Instrument Inventors Initiative – Responding to the Current Crisis

Algo-Rhythm Dance Workout – Harold Luya and Jobi

The experience of an artist-run initiative during the pandemic.

It goes without saying that the current pandemic has been tough across the board; and art initiatives are no exception. At iii we have tried to find the silver lining to the imposed restrictions; seeing the regulations as an opportunity to explore different formats for events, workshops and residencies.

One such format is reducing audience numbers – as demonstrated by our Intimate Open Studios event over the weekend of the 19th September – which showcased three works in progress to multiple groups of six. There was work by Mariska de Groot, Matteo Marangoni and Kunrad (Koen de Groot) that were all different in their exploration of an intimate performance setting. Koen’s work in progress (Klingel 5 bij 5 voor 5) explored the delicate sounds of ‘hanging ceramics’: audience members were invited to lie, head on a pillow flat on their backs, underneath a dimly lit network of string and broken pottery. Kundrad then began to move the frame from which this network was fixed to, triggering an interaction of sounds amongst the fragments. He choreographed dynamics with these interactions as the audience lay underneath – engulfed in the tension of the possibility of breakages that the delicate sounds alluded to – yet at the same time bearing the soothing echoes of chimes and bells, gently tinkling in the breeze. These intimate sessions provided an opportunity that larger sessions don’t necessarily cater for: concentrated experiences that trigger informal conversations between artists and audience members, providing valuable stimulation for both parties at a crucial time when contact (of any kind) is limited.

Online activities have been a new arena for us; we are an initiative who support multi-sensory experiences, which are often synonymous with physical performances or installations. However in offering online events we have been able to reach people who would otherwise not be able to attend hosted events; for geographical or other personal reasons. The online Algo-Rhythm Dance Workout with Harold Luya and Jobi was successful in creating a sense of togetherness and shared experience. People joined from living rooms, kitchens, studios and project spaces; playing with filters and backdrops at all different times of day and night; alone or in households. Imagine a Jane Fonda aerobic video with experimental pop. Jobi mashes and codes together samples from video games, heavy machinery and chart hits while Harold Luya responds to the beats and the audience with choreography that hails to the workout videos of the 80s.

We continue to offer a platform, for both artists and audiences to create and experience; whether online or within an intimate framework. We can combat screen fatigue and ease the anxiety of the times together.   Lauren Jetty     13th January 2021


Instrument Inventors Initiative, or iii, is an artist run, community platform supporting new interdisciplinary practices linking performance, technology and the human senses based in The Hague.