July 5, 2012

Exhibition “Living & Being" in Beijing

20:07:12 – 15:09:12
Exhibition “Living & Being" in Beijing

The movie “Lights in the North” will be shown in the beautiful museum of the Song Zhuang Art Center in Bejing(CN) during the group show of Dutch and Chinese contemporary artists.
More info: Song Zhuang Art Center & Architecture

Location: Xiao Pu village -Song Zhuang Town
Tong Zhou District, Beijing - China

June 29, 2012

Exhibition “2nd Presentation: New Borrowed Treasures 2012”

27:07:12 – 09:08:12
Exhibition “2nd Presentation: New Borrowed Treasures 2012”

This year CBK Groningen will present, with SBK Amsterdam for the 9th time "the New Borrowed Treasures" in the Der Aa church in Groningen: 3 presentations of each 2 weeks with work from 33 artists. Almost all the work you can borrow or buy through the Art Libraries of CBK Groningen and SBK Amsterdam. My work will be shown in the second presentation round in the Media cabinet.
More info

Location: Der Aa-kerk
Akerkhof 2, Groningen
Opening hours: Tue / Sat 10.00 - 17.00 - Sunday and Monday 13.00 - 17.00
Free admission

June 9, 2012

Opening exhibition "Air"

22:06:12 – 15:07:12
Exhibition “Air”

Art Biennale, curated by Wim van der Beek with the theme “Air”. the visual presentation of current income art are at four locations in the center, the Cultural Center, the Great Church, Westerhuis (former town) and the empty Industrial Premises (2 + factories house and shop / window) of Baltes. My work will be shown at the Cultural center.
More info

Location: Culturele Center
Schoolstraat 6a

, Bathmen
Free admission

January 8, 2012

Opening exhibition "George Verberg Stipendium"

Dennis de Vries from hey@subform.net 

Dear friends, family, art lovers and followers,

For the previous month, Matthijs Herder and I have been mostly offline and out of touch. This is because we have been working on an amazing film which will be premiered next monday the 16th of January from 16:00 on. The film is a fairytale concerning the Northern lights.

You are all cordially invited.

Oude Natuur Museum
Praediniussingel 59, Groningen
16 January / 27 January

* More background information about the film and the last part of info about the journey we made, will follow after the opening on the blog (just not enough time right now to keep up writing). 

December 10, 2011

Light In The North - Official Teaser 1

Here's our first official teaser of the short film Matthijs Herder and I are making right now. The premiere of the film is expected on the 16th of January 2012 in Groningen - NL. For the presentation of the George Verberg Scholarship in also my first solo exhibition "Aanschouw de Stilte".

November 28, 2011

'behind-the-scenes' at STRP Festival

Last Friday, the 25th of Nov, I gave a talk about the 'behind-the-scenes' of our current film project "Lights in the North" at STRP Music, Art and Technology Festival ("How Do You Do"), started at 15:30. It was very informal though. To give you a slight impression of the day, have a look at the How Do You Do Website.
*Photo CC-BY Sebastiaan ter Burg

Also very proud to announch that Adri Schokker is the winner of the STRP Talent Pit Award 2011, with his graduation work "Reconstruction of a Catastrofe". He studied one year under me at the Frank Mohr Institute, and we also studied at the same BA a long time ago. Good luck Adri and I hope it will bring you a lot of opportunities!
*Photo CC-BY Sebastiaan ter Burg - Adri talking about his experiences

November 18, 2011

65th Anniversary of the Zwols Symphony Orchestra

In collaboration with the Zwols Symphony Orchestra (NL) I made a live video / animation during their 65th anniversary classical concert in Theatre 'De Spiegel, Zwolle (NL). On the composition of Prokofiev's piece Lieutanant Kijé.

