Surrounding Education at De Appel

Surrounding Education. Towards new integrations with the curatorial and artistic fields
Dates: Saturday June 6, 15:00 – 19:00 & Sunday June 7, 11:00 – 19:00
Address: De Appel, Prins Hendrikkade 142, 1011 AT Amsterdam

De Appel arts centre and TAAK proudly present the two-day conference Surrounding Education, a program in which various topics from the educational field come together with the artistic field. Piet Zwart Institute Master Education in Arts professor Frans-Willem Korsten will join Mônica Hoff, Yoeri Meessen, Priscila Fernandes, Erick Beltrán, and Ane Hjort Guttu to share their experiences and most recent projects with the audience, and further expand on the limitations and commonalities of the aforementioned disciplines. More information on De Appel website

Students of the Master Education in Arts Seminar Critical Pedagogy, taught by Korsten and part of Fernandes’ solo exhibition at TENT Rotterdam, will be participating in the conference as well. More information on this year’s Critical Pedagogy lecture series here.

Image credit: Aufstieg der Begabten, 1950. Photographer: Friedrich Seidenstücker

PZI_WORM film: Middle of the Moment by Humbert & Penzel

Middle of the Moment
a cine poem
Nicolas Humbert & Werner Penzel, 35mm, black & white, 80′, 1995
Music by Fred Firth

Time: Tuesday May 12; doors open 19.00, screening 19.30

Location: WORM, Boomgaardsstraat 71, 3012 XA Rotterdam

Admission: €6 (free for PZI students)

This is one in a series of monthly screenings at WORM programmed by Tina Bastajian for the Piet Zwart Institute, Master of Media Design & Communication Department.

Middle. Photo i. Druckqualität (Camel)

The essence of any experience, any moment, is to be found where people are in most intense contact with the place they occupy. And, paradoxically, it is through a nomadic existence that one occupies a space the most intensely. Whether the nature of this nomadism is largely physical, as for the wandering tribes that travel the South Sahara and Cirque O or rather abstract, as for American philosopher and poet Robert Lax, is not so important. What the people portrayed in this documentary share is that their nomadic disposition, which strips life down to its bare essentials, makes them into completely centered human beings. They are not stuck in life’s cycles but co-exist with them, partaking them with a freedom that is unknown to most of us.

Filmmakers Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel travelled through Europe and Africa with these very different nomads for around two years. Resisting the lure of nostalgia of any kind they have created a film form, a cine poem as they call it, in which the freedom the nomadic life resonates from each individual shot as from the film as a whole. Far from being a simple comparative study of nomadic lifestyles, middle of the moment is a nomadic adventure itself. It is lyrical in but goes beyond the merely admirable in its associations. It is not afraid to stay in one place, but also knows how to travel on to the next. The filmmakers have used their equipment and findings as imaginatively as the nomads they met use theirs, in their daily lives.
— Text by Miram Van Leer

Images courtesy of the artists

Milan Design Week: MIARD’s exhibition NEXT HABITAT

Dates: April 14 – 19 2015
Location: Ventura Lambrate, Milan

The Piet Zwart Institute is pleased to announce their new exhibition, NEXT HABITAT presenting new work by international designers from the Master of Interior Architecture & Retail Design [MIARD] programme.

Image credit: Current Alchemy by Pawel Szubert and Julia Schostak, “In this proposal, electricity, a usually ephemeral phenomenon grows and crystallizes into a tangible artefact. A crystal,…turns into a raw material for consumption.”

The exhibition will be at Ventura Lambrate from April 14 – 19, 2015. This is the 6th edition of Ventura Lambrate, held during Milan Design Week and simultaneously with the Salone Internazionale del Mobile.

NEXT HABITAT presents visions of future habitation, holistic systems and artifacts. Collectively, the designers form a speculative scenario for living, addressing our relationship with resource, disposal, information, energy, light and life.

Either to adapt to cultural, environmental and technological changes, to cope with financial, social or political crisis, to hunt for basic necessities such as water and food, or simply yearn for a different place and community to live in – historically, humans have developed strategies to invent and modify their surroundings i.e. their habitat. These habitats distinguished themselves through a porous and linked “localize nature” of entities working together. Today, the majority of our built environment and its objects are static, wasteful, and disconnected to their immediate ecologies and local resources. The projects presented, explore and redefine interrelated elements of the spaces we inhabit – through the speculation and production of how we might live, more intelligently, ingeniously, and by thinking with systems rather than objects as an end in itself.

Centered on the concept of ‘systems for the habitat,’ the premise looks at connective networks to form new spatial synergies. Each proposal confronts and reimagines a pressing topic in contemporary culture.

