spaces.
The four artists quickly found their way into this collaboration. The room was decorated with numerous costumes, paintings and objects. One notable object was a sewing machine, used on site by Terrorkittens to sew costumes for the performance. In addition, a dance floor was placed as the stage. During the presentation moments, all four artists performed, each of them with a distinct role. Show Pony performed melodic songs that guided the audience through the performance. Teddy shouldn't smoke constantly struggled with the limitations of a body that didn't seem to obey her wishes. Terrorkittens kept coming on stage, each time with a new costume accessory that she put on Show Pony. Finally, Ko de Kok arrived on stage with the face completely covered, a long wig as underwear, and bubble wrap around the hands. Together, these artists created a melancholic and at times humorous atmosphere in which they amazed the audience with possibilities and impossibilities of our ever-changing bodies.
“We first discussed what elements we had and then we looked at them… Ko kind of reacted to what we did, and it became very obvious that at some point he could break in and I would continue with really harsh movements, while he would go into this really abstract poem, that would make sense that those are my thoughts while I am performing… And Anniq dressed up the whole space, dressed up Laura and Ko. She couldn't really dress up me because I was performing, but in a way she showed that maybe I could be more soft, because Laura had this whole costume with pilows. Anniq and Laura ended up in the pillows, and I basically joined all of them on the pillows and finally relaxed.”- Teddy shouldn’t smoke’s reflections about the collaboration with Show Pony, Terrorkittens and Ko de Kok
BRIDGES OF TIME
Collaboration between De Droominee (Rik Zutphen) with SpreekKuur (One on One Performance, 2021), Ewan Macbeth with Prison with Songbirds (Film, 2022) and Zalán Szakács with Lichtspiel (Experiment Nr. 1) (Kinetic Light Performance, 2023)
Alternating between past and present through film, spoken word and light installation, the works of De Droominee, Ewan Macbeth, and Zalán Szakács offered a space for dreams and nostalgia. SpreekKuur consists of a performance, where de Droominee transforms stories about mourning into poems. Prison with Songbirds is a documentary and fiction hybrid based on the story of Ewan Macbeth's father, who was imprisoned without trial in an unnamed country. Lichtspiel consists of light experiments that materialize old speculative machine drawings through contemporary techniques.
This collaboration was perhaps one of the most challenging of the festival as due to technical needs, the works of Macbeth and Szakács couldn’t be placed in the same room. Nevertheless, the artists were able to take this challenge as an opportunity and created a touching ‘traveling experience’.
Outside of the performance times, visitors could watch Prison with Songbirds and see objects from SpreekKuur in one room, and observe Lichtspiel in motion in another. When de Droominee performed, these three works became a single experience. At the beginning of the performance, the audience watched Prison with Songbirds. After the film ended, the audience was asked to cover their faces with black cloth - as a reference to a meaningful scene in the film. The blindfolded visitors were then led into a different space. When visitors were allowed to remove the cloths from their faces, they found themselves in a dark room, iluminated only by candles and the serene shapes of Lichtspiel that fluctuated around. As a symbolic and technical bridge between the works, Lichtspiel was eventually also used to create distorted images of Prison with Songbirds. While the film was projected in this new perspective, de Droominee produced hypnotic soundscapes with the use of his loop station and recited a specially conceived poem, which connected the theme of grief with the three artworks. The highlight of this transformational ritual was when the audience was asked to write words related to individual experiences of grief on the black fabric and then tear it apart. Ultimately, this performance not only materialized the collaboration of De Droominee, Macbeth and Szakács, but most of all, guided the audience on a journey from darkness to light as a plea for resignifying painful experiences.