*Sample of video 

*Impression, picture by Frank van Hiemen

*Impression, picture by Frank van Hiemen

October 31, 2011

Our time in Stockholm & Uppsala

We are in Jokkmokk now. Our journey down south will start tomorrow. As we are awaiting the Northern Lights to show up tonight, probably for the last time while we're here in Sweden, we thought it was a good time to do some updating about our time in Stockholm and Uppsala.
(We will add some pictures to illustrate this post soon, but right now, we don't have time to go through all of them).

We arrived on a Monday night at Skavsta Airport and stayed at a nearby Hotel the first night. Matthijs got a serious mosquito attack, he counted at least 102 bites. Big ones!
*Some of Matthijs his mosquito bites

The next day we went to a Stuga just outside city centre Stockholm, where we stayed for 4 nights. After that we could pick up the mobilehome (‘Husbil’) we rented for 5 weeks. We stayed in and around Stockholm for several more days, sleeping in our Husbil in random neighborhoods, before going to Uppsala and staying on a camping site for 3 nights.

* Stockholms Gamla Stan

During our time in both Stockholm and Uppsala our main focus was to develop the script for the movie to a final stage and do some more research on the topic, while also seeking some more inspiration from being in Sweden, instead of looking at books and internet articles. Besides we had some equipment malfunctions to solve and the learning curve for some other (newly acquired) equipment was a bit steeper than planned.

Our research got stuck a bit prior before coming to Sweden, because all our sources told us that what we were looking for was not really documented in the past and not much info was to be found. Because we wanted to find out for ourselves, we payed a visit to the Kungliga Biblioteket. And indeed, the ‘Misconceptions of the Lights in the North’ are more likely to be found in the Sami culture than that of the Swedes.
*Kungliga Biblioteket

This caused a last minute change of direction. We decided to rewrite the script and put in a more
philosophical layer, an open ending and more question marks altogether. Make it more like a journey into the unknown instead of a re-telling of ancient folklore.
More inspiration for our new vision of the movie was to be found in some museums we visited. The National Museum had a great exhibition, 'De fyra årstiderna.' Swedish painters from around the turn of the (previous) century, depicting the four seasons.
The Nobel Museum currently hosts an exhibition on Maria Skłodowska (Madame Curie), one of the first female scientists. Because of my interests in alchemy, I envisioned some new ideas for the LitN movie, just by watching some of the equipment she used and the way she worked. This will all make more sense when the movie is finished.
*Madame Curie working on an experiment

On a cloudy night we went stargazing at the Observatory. No stars to be seen but we did meet some Aurora experts who were kind enough to share some information with us about how to photograph the northern lights.

We were also developing a new habbit during our time in Stockholm. Taking HDR pictures at night of random scenario's. Some have turned out really nice.
During this time we noticed that the heating system in our 'Husbil' isn't working very well, especially in the sleeping compartment. It took us some time to find a way to keep the warmth inside and at the places where we wanted it to be. But we managed. There are curtains and cushions hanging and lying around everywhere and we have developed a system consisting of floor isolation material that we have to hang in front of the windows every night. And lots of extra blankets.
*Stargazing at the Observatory

Another bummer is the fact that we were expecting a Camper with 2 batteries. One for the car and one for the living area, which would recharge while driving. So, we naively thought that the living area would have at least a 220v power socket so that we could recharge our camera's and laptops whenever we wanted. Not! 220v would probably drain the battery within an hour if you put a laptop in. And this would prevent our heater to do it's job. So no powersockets in our husbil.
This means that we have to stay at a camping site every other night, or go to restaurants very often. Not what we expected and very time (and money) consuming.

But now that we're a couple of weeks further down the road, we got around to some of the troubles we encountered and learned to live with it. Until now it has been a great experience and we shot some excellent footage for the movie. We have seen amazing landscapes and beautiful Northern Lights. And unexpectedly the weather turned out better than the forcasts fortold (as did the Aurora's) so we were able to stay up North as long as we wanted.

