A virtual experience of the exhibition ‘landscape as a cult’ at Bureau Europa

Curator/tekst: Saskia Van Stein

Co-curator/verteller: Remco Beckers

Soundscape: Māra Vidiņa

VR experience: Molly Crowe

The virtual experience and results can be experienced here via youtube (headphones required). 

As a European student, I always was curious about the backstage of Bureau Europa. As a fine art student, I always like to question and toy with tools of perception and the surrounding which influence those. If I can maybe take you all back for a moment preview to the corona pandemic, to a time of a now foreign normality, we can't deny the involvement of digital media in our daily use. We can ask the internet every random question - or check our bus timetable, - it became our diary,  - our close ones one click away. Media has become not only our tool but also a language, a translation connecting a global community. 

During a Minor program with the iArts department, I evaluated through fruitful dialogues with my colleagues' young professionals and personal research on representations of Bureau Europa incl. comparable partners on social media. This led me to investigate the values of physical platforms with methods such as virtual reality. 

Remco Beckers delivered a valuable presence in this production and in my personal opinion I hope I can also speak for my colleagues, I felt the guidance by Remco - through the facilities provided by Remco, gave Bureau Europa an open and communicative face. In order to underline the concept of the title “landscape as a cult” acoustically it is unappealing to have this VR experience only in visual stimulation. 

It is unavoidable to support this experience with a sound landscape. This landscape accompanied by voice will deliver rich content. I consulted with the student's team and then further with Mara Vidina, an iArts student. I would like to take a moment to compliment Mara Vidina - a young musician with many interdisciplinary talents, on the result of her production of an ambient sound to add to this VR experience. The result of this project - considering the circumstances  - was accompanied by a creative and adaptive process, which has subtly developed for all of us a question of physicality. Altogether this could be considered under times and besides of times of unreliable future visualization of physical exhibitions as methods to connect to a digital community. The strong fundament and values of the Bureau Europa’s branding and calling are inevitable to a cultural landscape in the heart of Europe. Being a platform that raises critical questions and offers futuristic lifeforms to the audience makes us as audience question: 

Bureau Europa as a platform for architecture and design should in my opinion consider every detail of the branding: - to invest in digital & social communities  - but also consider the economical identity and its influence on the setting - to honor the hard work to develop the care and conscious provided program,  with a great influence as a platform on the audience.

I am happy to further answer any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.