A Conversation with Michiel Huijben by Warda El-Kaddouri

“How do we shape the world?” That is the question that is always on Michiel Huijben’s mind, a visual artist whose work centres around how architecture and space influence our lives. Huijben studied in Breda, Amsterdam and London, and currently lives in Rotterdam. He explains how he sees the world: “I am trained as a fine artist, but I look at everything through an architectural lens.” The question of space in a broader sense inspired Huijben to dive into the Open Archief in search for the history of the social function of public places, such as the Malieveld in Den Haag.
When Huijben used to focus on space in his artistic works, he would do so intuitively. As he reflects back on his works he says: “At one point I realized that the intuitive approach I used was not a choice. It was all I had.” That realization came when Huijben read the book Eccentric Spaces by Robert Harbison. “That book was a real eye-opener,” he declares, “Harbison discussed architecture in a different way than I did, connecting it to imagination and fiction. I started researching him, and when I discovered that he found a course in architectural theory in London, I decided to do that.”
Eight years later, Huijben finds himself doing archival research as an artist-in-residence for Open Archief. “Honestly I am overwhelmed by the amount of material that is open access.” For the exhibition Huijben plans to use a mix of moving images from the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision as well as scans from the International Institute of Social History (IISH) and Het Nieuwe Instituut. He describes his current state of his work: “I am making a timeline to create a story with all the material I have collected.”
Due to the Covid-19 measures, physical access to the archival institutions was very limited. Huijben completed most of his research online. “I was a bit sad about that. Online ­research is much more direct. You type in a keyword and it brings you exactly there. But when you are in the physical space of an archive, you can also find something by accident. Sometimes the folder you searched for contains other things as well.” Huijben also points out that digital archival research also brought practical questions to light that would otherwise not have been addressed. He exemplifies this by mentioning how the user interface works or how archival material is indexed online.

Maya Pejić, Telegraafrellen, 1966. IISH, Inv.No.147A-B, Fotocollectie Maya Pejić

The only archive Huijben was able to visit physically was Het Nieuwe Instituut. That experience of physically being in an archival institution, gave him the intimate feeling of being close to history. “In online research you are researching representations of something, whereas in the physical archive you are looking at the object, without a filter,” he says, “when I am holding a drawing of the 1800s, then I am the link between history and present. The same goes for architecture and the city. The house in Rotterdam where I live was built in the 1940s because the city was bombed during the Second World War. That is also history persisting into the present. You could say the city and its architecture are in fact also an archive. You can read history from them, but unlike the archival institutions, they don’t come with a description.”
During his research process Huijben started thinking about the relationship between democracy, public space, and the archive. At Sound and Vision he found a silent black and white moving image from 1924, portraying a homeless couple living presumably somewhere outside Amsterdam. You can see the man making the bed in a seemingly improvised sleeping space and handing over a cup of water to the woman. “It was a haunting image. It really touched me. But what surprised me was that this was the only material I found depicting homelessness in the city. How is that even possible?”

Maya Pejić, Telegraafrellen, 1966. IISH, Inv.No.147A-B, Fotocollectie Maya Pejić

This question inevitably poses further questions on representation and whether the archive itself is a democratic space. “The archival ­institutions try to be. But we know that there are principles and committees who decide what is considered acceptable in the archives. People experience the city in different ways. Women’s experiences are not comparable to men’s experiences. But that is not reflected in the archives,” he points out and adds “archives are supposed to be national archives. I grew up in the countryside, but you don’t find places like where I am from represented in them. The archive is a very urban environment.”
At some point Huijben realized that he wanted to start localizing portraits of public spaces in all three archival institutions by focusing on the Dam Square in Amsterdam and Malieveld in Den Haag. “They are prototypical architectural public spaces, so the choice was obvious.” Huijben achieved that by following three trajectories. First, he researched the design process of the artists and architects involved at Het Nieuwe Instituut. Then, he tried to find moments of celebration in Sound and Vision, like the Queen’s visit to Dam Square. And finally, he searched for moments of conflict in the IISH.

Maya Pejić, Telegraafrellen, 1966. IISH, Inv.No.147A-B, Fotocollectie Maya Pejić

He clarifies: “I am aware that this is not a realistic portrait. The material I found is beautiful, but it is incomplete. There are lots of gaps in regular daily life between these moments.” That is why Huijben also found some material outside of the three archival institutions. “I started researching material on the internet that is free of rights. And I found footage that would make the image more complete. For example, I came across a YouTube video of a tourist filming Dam Square in a very methodical way, showing everything that was going on, just on a regular day.” Huijben thinks that this is one of the inherent problems of the archives as he says “what they focus on and what they show are rarely those non-­moments. Just a regular day in someone’s regular life.”
“The Dam and the Malieveld are the places that are pronounced in the archive. And that is quite a challenge, because I don’t necessarily want to make a work about the Dam Square or Malieveld. They have been documented extensively already.” But then, how to tell a story about public spaces if some are already represented more than the others? Huijben’s experience is an illustration of the vicious cycle that many archives can find themselves in. Because when a particular place, event or person is so evident in the archives, there is inevitably more research about it which in turn creates more representation in the archives. Huijben responds: “I decided I want to make a more general story about the idea of public space. Something more general, that is not tied to specific events of conflict, celebration, or to a specific time frame. Only then, can people fill in that gap with their own imagination and feel the liberty to project what they see onto their own environment.”

During a rare moment of physical research in Het Nieuwe Instituut, Huijben stumbled upon an architectural model of the monument of Dam Square. “The architect who was in charge of the monument and the artist who made the ­allegorical sculptures surrounding the pillar used the model as a speaking object. It was a way for them to have a discussion on the possibilities of how the monument would look like.” Yet, what intrigued Huijben was not necessarily it’s mere function, but the idea of two men holding, touching and passing the object around the table.
Although he came across this physical object, he decided not to use it for the exhibition. The idea behind his decision was to share with the audience the same online screen experience as the artists-in-residence had while doing their research during Covid times. “We had very limited physical engagement with the archives, so I wanted to reflect that in the work itself.”
Huijben came up with the idea to show a split screen video via two upright screens. “That is how people engage with space now­adays: through their phones.” By fusing moving and still images together, he hopes to create a video essay. The model of the Dam will only be present as a moving image. Huijben describes his process: “I will film the object, so that it will still maintain its role in the exhibition. Maybe I will even show the practice of archiving and how the model is handled; it is very neatly packaged, and you have to wear gloves when you touch it.”
When looking at specific moments of protest in public space, Huijben realized that a lot of materials were not accessible due to copyright and licensing issues. “Thanks to the IISH, I came across these beautiful photographs by Maya Pejić of the Telegraaf riots in Amsterdam dating back to 1966. Pejić was a photographer and anthropologist, who was really in the crowd and not reporting from a distance. She donated her archive to the IISH, so it became license-free.”
Huijben explains how requesting licensed materials can be quite a bureaucratic challenge: “Materials by the Dutch architect ­Gerrit Rietveld are almost never license-free and will almost always cost you. I think that system is based on the myth of the artistic genius. As if Rietveld himself was never inspired by other artists. His work may be copyrighted, but all the intertextual materials that he drew from the other artists that also influenced him are in there as well.”
“To have been able to work with and have open dialogues with the archivists as well as with the other artists, who each have their own ways of searching through and looking at the archives were so enriching. This artist residency at Open Archief brought me a lot of inspiration for future projects and artworks.”

Image credits poster (design Marius Schwarz):
—Ben van Meerendonk, Onthulling Monument op de Dam, 4 May 1956. IISH
—Walking in Amsterdam City Dam Square July 2019 4K, 29 juli 2019, filmstills. Youtube
—Rob Mieremet, Jongelui op de Dam, Nationaal Monument, na schoonmaken, 14 August 1969. Nationaal Archief
—Bert Verhoeff, Mariniers verwijderen damslapers van het Nationaal Monument, 25 August 1970. Nationaal Archief

Femke Dekker is a curator, educator, and broadcaster who is one of the main contributors of Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee, an online radio about art. In recent years her artistic practice moved from the physical to the auditive. She says: “Through Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee we have necessary conversations about the field such as the precariousness of art practices or sexual and power misconduct. There are also autonomous contributions of artists doing audio collages or radio performances.” With the Open Archief residency, Dekker wants to explore the role of the archive as a catalyst for activism. Fuelled by her living conditions in the urban environment of Amsterdam, her work is inspired by the counterculture. She states: “Physical spaces for artists have been pushed outside of the city centre as a result of gentrification. With this residency, I would like to focus on squatting as a counterculture and radio as a medium.” 

Do It Yourself (DIY) culture refers to the idea of believing in creating and organising things for yourself, just like squatting movements do. Coming from DIY, Dekker is drawn to the idea of Open Archief. “The purpose of the artist residency is to work with available and license-­free archival material to create something new. And DIY culture is also about sharing and creating, so it made sense for me to stick to that.”
Dekker already has some experience with archival research. “This time it was more ­extensive, and also more challenging.” Due to the Covid-19 measures, there were some restrictions to physically visit the archival institutions. “When I finally made it into Het Nieuwe Instituut it was such a joy! The difference between searching the archives digitally and digging in the institutions physically is that in the first case you don’t know where the objects actually are or what other material is in the folder. So, when I went to Het Nieuwe Instituut, I found all these giant folders with posters, besides the ones that I asked for.”
The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision contains officially televised and broad­casted shows, and archives of private home videos. “That did not really fit my purpose. The squatting movement operated underground and did not use these mainstream media channels for their message. I did find national news reports of the squatting movement, where you could see how negatively the squatters were portrayed. Sometimes they were invited to voice their opinion, but the format was always fixed. That material was still helpful for my own research, but I will not use that material for the exhibition.” 

Unknown, Poster. Staatsarchief Amsterdam, IISG BG E35/170

Dekker knew from the start that she wanted to work with audio. “Radio is my medium. I initially started researching archival radio materials in the broadest sense. This led me to find such items like the feminist radio show ‘Rok & Rol’ from the 80s.” But then she came across the immense radio archive of Radio De Vrije Keyser, which ran from 1980 until 1998, in the collection of the Staatsarchief, a collection of archival material about squatting which is a part of the International Institute of Social History (IISH). “They started broadcasting from the squatted complex De Groote Keijser in Amsterdam, using different FM frequencies to avoid shutdowns.” Radio De Vrije Keyser broadcasted daily and brought news on squatting and protests.
“I knew that the Radio De Vrije Keyser existed, but I never had the chance to go through their entire archive. And I never knew they broadcasted for that long. The excitement of finding their archives was huge. Through sound, I was immediately transported to 1980. It really felt like a time machine.” When she listened to an episode, in which the radio hosts were discussing what the medium of radio could mean for the movement, she immediately knew she found something precious. “That feeling when you know you found something that is going to be at the centre of your research is amazing. It was more than I could have hoped for.” 

Her artwork for the exhibition will be twofold. First, Dekker plans to disclose episodes of the sound archive of Radio Vrije Keyser, consisting of the first years when they were most active between 1980 and 1986. “During this period, radio was still being developed and the radio makers were trying to navigate in a new world of broadcasting audio. And this coincided with the greatest squatting riots in Dutch history.” Second, Dekker will broadcast herself for three episodes about her research for Open Archief via Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee. 
In the first episode “RE:ACTIVATE: the archivist as activist” she talks with the archivists of the three institutions who helped her during the process of her research residency. In another episode, she will have an open conversation with people involved with both the squatter’s movement and Radio De Vrije Keyser in the 1980s.
“It was not easy to find them. The radio shows were illegal. The hosts operated under aliases or remained anonymous because they faced a constant threat of being dismantled or authorities tracking their physical location.” After some weeks of what Dekker calls “detective work”, she was able to identify and contact one show host called Els. “The starting point was of course the radio show itself, where some of the hosts went by their first names. But I also read Eric Duivenvoorden’s book Voet Tussen de Deur about the squatting movement, in which he talks about Radio Vrije Keyser.” 
Dekker got in touch with Duivenvoorden, who gave her a couple of names. “Then it all came together when I watched the VPRO-show ‘Andere Tijden’, where they investigated the Pierson-riots in Nijmegen and they interviewed some people about Radio Rataplan. Through them and a few other connections, I was able to find Els.”

Radio Rataplan, 1981, poster. CSD BG E30/181

By using radio as a medium, Dekker hopes to create a form of intimacy. “After listening to hours of Radio De Vrije Keyser, I became intimate with the radio hosts. When I first emailed Els, it felt like I knew her already.” Radio is not only an activist tool but also an instrument for community building. “Maybe that is my secret agenda with this project: showing people that they can use radio and mainstream media for activist purposes.”

Yet, Dekker does not consider her work activist. “It’s a call for subversiveness maybe, but not activism.” Dekker has a history in animal welfare activism but had to take a necessary step back from activism and had some time to reflect upon it. “With Jessica [de Abreu], I had a few conversations about activism. People don’t realise that being an activist is exhausting and traumatizing. You are always with a small group of people, always by yourself, always fighting. And your call for awareness makes your opponent aggressive.” Maybe Dekker will return to activism someday, but for now, she is content with just raising questions. “That’s another reason why I felt such a strong connection to Radio Vrije ­Keyser. They were discussing their strategies together and often disagreed. Activism can give you a lot of positive energy, but also a lot of negative energy.”

Unknown, Poster. Staatsarchief Amsterdam, IISG BG D77/302

“When people think about the archives, they think about objects that are categorized and frozen in time. And by being in the archives, they have acquired the status of objectivity and impartiality.” Dekker expresses how one of the topics was also raised while talking to the archivists of the Open Archief for her first broadcast: “The previous edition of the Open Archief artist residency was about the archive as such, whereas this year’s second edition was more about the role of the ­archive.” For this reason, Dekker invited the archivists from the three institutions of Open Archief to have a broadcasted conversation on questions like “what is archival research?”, “who is in charge of the archive?”, “what material are they disclosing?” and “how are they telling their stories?”.
“With a renewed interest from the cultural field, where visual artists are using archives more and more in their work, I felt like that development also needed to be discussed. It was a very open talk with very experienced people. I asked them, for example, how their work has changed in the past five to ten years. They told me that now the cultural community is more involved in disclosing the archives, it helped them see the material that they have been working with for so long with new eyes.”

Unknown, Poster. Staatsarchief Amsterdam, IISG BG C20/274

Although the focus of the exhibition will be sound, Dekker plans to also add a visual component. “I gave Marius Schwarz, the designer in charge of the exhibition, a lot of amazing posters I found at Het Nieuwe Instituut and the IISH to make a collage.” Her goal is to create the same impression as walking through a city and seeing posters of the squatting movements hanging on the walls. “There will also be sound umbrellas where you can listen to the radio episodes and see the posters at the same time.” All of the posters that Dekker selected are anonymous. “None of them are signed by the designer. That is the output of DIY culture: the message is more important than the maker. Besides, it was a form of protection because hanging those posters was an illegal practice.”
In the future, Dekker sees herself working with archives more often. “This residency really set me on a path. I will definitely continue using archival material. Maybe I will dive even more into the squatting movement.”

Image credits poster (design Marius Schwarz):
—KIJK, unknown, poster detail. Staatsarchief ­Amsterdam, IISG BG D77/302
—??????, poster detail. Staatsarchief Amsterdam, IISG BG C20/274
—Als eigendom..., unknown, poster detail. ­Staats­archief Amsterdam, IISG BG D77/293
—Kraken?, 1977-1981, poster detail. Staatsarchief ­Amsterdam, CSD BG D66/264
—kraken, unknown, poster detail. Staatsarchief ­Amsterdam, IISG BG C20/274

A Conversation with Jessica de Abreu by Warda El-Kaddouri

Jessica de Abreu is an anthropologist and co-founder of The Black Archives. Her initial goal for the Open Archief residency was to document and archive the contemporary black anti-racism movement in the Netherlands. By using materials from Open Archief as well as from The Black Archives and Kick Out Zwarte Piet, she wanted to connect institutional and personal archives of Black activists by collecting photographs, videos, and any other digital data.
However, throughout the process, de Abreu became more interested in the idea of portraying Black people in a context that is not necessarily political. “I would like to see today’s anti-racist activists laughing and making jokes instead of portraying them in constant pain or suffering.” As an anti-­racist activist herself, de Abreu experienced the impact of activism on mental health firsthand. Her efforts in the Anti-­Zwarte Piet movement have led to a recent burnout, from which she is still recovering. “I am known for doing social community work, but I am also a human being with emotions.” During her research for Open Archief, she was emotionally challenged. 

She explains this process: “Going through the archives has been overwhelming. It forced me to explicitly deal with what I am going through in my head. I cannot grasp everything, so I have to simplify each of them. In the end, my art will be a result of me dealing with an overload of information and emotions, while trying to make sense of it all.” The main question that de Abreu finds herself confronted with is: “How do you deal with colonial imagery in archives, which is inherently violent?”
When entering keywords such as ‘Zwarte man’ (Black man) or ‘Zwarte vrouw’ (Black woman) during her online research, de Abreu found fewer results than she expected. When searching for words such as ‘Suriname’ or ‘Surinamer’, she found more material depicting Black people, but almost exclusively in a colonial context. “It was either people fighting and suffering, or people dancing and being exoticized. Images of Black people doing mundane things were difficult to find.”
During her research, de Abreu discovered that there were more human zoos in the Netherlands and Europe than she knew of. “Human zoos were places where Black people and people of colour were displayed; initially for racist scientific purposes and later for the sake of entertainment. The most known human zoo is the one at Museumplein in Amsterdam during the International Colonial and Export Exhibition (also known as the World Exposition) of 1883. And I thought – together with a lot of other people I suppose – that was the only one in this country, but I found out that there were more than I can count on one hand.” 