October 27, 2011

Epic Northern Lights

We were so lucky to witness the fantastic Northern Lights in the night of 24/25 October near Abisko, Sweden. And to be able to capture the rare red flames of light for two possible sequences of the film we are working on.


* Two stills from the timelapses we shot. These are unprocessed HDR photos and not yet the final product.

"NASA said the October 24 CME had such strength, speed, and mass as it struck Earth that it pushed the boundary of Earth’s magnetic fields – a boundary known as the magnetopause – from its normal position at about 40,000 miles away from Earth inward to about 26,000 miles. This is the area where spacecraft in geosynchronous orbit reside, so these spacecraft were briefly orbiting outside of Earth’s normal environment, traveling through material and magnetic fields far different from usual."

* A  picture of "The Aurora Hunters team" Eleanor and Matthijs, with their mobile home.

October 24, 2011

Hunting the Skies at Night

"We have turned into nightcreatures, hunting alongside foxes and owls in the dark forests, to where the timberline stops. The land turns into a tundra. Snowy mountaintops block our view at the horizon. We walk, we wander. We start climbing the nearest hill for a good overview of the landscape. Under the faint light of cloudy but starlit skies we search for prey and try to capture it with the digital black boxes we carry around our necks. Our senses tell us it's there, yet our eyes are not well adjusted. The moon is full and we hear the distant polar dogs howling, or is it the wolf pack that roams these places.
We point our digital black boxes at the sky to see what happens and all of a sudden they portray a green infinity, of which our instincts told us they were mere clouds. When we look up again we see a bleak, shimmering movement in the air. A faint, yellowish ray slowly dissolves and returns again in a more greenish flame-like form. Are the spirits lighting candles in the abyss at the end of the world?"

 * Some stills from the timelapses we shot. These are unprocessed HDR photos and not yet the final product.

It took us some time, but 4 nights ago our patience paid off. Almost as if by accident, we shot the Aurora Borealis. Because there was not much else to do, we started shooting a beautiful cloud movement in very strong moonlight above a spectacular mountain view. When we looked back at the pictures, we saw a green arc clearly visible across the sky (see first picture above). Our camera was able to see it, but our eyes didn't. Or we did not know what exactly to look for. This was such an exciting moment, we started shooting straight away. Although it still was a cloudy sky, some hours later we began to distinguish these bleak forms from the clouds themselves. We were finally seeing the Lights in the North.

And so for the past couple of days and nights we have been into the wilderness, where there are no distracting city lights. Sleeping in during the morning, driving around and scouting for beautiful scenery to film in during the afternoon. And we've been lucky because the past few nights the skies were pretty clear and the Aurora was visible. Though not as spectacular as we've hoped because of the sun's low activity at the moment (which is what causes the lights). But still we have 5 good sequences now that contain the Aurora and there are some clear nights coming up next week. So tonight we stay at a camping to recharge our batteries and make an overview of the work we've done so far. And of course to keep you posted with this blog.

October 18, 2011

Kiruna, no lights yet

We have been in Kiruna now for 3 days, and above the Arctic Circle for 5. This should be the perfect place to watch the Northern Lights.
We have been in film-mode for a couple of nights now but the Aurora Borealis has not shown itself to us yet. This is mainly because of the cloudy and rainy, foggy weather. It’s all a bit tiring and frustrating, because you know that the lights are there, just above your head. Only the clouds are blocking our view. The weather forecast does not look very promising. More rain, more clouds. But the night from Wednesday to Thursday is looking a bit brighter and less cloudy than the last couple of nights. So we hope to catch at least a few glimpses of the Northern Lights that night.

We hoped to drive even higher up north to Tromsø, Norway some time these days. But our motorhome is not really build for these roads in the weather conditions up here. And there is more snow coming up this weekend. So we will likely head south earlier than planned. But even 2 hours down south from here, there can still be amazing displays of Northern Light at night. Let’s just hope for the best.

