Somersaulting Horizons

Throwback Thursday. February 2018, already four years ago, I was invited by the Sonic Acts Academy to reflect on the pedagogical research project Sensing the Shipyard conducted in collaboration with the ArtScience Interfaculty in The Hague, Netherlands. In the lecture 'Somersaulting Horizons and Making Sense of Sensorial Journeys', I present sensorial fieldwork a tool for moving beyond stereotypical knowledge and preconceived ideas, for development and emancipation in the architectural studio.


Making Sense of Sensorial Journeys


Constantly challenged to multiply perspectives, the ships guide the Sensorial Journey to what resonates beyond – and even under – the horizon. A listening to, moving with, and breathing with that crosses participants’ pathways guide the creative process.
Water, ropes, metals and mosses for us result in fragrance and colors, vibrations and stories. When, as in this project, art becomes affect rather than representation, when movement and sensation rather than symbols or metaphors guide your artistic process, artistic knowledge is omnipresent.

Sensing the Shipyard: A Sensorial Journey

As part of Sonic Acts Academy 2018, ArtScience Interfaculty in The Hague joined forces with Sonic Acts on a collaborative research project Sensing the Shipyard: A Sensorial Journey. The project is part of ongoing research into the transformation and rethinking of modes in the artistic field. In this project a group of ten art students tapped into the different industrious rhythms of the Damen Shiprepair in Amsterdam, which is used to conduct numerous repairs on cargo and leisure ships. This terrain, located in the harbour on the north side of Amsterdam, next to the River IJ, is in operation for almost a hundred years and is bustling with energy and activity on an industrial scale. Under the guidance of spatial artist Cocky Eek and Sonic Acts curatorial team member Nicky Assmann, and with the coaching of architect and creative researcher Renske Maria van Dam and sound artist BJ Nilsen, the students delve into questions such as: How do we relate our human presence to enormous living machines? How is this relationship sensorially inscribed at this rich and historic industrial complex?


Sensing the Place

The project resulted in an artistic archeology of the shipyard: Sensing the Place.