On the 19th of December we’ll be hosting What About Now organised by Tamar Brüggemann and the Negative Space collective. Electronic and classical music, spatial sound and light, lectures, dance, and installations will be filling different parts of our building for 7 hours. All the performances by Maarten Vos, Loma Doom, Sarah Jeffery, Oscar Kocken, Windsor Consort, Salvador Breed, Boris Acket, Nick Verstand, Uri Eugenio, Camilla Bundel, Poul Holleman and Nadia Struiwigh will explore our experience of time and space in their own way. We sat down with Tamar Brüggeman and Boris Acket to talk about their plans.Q: Hi Boris and Tamar, it’s not that long until What About Now, preparations must be in full swing. And as if this time of the year isn’t busy enough, Boris is also about to start his residency Negative Space at De School. What about some explanation about what’s about to go down?
Tamar: I think that feeling just might have been our starting point for What About Now: the social pressure. And it’s not just December, is it? We really are ‘on’ all the time. We can sometimes feel captive to the news, messages, social media full of our friends and ‘friends’. The flow never seems to stop.
Boris: We’re caught in a hyperconnective web, constantly connected with something, someone, somewhere else, 24/7.
Tamar: That frustration, or rather a sense of unease and worry led to What About Now.Q: What is What About Now?
Boris: It’s an experiment. We want you to explore the experience of time, space, and sound with us.We got really inspired by events like 'The Long Now' in Berlin, a 36 hour night and day with mainly experimental ambient music programmed.
Tamar: You’ll be asked to leave your phone in your coat at the wardrobe in order to really disconnect from all ‘social’ distractions. Take the time for the here and now.
Boris: We’re going for a Now experience, inviting everybody to really paying attention to the space you’re in, the people you’re with. Time literally doesn’t count, no outside distractions.
Tamar: What About Now presents lots of music, but also dance, installations, healing bowl sessions and talks. First at the mic will be Aldo Kempen to shine a philosophical light on What About Now, highlighting various entry points into thinking about temporalities, time experiences and what it could mean to be in the present. Aldo’s story will give the evening direction, after which the performing artists take over, each shaping the Now experience in their own way.Q: It seems that you’re preparing some technological miracles?
Tamar: Absolutely, and in what I think are unexpected ways. Maarten Vos and Sarah Jeffery on cello and recorder use innovative spatial looping techniques to create a richly textured sound ecosystem. The looping and scenography during this concert will be controlled live by Poul Holleman, Nick Verstand and Boris.
Boris: Boris: Yes, I’m really looking forward to it. What’s more, in this performance (as during all of our residency Negative Space) we’ll feature a modular, spatial light and sound system powered by 4DSOUND.
Tamar: Imagine standing in the middle of a galaxy of lights, taking over your senses. The system will also dialogue with dancers Uri Eugenio and Camilla Bundel. Using their bodies, they’ll create a choreography exploring space and the movement of sound and light.Q: Any personal favourites of yours visitors can look forward to?
Boris: I’m super happy we could invite Loma Doom, who I think is the master at weaving together dark rhythms, moody psychedelia, spoken word and slick electronica. She’ll come to What About Now as a true music-storyteller
Tamar: And sometime after midnight – not that you’ll know what time it is – we’ll welcome the Windsor Consort, who we could convince to take a little break from all their Christmas concerts. They’ll bring centuries-old music to De School, a polyphonic mass by William Byrd. I’m madly in love with that piece, I might be listening to it every week, it’s such a warm sound bath. Think of it as a moment of contemplation during the night.Q: Anything else we should know?
Boris: I've created a new piece together with Sebastiaan Smink. Together we will exhibit the first iteration of 'Music for Smartphones.' An entire piece made for you to meditate based on stretched ringtones, so head to the Klanklokaal where you’ll find a new installation based on stretched ringtones.
Tamar: What else? Ah, how about a session with singing bowls led by Nadia Struiwighin the basement? That will be a nice intermezzo with all the performances in De School’s Aula.
Boris: And to close the evening, we look forward to author Oscar Kocken’s manifesto on the use and experience of time.
Tamar: But with all this busy activity, don’t forget what What About Now really tries to do: disrupt our sense of time. Step away from the ticking clocks. Enough of the social waste. No scrolling through timelines for one night. Just focus on the Now.Q: How would you like people to return to the normal world?
Boris: And maybe a bit more conscious, to sound, movement and all daily incentives influencing our lives.Tickets for What About Now are still available online here.