We create interactive art works that invite the public to be curious, to operate the work or to enter it. MakeFactory wants to wonder people, invite them to contemplate and to think about the other sides of normality. What do we think is true? and what is not?
When we arive to new places we try to connect immediately to what we know. We try to give the strange a familiarity. Do we need a similarity to connect? While I traveled many continents I was always categorized immediately and given many names even though I was there for the first time. I wondered what will happen when there is no category for me yet and no context to refer to? How do people face the strange? The suit was made with the help of Gennet Hussein, presented at Guramayne Art Centre and now in possession of The National Theatre, Addis Abeba.
“How did we get here?” was the theme of this international exhibition. The question aimed to acdress our identity seen in a global perspective. MakeFactory created the performance installation ‘Floating home’. A landscape of paper furniture that seems to have fallen apart. People can enter the deranged room that invites them to a moment of reflection. Voices are whispering questions to wonder about. In cooperation with the dancers of Muda Africa, who created a special performance for this work. Sponsored by Safmarine.
In cooperation with the theatre group Barefeet Theatre, whose core business is making theatre with street kids and vulnerable youth, MakeFactory made this magazine-like book. Zambia has more then 70 spoken languages. To be able to understand each other, the Zambian government has decided for English to be the official language. Of course language transfers culture more then we are aware of. The Zambian youth cannot relate to the English stories in the nearby library. Therefore Barefeet and MakeFactory thought it urgent to give local life and local people a stage and a place in the library. The book contains local history, urban legends and traditional stories from the neighbourhood Garden Compound. The editorial team was formed by youth from the hood, and an art and drawing team was formed by the children of Kafwa Drop In Centre and the art group of the library.
Pecheur de Plastic was a participative performance connecting the fishermen’s traditional rituals of hauling in the nets to modern dance. The dancing school le Chateau culturel in St Louis is situated in the middle of the fishermen’s quarter on a peninsula that is slowly being eaten on one side by the sea and on the other, the river side, by enormous amounts of plastic pollution. The performance was participatory. In invited the public to join in the movements of the dance and to collect plastics together with the dancers while they carried the nets through the streets.
Some gorgeous pictures made by Abdoulaye Toure in sequence of the performance:
The MakeFactory visited 7 countries. The 7 houses in this exhibtion each represent one of the visited countries. You are invited to enter the houses and to listen, watch, feel and experience them for yourself.
More and more people are on the move. People travel for their work, tourists travel further away, and huge numbers of refugees leave their countries. Not only data and goods are covering larger distances, also people move more frequently and further away. What is everyone looking for?
For refugees we might think it is clear: They need to leave from where they are. They are not so much looking at the place they are going to, as they are wanting to get away from where they are. Any place is better then the home location. Sometimes you hear people say: ‘We don’t want any fortune hunters’. But why actually not? Is some one who is going to search for happiness not a good contributor to society? Would we rather have people showing of their misery so we can be sure that they are not just here to get happy? And why is that any different for the massive amount of tourists that walk all over Thailand or Venice each year? Aren’t they fortune hunters too? You might argue that they are paying for their stay. Maybe, yes, but does paying for your visit make it a better visit? Tourists are paying to change local environments into a showcase. Into an environment that has become unavaillable for the local residents and isolated from its surrounding.
Contact with ‘home’ is not always clear anymore. Poeple work in other cities, their social contacts are being maintained via social media, you congratulate via WhatsApp. And if you by chance walk the street you are lokking at your phone. Are people still feeling enough at home in their neighbourhood? Maybe the new being at home is now being on the way….?
Living Doll started up a long long time ago: a giant baby of polyester. I was supposed to make twelve of them, out of a big mold. Twelve giant babies turning slowly around on a old merry-go-round. A grown-up could easily sit on it’s lap. The baby has a buddha-like position, why? Babies are a special kind of people. The find almost everything okay. Everything is enormous to them and new and a potential danger. But they seem to have the least of trouble with that, as long as they are not too thirsty, or too hungry or too cold, they are pretty much okay with everything.
Living Doll was shown at Gallery Art on the Move, Arnhem.
The Living Doll finds a perfect spot in my investigation of the relation between the 2- and 3-dimensional space, and the relation between the ‘real’ world and the virtual or imaginable world. Also part in this investigation are Spatial room and Cardboard life. The living, laughing, talking childs face is projected on the static doll. Sneak preview of this installation was shown at the World Travel event.
Below some extra pictures of living doll at my studio.
“Around 63.000 people rush themselves every morning in their cars to the highway to join the line and then stand still.
They rush themselves, and go nowhere. The defenition of a highway is ‘a conflictfree road for fast motorised traffic that doesn’t have to stop or wait at junctions’. Every morning though, the highway transforms into a gigantic roadblock.