Please join us for the Opening Reception on:
Wednesday April 15, 20:00 – 22:00 hrs
Ventura Lambrate, Academies.

To learn more about NEXT HABITAT visit:

Alexandra Bicheler, Alice Bonicelli, Federica Dellisanti, Wojciech Gawronski, Noor F.F. Istiani, Tinka Jongerius, Noah Matsumoto, Katka Prazakova, Julia Schostak, Pawel Szubert, Lorena Rubio Toledo

Alex Suárez (Program Director) Thomas Vailly (Thematic Design Project tutor), Füsun Türetken (Editor, History & Theory tutor), Daphne Heemskerk and Oliver Otten (Graphic & Website Design), Sander Boer (Technology, Video(s) tutor), Vanessa Tuitel (Project Coordination), Stephan Götz van der Vet (Exhibition Woodwork)

Tuesday April 14 – Sunday April 19 2015

General opening hours:
Tuesday until Saturday: 10:00 – 20:00 hrs.
Sunday: 10:00 – 18:00 hrs.

Ventura Academies, Ventura Lambrate
Intersection Via Dei Canzi 19 /Via Gaetano Crespi 24 Via Dei Canzi 19
20134 Milano, Italy

For more information, please contact:
Alex Suarez, Course director,
Vanessa Tuitel, Course Coordinator,


Opening reception: Saturday, April 11, 2015, 5 – 7 pm
Exhibition Dates: April 12 – April 26 (Open on Fri/Sat/Su from 1- 6pm and by appointment)

A Tale of A Tub
Justus van Effenstraat 44
3027 TK Rotterdam, the Netherlands

An exhibition featuring artists enrolled in the first year of the Master of Fine Art program at the Piet Zwart Institute: Niels Bekkema, Clara J:son Borg, Madison Bycroft, Raluca Croitoru, Seecum Cheung, Mat Do, Michael FitzGerald, Daniel Fogarty, Tracy Hanna, Mitchell Kehe, Katherine MacBride, Kari Robertson, Natalia Sorzano, Angharad Williams, and Pickle Street.

They face off in the room. He looks into her eyes and she looks into his. She sees him looking at her looking at him looking at her looking at him looking at her and she feels self-conscious so focuses on the detail. The brown that pretends to be black and the nostril that pretends to be still. She tries not to blink, but it’s hard work. She blinks.

She tries to maintain the kind of eye contact you might have when your eyeballs don’t actually touch. But with or without contact, the in-between-ness remains, even if it is only as membranous liquid or coagulated tears or the crust that separates wet from dry. The space between prevails with an unknown exchange rate. She wonders how long they would have to touch before they would conglomerate… or was the still, stale air of judgment and opinion already mattering between them.

She looks again, imagining a bird’s eye view and a hind sight too. She tries to allow the image to surprise her: tiny hairs and the space behind the ears and the eyelid twitch and the nervous tick. Is this what an encounter feels like? I try to find words to say but this moment escapes language. Are you, too, intoxicated with life? It all rises viscously around us, like an ocean storm and meaty tiptoes and a packet of midnight howls.

Are we feeling something together? Are we becoming something and then meaning something and then all the magic sensations in our bodily pits … We dance on the threshold of a primal immediacy, and weigh each other against the wild and untamed. A half sunken waltz to an ensemble of smells, crystallizing endlessly between offering and protecting ourselves.

Still I wonder if my vision is stubbornly dogged, or worse, dogmatic. Tell me if I am seeing you or just an actor performing the real you.

What does he stand for? What have I made him stand for? He sits but his size is not reduced… broad shoulders and square jaw.

I want to sing to him but he stands. And lifts a leg. In lieu of mine, he is suddenly estranged from this romantic fiction. He flees with his fleas and his nervous tick too. A diagonal escape into his own self-referential future, going blind, making me invisible as he madly gnaws at his own tale.

His trace is brutal, and yet the space has shifted. And in the end, making art and meeting a dog can be much the same thing.

Text by Madison Bycroft. Special thanks to Katarina Zdjelar and Petra van der Kooij.

Image credit: Katie Hanna, “Tree”, 2013, work on paper, 39 x 32 cm, courtesy of the artist

Artist talk: Zachary Cahill

Time: Monday April 13, 2015 at 19:30
Location: Piet Zwart Institute, Karel Doormanhof 45, Rotterdam
Admission: free

Please join us for an artist talk by interdisciplinary artist Zachary Cahill who has been working on the long term project USSA 2012, an exhibition-based para-fictional narrative relating to concepts of nation building, since 2009. He has had solo exhibitions at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany; the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and threewalls, Chicago, amongst other. His work was included in the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2014). Since 2007 he has been associated with the text and art enterprise Our Literal Speed. His writings have appeared in Afterall, Frieze, Mousse and is a regular contributor to Cahill is also a co-editor of journal Afterall.