*Waiting for the Northern Lights to show

October 12, 2011

First shooting sequence for the film

Here's a quick post, because we are just too excited. Last night we finally started filming the first sequence for the movie. By coincidence we found a beautiful location at the seashore where this old wooden house was standing all alone in misty, full moon light. This was the perfect location for the home of one of our main characters, the 'Keeper of the Lights.' We filmed for several hours into the night and wanted to share some of the shots we made. Just to give a little taster of where the visuals could go with this film.
By clicking on the pictures they will enlarge:

October 8, 2011

Update on our journey

We have been in Sweden now for about 12 days. Things aren't going as we hoped they would. But we are still alive and kicking. There is so much information and inspiration to be found in all the things we see and do. It can be a bit overwhelming.
We haven't had time to write a journal about our stay in Stockholm and Uppsala. And we don't have time right now. But tomorrow we'll arrive in Umeå and maybe we'll find some peace of mind to recapture the first 2 weeks of this journey. But right now we wanted to share the first 3 pictures we took in Stockholm. There's no Aurora to be seen, but at least some beautiful night skies to practice our new camera and techniques with.
By accident we discovered a beauty in the grains of our digital camera, different of course from the old analog grain, but something we want to experiment further with.

Right now we have a struggle with the natural forces. Our camera batteries can't stand the cold very well, our camper does not have a regular power socket or recharge options, our laptops only can take a couple of hours before drying out. We need our 21st century resources, but we have been thrown back a century or 2, or so it feels.

Also we did bring a lot of equipment with us, but only little clothing, especially for these weather conditions. We we're hoping to find some second hand shops in Stockholm first, to buy some cheap ski outfits, but apparently these Swedish people don't do winter clothing, or at least not of the cheap, secondhand variety. So we are freezing our asses off and don't want to spend the extra buck on more expansive outdoor clothing to keep us warm.

We'll see what Umeå will bring us, it's all part of the adventure and we're still happy to be here and to be able to work.

September 24, 2011

Our travelling plans

It has been incredibly hectic the last few weeks. Matthijs and I are working day and night to finish other projects, preparing for our travels and to get everything organised in time. I have not been sleeping very well the last few days and have this funny feeling. I realise we are really going to travel to the Arctic Circle, to become “professional aurora hunters.”

We will arrive in Stockholm on Monday evening and stay for the week in this Stuga at the Ängby camping in the middle of the city near the floodplains of the sea. There are some initiatives we are going to visit and definitely the exhibition “The Four Seasons” in Nationalmuseum. Which hopefully will be a great inspiration for the project.

On Saturday we will pick up this small camper that we have rented for 5 weeks. We are looking forward to drive this “husbil”. We have been talking about it for weeks.
Mostly we will be working at night and when it gets very cold we have our house close by. For us a comforting idea and it gives a lot of freedom. Also I have some very particular ideas for the scenery to shoot the images and this way we are going to stay flexible.

We will travel from Stockholm to Umeå, a 7 hour drive. We will meet some people there and visit the university. We also want to visit Jokkmokk, Kiruna and see how close we can get to the mountain Kebnekaise. 
Some small facts: They say that Kiruna has an approximate of 4 sunhours a day at the end of September and temperatures still above 0° at daytime.

But right now (two O’clock @ night) we have some technical problems to solve with one of the laptops, not all the equipment tested and still need to pack everything.

September 23, 2011


Today is an open day @ our studio complex DOAS (here I currently have my Studio based at "the Little Fabrik space"). The DOAS, which actually is a former school building form the 1930th. Has been beautifully renovated in the original style of that time. About one year ago the studios were opened and today it's time to celebrate its first birthday. We are holding a symposium about censorship in art. During this celebration the new decorated studios of all the different artist will be officially opened for visitors. There will be presentations, workshops and a Darkroom Expo.  My studio at "the Little Fabrik space" will also be opened to the public and some of my works are on display. Unfortunate I will not be there because I'm traveling and will arrive in Stockholm upcoming weekend.