The Creative Industries Fund NL is supporting fifteen Dutch parties who are presenting their projects, products and ideas at South by Southwest 2015, a ten-day festival of music, new media, technology and film. They jointly demonstrate the diversity of the Dutch Creative Industries in the fields of technological innovation, games, design, wearables, film and transmedia storytelling. At SXSW the selected parties are presenting in the Interactive Programme, the Game Expo and the Digital Domain, and during the Award competitions and workshops. The projects distinguish themselves through their unconventional approach and rock-solid design, both of which are hallmarks of the Dutch Creative Industry.
The projects are supported and selected through an Open Call from the Creative Industries Fund within the framework of its Grant Programme for Internationalization, which was set up at the behest of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Overview of Dutch parties at SXSW:
Interactive Sessions & Workshops
Interactive Narratives in Open Game Worlds workshop – Ludomotion
Game designers Joris Dormans (Ludomotion) and Karel Millenaar (Fourcelab) are hosting the ‘Interactive Narratives in Open Game Worlds’ workshop within the SXSW Panel Picker programme. In this workshop the participants will be investigating the narrative challenges that are faced by game developers as well as questioning the solutions that are commonly used today. They will develop new ideas and concepts using paper prototypes, which is not just a means of generating new narratives and structures, but whole new games as well.
Body Informed 3D printed fashion – Pauline van Dongen
For her ‘Body Informed 3D printed fashion’ project, designer Pauline van Dongen is investigating how she can transmute data obtained from the body into 3D printed patterns. The designer wants to incorporate these patterns into fashion garments in a manner that connects with the wearer’s locomotion. The project is part of a new collection that merges fashion with technology. At SXSW Van Dongen will be explaining her new work as well as participating in the Interactive panel.
How Technology Becomes Nature – Next Nature Network
‘Dad, why does the forest smell like shampoo?’ Artist and philosopher Koert van Mensvoort is the founder of the Next Nature Network. At SXSW he is giving the workshop ‘Next Nature: How Technology Becomes Nature’, in which he describes the new nature that has arisen because of human acts. He asks what nature and technology mean, and what determines our vision of nature. Van Mensvoort is also facilitating the workshop for designers, artists and architects about how you can take advantage of this as a designer.
Knuffeldrones – SETUP
Knuffeldrones – ‘Cuddly Drones’ – is a project by SETUP, a company of young, creative technology developers and thinkers, about today’s surveillance culture. In 2014 the accompanying teaching pack helped hundreds of children to devise their own new forms and functions for drones, which they then actually built. This is a means of teaching them to reflect on the role of drones in our society. The flying creations were judged by an expert jury of artists. Using Knuffeldrones as an example, SETUP is giving a talk at SXSW about technological determinism and interactionism, and about social constructivism. The SETUP team will also be facilitating a workshop during which participants can collectively design new drones.
Unspecialize! The More You Know the Less You See – Headmade
Daniel Disselkoen of the Headmade design bureau is giving a talk at SXSW that involves inviting the audience to embark upon a voyage of discovery into familiar territory. Familiarity with a place makes us less receptive to what is going on around us; prior acquaintance generally limits our view of the surroundings. Subjects that will be addressed during this lecture include the future of explorers, how you can use technology to investigate reality, and whether we are still capable of altering what we see.
Tales for the Internet of Things: ‘Catch up with your friends from the Golden Age’ – Klasien van de Zandschulp
Interaction designer Klasien van de Zandschulp is working for Lava Lab on a new form of storytelling in (art) exhibitions aimed at a young audience. With the help of portable technology and iBeacons (Bluetooth transmitters), the stories in the exhibition ‘Hollanders of the Golden Age’ are told through an app on your smartphone or a Google Glass in social media language. Van de Zandschulp also initiated ‘HearUsHere’, an augmented audio app that makes use of an interactive form of location-specific storytelling. Both projects will come up during the SXSW panel sessions and can be experienced in abridged form during this festival.
Love Radio Rwanda – Prospektor
Prospektor is a journalism and documentary production company, established in 2004 by Eefje Blankevoort and Arnold van Bruggen. In recent years this production company has distinguished itself for its long-term transmedia projects such as The Russian War, The Sochi Project and Hidden Wounds. Prospektor produces engaged narratives in which the story dictates the form. The Love Radio Rwanda project has been nominated for best Visual Media Experience in the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards. Love Radio is a transmedia documentary – told using film, text, audio, photography and the web – about the process of reconciliation in Rwanda that is based on a popular Rwandan radio soap Musekewaya (New Dawn) and the everyday reality of its listeners.