Man met haring, Polygoon Hollands Nieuws, 1935, filmstill. Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

For instance, in the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, de Abreu found moving images of a family of African descent, who were exposed in a human zoo in Rotterdam in 1928. “It is not just written in a book, there is actual footage of these people.” She found the video by entering a more controversial keyword. She says: “I entered the n-word in the search system and that video was one of the things I found.” With this example, de Abreu touches upon a crucial question for institutional archives: How do you make Black people visible in the archive? De Abreu further questions: “Black history is very invisible. So how do you then make Black people visible? What words do you use? How can you make them traceable without using the n-word and without being colour blind at the same time?” de Abreu does not have the answer herself yet. “I don’t think I should do all the work to find a solution. The institutions need to do their part as well.”

“How do you bring back humanity to people who have been dehumanized?” is another question that de Abreu found herself struggling with, and which created the change in the scope of her research project. In a colonial context, she explains, Black people are almost exclusively portrayed as passive beings. “That is the Western narrative, but that was not reality. Yes, colonization and slavery happened to us, but we also resisted. I want to bring that particular historical resistance to the present and make it visible.” However, that does not mean de Abreu wants to portray images of Black people fighting. “That might work for a white audience, but Black people are in need of images showing us that we are human too. How often do you see Black people without them being dehumanized? And how do you then bring back that humanity?”
With regard to the footage of the human zoo in Rotterdam, de Abreu has found two ways to humanize Black people again. “The main thing I am sure of is to search for and use the actual names of the depicted people. They were human beings, not scientific objects. Calling out their names is one way to humanize them again. I already found some of them in the subtext of the images in the archives.” Another decision that de Abreu made was not to use the actual footage in her artwork. “I am participating not only as an intellectual but also as an artist. And art always entails an element of entertainment. So, I decided to provide the information, but not reproduce the image itself. If I would do that, I would be reproducing the dehumanization of those colonized communities.”
For the final artwork in the exhibition, de Abreu plans to create a media installation titled The New Plantation. “Colonial history is still on repeat. We have undone ourselves from the shackles of slavery but are we truly free? I don’t think so. The changes are insufficient for us to live away from stress and poverty.” The installation will consist of a compilation of video material and visual images from Open Archief as well as digital data from her personal archive, such as recorded WhatsApp videos and audio voice notes. “I will also use a lot of colours in the installation. For me, colour functions as a form of therapy. Colonial history is very dark, I brought some light and colour into it. For myself.”  

With her project, de Abreu hopes to open the conversation about mental health in the Dutch anti-­racism movement. “Art is not just art, but an extension of me and a way to deal with the past and the present.” Though, she does give a warning: “I don’t want to hide behind my political message. I am not abstract nor subtle; I am very clear and direct. And I mean what I say.”

Man met haring, Polygoon Hollands Nieuws, 1935, filmstill. Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

During her research in the Sound and Vision archive, de Abreu found a video of a Dutch market, where a Black man is smiling and eating a herring. He is in the frame for only six seconds, but those six seconds meant a lot to her. In her research blog for Open Archief ­titled “The New Plantation: A Postcolonial Depression” she describes the image as a “loving portrayal of a Black Dutch experience that soothes my memories that we are human too.” She adds: “Within this art project it was important to me to find counter images or produce counter material to make me understand that Black people are more than their skin colour, more than slavery, and more than a legacy of colonialism.” She experienced archival material of Black people doing mundane things as healing. “Resistance can come in the form of images of Black people just being happy and having pleasure in a society that continues to dehumanize and stereotype them.”
Next to the ‘fish-eating-man’ she also came across license-free images at Sound and Vision of Josephine Baker, an American-­born French singer, actress, and activist who was in the resistance movement during the Second World War. “Although Baker used colonial imagery herself, she was aware of that and used it to reclaim power. In the footage, you can see her just enjoying herself and her success.”
Unfortunately, de Abreu did not find any other images besides these two which she considered healing. “And that is a problem. If this is what archives are able to produce, then that is all we can make of it. Research­ing the archives comes with mental challenges as there is limited material of Black people, simply living their lives outside imposed ­colonial frameworks, political contexts, and stereotypes. My art installation reflects a healing process, but I also see it as being part of the conversation rather than the final product.”
The fact that Open Archief focuses on archival material free of copyright and licenses was a crucial factor for de Abreu. “Most of the images I used date back to more than seventy years ago, so in most cases, they were license-free. But for new images, I had to request access, which was a bureaucratic procedure. To me, open access is important because you need accessibility in order to reach a wider audience. I want to be able to pass on what I see and learn. So, people can also look into this archival material easily themselves.”

The residency for Open Archief brought de  Abreu a little bit closer to answering the question of how to bring back humanity to those who have been dehumanized. “I will let everyone see that Black people also do mundane stuff. I will show images of Black people eating fish. I will also show images of Black people loving each other and laughing, and just… being.”

Image credits poster (design Marius Schwarz):
—Man met haring, Polygoon Hollands Nieuws, 1935, filmstill. Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
—Zwartboek, “gesloten wijken”, 1978, magazine. The Black Archives
—Ankie de Bruijn-Muller, De kraakacties in Gliphoeve, 1976, bookcover. The Black Archives
—Jaye Brunsveld, Anti Black-Piet protest in Reigersbos, 2015. © Jaye Brunsveld

The past months Jessica de Abreu, Femke Dekker and myself have engaged with three different archives with the aim of making new works from our findings in them.

The installation States of Place began as an attempt to locate specific public spaces in these archives. I was interested in the relation between the representation of places within the archive and the actual locations, to see if the combined finds from the three archives could draw a more or less accurate portrait of such places. Portraits that would show how the design of public spaces influences our usage of them. Through the sheer abundance of material, this research grew into a wider search for the transformation of post-war public space in the Netherlands, trying to make some sense of what the archives remember of this period of transformation.

Exhibition Open Archief at Het Nieuwe Instituut, 2021, installation by Michiel Huijben. Photo: Michiel Huijben.

Archives gather history as it is being made. They keep (constantly growing) collections of materials together, and apply ordering principles to them, so that this history can be searched. The archive is physical and it is spatial to such an extent that its contents are often listed in length. For example, the Staatsarchief, the archive from which Femke compiled a series of squatters’ radio broadcasts, is described as being 63 meters in length.
63 meters is the width of several buildings. That fact alone reminds us that the archive is an actual place you can go to. After all, it needs to store things. Still, you might be forgiven for thinking of it mainly as an interface. During this project, the three of us have only been able to engage with the archives online, their front ends’ search bars.

Online, it’s so much harder to find things you’re not looking for. To be able to find, you have to search and to be able to search, you first have to define. So you sit at your keyboard, your fingers resting on the keys, the cursor blinking in the search box… but no words come to mind. Somewhere between your brain and your fingers, the terms slip through the cracks and get lost. To search like this means first to have to search for your own definitions of things, which perhaps makes it harder to find things you don’t secretly already know?

Exhibition Open Archief at Het Nieuwe Instituut, 2021, installation by Femke Dekker. Photo: Michiel Huijben.

So the question is how the archive makes things available: what terms it uses to describe and how these definitions may differ from person to person. Having a different perspective (and thus having differing explications) may render something invisible. Jessica’s project shows how this influences the relation that the archive has to visibility and representation. From the archives, she pulled video footage of (among other things) human zoos and the Bijlmer, and brought these in proximity with one another, in order to tell a story that the archive can’t, because it keeps the primary sources it stores separate from one another.

Exhibition Open Archief at Het Nieuwe Instituut, 2021, installation by Jessica de Abreu. Photo: Michiel Huijben.

Apparently, the verb ‘to define’ comes from the old French word ‘defenir’ which means "to finish” or to complete. In the presentations now on view at Het Nieuwe Instituut, all three of us ended up adding to the material found in the archives. Femke makes her own broadcasts, to contextualize the historical ones in her presentation; Jessica inserted personal video and audio into her work and I’ve used YouTube as a complementary source to build on the material found in the archives. This isn’t because there wasn’t enough material to work with (I’d say it was more like the opposite), but maybe because this is what the archive, in some ways, demands: that the only way you can get something from it is if you bring something to it yourself.

For her project RE:ACTIVATE RADIO Femke Dekker discloses a series of broadcasts from the immense audio archive of Radio De Vrije Keyser, the notorious Amsterdam based squatters radio station running from 1980 until 1998.


Groot feest in de Groote Keyser, 1981, poster. CSD BG D66/300

Radio De Vrije Keyser started broadcasting on January 13th, 1980 from the squatted complex ‘De Groote Keijser’ in Amsterdam. Using different FM frequencies in order to avoid shutdowns, the daily shows brought the local squatters-community news on squatting, protests, demos, extra- parliamentary activism and other free and alternative information.

The archive represents both Dekker’s interest in ‘Do It Yourself’ culture as well as the ability of radio to function as a call to action and as an instrument for community building. Listening to hours and hours of Radio De Vrije Keyser it struck Dekker that the topics discussed by the broadcasters resonate with today’s issues of gentrification and housing shortage (but also the need of fringe culture like the one brought about by the ’80’s squatters community to feed urban environments) and are still relevant today.
Dekker’s installation for Open Archief showcases those broadcasts from the Radio De Vrije Keyser's archive where the conversations mainly focusses on the function of the medium ‘radio’ itself. From running and organising independent broadcasts to the malfunctioning of the record player to the need for activist actions and talks with fellow squatters broadcasters.

Besides these broadcasts from the archive, Dekker also created a series of new broadcasts that look into the role of archivists as activists, artist and activists and activists as archivists. These broadcasts are added to the exhibition over time and are broadcast live on Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee.
The exhibition also contains a selection of posters found in the collections of the archives and represent the protest movement caught in amazing designs and prints by mostly anonymously makers.
For those unable to attend the physical exhibition, Dekker has created this online repository for a wider audience to enjoy the broadcasts selected from the archive.

All the Radio De Vrije Keyser broadcasts are in Dutch. The broadcasts produced by Dekker herself for Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee are in English.

RE:ACTIVATE RADIO is a project by Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee contributor Femke Dekker and focusses on the reciprocal relationship between media and activism and discloses the strategies used to reinforce and exploit each-other’s mechanisms.

As a part of Open Archief RE:ACTIVATE RADIO equally investigates the relation between archives and activism and will involve the archives of all three participating institutes.
RE:ACTIVATE RADIO ‘The Archivist as Activist’ is an open dialogue with Clara Still-Haardt (Archivist, HNI), Eric de Ruijter (General Manager Collections, IISG) and Erik Lucassen (Archive Researcher, B&G), discussing their various roles within the collection of their respective institutes, the renewed interest in archives in general and how or if activism comes into play.

The “Nieuwe Plantage” (New Plantation) shows how history seems to be on repeat. Where we often think that racism, colonialism, and imperialism is a thing of the past, its legacy can be found in poverty, social inequality and human right violations in present-day societies. My aim is to open the conversation about how racism and structural oppression are related to our (mental) health. This underlying conversation is not much found in the actually art piece, but in the approach and process on how to deal with realities of racism and xenophobia as we enter archives, museums and exhibitions. How do we deal with archival material that reproduce (colonial) violence, despite the fact that we consider them as educational and informative about hidden histories?

Answers can be found in how society is divided: those who do remember colonial history, and those who do not and feel traumatized by it. It is a fact that Black people experience racism on a daily basis. However, we don't always have the time and space to heal from such violent events. Additionally, societies often ask victims of racism, rape and trans-/homophobia and more to also come with solutions to these problems. Often they are asked to do this emotional and intellectual labor without being paid for their time, knowledge and experience while they are also vulnerable at the bottom of the social ladder. Experiencing social inequality besides these human right violations is a headache, to say the least.

I refer to postcolonial depressions when one realizes that colonialism happened and there is nothing they can do about it. Some find that activism can serve as a great way to tackle these institutional problems. However activism also expose us to (continuous) stress and trauma. In this context, art can provide a space for postcolonial healing. Within this art project it was important to me to find counter images or produce counter material to make me understand that Black people are more than their skin colour, more than slavery and more than a legacy of colonialism. The only way to take back our humanity is to show we are not passive beings as colonial history tried to portray us, but that there has always been resistance.

Polygoon Hollands Nieuws 25 november 1935, Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid (beheerder), "01:34, www.openbeelden.nl

The “Nieuwe Plantage” is about showing resistance against dehumanization on these new plantations. We might perceive resistance as pro-active deeds as demonstrations and protests but we should also remember that resistance can come in the form of images of Black people just being happy and having pleasure in a society that continues to dehumanize them. And why not also on film, in the archives? Despite my periods of postcolonial depressions, I take great joy in seeing Black people smile on camera, in archives. During archival research, I was lucky to encounter a Black man in the Netherlands enjoying his herring in this filmpiece at 0.35 – 0.41 min. It is a glimpse of his daily life in 1935 when Black people were exoticized. However, I also embrace this loving portrayal of a Black Dutch experience that soothes my memories that we are human too.

RE:ACTIVATE, the working title for my project, focusses on the reciprocal relationship between media and activism and to disclose the strategies used to reinforce and exploit each-other’s mechanisms. Activists have always used mass media strategically, as a platform to broadcast their ideas and my project will explore both the notion of mediated activism, and the notion of activist media.

Over the past few years, my artistic practice has moved from curating the physical towards a practice of interpreting contemporary themes through conversations, and the production of autonomous sound collages, using radio as my main medium and collaborative initiatives as my main method. For RE:ACTIVATE sound will function as the carrier to both document the process of the research as well as to formulate the outcome of the residency.

During the initial phase of my research I stumbled upon the collection of the Staatsarchief at the IISG, founded in 1991 in the Amsterdam neighbourhood ‘Staatslieden’, hence the name of the archive. In total, the archive covers some 90 linear meters of paper, about 6000 posters, 1500 photographs and hundreds of hours of videotapes and audiotapes. Amongst them, the immense audio archive of Radio de Vrije Keyser, running from 1980 until 1998.

Radio de Vrije Keyser started broadcasting on January 13th, 1980 from the squatted complex ‘De Groote Keijser’ in Amsterdam. Using different FM frequencies in order to avoid shutdowns, the daily shows brought the local squatters-community news on squatting, protests, demos, extra-parliamentary activism and other free and alternative information. The shows hosts operated under aliases or remained anonymous, as is apparent in the broadcast presented here.

Documented is a conversation between Radio Rataplan - another squatters station based in Nijmegen - and two broadcasters from Radio de Vrije Kyser. Radio Rataplan came to national fame as the mouthpiece of the Nijmegen squatters' movement, during the Pierson riots in Nijmegen in February 1981. The riots were among the heaviest squatter riots of the 1980s and Radio Rataplan was on air 24 hours a day, playing a central, directing role in the preparation and execution of the actions.

The conversation of the broadcast you can listen back to here, centers on the role of radio as a catalyst for activism and must have been recorded prior to the Pierson riots, although the archive lists the broadcast as recorded in 1982 - the year after the riots took place. But as is evident from this Dutch spoken broadcast, the riots had not taken place yet and the interviewers are clearly discussing possible strategies and the role radio could play, with their interviewees from Radio de Vrije Keyser.

Oana Clitan, Future news, official screens, 2019. Based on a fragment from Kijk op kikkers, 1973, Polygoon-Profilti collectie, Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

The final installation is set in a dystopian future after an event called The Great Blackout, when electrical devices were greatly damaged and things we now take for granted are suddenly not available anymore. Among these, the production of new visual content is momentarily not possible since cameras and phones were also damaged. The country is ruled by The Institute, whose scientists managed to barely restore some screens and footage. In order to keep the people up to date with new developments, The Institute has set up news stations consisting of clusters of restored screens, where the news is being broadcasted. However, the form of news has changed in this future, the news anchors are normal citizens discussing different aspects of this unstable situation. The installation is one of these news stations where visitors can hear news about The Blackout from six citizens.

Oana Clitan, Future news, official screens, 2019. The logo of The Institute

The project uses past and present news rhetorics to make a speculation about how information will be presented in the future - and by whom. It is essentially an extension of post truth, an exaggeration of today’s tendencies, transplanted to a future with a society in an unstable situation: facts are replaced by opinions, appeals to rationality are replaced by appeals to emotion. Another theme I found very interesting to explore is the relationship between government and media outlets, as informed by research in the archives of the past.

Looking back at the process, my project changed quite a bit from my initial proposal, which is a pleasant surprise, a sign that I let myself explore and had the freedom to follow certain interesting threads that appeared along the way. In general this project has a lot of ‘firsts’ for me (for example first time working with video and trying to develop an actual narrative) and I definitely say it was a very interesting process. In the future I plan to pick up some threads I didn’t follow yet and see where they lead!

Oana Clitan, Future news, official screens, 2019. Based on a fragment from The technological center of the ESA, 1979, Polygoon-Profilti collectie, Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

Archiefkast, Guy Königstein (original photos from the archive of Firma Gispen, courtesy of Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam)

The ghost from the last chapter is not a terrifying one: it is no one else than myself. The abandoned black and white stages waited too long, thus I finally carve through their two-dimensionality and walk in - an uncalled guest. I take part in endless meetings, open drawers and water plants, knock on heavy doors and climb up yet another staircase to - where?