‘Traffic Jam!’ is a 4 km long installation that resambles a ‘normal’ morning rushhour in the Netherlands, on scale.
The installation consists out of 80.000 white porcelan cars and lorries like we see them every day driving on the Dutch roads. Or actually standing still on the Dutch roads.
The installation ‘Traffic Jam!’ means to give the audience an insight on the scale of the traffic jam problem the Netherlands has. Where other countries have usually traffic jam problems around the big cities, the Netherlands is practicly all jammed up. Because the cities are so close together, it can happen that the entire route from one to another is filled with still standing cars.
If you want to build an entire morning rushour on, let’s say, a scale of 1:87 (standard scaletrain), you will see a ‘Droste effect’ appearing. The installation itself becomes this long that it has the size of one pretty large jam.
In order to see the whole amount of cars at once there needs to be made a special construction of ‘scaleroads’ that turns and twists around itself and can be connected on walls and ceilings, and should maybe even go out of the building and come in again through the back to fit the 4 kilometers.
The installation will be supported by usefull, interesting or bizarre information about the traffic jam problem. Ranging from the economical loss for employers per traffic jam minute, to irritation by the traffic jam drivers, and from how much money is being made with traffic jam, to how it can deliver the traffic jam drivers a moment of relaxation and time for oneself.
File was shown (in parts) at Art Aalsmeer, Otto and at Boxxshop, Lloyd Hotel, Amsterdam.
Small Worlds was shown at Pluk de Nacht Festival, Amsterdam and at Fringefestival, Amsterdam.
Small Worlds is an installation made in asignement of ‘Pluk de Nacht‘. The outdoor filmfestival on the pear in ‘het IJ’ in Amsterdam.
For this installation Dienke Groenhout en Gigja Reynisdottir collaborated together just like they did for the installation Pocket Garden. Small Worlds is a small bluescreen studio. One camera films the person in the caravan. Another camera films the miniature world under the plastic dome. These two images are being mixed and the ‘actor’ appears in the small world. The public was invited to operate the first camera and people invented quite alot of new fun stuff! Check the films and pictures.
Small Worlds came to exist as the outcome of some funny expiriments with miniature filmsets that Dienke was showing on TV’s. When Gigja saw them she thought it would be so cool to actually be ín those sets. Together they invented a way which made this possible. Beam you up Scotty!
Pictures of the filmsets:
“If you see its silver gleaming armor you may expect something hightech inside, maybe a cockpit with flashing lights. But nothing could be less true! Once you step inside you will be outside again. With this Pocket Garden you are not bringing your house on wheels, but you’re bringing your camping spot. With this caravan you can easily camp in the middle of Shanghai, or any other spot where the urbanization is an unstopable fact.” Inside of Poket Garden is a sweet romantic flowergarden, complete with pond and fountain! Roll out your sleepingbag on the grass and you will spent the night in your own private garden under the stars. Grow your own fruits and vegetables and you will have healthy food for on the road!”
Pocket Garden was made by Dienke Groenhout en Gigja Reynisdottir in assignment of Pluk de Nacht 2007.
Pocket garden was shown at: Robodock, (Amsterdam), Witte de With, (Rotterdam), Camping Rotterdam, (Rotterdam), Noorderzon, (Groningen), Kunstvlaai, (Amsterdam) Gogbot, (Enschede) amonst lots of other locations.
Social media is hot. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram… If you do it well you can present an entire new avatar of yourself on each one of them. But does it make the world more social?
In the Peephouses you can check out one’s profile through the camera’s en tv’s first. Like what you see ? You can directly meet ‘live’.
Peephouses was made in assignment of Pluk de Nacht 2010, Outdoor filmfestival on the pear in ‘het IJ’, Amsterdam.
Twelve wooden boxes are grouping together like the buildings of a small town. In six of them there are large looking holes. If you peek in them you will see somebody’s face really close by. Is this me? you wonder. Is this being filmed?
But soon enough you will find out that it is live and that face, might be the person standing next to you peeking in that other hole!
Omusubi line was a collaboration between Uno Bento and Pocket Garden specially made for Food4you, a knowledge festival about food, organised by the Wageningen University and Research Centre.
An Omusubi is a riceball of wich the additional ingredients can vary, wrapped up in seaweed. In Japan the Omusubi is as popular as in Europe the sandwich.
In Japan, Omusubi is considered a ‘soulfood’ this means that the ingredients are believed to have an effect on your mood next to some well known physical effects. (shown and explained in the picture). To find out wich Omusubi suits you the best you are invited to walk the Omusubi line. A few questions will be asked and they will lead you to the Omusubi of your choice and into the Pocket Garden to enjoy it the most!
Next to research about food an taste, Wageningen University and Research Centre also does a lot of research to show the effects of nature on peoples well being.
That is where Pocket Garden and Omusubi line perfectly come together.