Image credit: Zachary Cahill, HEALTHINFRIENDSHIP, Acrylic on Canvas, 2014. Photo by Tom Van Eynde.

PZI_WORM film: Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take One by William Greaves

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One
William Greaves, 1969, 75′, soundtrack by Miles Davis

Time: Tuesday April 14, 2015; doors open 19.00, screening 19.30

Location: WORM, Boomgaardsstraat 71, 3012 XA Rotterdam

Admission: €6 (free for PZI students)

This is one in a series of monthly screenings at WORM programmed by Tina Bastajian for the Piet Zwart Institute, Master of Media Design & Communication Department.

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm 2

It’s the ultimate “reality” piece – Steven Soderburgh

Greaves is a magician; he pulls a rabbit out of a hat, but, being a real magician rather than a fake one, he doesn’t plant the rabbit there but finds it there by chance. — Richard Brody, The New Yorker

Shot in New York’s Central Park in 1968 William Greaves’ film Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One stands as a seminal work in American independent filmmaking and one of the first to effectively use the split screen as a narrative device. The film could be called (amongst many things) a ‘reflexive documentary’ that documents a microcosm of life and film production as seen through a constructed fiction revolving around a unhappy married couples’ personal and sexual woes. This is further underscored by the progressive changes taking place in the late sixties and deftly navigates the political and social climate of the time through its implied dialogue with its cast of ‘actors’ and three roaming 16mm film crews.

One camera is focused solely on the actors scripted audition scenes, the second documents this process, and the third films everything from the the prior and anything else that might work into Greaves’ fictional documentary Over the Cliff. While on location, Greaves explains to an onlooker and to the nearby cast while being simultaneously documented, “I want to make sure that everything that happens on the set, I mean whether it’s off-camera or whether its among the crew or whether its being shot, thematically we should be constantly relating to sexuality …”

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm is a documentary film within another documentary film and so on. This cinematic mise-en-abyme was partially inspired by what is referred to in quantum physics as the uncertainty principle also known as the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle- that is to say the smallest units of nature found in particles can only calculate the probabilities of their behavior. Greaves reimagined this principle for Symbiopsychotaxiplasm in “how the analog to the electron microscope is the motion picture camera, which is looking down into the psyche and soul of the actor while the actor is performing, and often times it tends to stiffen and destroy the spontaneity and truthful feelings of the actor as the character they’re trying to portray. I thought that would be an interesting element to think about, artistically, creatively.” This uncertainty plays into subsequent scenes with the film crew questioning the motives of the director while secretly filming their ‘rap sessions.’ A film technician implores, “… maybe we are all acting …. alright.”

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One “invites endless speculation both from the audience and from everyone on the screen.” — Amy Taubin, film critic

Programme notes and introduction to this evening’s screening by Tina Bastajian for the Piet Zwart Institute Media Dept.

High scores for Piet Zwart Institute in Master program guidebook

The 2015 Dutch study choice guidebook (Keuzegids) for Master programs has reserved a special place for the Piet Zwart Institute. Two of her Master programs were rated in the ‘top programs’ – the top fourteen programs that received a minimum of 76 points.

The independent study choice guidebook compares test results from inquiries with students as well as research done by NVAO, the Dutch accreditation institute. The guidebook aims to give prospective students an opportunity to form their own opinion when choosing the right program, by critically comparing information and judgements on academic level and one-on-one time with instructors, among other.

High scores for Piet Zwart Institute
The Master Media Design and Communication received 82 points, and the Master Fine Art scored as many as 98 points, the second highest score in the entire guidebook! With 62 points, PZI’s Master Interior Architecture & Retail Design is the best of all Dutch masters in that field. The Master Education in Arts has not been assessed in this year’s ‘Keuzegids’.

Renée Turner, director of the Piet Zwart Institute, is very content with this score, but not entirely surprised, as she explained during an interview with Profielen. “It is a recognition in the Netherlands. Up until now, I sometimes felt that we are more wellknown internationally than in the Netherlands. Even though one of our students is currently nominated for the Prix de Rome (a large Dutch art prize, ed.).”

Like the other Piet Zwart Institute Master programs, the Master Fine Art is a small scale program with a lot of personal guidance, where eight to ten high profile artists, writers, filmmakers and other professionals tutor a group of twenty students, divided over two academic years. The tutors are internationally recognized, and the students profit from the network that the tutors bring to the program, Turner further explains.

But being small scale isn’t enough. “You have to stay focused,” Turner says. The education managers frequently discuss the program and curriculum with the students, and they have a lot of influence on the education they are provided.