I leave no traces behind, but an echo: hesitant murmurings, human mooing, underwater breath taking, counting in an unrecognisable language, shattered porcelain.

Dear past, what would it take to throw you off balance? Guy Königstein

Recorded, these voices and sounds constitute my parallel archive, paired with the original photos of empty spaces I collected in the last months in the National Architecture Archive. It is the gap between these two archives - between presence and absence, between institutional and personal, between still and moving, between silence and sound, between historical and contemporary - that I find most interesting. And this is where I invite you to come in, linger, watch and listen, and make up your own part in it.

Dear past, what would it take to throw you off balance? Guy Königstein (installation view at Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam)

Dear past, what would it take to throw you off balance? Guy Königstein (installation view at Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam)

Dear past, what would it take to throw you off balance? Guy Königstein (installation view at Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam)

Trailer The Stolen Archive, Donna Verheijden (a collage of footage from the archive of The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision)

In de jaren '50 heeft er een ontmoeting van Het Genootschap plaatsgevonden op het Vuurtoreneiland in het IJmeer. Daar heeft men een verbond gesloten. Nu, 60 jaar later krijgen Qamilla en Arianna de opdracht van Het Genootschap een aantal archiefstukken te ontvreemden uit verschillende Rijksarchieven. De stukken moeten op 2 januari 2022 openbaar gemaakt worden.

Filmstill The Stolen Archive, Donna Verheijden

De thriller The Stolen Archive wordt in Het Nieuwe Instituut vertoond in de vorm van een video-installatie. We volgen Qamilla en Arianna op hun zoektocht door verschillende Staatsarchieven. De hoofdstukken worden vertoond op diverse monitoren.

Filmstill The Stolen Archive, Donna Verheijden

De maquettes verwijzen naar twee gebouwen die als ontmoetingsplek dienen tijdens belangrijke gebeurtenissen. Het mensfiguurtje, gemaakt door Lida Licht-Lankelma (collectie Het Nieuwe Instituut), dat op zaal te zien is in Het Nieuwe Instituut, speelt een cruciale rol in het verhaal. De fragmenten van filmrollen uit de collectie van het Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid en de maquettes en objecten uit de collectie van Het Nieuwe Instituut geven ruimte om te speculeren; wat ligt er opgeslagen, wat voor verhalen liggen er? We zien stapels filmrollen en in elk blik zit weer een ander verhaal. Achter de façade van elke maquette en gebouw schuilen misschien onwaarschijnlijke en niet eerder vertelde gebeurtenissen.

Filmstill The Stolen Archive, Donna Verheijden

De bezoekers kunnen de cijfers volgen die op de sokkels aanwezig zijn, maar is ook van harte uitgenodigd zelf de volgorde te bepalen waarop ze het verhaal tot zich nemen!

Having made several new experiments, I think I am slowly able to formulate a “method” for creating my “collection” – a series of small works, based on (but not interfering with) archival materials, that are personal (but not naïve), political (but not provocative), diverse (but not representative), actual (but also historical), non-narrative (but not boring), confused (but not senseless) …

Guy Königstein, Negotiation, 2019. Based on a fragment from Bijenmarkt, Polygon-Profility, 1951, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

Guy Königstein, His/story, 2019. Based on a fragment from Hoe werkt de postcheque en girodienst?, Polygon-Profility, 1976, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

At the moment I concentrate on photographs from the different architects’ archives of Het Nieuwe Instituut. During the visual research I encountered several “typologies” of completely empty spaces that repeatedly appear in the archives: for instance large staircases, diverse meeting and conference rooms, entrances (corridors and doors), as well as intimate interior settings (in private and semi-public spaces).

Staircase in the Social Hall of the passenger-ship D.S.M Dempo, 1929. Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, Architect Kromhout W. / Archief (KROM), inv. nr. KROM-84-22

In my eyes often culturally symbolic, these empty spaces seem to provide a stage – though not necessarily an accessible one. I cannot simply enter them (technically- they are two dimensional; legally- their copyrights are not clear; historically- they are of a time passed, etc.). So, since I cannot – and do not want – to inhabit them, the question arises: what does it take me to pass through these spaces?

Guy Königstein, Decision-making, 2019. Based on a fragment from Demonstratie tegen uitbreiding ultra centrifuge fabriek, Polygon-Profility, 1978, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

The black-and-white “monumentality” invites a “minor” action – and I think that I might have found an answer in the present-absent figure of the GHOST …

The last weeks I’ve been working on defining my story about a dystopian future, which my final work will be about. I’ve been writing things down, connecting ideas and writing small scripts. One big realisation was that all the small themes I wanted to touch (that I mentioned in the last blogpost) were mostly summed up by one idea – post-truth.

In short, my work will be set in a near future where an event has happened and, as a consequence the situation is quite unstable. Various news items presenting the situation are trying to keep citizens calm.

As I probably wrote in all the blogposts, I am trying to weave the fact that I am using archival materials into the story. At this moment I am still undecided between two scenarios:

  • The ‘event’ has somehow damaged people’s ability to produce new visuals and perhaps partly destroyed existing footage.
  • It’s not allowed to produce/show new visual content anymore, and the usage of archival materials is a tool of propaganda.

In my initial proposal automation played an important part, but now I am not sure if I will still address that, although there is still a possibility.

While also making a few videos as sketches, I had to gather a lot of small clips and photos from the archives. While I thought I had gone through most of it by now, it’s nice to discover that there are so many parts of it I didn’t look at so far, so that makes every search very surprising.

As I continue with my research I wonder if the “spatial strategies” in which I was initially interested are not actually similar to the policies that created (and keep maintaining) the archives I am working with. A look into the collection policies of the collaborating institutes reveals formulations like “het veiligstellen van het geheugen van de natiestaat Nederland” or “de taak, een representatief tijdsbeeld te distilleren.”

These institutional (and corporate) procedures, I realize, might be contradictory (or counter-productive) to my intention to create a “personal” collection that could have the potential of destabilizing the Past, rather than reframing and cementing it anew.

As an attempt to frame the content of my collection-in-becoming, I came up with a series of possible titles – which might only “do the work” if remaining a never-ending list:

  • The collection will have multiple titles
  • Things that change hands
  • All the things that you can’t know
  • All the things that you can’t have
  • All the things that you can’t be
  • Wat daarbuiten valt
  • Collection of
  • Comments on
  • Notes about
  • Spaces no longer possessed, moments indefinite
  • Ownscapes
  • Non-representative samples
  • It requires a certain amount of optimism, and heavy loads of endurance
  • Mixed media feelings
  • Exercises in belonging

Donna Verheijden, #4, 2019. Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

Er is geen ontkomen aan, er heeft zich iets afgespeeld aan de kust, Wat er precies gebeurt is, wanneer en wat de gevolgen ervan zijn is nog niet duidelijk. Het is moeilijk te zeggen wie de betrokkenen zijn geweest. Ook weet men niet waar het bewijsmateriaal zich bevindt, maar dat het er is, staat buiten kijf.

Donna Verheijden, #5, 2019. Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

Misschien zijn er antwoorden te vinden in de rijksarchieven van architectuur, beeld en geluid. Er moet toch iets vastgelegd zijn. Het archief van Dudok bevat documentatie over het Monument op de Afsluitdijk dat hij heeft ontworpen. Een perfecte locatie voor een geheime ontmoeting? In een brief van de voormalige directeur van het monument vraagt hij Dudok een aanbouw te maken, De desbetreffende directeur geeft in de brief aan dat er op hoogtijdagen maar liefst 200 auto’s langs het monument komen en dat men die enorme aantallen niet aankan!

Donna Verheijden, #6, 2019. Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

Op Texel hebben een aantal suïcide bunkers zichzelf laten zakken in de zee, waar ze nu bevolkt worden door luipaardgrondels, zeedahlia’s, kreeften en mosselen. Ze leken niet bestand tegen de hoeveelheid water dat ze binnen kregen. Een roemloos einde van een tijdperk dat nog diep in ons collectief geheugen gegriefd staat.


–Fragment uit Guy Consolmagno, Extra footage, 2016. Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, Creative Commons – Attribution Share Alike
–Fragment uit Zeedahlia’s bij een wrak op het strand, 2014. Collectie Stichting Natuurbeelden, Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, Creative Commons – Attribution Share Alike

–Fragment uit Vliegerfestival Scheveningen, 1984. Polygoon-Profilti collectie, Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, Creative Commons – Attribution Share Alike
–Fragment uit Carolina Cruz, Extra Footage, 2016. Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, Creative Commons – Attribution Share Alike
–Fragment uit Zeedahlia’s bij een wrak op het strand, 2014. Collectie Stichting Natuurbeelden, Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, Creative Commons – Attribution Share Alike

–Fragment uit Zeedahlia’s bij een wrak op het strand, 2014. Collectie Stichting Natuurbeelden, Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, Creative Commons – Attribution Share Alike
–Fragment uit De branding aan het strand, 2012. Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, Creative Commons – Attribution Share Alike
Afbeeldingen van Dudok, Monument en uitbreiding afsluitdijk, Collectie Nieuwe Instituut

Oana Clitan, untitled experiment, 2019
Left: Image from the archive of architect H.P. Berlage. Collection of Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, Archief (BERL)
Right: 3D rendering using drawing from the archive of Lauweriks, J.L.M. (Johannes Ludovicus Mattheus), 1885-1932, (1864-1932), Inventarisnummer: LAUW100.1, Collectie Het Nieuwe Instituut.

Feeling some pressure from the timeline, I spent the last weeks narrowing down the story around my project.
Continuing to watch newsreels on various topics and brainstorming possible futures, I’ve made a list of themes I would like to explore in in a more substantial form (or the final project):

  • The relation (merging) between private news media and governments – more specifically the way governments use the formats of private news media to promote their agendas, especially in times of war or instability – resulting more visibly or not in propaganda
  • The decaying belief in photographic realism due to AI and advenced image editing techniques when it comes to news / information
  • The current tendency to not trust official news channels and growing belief that multiple personal accounts of an event on social media can paint a more realistic picture of a situation – and the role of AI/bots in this
  • The current tendency to address the viewer with emotional techniques rather than facts in order to sway beliefs in one direction or another
  • The possible merging of govenrments and corporations which hold large amounts of personal data

I constructed a future scenario for a video installation: a series of videos exploring how propaganda could work in the future, based on the points above.

However, another question was always on my mind, which I didn’t manage to answer in the previous stages: how to create material ‘from the future‘ using archival images and videos, which are so strongly linked to the past? At this point I might have found the answer, or at least one answer for now: the archival images could be a tool of propaganda, using nostalgia to evoke and idyllic past and a feeling of safety.

I’ve been doing some visual experiments to come up with a tone for a first video and drafting a script, as well as starting to come up with a ‘visual identity‘ for the future news agency which will be producing the videos in the installations.

Having made some decisions on how to proceed brings a new wave of energy and excitement.

Guy Königstein, A copy of a copy of a copy, 2014. Photograph of a sketch for an artwork that imitates a specific monument from the public space inside a museum.

For a long time I was not really interested in, or familiar with, copyright concerns. I worked mainly with materials that I created myself, so it did not seem very relevant. However, since I began working also with found materials in the last couple of years, such questions started to pop-up. I admit that as an artist I find the ethic and moral aspects of re-use more interesting than legal formalities. I perceive it as part of a larger discourse on cultural appropriation, decolonization, privilege, etc. Personally I usually take the freedom to transform found elements and/or embed them in my work in order to make an independent statement without much hesitation (for instance in the self-made publication Present Absence, photographs of which I have published here on my first post). I did believe that since my work is mostly material, usually exhibited or performed in art-institutions, does not circulate online very much, and is neither of a high commercial value, I should not feel “threatened” by legal complications. I now understand however that this might has been naïve.

In several particular earlier cases I have asked permission to use graphic or film works from other artists (or their heirs), and also paid fees to archives to be able to use photographic materials they posses.

Our discussion and conversation with Maarten Zeinstra has been helpful in several aspects. First and foremost it has reminded and cemented the notion that copyrights work in both directions – as a restriction and protection – an issue I tend to forget, since I generally believe that nowadays it is very hard to protect one’s creations (or even distinguish them so strictly from creations of others). It also clarified to me that the responsibility to re-used materials is completely in the hands of the artist. Even when working with professional institutions and archives, that might believe to have certain rights on the sources they hold, it does not mean that they can transfer these rights to others. As an artist one thus should be aware of the regulations, make the necessary research and eventually take the decisions accordingly.

It was actually refreshing to realize that all myths concerning alleged conditions and possibilities of re-use are wrong. It makes the decision to violate or not to violate others’ copyrights (or in other words – “risk management”) clearer. Things appear to be more “black and white” than “grey” in this case!

To conclude, I would like to remind myself that despite the positive side of being more informed and having a detailed understanding of these issues, such discussions could also have as a result certain “self-censorship.” Constantly asking oneself what is allowed and what is not allowed, and the frustration involved in the complexities can have a “chilling effect” and possibly prevent from engaging with specific materials from the first place. In a broader sense it could mean that we “leave” the past untouched and unquestioned to a moment, in which it might already turn irrelevant.

Oana Clitan, ‘…so different, so appealing’, 2017, collage made as part of the Goodbye Expectations exhibition at Visual Kontact gallery, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, curated by Olimpia Bera. Photo by Stefan Badulescu.

In my practice I use a lot of materials that I find online in different formats (photos, GIFs, short videos etc.), which I collage or modify with different techniques. The main reason why I like to use found materials is adding an extra layer of meaning to certain works – I use mostly recognizable images from the (pop) cultural sphere. In my view I am creating new images from combining lots of found images, but it’s important for me that these resulting new images directly reference the original source.

As many people, I did not know a lot about copyrights, assuming that if the materials I use are sufficiently modified, form a new work and are used for non-commercial purposes, it would be fine. However, the meetings and discussions we had as part of Open Archief, especially the last meeting with Maarten Zeinstra, were very helpful in clarifying these aspects. I can definitely say that now I have a more solid base of knowledge in regards to types of copyright, their timelines and how these are determined for different materials. And although the (legal) reality is quite depressing, having realized that my assumptions were far from the actual truth, I definitely believe that it is good to be correctly informed and make decisions while being aware of the possible consequences. In addition to this, it was very interesting to see how two different institutions like Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid en Het Nieuwe Instituut deal with it, and it makes me feel a bit better that some things are not 100% clear even in their case sometimes.

In my works so far, I know that some images I used are for sure copyrighted and some of them I’m not sure about. I deliberately chose to ignore it because of a number of reasons, but since my recent works depend on it, if I would have to go through copyright clearing for all of them, the works would probably not exist at all. I firmly believe that, especially in our development as an artist or designer (or any type of creative output), we shouldn’t limit ourselves because of this.

Personally I grew up with artistic appropriation and remix culture as a constant presence around me, from sampling in hip hop music I saw on MTV to collage and ready-made artists I learned about in art history. This made a mark on how I see creative re-use, combined with the fact that today we live in a world where so many new images are created every second. In my opinion that should be reflected in the concepts and aesthetics of new artists and the law should make that easier. Making visual content easier to use for artists can bring so many new forms of expression.

I believe all visual content should be available under the creative commons license for artistic use.

* 3 Feet High and Rising is the title of De La Soul’s first studio album released in 1989, considered one of the most influential hip hop albums of all time. However, it is not available for streaming due to copyright limitations from the record label because of the samples used and the language used to clear some of the samples. Ref: nytimes.com/2016/08/14/arts/music/de-la-soul-digital-albums.html

Deze blog beschrijft een reeks gebeurtenissen die tijdens en na de excursie over copyright plaats hebben gevonden. Het is een collectie van referenties, (online) archieven, documentaires, GIFs, licenties en fragmenten van gedachten.


Ik luister naar Bach’s dertigste Goldberg Variatie uit 1741, een Quodlibet. Een vernuftig in elkaar geweven compositie vult mijn hoofd. Verschillende melodieën volgen elkaar op, haast alsof ze een estafette lopen. We horen een canon, in twee minuten en tien seconden. In die minuten passeren een aantal bekende volksliederen de revue, van Ich bin so lang nicht bei dir gewesn’ en Kraut und Rüben, tot Mein Junges Leben hat ein end.

Quodlibet; Latijn voor “Wat je maar wil / naar believen” van Quod “wat” en libet “believen”.*

In 1544 gebruikte Wolfgang Schmeltzl het begrip Quodlibet voor het eerst om een meerstemmige compositie te beschrijven, waarin de componist verschillende fragmenten van bekende melodieën of liederen had verwerkt. Dat kon gelijktijdig of na elkaar zijn. Het 18e-eeuwse Quodlibet van Bach is een re-mix!


Een blog schrijven over ©. Ik merk dat ik het lastig vind hierover een statement te schrijven. Waarom? Ik gebruik en remix beelden waar © op rust.

Grijs gebied

Als maker opereer ik in een grijs gebied als het gaat om hergebruik van materiaal. Dit gebied blijkt tijdens de excursie niet zo grijs te zijn. We leren het woord risk-management.


Ik ben een piraat
Een piraat op jacht naar remix materiaal.
Ben ik wel een piraat?
Is de mens niet vanuit nature nieuwsgierig, en wil het informatie delen?
Waren de vroegere verhalen-vertellers die van dorp tot dorp gingen niet ook al aan het remixen?