Interactive Trade Show
Open Wetlab/Community laboratory for biotechnology – Waag Society
The Waag Society is an institute for artistic research, experiments and events, as well as a spawning ground for cultural and social innovation. With the Open Wetlab project the institute is making the impact of biotechnology on society both tangible and open to discussion by way of art and design. The Waag Society is presenting a selection of projects at SXSW. These include Ivorish, a line of jewellery by designer Nina van den Broek that was nominated for the New Material Award – made using milk teeth, this project exposes ivory’s ambiguous beauty. PhD candidate Chiara Scarpitti is presenting a mind-controlled 3D printing technique that uses biomaterials. The institute is also showing videos of Open Wetlab activities, such as the ‘Do It Together Bio’ workshop.
Film & Digital Domain
Vertical Cinema – Sonic Acts
The ‘Vertical Cinema’ project was initiated, curated and produced by Sonic Acts and consists of ten films by internationally renowned filmmakers and audiovisual artists that were developed for an unusual format. During SXSW these 35mm celluloid films will be projected vertically onto a monumental cinemascope screen using a custom-built projector. The result is a collection of experimental films that break with cinematographic conventions and offer a mix of abstract cinema, formal experiments, found footage, chemical treatments of film, and live laser spectacle. The filmmakers are Joost Rekveld, Rosa Menkman, Makino Takashi & Telcosystems, Esther Urlus, Martijn van Boven & Gert-Jan Prins, Billy Roisz & Dieter Kovačič, Tina Frank, Björn Kämmerer, Manuel Knapp, and Johann Lurf.
Behind the Blue Screen – Unlisted Roots
Filmmaker Jaap van Heusden and designer Ruben Pater are giving a presentation at SXSW about how you can gather stories from countries with strict censorship and the logistical means that are available to circulate them. Behind the Blue Screen draws attention to personal stories from Iran by means of a ‘sneakernet’, a network of smartphones that shares stories without using the internet as an interface. The special Blue Screen App for making recordings was developed in association with Haute Technique to provide a basic level of protection for the storytellers. This app obscures the faces of narrators with a digital mask in order to make it very difficult to discover their identities. The app also erases all the metadata from the recordings, so there is no trace of GPS location, time or date.
IDFA DocLab Showcase at SXSW 2015
DocLab is the new media programme from IDFA with themes that emphasize innovation, interaction and digital stories. At SXSW, DocLab is presenting the most important findings from the programme ‘Immersive reality’, which investigates new forms of display and showcases new work by digital pioneers in the field of interactive documentary, transmedia storytelling and media art. The programme also initiates new interactive productions with an emphasis on virtual reality.
Action Henk – RageSquid
Action Henk is a game about the action figure Henk, who runs, jumps and slides his way through a room full of toys. There are 45 levels to be attained, calling for speed, reactive skill and a good memory. For SXSW the indie studio RageSquid is presenting a special conference version of Action Henk, in order to test the target group and gain insight into the gaming behaviour of people from different backgrounds.
Bounden – Game Oven Studios
Bounden is Game Oven’s frolicsome dance game for two players on a smartphone. Bounden has Twister-like dances that entangle the players, but it also allows them to perform elegant, ballet-like choreographies. In this unique collaboration with the Dutch National Ballet, Bounden makes the crossover between ballet and games. At SXSW visitors can dance with Bounden at the Gaming Expo booth.
Penarium – Self Made Miracle
Penarium is a 2D arena arcade game, designed in pixel art. In the guise of Willy, the player endeavours to manoeuvre unscathed through a sinister 19th-century circus, constantly dodging deadly traps and evading weapons. The indie studio Self Made Miracle is presenting its Penarium game at a booth in SXSW’s Gaming Expo.
The Creative Industries Fund NL is a Dutch cultural fund that provides grants for innovative projects within design, architecture and e-culture. In addition, it stimulates crossovers with other cultural and social sectors. Commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Creative Industries Fund NL has an Internationalisation Programme designed to strengthen the global reputation of the Dutch creative industry, build enduring networks and broaden the market. It is this Internationalisation Programme that has made the exchange with the South by Southwest festival possible.