“It’s very interesting to take the time aspect into account. Ewan’s movie was screened a second time with the caleidoscopic lenses from Lichtspiel, which created almost like a distorted memory or a nostalgia experience to deal with. The experience here is the movie in its full potential, but, at the same time, deconstructed. Also, my work is a silent work because it’s really about getting into this introspective journey toward yourself and to your senses, and through Rik’s experimental sounds and spoken words, the work got another layer, another narrative.”- Zalán Szakác’s reflections about the collaboration with De Droominee and Ewan Macbeth
Collaboration between Giulia Fuel with /liminal (Video Installation, 2022) and R3LN4CHT with Beyond Consent (Performative Installation, 2023)
In this collaboration, Giulia Fuel and art collective R3LN4CHT (Didi Kreike, Lodewijk van Dijk and Helene Vrijdag) combined video installation and performance to explore their common interest in technology and the interaction between audience and screen. While /liminal utilizes consumer video technologies from the early 2000s to focus on liminal spaces, Beyond Consent combines queer, outspoken, and explicit content to invite the audience to a critical, disruptive and reflective space.
The elements of /liminal and Beyond Consent merged so well that they appeared as a single installation. The first thing that caught visitors attention when entering this space were real construction fences, as a rough contrast to the white cube. Within these fences, which were positioned in a set up that resembled a cage, were CRT and LED televisions, from Giulia Fuel and R3LN4CHT respectively. Some of these screens showed performers who appeared to be staring at the viewer, others contained a long sequence of text, and others displayed live footage taken by surveillance cameras in the room. In this way, visitors would eventually become part of the installation. During the 4 hour-long performances of R3LN4CHT, the performers in this ‘cage’ continuously interacted with the screens as if they were mirrors and in sudden moments stared at the audience, bringing some sense of discomfort. By creating this digital power play arena, Fuel and R3LN4CHT succeeded not only in creating a liminal space, but also in going beyond consent.
“I think both of our works are exactly the opposite, R3LN4CHT’s is super saturated and colorful and mine is totally desaturated and non-colorful… Their concept is specific, the audience is specific, while my concept is liminal, so basically nothing… So I think it was interesting how these two intrisically opposite concepts came together really well on an aesthetical level… Also the fact that they are using huge and super high quality screens, while mine are super low quality and small screens, but anyway we made it work.”- Giulia Fuels reflections about the collaboration with R3LN4CHT
Publieksrecensies (Ashley Boom) with Reviewing the audience (Writings, since 2016) in response to multiple works on show
In Reviewing the audience, Publieksrecensies writes reviews about how the audience interacted with works shown at CAMPSITE Festival, as if they were the ones giving the performance. Almost like a spy, Publieksrecensies joined the audience during some performances at CAMPSITE. But differently from other audience members, her focus was not on the performances, but rather on the audience members' reaction to them, which she carefully documented.
These notes were later turned into humorous articles that described reactions the performances arose on the audience. In addition to being printed and placed on the wall of CAMPSITE’s corridor, these texts were also published online on the Publieksrecensies website. In this way, the work that Publieksrecensies produced remains available for anyone who wants to delve deeper into the details of the performances. Similarly to KUNST by Tessa & Olivier, this work also took place during more than one week of the festival, as it reinforced the proposal of looking at art in different ways than usual; this time through the spontaneous and curious reactions of the public.
Collaboration between Noemi Calzavara and c00 with An emotional analysis of (Performance, 2022) and Ugo Petronin with Ninfa Fluida (Film, 2023)
Noemi Calzavara and Ugo Petronin merged performance and film installation to investigate the relationship between humans and tiny creatures, highlighting the fluidity of these different bodies. An emotional analysis of explores fear, empathy, and carefreeness by looking at the way humans relate to insects. Ninfa Fluida uses microscopic imagery, underwater sounds, and 18th-century Dutch river poetry to provide a multilayered perspective on the Rotte river.
In this collaboration, artists were not only able to combine their works into a sensitive and coherent piece but also to create new material during their residency days. Resembling a confused insect, Calzavara was captured by Petronin as she desperately ran through the space. By using thermal imaging, these shots gave a new perspective to her movement and were shown in the room when no performance was taking place. The performance began as the audience watched the screening of the fascinating fluidity of the beings in Ninfa Fluida, combined with its poetry and the hypnotic sounds by c00. Smoothly, the audience's attention was drawn to another body in the room. Dressed in a fragmented costume and wearing a motorcycle helmet, Calzavara impressed the audience with a sequence of movements that explored and challenged her body. Together, Calzavara, c00, and Petronin reminded the audience that fluidity is not unique to our human bodies, but that we indeed have much in common with insects and other tiny creatures.