Na de excursie besluit ik wat meer te weten te komen over de materie die we hebben verkregen.
Ik ga het web op en kom vast te zitten in de netten van licenties, creative commons en publiek domein. Onderweg las ik een aantal passages van Gilles Deleuzes – A user’s guide to Détournement.

Oxford Dictionary Definitie van Détournement

Ik scande door Nicolas Bourriaud’s Post-Production:

Quote uit Nicolas Bourriaud, Post-Production, 2002. Lukas & Sternberg

Ik keek, op aanraden van iemand een podcast van H3H3 over hoe UMG content claimed op Youtube.

UMG is ruining Youtube, H3H3

Er werd mij een aflevering van Southpark over copyright aanbevolen:

Southpark S07e09, Christian rock hard, 2003

Wanneer ik ontwaak uit mijn verwoede poging meer te weten te komen over c, cc en pd, ben ik verstrikt geraakt in het interweb. Drie vensters met respectievelijk 105, 168 en 85 tabbladen staan open. Ik begin met bookmarken. En mijn hoofd staat bol van de input!

De jaarlijkse huishoudbeurs in de hoofdstad, Giphy Polygoon Journaal, 1955. Collectie Beeld en Geluid, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

Tijdens het boodschappen doen zie ik een dame rondlopen met de definitie van copyright achter op haar sweater gedrukt. Ik vraag of ik een foto mag nemen. Het mag, de sweaterkomt van de Berschka, de dame in kwestie heet Rafaela en later glimlachen we naar elkaar in de supermarkt. Wat voor bronvermelding moet ik onder deze foto zetten?

Online collecties

Ik zocht naar online digitale collecties die materiaal beschikbaar stellen onder cc-licenties en materiaal dat valt onder het publieke domein (iedereen die hier tips over heeft; neem contact met me op! info@donnaverheijden.nl). Er doken een aantal interessante websites op zoals:
Europeana.com, euscreen.com, cc-mixter.org, creativecommons.org.au/learn/fact-sheets/find-cc-materials, search.creativecommons.org

Remix manifesto

Ik stuit op een mooie documentaire van Bret Gaylor: RIP – A Remix manifesto.

RIP Remix manifesto, Bret Gaylor (2008), cc-by-sa 3.0

Het manifesto is gebaseerd op een aantal statements:

  1. Culture always builds on the past
  2. The past controls the future
  3. Our culture is becoming less free
  4. To build free societies you must limit the control of the past

De documentaire is geïnspireerd op Lawrence Lessig’s boek Free Culture.


Ik droom over een stamboom voor beelden en geluiden. Over een mogelijkheid de origine van een beeld terug te vinden. Re-Use, Blockchain? Tegelijkertijd kan je je als maker daar ook weer mee in de vingers snijden, met deze reverse-enginering manier van de origine van beelden achterhalen.


Na de excursie heb ik me ondergedompeld in een wereld vol informatie over verschillende licenties. Ik kijk ernaar uit me hier meer in te verdiepen en ben ook van plan meer onderzoek te doen naar online digitale collecties. Als maker pleit ik voor meer Free-flow tussen copyright-holders en makers, een evenwichtiger en meer genuanceerde balans tussen twee werelden ten behoeve van het hergebruik van beelden.

C = copyright
CC = Creative Commons
PD = Publiek Domein

Guy Königstein, Goede Vaart, 2019. Short video based on a polygon newsreel from 1948. Public Domain Mark

To take a break from the many questions and constraints, I have concentrated for a while on a free visual research (strolling randomly through hundreds of scans at het Nieuwe Instituut), and some intuitive experiments. Making use of materials from both archives, I repurpose, invert, reverse, group, and collage, in order to “blow new life” into them, or into the spaces they depict – a notion that is very often repeated in documents on urban-renewal (“nieuw leven inblazen”). I will return to more concrete architectural methods in a later stage.

Guy Königstein, Scenes of Crime, 2019. Experiment with inverted photographs from the archive of architect K. P. C. de Bazel. Collection of Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, Archief (BAZE)

Guy Königstein, Scenes of Crime, 2019. Experiment with inverted photographs from the archive of architect K. P. C. de Bazel. Collection of Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, Archief (BAZE)

For now I still wish to follow the ambition to create an “own archive/collection” which will address (but not necessarily answer) the complexities of my personal position and the general concept of the ‘cultural archive’. I think that this can be achieved through polyphony, inner-contradictions, fragmentation, diversity of media, unequal proportions, incoherency, etc. Maybe I would like to see my actions, gestures (and attitudes) as camera-filters or optical devices; applied (practically or conceptually) on the materials I encounter and wish to utilize, occupy, or simply let-be, in order to load them with alternative meaning.

Guy Königstein, 2019. Sketch for projection on a photograph from the archive of architect H.P. Berlage. Collection of Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, Archief (BERL)

Donna Verheijden, #3, 2019. Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike


De afgelopen periode heb ik vooral veel eigen beeld geschoten. Ik heb hiervoor onder andere de Nitraatbunker bezocht, waar ik heb gefilmd. Hier zijn alle nitraatfilms van het Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid opgeslagen. De opnames kan ik later gebruiken ter aanvulling van het materiaal dat ik gebruik uit de collecties van het Nieuwe Instituut en het Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid.


–Fragment uit 80 hartslagen per minuut, 1985. Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

During the last weeks I’ve mostly been experimenting with combining different materials through collage, drawing and editing. I’m trying to find an aesthetic that I find interesting in developing a bigger narrative around and exploring my topic of rhetorics in news about technology.

At first I started making static collages with images from the archive of Het Nieuwe Instituut that are open for use, but I wasn’t satisfied with the retrofuturistic look that resulted (since all the images are black and white and just look like a collage of old images). Then I started using other techniques and integrating other elements in order to achieve a new aesthetic. What I found the most interesting so far was choosing different elements and putting them in a new context that gave them a completely new meaning.

I also worked with video materials from the collection of Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. For example I cut out a performer from a video of a street theatre play and made it a character in a drawing found in the archive of Het Nieuwe Instituut. I also combined them with other elements and a traced animation of a video panel. Unfortunately I cannot put it on the blog because I really can’t find the link of a background drawing. I realised this is quite a big problem for my way of working which involves combining a lot of materials; I mostly let myself guided by the images but since I use so many it’s hard to keep track of all the source links, so that’s something I’ll have to find a solution for in the next stage.

Oana Clitan, untitled experiment, 2019. Still from Theater Onderweg geeft straatvoorstellingen met ‘Onken’, Beeld en Geluid, Polygoon-Profilti, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

My concept hasn’t changed that much but I also find it fascinating to build new worlds from all these materials with various characters moving through them. Now the challenge is to develop a narrative to follow.

In the next weeks I plan to carry on with visual experiments while building up the story I want to tell, which is slowly starting to take shape in my head. I hope to have the final story and aesthetic decided on by the middle of July so I can work on what I actually want to show in the final presentation and the form it’s going to take.

Een film over een film die nooit gemaakt had mogen worden. The Stolen Archive is een zoektocht in de archieven van Beeld en Geluid en Het Nieuwe Instituut. Elke post bevat een teaser die iets onthult over het verhaal achter een gestolen archief. Wil je het verhaal volgen? Dan kan je naar www.vimeo.com/stolenarchive of volg www.instagram.com/the_stolen_archive.

Donna Verheijden, #2, 2019. Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike.


–Fragment uit Drukte in foto-industrie, Beeld en Geluid, Polygoon-Profilti, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike, openbeelden.nl/media/660333
–Fragment uit Exchange mart for amateur geologists, Beeld en Geluid, Polygoon-Profilti 1970, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike, openbeelden.nl/media/615564/Ruilbeurs_voor_amateurgeologen
–Fragment uitVerzameling speeldozen in Kijk-en Luistermuseum, Beeld en Geluid, Polygoon Hollands Nieuws 1980, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike, https://www.openimages.eu/media/1138941/Verzameling_speeldozen_in_Kijk_en_Luistermus eum
–Fragment uit National Film Archive stored in Film Bunker, Beeld en Geluid, Polygoon-Profilti 1980, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike, https://www.openbeelden.nl/media/42703/Nationaal_Filmarchief_opgeslagen_in_filmbunker_i n_Scheveningen
–Mobilofoonberichten, gehoord in stilstaande politieauto (interieur), Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, 1980, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike, soundcloud.com/beeldengeluid/mobilofoonberichten
–Regen met wisselende intensiteit op het dak van een stilstaande auto (interieur), met op het einde enkele keer rommelen van onweer op afstand, Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike, soundcloud.com/beeldengeluid/regen-op-het-dak-van-een

Since kick-off I have spent three days at the study centre of Het Nieuwe Instituut, inspecting materials that were registered at the search-portal with words such as: Herbestemming, renovatie, vernieuwing or Sloop. In the first two visits I went through books and publications, while in the last visit I have ordered some materials from the archives. The difference was quite interesting. Books are often dedicated in retrospect to realized projects (and are usually edited and published by external bodies), while the archives contain also documentation of work-in-progress, competition-contributions, unrealized projects, theoretical studies, general correspondences, etc. that are collected by the architects themselves (and are later selected by the archivist to be preserved).

Mostly through the books I came across numerous inspiring ways of architects and planners to “deal” with the built past: allowing nature to take over, selective replacement of materials, stripping surfaces to the core, defining (statistic) criteria for destruction or rescue, fencing and monumentalizing selected elements, displacing, reuse of discarded materials and temporal approaches.

Ontwikkelingsplan voor de Westergasfabriek, Klazien Duijvelshoff, Evert Verstraten and Stadsdeel Westerpark, 1996, p. 34-35

Diagrams from the publication Ontwikkelingsplan voor de Westergasfabriek (Klazien Duijvelshoff, Evert Verstraten and Stadsdeel Westerpark, 1996, p. 34-35) show how specific buildings in the re-developed former industrial terrain are planned to be kept, and the surrounding areas are schematically allocated space according to desired functions (sport, flowers, parking, water, etc.).

De Amsterdamse woningnood – sloop- en saneringskalender 1973

In the self-made publication De Amsterdamse woningnood – sloop- en saneringskalender 1973 (author and publisher unknown) a reproduced newspaper clip describes the careful destruction of a small coffeehouse due to the construction works on the Metro line nearby the central station of Amsterdam: “All parts of the building are being numbered so that the coffeehouse can eventually be rebuilt in a different location in its historical shape.”

Betonschade; oorzaken, herstel en financiële konsekwenties, P. Groetelaers, Delftse Universitaire Pers, 1985

The publication Betonschade; oorzaken, herstel en financiële konsekwenties (P. Groetelaers, Delftse Universitaire Pers, 1985, p. 38 and 50) deals with the challenges of deteriorating concrete in after-war housing projects, and proposes among other possibilities, the selective replacement of ruined materials by new pre-fabricated elements.

The materials from the archives have so far surprised me in one main aspect, namely through the personal and emotional involvement. This is well exemplified in the case of a specific street corner in Alkmaar: In 1966 architect Piet Tauber (1927-2017) was commissioned to design an office building for the AMRO-Bank at the corner of the Voor- and Zijdam at the city centre. For this cause several very old traditional houses were demolished, despite large protest and critique. Thirty years later, the bank sold the building to a housing company, which decided to demolish the building in favour of a new housing complex. Now it was time for Tauber himself to protest. His archive holds dozens of determined complaint latters to the municipality, many newspaper clips, correspondence with the housing company, touching demands for support from colleagues, sketches for alternative renovation plans, etc. – spanning a period of more than three years. Tauber fought hard, but in vein. The last piece in the folder is a shiny brochure: invitation to the opening of the new building.

Parallel to the “architectural research” I was strolling through and around the online “cultural archive” of Sound and Image. Without a clear idea of what I search, orientation in this large pool is rather difficult. In general I find that despite its immenseness and the diversity of topics it addresses, this collection (mostly of polygon-newsreels) is quite homogeneous in character – it often presents a clear, condensed, formal and inauthentic perspective on a public event/issue, and correspondingly depicts mostly public, commercial or natural spaces (footage from private spaces is rare). Quite different are materials from the Amateur Film collection. Here the makers make use of an immediate access to personal life stories and spaces of their families, friends or neighbours, and since they do not have any time pressure (like on TV), the footage is edited – if at all – in a much more generous way. Hence, while it feels more “boring” these materials gave me the impression of documenting a more “real” and emotional past (similarly to the differentiation mentioned above between the materials I encountered in the library and the archive of Het Nieuwe Instituut).

After receiving an excel sheet with the detailed contents of the Sound and Image collection, navigation felt easier. I excluded the NSB part of the archive, and began scanning through the titles one by one – and upon interest viewed the video itself. In my own excel sheet I list links to interesting videos with a personal note, which usually refers to an aesthetic composition or thematic relation to my research (like the videos from my first blog-post).

In general, the journey hitherto has brought up two initial questions and thoughts:

First, I ask myself about my personal relation to the archives and the documents they hold. As a migrant by choice and privilege, I live in the Netherlands for more than a decade, and yet feel quite detached from its past (and in a way from its present as well). This position is ambivalent – it can be powerful and demotivating at the same time, and I wonder if and how I should define my position within the framework of this project. Notions of belonging, cultural appropriation, right to speak, (mis)use of language seem all very interesting and relevant to explore. For now, I am intrigued by the idea of “eigen-maken” (both in terms of the material and the things it symbolizes) as a means to begin my creative exploration.

Second, but still reflecting on my position, I am reminded by the archive that in many processes of urban renewal (and gentrification), artists play a significant role, often without realizing that they are being utilized by developers and municipalities. What is my take on that, understanding that my intention was to undertake a similar process of “renewal,” commissioned by two “national” institutions?

On May 4 and 5, instead of locally “celebrating” freedom, I have visited a series of exhibition openings and talks in Cologne. Under the title “Artist meets Archive” of the Photoszene Köln, six international artists were commissioned to work with a photographic archive and create/curate an exhibition in one of the city’s museums. Among their different approaches, most interesting, relevant and inspiring for my research was the exhibition project Noisy Images by Antje Van Wichelen at the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum. Van Wichelen researches colonial archives and speculates about the possibility of their destruction. Willing to work against the “classifying gaze” and “categorizing of the other” she asks: “What to do with all the images from the colonial past in our archives? How can we create new imagery on the basis of these? Do we need to keep looking, or start destroying them?” Her interventions include various methods – but for one of them she has let negatives from the archive be eaten by bacteria from Colognes Rhine water – every week one filmstrip is taken out of the water and put up for display.

In this stage of the process I am following two main directions:

  1. Searching the archives

Since I have already quite a clear subject, newsreels & technology, I have mainly been looking at the archive of the Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision through the Polygoon collection, which contains newsreels from 1921 to 1987. I’ve been making an inventory of newsreels which talk about technology / automation / factories and making notes about the subjects presented, year, words used in the descriptions, types of images, appearance of people vs appearance of machines, types of music, etc. I am currently trying to categorise the videos based on these notes in order to see some statistics more clearly.

Alongside this, I’ve also been browsing both the archives from Sound and Vision and Het Nieuwe Instituut quite randomly (searching random keywords) trying to find interesting images that spark ideas or that I can use in the future for visual experiments. Here are some examples that caught my attention:

Excerpt from St. Nicolaas nadert: Keuringsdienst van Waren keurt speelgoed op veiligheid en kwaliteit Beeld en Geluid, Polygoon-Profilti, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

This is an example of a very strong image that I found while watching newsreels which I definetly plan to use in the future for visual experiments and make use of it in the story I want to tell. It has a perfect mix of creepy and cute!

Amsterdam auto-vrij, poster published by Kloos, M., 1975. Inventarisnummer: AFFV312, Collectie Het Nieuwe Instituut.

I found this poster and I liked the humor in the way it gives cars unpleasant human characteristics.

Trans Europe Express [TEE] Modellen, plaster model by Bout-van Blerkom, Elsebeth (architect), Werkspoor (opdrachtgever), Bout-van Blerkom, Elsebeth (maquettebouwer), 1953/1957. Objectnummer: MAQV591.03, Collectie Het Nieuwe Instituut.

I really like the appearance of this train maquette made out of plaster, it makes it look like an ancient artifact. This would also be an example of an interesting object that I would like to somehow integrate in my story.

  1. Doing theoretical research in order to refine my concept and define a more clear outline of the project

I’ve been reading about newsreels, their purpose, influence and uses, including an interesting case study about the way in which newsreels were basically used as propaganda in the USA to change the people’s perception about the nuclear tests from the Bikini Atoll. This helps me understand better their context and the conditions under which they were made.

Reading ‘The War of Words’ by Kenneth Burke, a study of news rhetorics. Here I plan to get a better understanding of rhetorical devices, identify some of them in the archive materials and possibly use some in the future (more here). Some questions naturally arise from both directions, for example:

  • would the newsreel format be relavant today or in the future, in which context?
  • what would be today’s equivalent of a newsreel, which format and which medium would it appear in?
  • what is my relation with the archives and do I want to make that apparent in the project?
  • while working with archives from The Netherlands, do I want to keep this context or make it more universal?

Since my initial proposal for this project I am gravitating towards making a video or a series of videos with a story that acts as a metaphor about news rhetorics on technology, made out of materials from the two archives, remixed. I am now trying to define the story, point of view and timeframe and writing down small ideas for the video(s). All in all, in this stage I am both browsing the archives for interesting materials and for identifying rhetorical strategies I can use for the final video, but also trying to develop my concept so that I have a more precise focus when looking for materials in the archives. The next step is starting to do some visual experiments with some archive materials, which is very exciting!

