Agenda Artikelen Programma Zoeken Contact Partners Auteurs

AIR Simon Whetham - ONSITE! Week Eight to Ten

Onsite period (5th – 25th July 2021)
Location: Breda, The Netherlands

It took a full day to reach Witte Rook on 5th July, travelling by train from Marseille to Paris, Paris to Lille, Lille to Brussels, Brussels to Antwerp and finally Antwerp to Breda… but I made it! I was met by Ruth de Vos who took me to the residency, showed me around and made me feel welcome.

I immediately began unpacking and setting up that evening and the following morning, reconfiguring the setup already and including some sounds I recorded during the trip. Thanks again to Breda-based musician Julian Edwardes for lending me his amazing home-built speakers, amplifier and mixing desk!

6th July studio at Witte Rook


In brief, here are some of my activities over the three weeks:

6th July – set up studio in main residency building as the other spaces were occupied by other projects

7th – Jos Smolders visited from nearby Tilburg. A great meeting!

8th – met with Merijn Bisschops of De Link in Tilburg who suggested some possible connections but also introduced me to the work of Hans van Koolwijk – an amazing artist who when I contacted him was very enthusiastic about my projects too!

9th – Julian was working at Willem Twee Studios in Den Bosch for three days and invited me to visit, explaining that alongside some classic synthesizers they also had a huge collection of vintage testing equipment (see photo) – thank you Hans Kulk for excitedly demonstrating a little of what they do!

9th July at Willem Twee


10th – travelled to Den Haag to meet Dewi de Vree, whose work I admire very much. Together we visited the graduate show at the Royal Academy (key works by Farah Rahman and Soyun Park!) and then I attended a Raw Dates event at iii, where I was also kindly given a tour by Matteo Marangoni.

11th – visited the presentations at Witte Rook of the Vrouwenmantel Art Research Group and Mike Megens, attended the opening of an installation by Marylou Petot (who I met online during my remote period) and the project space Clubsolo who were hosting Hamburg collective Lu’um.

13th July setup front

13th – moved everything to the larger garden studio at Witte Rook.

16th – visited Dock Zuid in Tilburg to meet with Rogier Telderman and Dyane Donck, both of whom I’d met online. While there I spent some time with Mathijs Leeuwis of Het Concreet in his amazing studio. I also visited De Pont art gallery which is an incredible building. Works by Maya Watanabe and Christian Boltanski were particularly good.

Also during this week I replaced all of the corrupted sections of the video documentation from the first version of Channeling.

17th & 18th – open studio sessions in the afternoons were attended by a few interested people and I also continued to refine the presentation.

22nd July helicopter


20th – visited Ruth in her studio in an old paper factory in Breda. It was great to finally see her work ‘in the flesh’.

21st – presented Channeling in Den Haag at Helicopter Studios, kindly hosted by Arvind Ganga as part of his Myriads series of events. It was a lovely evening attended by old friends and new, with musicians Lam Lai and Elisabeth Lusche performing great sets. Hosted by Dewi in her very cool studio as I missed the last train back to Breda…

23rd – an interesting day at Dock Zuid in one of their recording studios, attempting to capture many of the delicate acoustic sounds made by the collection of devices – with the discovery of some I hadn’t heard previously! Visited once again by Jos as he sadly could not attend the presentation the following evening.

24th & 25th – sparsely attended open studio sessions gave me time to prepare for the evening of 24th and deinstall in a relaxed way on 25th.

The final presentation at Witte Rook drew a small but appreciative crowd, including Ruth and also Lise Sore of the Witte Rook team, Julian, Rogier and his partner Vera, and Hans van Koolwijk made a special trip to attend! He also gave me a gift of a book he has had published containing documentation of his incredible works. I received great and positive feedback after the piece, with each person seeming to enjoy different aspects of it.

Both presentations and much of the separate elements have been documented and will be combined to show the how the piece is presented and at what stage it is at currently, as I already know it will evolve further once I begin to work on it again.

Many thanks to Esther, Ruth, Lise and Jorieke (although sadly we did not meet), and Kyki who was with Witte Rook when I was selected as artist-in-residence, but by the time I could participate she had left the organisation. You have given me a valuable opportunity to not only greatly develop ‘Channeling’, but also have been generous and supportive, introducing me to many amazing creative people here in the Netherlands.

Simon Whetham

Stationslaan 111, Breda, Netherlands

Simon Whetham is our Artist in Residency from May until July 2021. He will use his residency to further develop the activation of discarded mechanical devices using sound impulses to be presented as a live performance. The first stage of this project was carried out during the residency at Ferme-Asile, Switzerland.
This period of research involves collecting sounds from Marseille and Breda and utilising them in the activation of objects found or donated in both locations. The first six weeks will be carried out remotely with me recording sounds in Marseille and testing their properties in the studio. I am meeting with the team of Witte Rook on a regular basis to discuss the progress of the project, but will also be connecting with artists and organisations in The Netherlands to discuss all aspects of the project and find further opportunities to present the results.
During the final three weeks I will be in residence at Witte Rook, physically meeting everyone I have connected with and presenting the results in Breda and hopefully other places.