CBK Rotterdam

Center for Visual Arts Rotterdam

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The Autonomous Fabric

Thursday afternoon 31 March, the Willem de Koning Academy and CBK Rotterdam organize an information evening about the professional practice of visual artists. Artists who have focused on a research project in the past year speak and talk to the public. An explanation is also given about the significance of CBK Rotterdam Art Office for Rotterdam artists, including about financing options. We end informally with a drink that also offers an opportunity to talk to people from the field, including Francine Mendelaar from Fonds Kwadraat

Rotterdam visual artists and students of the WdKA are very welcome!

There are still places available!

Thursday 31 March 2016
16: 00 - 18: 00 hours, starting from 15.30 hours
Willem de Kooning Academy, Blaak 10, Rotterdam

What does it mean to set up an artistic research practice, and how do you ensure that it can develop in a sustainable way? Which partners do you involve in your research? How do you ensure correct visibility? Which financing models are possible? An artistic investigation starts with asking yourself the right questions.


The Willem de Kooning Academy and CBK Rotterdam are organizing a meeting in which artists speak who have worked on a research project in the past year. They question their own practice and the world around them from different perspectives. They present their research in a number of concentrated, short sessions: the results, but also what went well and what went wrong. In the conversations, the artists respond to questions from the public and share their experiences.

CBK Rotterdam supports research projects by artists under the Research and Development scheme. Petra Laaper from Art Office will provide an explanation of these and other schemes.

Curious Autonomy is the first event in a series from THE AUTONOMOUS FABRIC, a research project initiated by the Autonomous Practices of the Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam. THE AUTONOMOUS FABRIC questions autonomy in relation to contemporary trends in society. A strongly changing field of work requires a new formulation of the autonomous maker, who from a critical perspective conquers his own position in the world.

With: Melle Smets, Amy Wu, Sol Archer, Johan Kleinjan, Ivan Henriques.
Upon arrival you can sign up for two sub-sessions with one of the participating artists. More information about the artists can be found below.

15: 30 walk-in and registration for partial sessions (artist project & interview)
16: 00 introduction / welcome (plenary) by Simone Kentgens (WdKA) and Petra Laaper (CBK Rotterdam)
16: 30 sharing session I with one of the five artists
17: 15 sharing session II with one of the five artists
17: 45 closure / drink

Participants sharing sessions:

Melle Smets (NL)
Melle Smets and sociologist Joost van Onna followed the trail of discarded cars and arrived in Ghana, where these cars are taken apart. There they decided, together with the local population, to make a new car out of these separate parts, the Turtle 1, and to export it back to Europe.
Melle Smets is an artist / designer. He received an R&D contribution from CBK Rotterdam for his project.

Amy Wu (AUS)
Amy Wu investigates how an analogous form of steganography, namely invisible ink, is a possible way to communicate more securely with each other at a time when online supervision is everywhere.
Amy Wu teaches in the Hacking minor of WdKA. She received an R&D contribution from CBK Rotterdam for her project.

Sol Archer (UK)
Sol Archer investigates the consequences of the construction of the Maasvlakte. About 2400 people work on the Maasvlakte; ever-increasing automation means that such an 25% will lose its job. By combining historical documents, personal interviews and field recordings, Archer tells the story of the influence of automation on human lives.
Sol Archer graduated in 2015 from the Piet Zwart Institute master Fine Arts. He received an interest-free loan from Fonds Kwadraat for his project.

Johan Kleinjan (NL)
Johan Kleinjan works at the interface of autonomous art and illustration. He went to Taipei, Taiwan for a working period of 2 months, where he studied the (mid-rise) architecture of the city and researched new ways to capture the buildings and their surroundings.
Johan Kleinjan graduated in 2000 from the WdKA illustration department. He received an R&D contribution from CBK Rotterdam for his project.

Ivan Henriques (BRA)
Ivan Henriques focuses on the relationship between the environment and sustainability, in particular the pollution of open water. Ivan works with scientists and engineers to create an interactive artwork that invites you to pedal along and at the same time contribute to the quality of the water.
Ivan Henriques is the current Artist-in-Residence of the Willem de Kooning Academy. He received a contribution from the Creative Industries Fund NL for his research project.


Publication date: 20 / 03 / 2016

TENT is the platform for contemporary art in the context of Rotterdam with exhibitions, new productions, educational projects, performances and events with makers from the city and beyond.
To website TENT

Sculpture International Rotterdam manages the international sculpture collection of Rotterdam, brings it to the attention and develops a metropolitan international art policy.
To the SIR website

BKOR manages and renews the extensive city collection in collaboration with Rotterdam residents, companies and institutions. BKOR advises the municipality, citizens and artists on the realization, placement, relocation and remediation of public works of art.
To the BKOR website

Art Office mediates, informs and supports visual artists from Rotterdam with regard to their professional practice. For artists, institutions and individuals.
To the Art Office website