Con/de/struction (working title) is conceived as an attempt to learn from the diverse ways Dutch architecture and urbanism have been dealing with the built past, and to correspondingly develop creative methods to approach and engage with historical cultural documents.

Opruiming verdedigingswerken aan de kust, 1948, Beeld en Geluid, Poligoon-Profilti, Public Domain Mark.

Zaandam onze stad, 1958, Beeld en Geluid, Polygoon-Profilti Creative Commons – Naamsvermelding-Gelijk delen.

Zaanstreek waakt over cultuurbezit, 1962, Beeld en Geluid, Poligoon-Profilti, Creative Commons – Naamsvermelding-Gelijk delen.

In the initial part of the project I will focus on researching spatial and material strategies that were employed (over the last two centuries) by Dutch architects, urban planners and designers in processes of restoration and renovation, demolition and destruction, reuse and repurposing. I expect to trace such strategies in the State Archive for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning (within Het Nieuwe Instituut).

These publications, among many others that can be found in the library of Het Nieuwe Instituut, demonstrate the scope of contemporary research relevant to this project.

Subsequently, my intention is to explore and experiment with different audio-visual techniques that are inspired by the findings of the first stage, and apply them on historical documentary materials from the publicly accessible media archive of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.

While addressing the socio-political responsibilities and challenges of safe-keepers of cultural heritage (such as the collaborating institutes) in days of accelerated media-production and growing demands for decolonization, equal representation and positive discrimination, the project will not look at specific historic wrongdoings or currently debated injustices. Instead it might declare neutral, random or even boring pasts as possible cultural battle fields.

Present Absence, visual essay, 2017, Guy Königstein.

This endeavor builds upon a series of earlier artistic engagements with the archive. For instance, for the projects Present Absence and The ___ You Work With I worked with visual and textual materials produced during the apartheid era in South Africa, found by myself during an artist residency in Johannesburg.

The ___ You Work With, re-published handbook, 2017, Guy Königstein.

In Grand Kenyon I explore the life and work (and archive) of influential British archaeologist Dame Kathleen Kenyon (1906-1978), using techniques inspired by her own excavation and field recording methods.

Horizon K. (Sabratha), collage, 2019, Guy Königstein.

As a artist, my main research focuses on mass- and social media, Its seductions and underlying power structures. The three most recent films which I have made, Kiss the Sky — Eye Trick the I, Land of Desire — Happy is the New Black and All the World’s a Stage — Ways of Seeing 2013 form a trilogy on our image culture. Within these films, found footage is being used, together with self-shot imagery in order to talk back at the media. What are the images we are surrounded with, and how to deal with them? To what extend are we seduced or deceived by those images?

Trailer of Kiss the Sky – Eye Trick the I, 2019, Donna Verheijden.

The Stolen Archive

The (moving) Images, sound fragments, correspondences, objects and archival depots of the Nieuwe Instituut and the Institute of Sound and Vision will serve as props, actors and sets for a speculative thriller on untold (hi)stories.

“The issue concerned many of us, even though the act was hardly visible… A bad copy, they say, poor image quality…”

The Stolen Archive – #1, Creative Commons – Naamsvermelding-Gelijk delen, gebruik makend van “Nationaal Filmarchief opgeslagen in filmbunker in Scheveningen”, 1980, Donna Verheijden, Polygoon-Profilti en verschillende geluiden uit de Beeld en Geluid collectie.

As a designer and artist I explore themes like language and contemporary communication influenced by technology and media. I move through collages, animations, drawings, installations and other various mediums and use mostly found online materials and footage.

My project for Open Archief will be a research into rhetorical tools from archival newsreels which present the early days of automation and technological development. It will also be reflecting on the rise of artificial intelligence and how it influences the news itself in the present. The provisionary title ‘The evening news and the automatic plough’ was inspired by a Polygoon newsreel in the open archive of the Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision about the use of the fully automatic plough in agriculture:

De volautomatische ploeg, 1962, Beeld en Geluid, Polygoon-Profilti, Creative Commons – Naamsvermelding-Gelijk delen.

Through this project I would like to analyse and deconstruct the rhetorical tools of archival newsreels about automation and make a link with the current developments of machine learning and artificial intelligence, as well as its current relation to news: it being an important factor in the rise of fake news, blurring the line between fact and fiction and users being targeted by new digital marketing techniques used to advance specific political agendas through emotional manipulation.

I plan to also integrate architectural plans, images and interesting stories from the archive of Het Nieuwe Instituut in my research.

In the past I’ve been working with various techniques and I’ve become more and more interested in working with found imagery as moving image and installations, trying to break out from the static 2D format so common in design.

Anthropolabour is a series of animated GIF compositions about labour, technology and media and are inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s dystopian novel Player Piano, which analyses the societal e ects of workers being replaced by machines.

Disputation between rocks and hearts, 2018, Oana Clitan.

Disputation between rocks and hearts is an installation which makes a link between different stages of the history of writing, part of a research about the transition between communicating with text to communicating with images in online conversations and the use of animated GIFs as rhetorical devices.

Anthropolabour, 2017, Oana Clitan.

To be announced

During Open Archief 2020-21 we published a newspaper that was available for the audience during the exhibition. We wanted to give the public more context not only on the working process of the artists but also about the emotionally loaded interactions that have arised when artists are asked to come in contact with archives. We invited journalist Warda El Kaddouri to speak to the three artists, and explore these questions. Warda spoke with Michiel, Jessica and Femke and put together the three texts, that you can now read in the PDF here.

Each text comes with it’s poster, which is found on the backside of each text. The posters were carefully designed by Marius Schwarz, the graphic designer of the Open Archief project, in collaboration with each artist. Marius used images that relate back to the works created for the exhibition and included several images from the archives.

We invite you to read and reflect on the texts and reach out to us if you have any questions and thoughts.

— The Open Archief Project Team

On the opening day of the exhibition of Open Archief 2020-2021, Bram van der Giessen and Eva Langerak shot a short film about the project. In the film, artists Jessica de Abreu, Michiel Huijben and Femke Dekker reflect on their archival research and their works that were on display from June to September 2021. By tackling socially relevant themes such as racism, discrimination, activism and democracy, the artists showed how important it is that heritage institutions continue to open up their collections in new ways. Open Archief will remain devoted to this mission!

Artist / Organisation: Femke Dekker
Location of the show: Het Nieuwe Instituut
Host: Femke Dekker
Producer: Monty Mouw
Length: 90 min
Language: English

20-07-2021 at 15:00

RE:ACTIVATE is a project by Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee contributor Femke Dekker and focusses on the reciprocal relationship between media and activism and discloses the strategies used to reinforce and exploit each other’s mechanisms. Part of Open Archief RE:ACTIVATE equally investigates the relation between archives and activism and will for the period of residency involve the archives of all three participating institutes. The archives affiliated with Open Archief are Het Nieuwe Instituut (HNI), The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Sound and Vision), and the International Institute of Social History (IISH).

RE:ACTIVATE ‘The Artist as Archivist’ is an open dialogue with Bebe Blanco Agterberg, Marie Ilse Bourlanges and marjolijn kok, discussing their artistic practices in the context of archival reserach and how archives are a stimuli for contemporary art practices and theoretical discourse.

Now that our symposium is behind us, you might think that Open Archief is going on summer holiday, but nothing could be further from the truth. The works of Jessica, Femke and Michiel can of course still be admired at Het Nieuwe Instituut until September 5th.

Femke will be making two more episodes of her radio series RE:ACTIVATE RADIO this summer, which can also be heard at the exhibition. Keep an eye out for the live broadcast via Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee radio and our socials.

Haven't been to the expo yet and want to know what to expect? On the opening day of the exhibition Bram van der Giessen and Eva Langerak made a film about the project and about the works of the artists. Watch it here!

Thank you for joining us at the Open Archive symposium on Tuesday 22 June.

All sessions are accessible via Zoom, starting at 10.00.
Please take a seat in the waiting room, a moderator will let you in.

If you haven’t already, please register for one or more afternoon break-out sessions via theGoogle form.

What is the difference between an artistic and an academic interpretation of archival materials? What is the relationship between artistic freedom and creative reuse? How ‘open’ should a collection be? What role does research play in making art? And does art influence the working methods of institutional archives? We will discuss these and other questions about the creative reuse of heritage materials during the Open Archive symposium.

Archives are generally seen as large, impenetrable structures. Opening them up provides greater access to information and enables us to reinterpret history, in turn paving the way for undermining power structures. How can institutions become more accessible? And what can they learn from the creative reuse of their collections? With its theme of Research and Copyright, this symposium will explore artistic practices that involve using archival materials and making them available.

On the 22nd of June, live from the International Institute of Social History, we explore the themes: research, copyright and reuse in collaboration with partners and speakers: Pictoright, THE ARCHIVE HOTEL, Mariana Lanari (Amsterdam School of Heritage, Memory and Material Culture) and Stefan Dickers (Bishopsgate Institute)

date: 22 june 2021 | time: 10:00 - 16:00 | on: ZOOM | language: English | free registration here

The programme is free of charge and can be followed as a whole, or as individual sessions. You have the opportunity to register for the whole day or for the morning or afternoon sessions.

Morning Session


Stefan Dickers (Bishopsgate Institute) Stef is the Special Collections and Archives Manager at Bishopsgate Institute and has been responsible for the development of the Institute's collections on the history of London, protest and activism, and LGBTQ+ Britain. He qualified as an archivist in 2001 and started at Bishopsgate in 2005.
Previous to this, Stefan worked in the archives of the London School of Economics and Senate House Library. He will talk at extraordinary length about the collections whenever asked and regularly entertains groups of students, groups and family/local history societies on the wonders they can find in the Special Collections and Archives at the Institute.

Panel discussion

THE ARCHIVE HOTEL (Ash Bowland) in conversation with Johannes Elebaut, Alina Cristea and Shervin Sheikh Rezaei.

Researching archival collections is an arduous task, and there’s often a dissonance between material, description, interpretation and access. When an artist looks for images and other information in an academic archive, feeling overwhelmed and misunderstood is just around the corner. The more instinctually way of searching doesn’t match with the more structured institutional construction and most of the material is contextualized in a historical perception. How can artistic research play a role for re-contextualizing historical material and how can institutions facilitate more fluid working methods? Could it be a long lasting affair, where archives would be a household of multiple perspectives on the historical material or is it a mismatch?

THE ARCHIVE HOTEL is the child of the investigative art practice of Ash Bowland, and the urge for collective participation. It resulted in an autonomous platform for artistic research dedicated to the artist’s ARCHIVE, embracing HOMAGE & CONFLICT. In its rooms the hotel fosters different critical and aesthetical research methods that paves the road to an artistic identity.

Afternoon session


Mariana Lanari in conversation with Inger Schaap.

During this interview artist and academic Mariana Lanari will question practices of archival reuse for artistic purposes. How can we deal with handling and reusing archival material that at times was created under a state of duress? Is that even possible? Are there examples of archival reuse which furthers the conversation? How do we keep critical in reusing this material? With legs in both worlds (academic and artistic) she would share personal experiences and future possibilities regarding reuse of archival materials.

Mariana Lanari is a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School of Heritage, Memory and Material Culture at University of Amsterdam. She co-founded Archival Consciousness with Remco van Bladel. She is part of the band Rainbowpeel 475.13. She is on the advisory board of De Appel Mobile Archive and of DAAP – Digital Archive of Artist Publishing (UK). She is a member of ARIAS, Amsterdam Research Institute of the Arts and Sciences, and Making Things Public at the lectoraat of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. Her work has been shown at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Van Zijl Langhout Gallery, Arti Amititae, W139, Van Abbemuseum, Transmission Gallery (Glasgow), Casa do Povo (São Paulo), among others.

Consultation Hour

With Pictoright (Hanneke Holthuis + Arlette Bekink), IISG (Thijs van Leeuwen), Het Nieuwe Instituut (Iris de Jong) and Beeld en Geluid (Dennis Hekker)

The inevitable subject in reusing archival material: copyright. Whether it’s to protect your own work or when you’re reusing somebody else’s material, the matter of copyright is always present. Even with the existing rules and regulations, we all interpret this subject differently. Knowledge is power, so for this afternoon we provide you with breakout sessions with the three institutions of the Open Archief project and our financial sponsor: Pictoright. You have the opportunity to go in conversation with institutions and ask them questions regarding the possibility of specific archive material. More interested in the new Appropriation Art guidelines of Pictoright? Sign up for their room!

Links to

This symposium is made possible with the financial support of Pictoright Fonds.


You can register for one or more components:

Register for the entire symposium via Eventbrite
Register for one or more individual break-out sessions via the Google Form
Let us know if you have a specific question!

Enter your name and address here if you would like to have the publication Open Archive RE:SEARCH delivered to your door for free.

Together with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision and the International Institute of Social History, Het Nieuwe Instituut is organising the second edition of Open Archief, a programme in which three makers search for new stories in open, digital heritage collections, with the aim of making a new media work. From 3 June, Jessica de Abreu, Femke Dekker and Michiel Huijben will present their works, which share the theme of ‘activism and archives’.

The New Plantation by Jessica de Abreu shows how contemporary society still reflects colonial history. The installation explores how old, vivid memories of slavery and colonialism, and the new reality of institutional racism, evoke emotions that can trigger post-colonial depression: a mental state that stems from the realisation that nothing can be changed about the colonial past. What happens to the psyche when it attempts to grapple with the complexities of history?

Femke Dekker’s project, RE: ACTIVATE RADIO, focuses on the relationship between media and activism, revealing the strategies they use to reinforce and exploit each other’s mechanisms. Activists have always used the mass media strategically as a platform to broadcast their ideas. For RE: ACTIVATE, Dekker has used audio materials from the archive of the Vrije Keyser ('Free Emperor') radio station that demonstrate that radio not only connects, but can also be a call to action.

Michiel Huijben searched the archives for images that reveal the role of public spaces within society. By looking for places instead of events, a complex picture emerges of what activities the public realm allows. His artwork for Open Archief States of Place combines images from the three archives with materials found on the internet, and considers them as a whole in order to sketch a more complete picture of public space while simultaneously questioning the authority of ‘the archive’.

Visit the website of Het Nieuwe Instituut for opening hours and practical information.

On Monday April 26th 2021, Open Archief and ARIAS collaboratively organise Re:Use Clinic #2 | Uncertain Archives ethical dilemmas, a public event for heritage professionals, artists and other interested parties, in the creative reuse of heritage collections.

The central issue of this clinic revolves around the uncertainty of the stories that archives tell. By listening to the matters and ethical questions that navigate the practices of Simone Zeefuik, the writer, cultural programmer, and director of the course Blacker Blackness at Sandberg Instituut, and Pieter Paul Pothoven the artist-archivist, this clinic contemplates with its participants the ethical concerns arising when cultural heritage material is (re)used. How can archival engagement offer different and critical perspectives on historical narratives, identity and representation? And what role do artistic tools such as fiction and imagination play in this respect?
Archival theorist Michael Karabinos is hosting the event and will moderate conversations between the speakers and the audience after the presentations.

The Open Archief Re:Use clinics are a series of public events for heritage professionals and interested parties in the creative reuse of heritage collections. The clinics address matters essential for reusing collections and for the process of makers. Our first clinic was about copyrights. For ARIAS the collaboration with IISG, HNI and Beeld & Geluid for Open Archief builds further onto their earlier Artists & Archivist series and their current thematic line Estuaries: Ways of Knowing.

Open Archief 2021 Re:Use Clinic #2 | Uncertain Archives ethical dilemmas
26-4-21, 14-16pm, via Zoom. Link will follow a few days before the event takes place.
Speakers: Simone Zeefuik and Pieter Paul Pothoven
Moderator: Michael Karabinos
Language: English
Register via this link.

On 25 February 2021, the first Re:Use Clinic took place with around sixty enthusiastic visitors. These Open Archive ‘Clinics’ are intended to bring heritage institutions and makers together to talk about creative reuse, with a focus on a specific theme. The subject of this first Clinic was ‘Copyrights’. The speakers were Arlette Bekink from Pictoright and Open GLAM advocate Douglas McCarthy. The moderator, Brigitte Jansen, kept everyone on track. The Clinic focused primarily on makers and their rights. What kind of licenses can makers arrange for a work? What happens to a work of art when it is posted on social media in today’s ‘copy culture’? Can heritage institutions play an active role in the copyright and licensing debate while ensuring that collections remain open source? And how do heritage institutions relate to their users?
Following a short introduction, Arlette Bekink kicked off the Clinic with a presentation on the role of Pictoright in the world of copyright. The organisation represents makers and their rights. In her talk, Arlette focused mainly on makers’ so-called collective rights, in which Pictoright mediates, arranging a fee for makers that would be difficult to arrange individually.

This is also where heritage institutions come into the picture. From around 2010, when they began large-scale digitisation of their collections, making them available online, there was no provision to compensate the various makers behind all these books, pictures, magazines and newspapers. This was new territory in the copyright field. Pictoright filled this gap by drawing up so-called collective contracts: by paying a fair fee, institutions can display their collections online without fear of individual lawsuits, and Pictoright pays the makers for the online presentation. The good news is that collective rights will soon have a legal basis in Dutch law. The government has also recently drawn up a set of ‘Appropriation Art guidelines’ for fair conditions for the reuse of an existing work in a new work.