Lecture Nana Adusei-Poku: Rewind Selecta – challenging the narrative of progress

Time: Thursday March 26, 19:30 hrs.
Location: Piet Zwart Institute, Karel Doormanhof 45, Rotterdam
Admission: free

There is a growing body of work on the notions of ‘time’ and ‘temporality’. Being a central aspect of our existence, time of course has been subject to philosophical debate for centuries. But time is also used as a social and political device to structure our daily lives and our biographies. This lecture will discuss this latter aspect through an analysis of two art works by the transdisciplinary collective HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN?, “Good Stock” and “thewayblackmachine”. Both seek to produce alternatives to a developmental/ linear / progressive concept of time as it is embodied, for example, by the notion of New Media; alternatives that counter the time cycles nation states and materialize in diasporic archives. Can critical art projects develop different concepts of time, and this way displace – among others – colonial concepts, normative concepts of the human body, and address limits of representation?

Nana Adusei-Poku is Research Professor in Cultural Diversity at Rotterdam University and Guest Lecturer in Media Arts at the University of the Arts, Zurich. She was a scholarship doctoral student at Humboldt University, Berlin, working on the curatorial concept post-black in relation to contemporary Black artists. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of Ghana, Legon; the London School of Economics; and Columbia University, New York. Among her recent publications are: ‘A Time Without Before And After’ in Not Now! Now! Chronopolitics, Art & Research, Sternberg Press, 2014. Her research interests are: cultural studies, visual culture, black diaspora art history, postcolonial, critical race theory and queer of color critique. As part of an interest to expand the means of knowledge production, Nana Adusei-Poku is developing collaborative performance lectures, which use the realm of the aesthetic in order to counter classical academic notions of presentation and communication. Next to her professorship, she is currently working as curatorial fellow at Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Arts in Rotterdam on a show with the artist collective HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN, which will open on May 21st.

This lecture is organised by the Master Education in Arts, and part of the Seminar Digital Cultures taught by Levien Nordeman.

Image credit: Richie Adomako HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN, Still from Installation thewayblackmachine, 2014, Courtesy the Artist

Artist Talk by Omer Fast

Time: Tuesday March 17, 2015 at 7.30 pm
Location: Piet Zwart Institute, Karel Doormanhof 45 Rotterdam
Admission: free

Please join us for an artist talk by visual artist and filmmaker Omer Fast, whose recent group exhibitions include dOCUMENTA(13) and the 54th Venice Biennale. Fast has had solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow. He is currently completing work on his first feature film, adapted from Tom McCarthy’s best-selling novel Remainder.

Image: digital film still from Continuity (2012) courtesy of the artist

PZI_WORM film: On the Way to School, by Özgür Dogan and Orhan Eskiköy

On the Way to School (Turkish Title: Iki Dil Bir Bavul)
Özgür Dogan and Orhan Eskiköy, Netherlands/Turkey, 81′, 2009

Time: Tuesday March 10, 2015; doors open 19.00, screening 19.30

Location: WORM, Boomgaardsstraat 71, 3012 XA Rotterdam

Admission: €6 (free for PZI students)

This is one in a series of monthly screenings at WORM programmed by Tina Bastajian for the Piet Zwart Institute, Master of Media Design & Communication Department.

The film chronicles a year in the life (from Sept 2007 to June 2008) of a young Turkish language teacher sent by the state to a remote Kurdish village in Eastern Turkey. Interactions with the students, parents and community prove to be an evolving exercise in witnessing and understanding the complexities of communication. The teacher speaks no Kurdish, and the students knowledge of Turkish is almost non-existent. Themes of isolation and belonging nuance the teacher’s encroaching sense of internal exile, which ironically also underscores the complexity of the Kurdish situation in Turkey. It should be noted that the Turkish title translates as literally, two languages and a suitcase.

Learning to sound out and write a strange language in order to perform rote recitations of nationalistic Turkish pledges feels more like propaganda than education, and helmers Eskiköy and Dogan allow this realisation to build imperceptibly. (Ronnie Scheib, Variety)

Through various methods and in-varying acts of patience, the “characters” find an fragile sense of a shared common ground. On the Way to School not only documents this process but also invites viewers to question its narrative form positing cinema as a unique lingua franca to transgress linguistic and geo-political borders. Filmmakers’ Dogan and Eskiköy received much praise for the film in both Turkey and abroad, winning the Best Documentary award at the Abu Dabi 9th Middle East Film Festival, as well as taking both the Turkish Film Critic’s Festival Prize and the Grand Jury Yilmaz Guney Prize at the Adana Golden Boll Film Festival.

Programme notes and introduction to the evenings screening by Tina Bastajian.