Collaboration between Borus.fuckyea with Death drive (Illustration, 2023) and Rosa Vrij with house (Performance Book Presentation, originally created with Ben Weir, co-production: VIA ZUID, 2022)
With performance, illustration and literature, borus.fuckyea and Rosa Vrij invited the audience to the here and now; by exploring new perspectives of daily life. Death drive focused on letting go of the fear of death, by accepting and embracing it as a part of life, while house reflected on the relationship between the body and architecture.
Death drive consisted of several illustrated papers that were pasted to the walls of CAMPSITE. Together, they formed a large-scale image of a skull, through which visitors could walk and wonder about the path to death. house, on the other hand, could only be fully experienced during performance times because it required the active participation of visitors. This occurred during three 1:30-hour mindful sessions in which participants were divided into groups and directed to read texts and view illustrations that documented the reflections of Vrij and Weir on experiencing architecture in different ways than usual. To conclude the session, participants were asked to write a letter to a loved one about their relation with space.
Although the works of Vrij and borus.fuckyea took different shapes, they certainly complemented and affected each other. Death drive remained greatly visible during the performative book presentation, influencing the participants' perception of the architecture surrounding them. In addition, Vrij and borus.fuckyea took time to reflect on the room where they presented their works during their residency and created illustrations together during the presentation moments. In this way, the two artists exchanged and created insights on how to use spatial experiences to sensitize the audience to become more aware of the world around them - something so important in our hectic lives.
CYCLES OF BELONGING
Collaboration between Lucien Rentmeester with Cirkel (Performance, 2019) and Zouhair Mtazi with De Speer (Film, 2022)
Lucien Rentmeester and Zouhair Mtazi combined performance and film to engage with how people and art travel through revealing cycles. De Speer is a short fiction film about two night guards of the Wereldmuseum who decide to return an ancient looted artwork to its country of origin - by stealing it from this museum. Cirkel is an autobiographical performance, where Lucien Rentmeester reflects on insights he has gained during different stages of his life.
This collaboration was initially challenging for technical reasons. Nevertheless, it evolved into a beautiful coexistence with multiple layers of meaning. Outside of the performance moments, De Speer was shown on a loop in the mini-cinema. During the performances, the audience was led into this same space. But instead of the film screening, they found Rentmeester softly reciting a poem and carrying a laptop showing sped-up footage of a walking path. Then Rentmeester turned on De Speer and watched it together with the audience.
After the film ended, he stood in front of the audience again and suddenly interrupted the silence in the room by shouting loudly and angrily, 'Ik ben dat niet, Ik wil dat niet' (from Dutch: I am not that, I do not want that). In contrast to what had just happened, he then took two connected pieces of wood and played with them quietly and continuously for the next few minutes. With the help of a flashlight on his head, he was able to create different shades and shapes with this fascinating object, which he observed with full attention. Eventually, Mtazi also appeared in the room, dressed exactly as in De Speer.
Without a doubt, this piece gives room for multiple interpretations. Overall, Rentmeester and Mtazi immersed the audience in a surprising sequence, which could be related to the effects of colonialism, not only culturally and socially, but also on a personal and introspective level.
Special thanks to TENT Rotterdam for this incredible opportunity and to the amazing Widdies that contributed to make this festival happen by helping with its production and execution: Anique Nahumury, Ashley Boom, Bianca Casaburi, Borus Fortuin, Cem Altinöz, Daphnis, Didi Kreike, Ewan Macbeth, Giovanna Di Giacomo, Giulia Fuel, Jette Schneider, Jip Warmerdam, Judith Schoneveld, Koen Caris, Lucien Rentmeester, Maria Sartzetaki, Marie Caye, Marta Worner, Moritz Geremus, Nikos ten Hoedt, Rosa Vrij, Tessa Friedrich
TEST-FEST is a mini-festival where TimeWindow artists show work in progress to an interested audience. This can take any form, from samples of performances, presentations and pitches to other experiments.
On 1 and 2 April 2022, the audience was invited into our space to see the results of mini-residencies by 24 of our Widdies.