As an advocate of Open GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums), Douglas McCarthy wanted first and foremost to stress that the age of digital cultural heritage has arrived. In his talk, in contrast to the copyrights relating to more recent works, he focused on works in the public domain. He believes that as many of these works as possible should be accessible online, something that is at the heart of Open GLAM’s advocacy. He also provided insights into the opportunities and challenges for the open GLAM world: providing open access to collections is not as easy as it sounds. Various internal and external factors make opening up a collection a complex affair that requires dedication from an institution.
Douglas showed how the status quo is maintained by limited access to the public domain even though there are opportunities for making a collection available online. This is exactly what the Open Archives project wants to show. Hopefully the project will encourage heritage institutions to move beyond outdated perspectives.

Copyright remains a difficult subject, with many thorny issues. Pictoright presents itself as an organisation that stands for fair rights for makers, and is constantly looking for solutions to mediate fairly between the maker and the user. Meanwhile, the Open GLAM movement advocates a progressive vision of the open public domain. Enough for makers to get their teeth into!

On the morning of 5 March, an Input Party took place in a digital space in which the artists were circular avatars and the project leaders were silent participants. The Input Party was initiated by Rachel Sellem and Elki Boerdam and arose from their need to talk about institutional and private archives from a non-academic perspective. It was a party for and by artists, having a conversation about archival materials they brought along themselves, with the aim of guiding each other further in their artistic process and their personal narratives surrounding archival materials. A good party doesn’t happen all by itself, so Rachel and Elki facilitated an introduction in which the artists shared archival images that represent their work. These initial images spurred personal stories about decluttering and private archives.

In the second part, the group delved deeper into the archival materials they are investigating as part of Open Archive. It soon became apparent that they all had issues with the complexity of the various collections and the digital portal’s search options. Because the three artists work intuitively, searching within a system structured around dates, names and inventory numbers sometimes poses a challenge. Whereas artists attempt to make their process and choices visible, the thought processes and choices of the archivists who catalogued the archives often remain invisible. This leads to a stylistic rupture between the institutional archives and the artists’ working process. It is precisely through projects such as Open Archive, in which institutions open their collections up to research and creative reuse, and through initiatives such as the Input Party, that working with heritage materials comes alive.

Under Rachel’s and Elki’s guidance, the artists came closer together, because although they come from different disciplines, ‘activism’ is a common thread in their research. In June, at the end of their working period, they all plan to exhibit a work that provides new insights into and takes a critical look at the collections policies of the three institutions’ archives.

If you’re interested in an Input Party, you can find more information here.

Open Archief is organizing a series of public events for heritage professionals and interested parties in the creative reuse of heritage collections. These Re:Use clinics address matters essential for reusing collections and for the process of makers.
The kick-off will be a clinic about ‘Copyright’. Copyrighted heritage is after all often not suited for creative reuse. What exactly do we mean by 'open collections', and how can you reuse their materials? How do you find out how "open" your found archival item is? What is the importance of copyright protection and the importance of freely accessible material? And what are your rights as an artist?
Moderator Brigitte Jansen will host talks by Arlette Bekink from Pictoright and Douglas McCarthy on behalf of Open GLAM’S. There will be plenty of time for questions.

Open Archief 2021 Re:Use Clinic #1: Copyright
25-2-21, 10-12am, via Zoom. Link will follow a few days before the event takes place.
Speakers: Arlette Bekink and Douglas McCarthy
Moderator: Brigitte Jansen
Language: English
Register via this link.


Douglas McCarthy is a prominent voice in Open GLAM, the global movement promoting culturally appropriate open access to digital heritage. Douglas leads an international survey of open access policy and practice in the GLAM sector with Dr Andrea Wallace of the University of Exeter. He researches and writes extensively about open access, and is the founder and co-editor of the Medium publication Open GLAM, which presents global and multilingual perspectives on open access to cultural heritage, written by leading voices in the field. You'll find him on Twitter as @CultureDoug.

Arlette Bekink is Manager collective rights at Pictoright. For visual creators, it is not possible (or hardly possible) to enforce these rights individually. Arlette is responsible for the collection and the distribution of collective remunerations. Part of her job is to take care of the interests of visual creators when negotiating on contracts for online archives, but she tries to do this while taking into account the interests of cultural heritage institutions too. She can tell more about Extended Collective Licensing in Europe and about a new guideline Pictoright has developed concerning Appropriation Art.

For more information about Pictoright visit the website.


Brigitte Jansen is graphic designer and project manager in the cultural field. As a designer, Brigitte is interested in combining forms from the physical and digital world. Her design, both analog and digital, always has a relation to the user and user-experience.
Brigitte has worked for different cultural institutions as a project leader, art mediator or curator. She led diverse research projects in finding innovative ways to present digital heritage. She favors creative reuse as a way to explore new possibilities to talk about heritage and works with young artists to create new stories and contexts.


Jessica de Abreu, Michiel Huijben and Femke Dekker are the three selected artists for Open Archief 2020/21, which starts in December 2020. Open Archief’s focus this year is on a strong multidisciplinary vision for the creative reuse of archive material. Open Archief is an initiative of Het Nieuwe Instituut, The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision and the International Institute for Social History.

During a working period of five months, the selected artists will each be given the opportunity to realise a new, autonomous work of art based on the open archives of the three institutes. The project team and the external jury members Pieter Paul Pothoven and Donna Verheijden came to a unanimous agreement with the combination of these three media artists and their submitted proposals.

Out of more than 190 that were received through the open call, the proposals of Jessica, Michiel and Femke were the most striking, with original research questions and strong portfolios. Their contemporary and critical vision of the archive, in combination with current social developments, formed the connecting components of this selection. The jury was decisive in offering these three media artists residencies within the three institutions for five months to create new autonomous works of art based on the open access and public archives of the institutes.

Jessica de Abreu is an anthropologist and co-founder of The Black Archives, one of the first historical archives in the Netherlands to focus on the history of Black Dutch people and beyond. Her passionate commitment to the African diaspora has led to research into upward social mobility in New York, Amsterdam and London.

Femke Dekker is a curator and cultural programmer. She is part of the editorial team of online art radio Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee and works as a (guest) teacher at the Sandberg Institute and the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. She is also associated with various cultural initiatives, such as the annual Lente Kabinet festival in Amsterdam, and institutions such as the Rijksakademie.

Michiel Huijben is a visual artist with a background in architectural theory. In recent years, he has exhibited at Kunstinstituut Melly, De Appel, Extra City Kunsthal and Kunsthalle Basel. He is the founder of the publishing project Flat i.

In the new year, the media makers will further develop their research and explore the archives under the guidance of experts from the three institutes.
The project will conclude with an exhibition in Het Nieuwe Instituut and an online symposium on the creative reuse of archival material. The symposium is made possible in part by the financial support of Pictoright.

If you have any questions, please contact us at openarchief@beeldengeluid.nl and keep an eye on this site for future announcements and news.

The Open Call for the 2020/21 edition of Open Archief is officially closed with over 190 applications received.

Over the next couple of weeks, the jury, which consists of the teams from Sound and Vision, Het Nieuwe Instituut and IISH, as well as external judges Pieter Paul Pothoven and Donna Verheijden, will go over the proposals and decide on the three awarded projects.

The announcement of the new artists will be made in early December.
Keep your eyes on this website for future news and if you have any questions get in touch with us at openarchief@beeldengeluid.nl

For reference, you can still read the open call text HERE

Open Archief 2020/21

After a moment of silence we’re happy to announce the new edition of Open Archief 2020/21. This year, Het Nieuwe Instituut and The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision are working together with the International Institute for Social History to stimulate the creative reuse of digital heritage. In the fall of 2020, Open Archief will invite three artists through an open call to comment, research and reflect upon the different themes of copyright.

New year, new theme

For this year’s edition of Open Archief we will focus on a specific theme, RE:SEARCH, which is meant to act as an arc over the project. It will be used as inspiration and can be explored from different angles. RE:SEARCH is meant to evoke a sense of playfulness, that flows from archival research - which is both responsive and reactive but also explorational and directed.

Symposium Announcement

In order to increase the spread of knowledge and insights from Open Archief, we decided to facilitate an international symposium, to be held in 2021. To make this possible, we have successfully completed a funding application with Pictoright, the funds of which will be directly used to realize the symposium. This symposium will focus on three topics, namely Re:Use, Re:Search and Copyright. It is a multidisciplinary event that aims to bring together professionals from various fields (image makers, artists and professionals in the field of heritage and copyrights) and to share knowledge and insights on the topic of artistic reuse of heritage. The aim is also to present this knowledge to a wider audience and to have it critically assessed by these professionals, interested parties and institutions.

New partners

We are excited to be joined by the International Institute for Social History (IISH) who will be the third partner and help shape the new and future editions of Open Archief. The IISH is joining us to offer their expertise with regard to their collections as well as assisting with curatorial and research guidance for the new residents. But also to listen to and learn from new users!

Keep an eye out on the website! In the upcoming months we will update you with more information about the open call and the rest of the programme.


Contact us at openarchief@beeldengeluid.nl

Open Archief. Installatie van Oana Clitan. Foto Johannes Schwartz.

Wat bewaren we en voor wie? Welke betekenis geven we aan ons erfgoed en hoe verandert die door de tijd heen? Met andere woorden: wie heeft er toegang tot het verleden en welke verhalen worden er met het collectiemateriaal verteld? En mag dat materiaal zomaar in een hele nieuwe context worden gebruikt en daarmee een hele nieuwe betekenis krijgen? Dit zijn enkele van de vragen die in het project Open Archief aan de orde kwamen. Een terugblik op dit project is nu te downloaden voor dekstop en mobiel.

Marit Geluk

Afgelopen maanden zijn Guy königstein, Oana Clitan en Donna Verheijden de collecties ingedoken van Het Nieuwe Instituut en Beeld en Geluid. Er is veel geleerd over het omgaan met copyright, open collecties, zoeken binnen een archief en het maken van nieuwe werken met archiefmateriaal. Uit deze periode zijn drie bijzondere werken ontstaan. Kan je niet wachten om dit te zien? Vanaf 14 november zijn deze werken te bewonderen bij Het Nieuwe Instituut! De How Do You Do zal op 28 november plaatsvinden. Hier kunnen makers en erfgoedinstellingen met elkaar in gesprek gaan over creatief hergebruik van erfgoedcollecties, dit programma start om 15:30 tot 18:00. Aansluitend is er een Thursday Night Live! programma waarin de makers hun werk presenteren en worden geinterviewd.

Marius Schwarz

Het Nieuwe Instituut en het Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid hebben in het kader van het project Open Archief kunstenaar/designer Oana Clitan, kunstenaar Guy Königstein en filmmaker Donna Verheijden geselecteerd om uit de open toegankelijke, digitale collecties van beide instituten nieuw, autonoom mediawerk te ontwikkelen. Tijdens Dutch Design Week presenteren zij hun werk voor het eerst in het openbaar.

In de tentoonstelling van Open Archief in het Van Abbemuseum presenteren de makers de volgende werken:

Future news, official screens

Oana Clitan
Oana Clitan neemt in haar project een voorschot op de manier waarop informatie in de toekomst gepresenteerd zou kunnen worden. Ze maakt daarvoor gebruik van de retoriek van nieuwsuitzendingen van vroeger en nu. De installatie gaat uit van een scenario waarin het door het verval van elektronische apparatuur tijdelijk niet langer mogelijk is om nieuw beeld te produceren. In deze wereld is beperkt beschikbaar archiefmateriaal het enige medium waarmee ergens nog visueel uitdrukking aan kan worden gegeven. De overheid zet die schaarse behouden gebleven beelden in om haar burgers te informeren over de laatste ontwikkelingen in de crisis.

Dear past, what would it take to throw you off balance?

Guy Königstein
Stille vergaderruimtes, lege trappen, stoffige planken, lange gangen en gesloten deuren bieden als bevroren ruimtes uit vervlogen tijden een podium aan ongenode bezoekers. Guy Königstein neemt in zijn project de gedaante aan van zo’n onverwachte gast, onschadelijke indringer of verlegen geest, die op zoek naar verbinding en manieren om erbij te horen door het doolhof van het archief dwaalt. Hij trekt laden en bestandsmappen open en stelt het verleden de vraag: "Geliefd verleden, wat is er nodig om je uit balans te brengen?"

The Stolen Archive

Donna Verheijden
The Stolen Archive is een speculatieve thriller. De video-installatie legt verbindingen tussen de verhalen en gebeurtenissen die verborgen zijn in de archieven van Het Nieuwe Instituut en Beeld en Geluid. Beide collecties worden benaderd als een depot van beelden, audiofragmenten en objecten die worden ingezet als figuranten, props en sets.

Creatief hergebruik

Het Nieuwe Instituut beheert een van de grootste architectuurcollecties ter wereld en het archief van Beeld en Geluid bevat meer dan een miljoen uur aan historisch audiovisueel materiaal. Een groeiend deel van deze collecties wordt onder open licenties beschikbaar gesteld, waarmee ze onder meer inzetbaar zijn voor creatief hergebruik. Met Open Archief delen de instituten de mogelijkheden van digitale erfgoedcollecties met een nieuwe generatie makers. In het project staat het experiment met het online beschikbaar stellen en artistiek hergebruiken van digitaal erfgoed centraal, met ruimte voor uiteenlopende creatieve, technische en auteursrechtelijke interpretaties. Zulk hergebruik van digitale collecties in musea en archieven levert nieuwe verhalen in mogelijk verrassende, vernieuwende vormen op.

Open Archief bij Het Nieuwe Instituut

Aan de hand van een open call werden de drie makers voor Open Archief geselecteerd en uitgenodigd om in zeven maanden ieder een op zichzelf staand werk te ontwikkelen. Na afloop van deze eerste presentatie van de uitkomsten tijdens Dutch Design Week zijn ze van 14 november 2019 tot en met 26 januari 2020 ook te zien bij Het Nieuwe Instituut.

Meer informatie en tickets
Dutch Design Week
19 tot en met 27 oktober 2019
Open Archief is te bezoeken met een Dutch Design Week ticket.

Van Abbemuseum, Werksalon.
Bilderdijklaan 10, 5611 NH Eindhoven
Openingstijden 11:00 – 18:00

Open Archief wordt mogelijk gemaakt dankzij een bijdrage van het Mondriaanfonds.

Inmiddels is het project Open Archief al in volle gang en zijn de makers druk bezig met hun exposities tijdens de Dutch Design Week en in Het Nieuwe Instituut. De afgelopen maanden zijn kunstenaar Guy Königstein, filmmaker Donna Verheijden en kunstenaar/designer Oana Clitan op onderzoek gegaan in de open, digitale collecties van beide instituten. Komend najaar laten ze hun werken op verschillende plekken en locaties zien. Ook gaan makers, professionals en beide instituten tijdens verschillende nevenactiviteiten dieper in op open collecties en de betekenis daarvan. Onder andere tijdens:

De Media Night (Dutch Media Week) op 10 oktober.

De Media Night is een gratis feest in Beeld en Geluid in Hilversum waar creatieve makers zich laten inspireren. Guy Königstein, Donna Verheijden en Oana Clitan presenteren daar hun work-in-progress.

De Dutch Design Week van 19 – 27 oktober in het Van Abbemuseum.

Tijdens de komende Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven is van de drie makers alvast een preview te zien in het Van Abbemuseum.

De ReUse Clinic op 7 november in Het Nieuwe Instituut.

Hoe kan je open collecties hergebruiken? Wat verstaan we eigenlijk precies onder open collecties? Experts van Open Nederland en Beeld en Geluid vertellen in deze clinic in het Nieuwe Instituut alles over auteursrechten, Creative Commons en gratis (her)gebruik van archiefmateriaal.

De Meet Up en de opening op 28 november in Het Nieuwe Instituut.

Op 28 november 2019 organiseren Het Nieuwe Instituut en Beeld en Geluid een meet-up waar we als makers en erfgoedinstellingen met elkaar in gesprek gaan over creatief hergebruik van erfgoedcollecties ter afsluiting van het project Open Archief.
Het programma start om 15:30 en duurt tot 18:00. Aansluitend is er een Thursday Night Live! programma waarin de makers hun werk presenteren en worden geïnterviewd.

Hergebruik van digitale collecties van musea en archieven levert nieuwe verhalen in mogelijk verrassende, vernieuwende vormen op. Toch vinden makers en archieven elkaar nog slecht. Met het project Open Archief werken Het Nieuwe Instituut en het Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid samen om creatief hergebruik van digitale erfgoedcollecties te stimuleren. Niet alleen onze collecties maar ook die van tal van andere instituten kan je online terug vinden.

Wil je zelf aan de slag met al dit moois? Maar weet je niet waar je moet beginnen? Open Archief heeft een overzicht gemaakt van online Nederlandse (open) erfgoed collecties die je zelf kunt bekijken, deze kan je downloaden via de link hieronder. Onderdelen van deze collecties zijn publiek domein of beschikbaar onder een open licentie. Dit materiaal kan dus vrij gebruikt worden om nieuwe werken mee te maken.


ReUse Clinic

Samen met Open Nederland organiseert Beeld en Geluid een clinic waar we je laten zien wat voor moois er beschikbaar is en vooral ook wat je er mee kan en mag. We leren je de basics van open licenties. Hoe mag je open materiaal gebruiken en hoe publiceer je je nieuwe werk? Daarnaast laten we een aantal mooie werken zien waarin archiefmateriaal gebruikt is.

