Where do we meet: How (not) to be seen?

The participants of Witte de With’s Class of ’17 are pleased to present their try-out event Where do we meet: How (not) to be seen?, featuring presentations by photographer Esther Hovers and performance artist Frans van Lent, and a newly developed group performance to be collectively executed.

To what extent does our behaviour get influenced by the increasing presence of media technologies, such as CCTV, automation and screens? How do surveillance cameras, for example, influence the way we move through a space? Or, in other words, how do these technologies affect the way we perform ourselves in public spaces? In a time where our lives are broadly mediated by the screen and the lens, how could we think of ways of being unseen or unnoticed? Together with invited guest speakers Esther Hovers and Frans van Lent we will take these questions as a starting point and explore the implication of surveillance camera’s — and visibility as a whole — on the way we relate to space.

Photographer Esther Hovers will give a lecture about her own practice, in which she focuses on how power and control are exercised through urban planning and the use of public space. In her lecture she will get into her use of camera perspectives that hint at surveillance technology and the organization of human behaviour in urban space it captures.

Performance artist Frans van Lent will start with an introduction on his current practice, that centers around the notion of being “unnoticed” in public, after which we will all join in for a newly created collective performance to be executed unnoticed somewhere out on the streets of Rotterdam. Together we will explore relations between public and private, seen and unseen, noticed and unnoticed by literally taking a route through public space.

The event responds to the exhibition Judy Radul — the king, the door, the thief, the window, the stranger, the camera that is currently on view at Witte de With, in which artist Judy Radul has created a dynamic set for live image production that follows and steers the visitor’s behaviour, transforming the exhibition space into the stage for the visitor to traverse. Prior to our event we will organise an exhibition tour through this exhibition.


11:15 - 11:45: Exhibition tour
12:00 - 12:30: Lecture Esther Hovers
12:30 - 13:00: Introduction Frans van Lent
13:00 - 14:00: Instructions and group performance
14:30: Collective evaluation

For reservations

This Class of ’17 event is organised as a try-out to test and evaluate ideas for it’s program. Towards this aim, the event is offered only to a small group of visitors. Active participation and engagement will be required to fuel the explorative nature of the programme, and all participants are asked to join in an evaluatory discussion concluding the programme. If you want to be part of this Class of '17 try-out event, please send an email to docus [​at​], with a short introduction of yourself and your interest in the programme.

About Witte de With Class of ‘17

Studium Witte de With Class of ‘17 is a peer-led education initiative by Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art. Each year a select group of students from partner institutions collaboratively explore art and art education on the intersection of the professional field and higher education curriculums. The participants form a co-programming team by and for students, to explore and map the cultural and political ecology of our time.

Class of ’17: Holly Benfield (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Victoria Douka-Doukopoulou (ArtScience Interfaculty The Hague), Jim van Geel (Reinwardt Academy), Aleid de Jong (Leiden University), Nia Konstantinova (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Amy Pickles (Piet Zwart Institute), Joyce Poot (Leiden University) and Martina Tosi (Willem de Kooning Academy).

About Studium Witte de With

Class of ‘17 is part of Studium Witte de With, the higher education platform for art and theory by Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art. Studium Witte de With is intended to serve as a catalyst bridging various fields of knowledge across higher education. It presents lectures, debates, workshops, and other programming in collaboration with partner institutes, to root firmly the programme in the curriculums of Academies and Universities.


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