Op 10 oktober is er een ReUse Clinic bij Beeld en Geluid in Hilversum.
Op 7 november is er een ReUse Clinic bij Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam.

De vijfde Open Archief sessie in Het Nieuwe Instituut was op veel vlakken een spannende aangelegenheid. Niet alleen presenteerden de drie makers op 5 september 2019 hun eerste ideeën en ontwerpen voor de tentoonstelling, ook ging de nieuwe website online, gemaakt door Marius Schwarz en François Girard-Meunier.

Het archief is de sleutel tot het hiernamaals

Het middagprogramma werd door Dirk Vis geopend. Vis studeerde Beeld & Taal aan de Rietveld Academie en Design aan het Sandberg Instituut. Hij publiceerde in kleine oplage Bestseller (2009) en het e-book Reality-essay (2017). Hij doceert ook kunsttheorie aan verschillende kunstacademies, is schrijver, maakt fictie, columns, scenario’s en essays en hij is redacteur van het literaire tijdschrift De Gids.
Tijdens de vijfde sessie van Open Archief sprak hij onder andere over de manier waarop de mens data verzamelt en bijhoudt, welke stappen daarin de afgelopen jaren zijn genomen en vooral ook welke digitale voetstappen we als mens achterlaten. Hij vergeleek een wolk die “als kleine dauwdruppels sporen achterlaat” met iCloud, de dienst die ervoor zorgt dat er allerlei data, zoals contacten, agenda’s en documenten, opgeslagen worden op een server (namelijk, de cloud). Alle bestanden worden automatisch gesynchroniseerd met andere apparaten. Als er iets op eén apparaat wordt veranderd, worden alle andere automatisch bijgewerkt. Allerlei soorten informatie worden dus bewaard, net als bij een archief wat volgens Vis een plek is waar men opslaat.
Net als bij iCloud, waar informatie eindeloos wordt opgeslagen en waar men, door die informatie, als het ware voor eeuwig doorleeft, wordt deze informatie haast onsterfelijk. De vraag is of een archief en daarmee de maker of verzamelaar van dat archief ook onsterfelijk wordt. In Vis’ optiek fungeert het archief als een soort sleutel voor het hiernamaals.

Presentatie van de makers

Zoals eerder gezegd was deze vijfde sessie spannend om meerdere redenen: de makers presenteerden hun eerste concepten en ontwerpen voor de tentoonstelling ‘Open Archief’ tijdens de Dutch Design Week (19-27 oktober) en voor de expositie in Het Nieuwe Instituut (vanaf 14 november).
Beeldmaker Donna Verheijden heeft in haar proces gebruikt gemaakt van de collectie van beide instituten. Haar werk The Stolen Archive gaat dieper in op de vraag wat je precies aan materiaal moet stelen voordat het geheel ophoudt met bestaan.
Guy Köningstein heeft veelvuldig onderzoek gedaan in de collectie van Het Nieuwe Instituut. Hij heeft allerlei foto’s uit het archief verzameld en deze achter elkaar in een video gezet. Hier overheen is zijn eigen stem gemonteerd. De combinatie van archieffoto’s en de verhalen van Guy geven de bestaande afbeeldingen een hele andere betekenis. Hij maakt als het ware personages van de ruimtes die afgebeeld zijn. Van de interventies die hij doet, legt Guy een eigen archief aan.
Oana Clitan speelt met het idee van beelden produceren en archiefmateriaal aanleggen. In haar utopische (of distopsiche?) wereld is het niet meer mogelijk om nieuw beeldmateriaal te maken. Wat voor invloed heeft dit op de mens? En op de wereld? Wat gebeurt er als ‘oud’ archiefmateriaal wordt gebruikt om nieuws te vertellen?

Voor de uiteindelijke presentaties is nog wat geduld nodig. De makers gaan de komende tijd hard aan de slag met de invulling en inrichting van de tentoonstellingen.

Richard Vijgen (1982) was als mentor aanwezig bij de vierde sessie. Richard is een ontwerper en kunstenaar. Zijn Design Studio for Contemporary Information Culture doet onderzoek naar nieuwe strategieën om grote verhalen in big data te vinden. Richard maakt interactieve datavisualisaties en installaties variërend van microscopisch tot architecturaal in schaal. Ook is Richard docent Information Design and Information Spaces aan ArtEZ hogeschool voor de kunsten. Richard lichtte eerst enkele van zijn projecten toe, waaronder White Spots en The Deleted City.

Richard Vijgen, White Spots – A Journey to the Edge of the Internet, a collaboration with Bregtje van der Haak and Jacqueline Hassink, 2016.

De White Spots app is een tool die mensen bewust maakt van de elektromagnetische wolk waar wij allen in leven en vertelt over de toenemende dichtheid van de digitale wereld. Met de White Spots wordt er verwezen naar de schaarse plekken op aarde zonder verbinding met internet. De kaart maakt deze White Spots zichtbaar en nodigt gebruikers uit om er echt of virtueel naartoe te reizen en die ervaring met anderen te delen.

Richard Vijgen, The Deleted City 2.0, 2012.

The Deleted City is de digitale versie van Pompeï. Oftewel: een interactieve opgraving waarin je kunt dwalen door een episode van de recente online geschiedenis. Geocities gaf de eerste internetgebruikers een ruimte om hun eigen homepage te bouwen. Voordat Geocities zou sluiten in 2009 is een digitale backup gemaakt.

Richard ging vanuit zijn eigen perspectief in gesprek met de drie makers. Zo is Donna geïntrigeerd door de gebouwen nabij de Nederlandse kust. Een interessante strategie is hier gaande, maar het blijft een mooi mysterie. Zou een non-lineaire thriller een nieuw thema kunnen zijn? Het werk van Oana bevindt zich in de toekomst, zo’n 100 jaar van nu. Maar wat scheidt de toekomst van het nu, wat is het fundamentele verschil? Guy vraagt zich af wat het betekent om een archief te hebben, wat de criteria zijn om iets in dit archief te plaatsen. Volgens Richard begeeft Guy zich persoonlijk in het archief, dit is een interessant en verfrissend perspectief aangezien het structureren van een archief over het algemeen vrij formeel is en juist onpersoonlijk.

Op 25 juni was het tijd voor de tweede excursie, ditmaal begaven we ons in het Collectiegebouw van EYE. Mark Paul Meyer (senior curator EYE) vertelde ons meer over het Artist in Residence programma en Irene Heen (manager digitale presentatie EYE) over Jan Bot. Jan bot is een computerprogramma dat dag en nacht experimentele films creëert door het matchen van materiaal uit de vroege jaren 20 met hedendaagse trends en gebeurtenissen.

Impression of Jan Bot at work

Copyright stond centraal tijdens deze excursie. Iedereen die iets creëert krijgt namelijk copyright. Maarten Zeinstra (Open Nederland) verklaarde de geheimen van copyright. Zo is Copyright gebonden aan de sterfdatum van de maker, niet aan het werk. Copyright kan af en toe ook een vreemd fenomeen zijn. Dit is zeker het geval bij de selfie gemaakt door een aap. De fotograaf heeft de situatie gevormd, maar de aap is degene die de foto nam. Daarom is er besloten dat er bij dit werk geen sprake is van copyright.

Twee dagen later, namelijk op 27 juni 2019 vond de derde sessie van Open Archief plaats onder leiding van externe expert Dirk Vis (1981). Hij is schrijver en maakt fictie, columns, scenario’s en essays. Ook is Vis docent kunsttheorie. Voor verfilmingen van zijn teksten is hij tevens werkzaam als art director. Hij is altijd bezig met het beeld van zijn teksten. Daarnaast is Vis redacteur van literair tijdschrift De Gids en oprichter van De Internet Gids.

Janelle Monáe, Pynk (feat. Grimes), regisseur: Emma Westenberg, WMG, 2018

De Gids is het oudste literaire en algemeen culturele tijdschrift van Nederland. Literatuur, filosofie, sociologie, beeldende kunst, politiek, wetenschap en geschiedenis komen allemaal aan bod in De Gids. Ook een leuk weetje is dat De Gids ebooks beschikbaar stelt waar je zelf het aankoopbedrag kan bepalen. Deze ebooks vallen overal tussen, het is geen fictie, maar ook geen non fictie, het is te lang voor in het blad maar het is te kort voor een boek. Zo vinden deze verhalen hun weg naar De Gids. Dirk Vis heeft samen met zijn vrouw meegedaan aan een reality televisieprogramma. In zijn ebook onderzoekt hij de onzekere scheidslijn tussen fictie en werkelijkheid. Dirk kijkt zelf dus helemaal geen tv, maar ineens bevindt hij zich te midden van al deze gekkigheid zonder privacy. Kan het worden van een personage in je eigen leven ook een glimp van verlossing bevatten? Je leest het in Het Reality Essay van Dirk Vis. Op dit moment is Dirk Vis bezig met zijn eigen archiefonderzoek. Beelden die terugkomen in dit onderzoek vinden hun oorsprong in de erotische kunst. Zo komt ook Janella Monáe ter sprake met het nummer PYNK, waarin ze een ode brengt aan het vrouwelijk geslachtsorgaan.

Vervolgens is het tijd voor Dirk Vis om onze makers te leiden in de zoektocht genaamd open archief. Iedere maker vindt zijn eigen inspiratie in de collecties van Beeld en Geluid en Het Nieuwe instituut, heeft zijn of haar eigen verhaal te vertellen en bovenal een eigen sterke mening. Hoe maak je die belangrijke keuzes in je proces, hoe weet je wat de juiste keuze is en bovenal hoe kan je je eigen ideeën interpreteren? Zo is Donna tijdens haar onderzoek gestrand op een oude oorlogsbunker die nu gebruikt wordt als filmarchief van Beeld en Geluid. Tijd lijkt stil te staan in de bunker. Het mysterie van deze bunker trekt zeker de aandacht. Wat is hier gebeurd? Kan een geheim zich schuilhouden in deze bunker? Soms zit het mysterie hem juist in de duidelijkheid. Des te duidelijker, hoe mysterieuzer iets wordt. Oana zit nog middenin het mysterie dat technologie heet. Hoe gaan wij om met technologie? Hoe kijken we naar technologie? Wat is de representatie van technologie in het nieuws? Zijn we bang voor technologie of wordt het gerepresenteerd als onze verlossing? Kunst is een manier om dingen ondersteboven te keren. Guy onderzoekt hoe hij het verleden zichzelf toe kan eigenen. Hoe kan je mensen in je eigen geconstrueerde verleden uitnodigen? Deze minimalistische aanpak zou volgens Dirk Vis aantonen hoe er gefilterd wordt, dit zou vervolgens kunnen leiden tot een nieuw archief met een meer gelimiteerd doel. In dit proces zou Guy een eigen alter ego nodig hebben. Guy archiveert op deze wijze zijn eigen alter ego.

In onze digitale samenleving is het voortbouwen op creatieve producties van anderen gewoongoed. Vooral in de internet- en remixcultuur wordt veel materiaal continue hergebruikt. Deze manieren van creatieve creaties zijn tegenwoordig gewoon, maar strikt genomen zijn ze niet toegestaan zonder toestemming van de rechthebbende vanwege de auteurswet.

Elke eigen intellectuele creatie van de maker van een literair of artistiek werkt krijgt automatisch een monopolie op deze creatie. Als maker mag je andere uitsluiten een kopie van je werk te maken, je werk openbaar te maken en het werk aan te passen.

Culturele erfgoedinstellingen zien het steeds vaker als hun missie om niet alleen het erfgoed te beheren en toegankelijk te maken, maar er ook voor te zorgen dat anderen met dit erfgoed aan de slag kunnen gaan. Hiermee krijgen zij een faciliterende rol in een samenleving waarbij de maatschappelijke en culturele discussie en uitingen steeds vaker bestaan uit remixes van werken van anderen.

Nederland met Vakantie, Polygoon-Profilti, 1955. Creative Commons – Naamsvermelding-Gelijk delen.

Beeld en Geluid is al enkele jaren actief bezig om hun erfgoed nieuw leven te geven door gifjes te maken van hun open collecties. Onze cultuur erfgoed vormt dan het ruwe materiaal waarop voortgebouwd wordt en nieuwe waarde krijgt door de inspiratie die zij vormen. Beeld en Geluid heeft meer dan 350 gifjes geüpload op Giphy, die al meer dan 350 miljoen keer zijn bekeken. Dit is een publiek die dit materiaal gedurende hun eerste exploitatie waarschijnlijk nooit heeft gehad.

CC BY 4.0, Kennisland.

Dit is mogelijk door actief collecties open te stellen. Door op zoek te gaan naar publiek domein materiaal – materiaal waar het auteursrecht verlopen is – stimuleren zij hergebruik van erfgoed. Ook wanneer het auteursrecht nog niet verlopen is proberen erfgoedinstellingen actief op zoek te gaan naar toestemming voor algemeen hergebruik. Vaak bieden de instellingen tegenwoordig bij inname van nieuwe acquisities om het materiaal onder een Creative Commons-licentie beschikbaar te stellen.

CC0 licentie, Kennisland.

Met een Creative Commons-licentie geeft de rechthebbende aan iedereen ter wereld toestemming om het werk te verspreiden en vaak om het voort te bouwen op het werk. Hierdoor ontstaat een actieve hergebruik cultuur met erfgoed dat we de traditioneel niet goed gebruiken. Het erfgoed van onze ouders. Het erfgoed van onze over-overgrootouders is vaak niet meer auteursrechtelijk beschermd.

Hierdoor verzorgen de erfgoedinstellingen een belangrijke rol in de digitale samenleving. Zorgen voor een levendige uitwisseling van ideeën, culturele creaties en creatieve producties om zo verder te bouwen op de vele schouders die ons erfgoed dragen.

Wat hebben de opnames uit 1986 van een jonge LL Cool J die nog bij zijn oma woont en de opnames van de nasmeulende brand van het Paleis voor Volksvlijt in 1929 met elkaar gemeen? Naast het visuele inkijkje die beide opnames geven in een verloren stuk cultuurgeschiedenis, is het correcte antwoord natuurlijk: beide opnames zullen tot het einde der tijden gearchiveerd blijven in het Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid!

Beeld en Geluid beheert naast het archief van de Nederlandse Publieke Omroep, waar onder andere de eerder genoemde LL Cool J te bewonderen is in Big Fun in the Big Town (1986, VPRO, Bram van Splunteren) een prachtige rijkdom aan schatten die open hergebruikt kunnen worden! Deze rijkdom wordt al sinds 2009 op een open manier gedeeld via www.openbeelden.nl en er worden elk jaar weer meer schatten uit het verleden aan toegevoegd.

De grootste collectie op Open Beelden bestaat uit de opnames van het Polygoon journaal en behelst meer dan 950 uur aan materiaal. De Polygoon journaals in deze open collectie beslaan een groot aantal decenia, te weten van 1921 tot en met 1987. Of je nou benieuwd bent naar de inventieve vindingen op het gebied van huishoudelijke apparatuur uit de jaren 1950’ of als je erg graag wil zien hoe het testen van speelgoed er in 1979 aan toe ging, het is hier allemaal slechts een muisklik vandaan!

Kattenshows zeg je? Geen probleem.

Een Brigitte Bardot imitatiewedstrijd uit 1960? Tuurlijk, als jij dat graag wil zien.

Of er inderdaad in 1952 een vrouwelijke leeuwentemmer in opleiding was? En dat we daar dan ook gewoon de opname nog van hebben? Uiteraard, zie hier!

De leeuwentemmer brengt ons bij een andere prachtige open collectie van Beeld en Geluid, namelijk de meer dan 2.300 natuurfilms van de Stichting Natuurbeelden! Deze collectie, gefilmd tussen 1999 en 2017, laat het schoon van de Nederlandse natuur en haar inwoners zien. Van zoetwaterkreeften tot een heuse Lynx met een konijn in zijn bek, het is allemaal te hergebruiken onder een open Creative Commons licentie!

De tweede meeting van Open Archief vond plaats op dinsdag 21 mei 2019. Julia van Mourik, directeur van The One Minutes Foundation en stichting Lost & Found, was aanwezig als externe expert. The One Minutes produceert en distribueert video’s van één minuut vanuit een artistiek uitgangspunt. Hierdoor geven zij mensen een stem en maken ze nieuwe verbindingen; een internationaal platform om te creëren en te verbinden. Kernwaarden zijn artisticiteit, authenticiteit, democratie en diversiteit. Er worden series samengesteld met het werk van andere mensen. Hoe dit nou precies werkt? Een kunstenaar maakt een open call waarin zij mensen uitnodigen om hun film van één minuut in te sturen. Vervolgens beweegt de kunstenaar zich als curator door deze werken en maakt hier een selectie uit – zij kunnen daarbij ook werken selecteren uit de collectie van The One Minutes (15.000 videos). De series bestaan uiteindelijk uit een aantal One Minutes van verschillende makers, die bij elkaar ongeveer een half uur duren. De series onderzoeken onze perceptie van en onze verhouding met bewegend beeld en zijn een eclectisch scala van proposities over hoe we denken in het medium van bewegend beeld. The One Minutes Collectie is onderdeel van de collectie van Beeld en Geluid.

Samen met de drie makers, externe expert Julia van Mourik en het Open Archief team werden wij door Maarten Brinkerink vanuit Beeld en Geluid (Expert publieksparticipatie en Innovatieve Toegang) meegenomen in de wereld van copyright. Dit werd gedaan aan de hand van enkele stellingen, namelijk: “Just like privacy, copyright doesn’t exist online”, “Cultural heritage is free to use for everyone” en “Everyone is allowed to copy my work”. Bij het creëren van nieuwe werken aan de hand van bestaande werken komt namelijk meer kijken dan je in eerste instantie zou denken. Hoe zit het met de rechten van het bestaande werk en de maker? Maar ook hoe wil jij als nieuwe maker het nieuwe werk open stellen? De drie makers kregen hier de ruimte om hun eigen opvattingen te ontwikkelen omtrent copyright en het openstellen van hun eigen werk. Een opvatting die hieruit voortkwam was als volgt: “Cultural heritage is memory that we pass on to someone else. It’s not about the rights, it’s about the bureaucracy of keeping the rights of the few.”

Vervolgens werden de projecten van de drie makers grondig door de externe expert Julia van Mourik besproken. Oana is erg geïntegreerd door beelden met een dystopische sfeer. Ze is bezig met het opzetten van een inventaris door te zoeken naar beelden van machines en fabrieken. Guy houdt zich bezig met vragen zoals hoe hij zich kan positioneren ten opzichte van deze culturele instituten als een buitenlander en kunstenaar en wat het betekent om werk eigen te maken. Het viel Guy op dat veel beelden een bepaalde lading bevatten terwijl hij het niet geladen verleden zou willen gebruiken. In zijn onderzoek neemt hij de rol aan van een curator. Donna begeeft zich middenin het proces van het creeren van een film over een film die niet gemaakt mag worden. Een interessante link die gemaakt werd was die met The McGuffin van Hitchcock. Zo kan er in een film bijvoorbeeld een koffer zijn die erg belangrijk is, maar niemand weet wat er nou precies in die koffer zit. Dus iedereen vraagt zich af: “What is inside of the suitcase?”

Wat gebeurt er als drie makers een nieuw autonoom mediawerk creëren uit twee ‘open’ archiefcollecties? Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid en Het Nieuwe Instituut werken voor het project ‘Open Archief’ samen om hergebruik van digitale collecties te stimuleren. Toen ik, Clara Stille-Haardt, werd gevraagd om vanuit mijn functie als archivaris bij Het Nieuwe Instituut mee te werken aan dit project werd ik meteen enthousiast maar tegelijkertijd ook sceptisch. Één vraag kwam gelijk in mij op: hoe stel je de omvangrijke collectie van Het Nieuwe Instituut met 1,4 miljoen tekeningen, 300.000 foto’s, 70.000 boeken en duizenden maquettes beschikbaar voor creatief hergebruik?

De eerste stap was het bepalen van de speelruimte. Hoe ‘open’ is de collectie van Het Nieuwe Instituut eigenlijk en hoe wordt dit beschikbaar gesteld aan de makers? Samen met mijn collega Petra van der Ree hebben wij in eerste instantie kritisch gekeken naar de digitale collectie en de rechten die hieraan verbonden zijn. Het Nieuwe Instituut mag het materiaal in de collectie beschikbaar stellen aan derden, maar het niet hergebruiken of aanpassen tenzij het materiaal behoort tot het publieke domein. Dat is het geval wanneer het auteursrecht vervallen is, omdat de maker van het werk langer dan zeventig jaar dood is. Dit betekent dat de archieven uit de tweede helft van de 19e eeuw en het begin van de 20e eeuw in aanmerking komen voor creatief hergebruik. Denk hierbij aan de architecten P.J.H. Cuypers (o.a. Centraal Station Amsterdam, Kasteel de Haar en het Rijksmuseum), de Amsterdamse School architecten (o.a. Michel de Klerk) en enkele architecten van het Nieuw Bouwen (o.a. Johannes Duiker).

De speelruimte werd met deze selectie duidelijk afgebakend maar zorgde ook voor nieuwe vraagstukken met betrekking tot ‘open data’. Hoe ga je bijvoorbeeld om met foto’s en correspondentie binnen deze ‘open’ dossiers? Hierin bevindt zich voornamelijk werk van andere makers zoals de fotograaf of een auteur van een brief. Het archief van H.P. Berlage bijvoorbeeld. Dit archief is inmiddels publiek domein maar er bevindt zich een brief in zijn archief die door de architect H.Th. Wijdeveld is geschreven. Het archief van laatstgenoemde auteur/architect behoort nog niet tot het publiek domein. Kortom, om vragen met betrekking tot auteursrechten en ‘open data’ in de toekomst goed te kunnen beantwoorden, is bewustwording nodig.

Tijdens de eerste kennismakingsbijeenkomst, met de drie makers en het projectteam, in Het Nieuwe Instituut, werd mij gevraagd om een introductie te geven op de collectie in het Rijksarchief van Nederlandse Architectuur en Stedenbouw. Ik heb gekozen om de essentie van het archief te laten zien, de originele stukken en de intrinsieke samenhang van de verschillende onderdelen van het archief. Juist de originele drager laat de artistieke kwaliteit zien en ook het gebruik van verschillende papiersoorten, tekentechnieken en de schaal hiervan is zo fascinerend aan onze collectie.

Meubelontwerp uit het schetsboek van P.J.C. Klaarhamer, 1903-1906. Inventarisnummer: KLAA194, Collectie Het Nieuwe Instituut.

Ook de uiteenlopende documenten die worden verzameld van het ontwerpproces maakt de collectie uniek. Naast museale tekeningen, foto’s en maquettes bevatten de archieven ook schetsboeken, stalenboeken, productcatalogi, werktekeningen, correspondentie, affiches en objecten. Twee voorbeelden hiervan zijn de schetsboeken waar de architect P.J.C. Klaarhamer zijn eerste ideeën voor een stoelencollectie tekende en de ingekleurde presentatietekeningen van J.F. Staal voor een kantoorgebouw aan de Damrak. In deze dossiers zijn alle schaalniveaus vertegenwoordigd. De bouwtekeningen maar ook ontwerpen voor een deurklink, het meubilair, stoffen, behang en zelfs de tuin!

Presentatietekening van J.F. Staal voor het kantoor en magazijn ‘De Utrecht’ op de Damrak te Amsterdam, 1902. Inventarisnummer: STAXpf9.1, Collectie Het Nieuwe Instituut.

Ontwerptekening van J.F. Staal voor een deurklink voor het kantoor en magazijn ‘De Utrecht’ op de Damrak te Amsterdam, 1902-1905. Inventarisnummer: STAXpf9.9, Collectie Het Nieuwe Instituut.

Technische tekening van J.F. Staal voor het kantoor en magazijn ‘De Utrecht’ op de Damrak te Amsterdam, 1904. Inventarisnummer: STAXpf9.8, Collectie Het Nieuwe Instituut.

Met deze rijkdom aan ‘open’ archief voor handen ben ik heel benieuwd naar het onderzoek van de makers en hoe zij omgaan met enerzijds de grenzen van de ‘open data’ en anderzijds de verbinding tussen de beeldtaal uit het verleden en het creëren van een nieuw mediawerk.

Voor meer informatie over Het Nieuwe Instituut en het project ‘Open Archief’ kijk op:

Auteur: Clara Stille-Haardt (archivaris/conservator, Het Nieuwe Instituut)

Open Archief is van start! Al tweemaal hebben de kunstenaars elkaar mogen ontmoeten, namelijk tijdens de Kick-off op 8 april en de eerste sessie op 25 april.

Maandag 8 april was het tijd voor de Kick-off van Open Archief bij Het Nieuwe Instituut. De drie makers, bestaande uit: Oana Clitan, Donna Verheijden en Guy Königstein, ontmoeten elkaar en het team van Open Archief. Vluchtig hebben zij ook kennis gemaakt met de collecties van Beeld en Geluid en Het Nieuwe Instituut. Tijdens de werkperiode zullen de makers in het diepe duiken en aan de slag gaan met de open delen van de collecties. Wat is de definitie van open nou precies? Open data en content kan vrij gebruikt, aangepast of gedeeld worden door iedereen en voor elk doel (www.opendefinition.org). Geleidelijk in het proces zullen de makers ontdekken wat het precies betekent om met open collecties te werken. De werkperiode heeft de vorm van een talentontwikkelingstraject en biedt ruimte aan onderzoek, experiment en productie. De makers krijgen tijdens de werkperiode ondersteuning van medewerkers van de instituten en externe partners. De externe partners bestaan uit Elki Boerdam, Julia van Mourik, Dirk Vis en Richard Vijgen.

Clara Stille-Haardt gaf een kijkje in de collectie van Het Nieuwe Instituut. Speciaal voor het project Open Archief is er uitgezocht welke architecten langer dan 70 jaar geleden zijn overleden, wiens werk zich in de collectie van Het Nieuwe Instituut begeven. Het materiaal van deze architecten is allemaal gedigitaliseerd en opengesteld voor hergebruik. Klik hier om meer te lezen over de open collectie van Het Nieuwe Instituut.

De open collectie van Beeld en Geluid werd verder toegelicht door Harry van Biessum. Vervolgens vertelde hij ook meer over de collectie op openbeelden.nl. Hoe er in deze collecties gezocht kan worden wist Harry tot in detail te vertellen. Hij liet zien welke subcollecties er zijn binnen openbeelden, waaronder de NSB-collectie en de collectie natuurbeelden. Binnen de audiocollectie liet Harry onder andere de collectie van veldopnames uit Nederland, geluiden die zijn opgenomen voor hoorspelen, en opnames van Radio Oranje uit de Tweede Wereldoorlog horen.

Oana Clitan, Donna Verheijden en Guy Königstein verdiepen zich ondertussen verder in alle mogelijkheden die beide open collecties bieden en laten zich hierdoor inspireren.

What images have you seen so far, Elki Boerdam

Op 25 april kwamen de makers, het team van Open Archief en de externe expert Elki Boerdam bijeen. Elki Boerdam is sinds 2011 actief als image researcher. In haar werk onderzoekt, analyseert en herschikt ze bestaande beelden. Zo onderzoekt ze de betekenis van het beeld in nieuwe context. Elki werkt als freelance beeldredacteur voor de Volkskrant en werkt momenteel o.a. aan het project de Input Party; een archief en onderzoeksproject over hoe associatieve beeldarchieven onderdeel worden van het werkproces van makers. In 2013 deed ze mee aan het project Open Media Art, een voorloper van Open Archief waarin mediamakers een nieuwe kunstwerk maakten met de open collectie van Beeld en Geluid. Elki heeft hiervoor enorm veel beelden uit de open collectie van Beeld en Geluid gezien, maar ook bewerkt. Ze experimenteerde met de beelden en zocht naar beeldrijm. Passen beelden goed bij elkaar? Dan plaatste Elki deze beelden naast elkaar. Vervolgens creëerde ze een tegenstelling door expliciet oude beelden uit het archief naast nieuwe beelden van YouTube te plaatsen. Dit resulteerde in een video-installatie met twee schermen met de naam What images have you seen so far (zie afbeelding hierboven).

Tijdens de sessie werd uitgebreid gesproken over zoeken in de open collecties van Het Nieuwe Instituut en het Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid. Ook vertelde de makers hoe ze van start zijn gegaan aan hun project en wat voor materiaal ze zo al tot nu toe gevonden hebben in de archieven. Er werd ook gekeken naar het hergebruik van beeldmateriaal van anderen, hier werd uitgebreid over gesproken. Zo is een beeld voor Elki zoals verf voor een schilder, het materiaal waarmee je een kunstwerk maakt.

Foto’s: Marwan Magroun

Maya Pejić, Telegraafrellen, 1966. IISH, Inv.No.147A-B, Fotocollectie Maya Pejić

-- Researched by Michiel Huijben

-- Go to blog entry

Maya Pejić, Telegraafrellen, 1966. IISH, Inv.No.147A-B, Fotocollectie Maya Pejić

-- Researched by Michiel Huijben

-- Go to blog entry

Maya Pejić, Telegraafrellen, 1966. IISH, Inv.No.147A-B, Fotocollectie Maya Pejić

-- Researched by Michiel Huijben

-- Go to blog entry

Unknown, Poster. Staatsarchief Amsterdam, IISG BG E35/170

-- Researched by Femke Dekker

-- Go to blog entry

Radio Rataplan, 1981, poster. CSD BG E30/181

-- Researched by Femke Dekker

-- Go to blog entry

Unknown, Poster. Staatsarchief Amsterdam, IISG BG D77/302

-- Researched by Femke Dekker

-- Go to blog entry

Unknown, Poster. Staatsarchief Amsterdam, IISG BG C20/274

-- Researched by Femke Dekker

-- Go to blog entry

Man met haring, Polygoon Hollands Nieuws, 1935, filmstill. Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

-- Researched by Jessica de Abreu

-- Go to blog entry

Man met haring, Polygoon Hollands Nieuws, 1935, filmstill. Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

-- Researched by Jessica de Abreu

-- Go to blog entry

Groot feest in de Groote Keyser, 1981, poster. CSD BG D66/300

-- Researched by Femke Dekker

-- Go to blog entry

Polygoon Hollands Nieuws 25 november 1935, Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid (beheerder), "01:34, www.openbeelden.nl

-- Researched by Jessica de Abreu

-- Go to blog entry

-- Researched by Femke Dekker

-- Go to blog entry

Oana Clitan, Future news, official screens, 2019. Based on a fragment from The technological center of the ESA, 1979, Polygoon-Profilti collectie, Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

-- Researched by Oana Cliton

-- Go to blog entry

Archiefkast, Guy Königstein (original photos from the archive of Firma Gispen, courtesy of Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam)

-- Researched by Guy Konigstein

-- Go to blog entry

Filmstill The Stolen Archive, Donna Verheijden

-- Researched by Donna Verheijden

-- Go to blog entry

Guy Königstein, Negotiation, 2019. Based on a fragment from Bijenmarkt, Polygon-Profility, 1951, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

-- Researched by Guy Konigstein

-- Go to blog entry

Guy Königstein, His/story, 2019. Based on a fragment from Hoe werkt de postcheque en girodienst?, Polygon-Profility, 1976, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

-- Researched by Guy Konigstein

-- Go to blog entry

Staircase in the Social Hall of the passenger-ship D.S.M Dempo, 1929. Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, Architect Kromhout W. / Archief (KROM), inv. nr. KROM-84-22

-- Researched by Guy Konigstein

-- Go to blog entry

Guy Königstein, Decision-making, 2019. Based on a fragment from Demonstratie tegen uitbreiding ultra centrifuge fabriek, Polygon-Profility, 1978, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

-- Researched by Guy Konigstein

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Donna Verheijden, #5, 2019. Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

-- Researched by Donna Verheijden

-- Go to blog entry

De jaarlijkse huishoudbeurs in de hoofdstad, Giphy Polygoon Journaal, 1955. Collectie Beeld en Geluid, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

-- Researched by Donna Verheijden

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Guy Königstein, Goede Vaart, 2019. Short video based on a polygon newsreel from 1948. Public Domain Mark

-- Researched by Guy Konigstein

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Guy Königstein, Scenes of Crime, 2019. Experiment with inverted photographs from the archive of architect K. P. C. de Bazel. Collection of Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, Archief (BAZE)

-- Researched by Guy Konigstein

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Guy Königstein, 2019. Sketch for projection on a photograph from the archive of architect H.P. Berlage. Collection of Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, Archief (BERL)

-- Researched by Guy Konigstein

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Oana Clitan, untitled experiment, 2019. Still from Theater Onderweg geeft straatvoorstellingen met ‘Onken’, Beeld en Geluid, Polygoon-Profilti, Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike

-- Researched by Oana Cliton

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Donna Verheijden, #2, 2019. Creative Commons – Attribution-Share Alike.

-- Researched by Donna Verheijden

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Ontwikkelingsplan voor de Westergasfabriek, Klazien Duijvelshoff, Evert Verstraten and Stadsdeel Westerpark, 1996, p. 34-35

-- Researched by Guy Konigstein

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De Amsterdamse woningnood – sloop- en saneringskalender 1973

-- Researched by Guy Konigstein

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Betonschade; oorzaken, herstel en financiële konsekwenties, P. Groetelaers, Delftse Universitaire Pers, 1985

-- Researched by Guy Konigstein

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Amsterdam auto-vrij, poster published by Kloos, M., 1975. Inventarisnummer: AFFV312, Collectie Het Nieuwe Instituut.

-- Researched by Oana Cliton

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Trans Europe Express [TEE] Modellen, plaster model by Bout-van Blerkom, Elsebeth (architect), Werkspoor (opdrachtgever), Bout-van Blerkom, Elsebeth (maquettebouwer), 1953/1957. Objectnummer: MAQV591.03, Collectie Het Nieuwe Instituut.

-- Researched by Oana Cliton

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Opruiming verdedigingswerken aan de kust, 1948, Beeld en Geluid, Poligoon-Profilti, Public Domain Mark.

-- Researched by Guy Konigstein

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Zaandam onze stad, 1958, Beeld en Geluid, Polygoon-Profilti Creative Commons – Naamsvermelding-Gelijk delen.

-- Researched by Guy Konigstein

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Zaanstreek waakt over cultuurbezit, 1962, Beeld en Geluid, Poligoon-Profilti, Creative Commons – Naamsvermelding-Gelijk delen.

-- Researched by Guy Konigstein

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De volautomatische ploeg, 1962, Beeld en Geluid, Polygoon-Profilti, Creative Commons – Naamsvermelding-Gelijk delen.

-- Researched by Oana Cliton

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