Journal of activities

Projecten Onderzoek









Sync Starter

Our free and open source syncstarter software IvySync to synchronise the playback of artworks with multiple video channels has been deployed during the year to the full extent of its features.

For the artwork "7 frames" by Tim Rutten the recent functionality of network sync let us run up to 7 video channels using just 2 computers in an exhibion at the Huis voor de Kunsten in Roermond.

The historical artwork "Mill x Molen" by Bert Schutter (1982) has also made use of Ivysync in its restoration for the exhibition Imago Revisited (Instituut Collectie Nederland and NIMk).

Ad-hoc installations of IvySync have been also produced on specific machine setups, to be operated outside of our institute by other artists and laboratories: one is now in the possession of to the Sandberg Institute to be employed in video installations made by its students, while another is owned by Esther Polak (also artist in residence at NIMk in 2009) and deployed for her installation "Nomadic Milk".

Media Policy

Considering the growing influence that free and open source software practices have in contemporary discourses dealing with economy, philosophy and ethics, we've been invited to contribute to various theoretical discourses during this year.

In these regards we've contributed to the first writing of the Free Culture Forum charter in Barcelona and shortly after that we've been called to participate to a panel on digital creativity for the conference TOPOLOGÍA, INNOVACIÓN Y POLÍTICA CULTURAL held at the art centre Santa Monica, part of the international symposium ATACD titled "Changing Cultures, Cultures of Change".

At last, as part of the Internet of Things Council we've moderated the "Tools for Mediation" workshop in Brussels, a LIFT @ Home event hosted by IMAL (Center for Digital Culture and Technology), gathering a visible participation of various European experts, professionals and government operators.

FreeJ - Vision Mixer

Thanks to the kind support of Digitale Pioniers and in collaboration with dyne.org, the development of the free and open source software FreeJ has seen a lot of progress. The participation of various international experts during a period of 6 months lead to the realisation of a flexible tool for Vjing performances and on-line video streaming, that now can also be used as a library for the development of more applications or for the setup of interactive installations using the simple and well known javascript language.

FreeJ is available as a free application (GNU General Public License version 3) ready to install on Apple/OSX and GNU/Linux operating systems, its sourcecode has been reviewed for its quality and is distributed by Linux distributions as Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Gentoo and Arch Linux.


Workshops for video manipulation, production and veejaying have been run in various occasions employing our free and open source software FreeJ, now also available for Apple OSX as well included in Debian and Ubuntu GNU/Linux distributions.

In collaboration with Kennisland we've held a short series of workshops for the Celluloid Remix festival and the International Amsterdam Film Festival, as well for the Museum Nacht at NIMk. We have also presented and performed our free software productions at the Tag Tool "Think Tank" event held in Tulln (Austria) and in the JAHtari / Rastasoft evening program at WORM Rotterdam, in collaboration with moddr.

Vilém Flusser Theory Award

In order to reflect the increasing significance of theoretical and critical practice works submitted for the transmediale Award competition, the Transmediale Berlin has introduced the Vilém Flusser Theory Award in 2008. In collaboration with the Vilém Flusser Archive at the Universität der Künste Berlin, dedicated to the complete works of the influential visionary and media philosopher, the award honors outstanding theoretical or research-based digital arts practice.

This year the international jury of the Vilém Flusser Theory Award 2009 selected Jaromil (NIMk Artlab R&D) as one of the awardwinners of this year, together with the American writer Brian Holmes.



Sync Starter

Our free and open source software IvySync used to synchronise multiple digital video channels reached a new stage of development with network based sync-starting: we overcome the limit of 4 channels by synchronising different computers on the same local network, up to a virtually unlimited amount of channels.

Research and development on network synchronisation lasted the whole year and lead to a public implementation (IvySync release 0.5). For the future our research will focus on sync started playback of high definition video formats (HD), also taking advantage of this achievement on network synchronisation.

Media Creativity

Several seminars were held on free software and hardware manipulation for media production, as well on philosophical issues characterising the rise of GNU economies, often accompanied by a screening program of video art distributed by NIMK. Among them is Below Sea Level, hosted in April by the Contemporary Image Collective in Cairo, and the Free Society Conference and Nordic Summit hosted by the IT-University in Gothenburg.

Also in occasion of the GOGBOT festival in Enschede we presented a lecture about Cyber-punk focusing on how the aesthetics of this cultural current are manifest in various video productions during the last 3 decades.

At last, during the past 3 months of the year, a longer course was held as "thematic project" for the Media Design MA class in the Piet Zwart Institute, on the Art, Theory & Techniques of Free Software, involving both the first and second year classes.


This year has seen us also fervently engaged in activities in south-east Asia, starting in Singapore with the mini-summit on New Media Art Policy & Practice hosted by ASEF,
followed by our contribution to ISEA2008 about "nomadic operating system" design and participation to the Luminous Green Workshop.

We conducted a research and provided support for a range of cultural initiatives in Indonesia, among them the Transmission Asian-Pacific video-activist camp organised by Ruangrupa and EngageMedia in Sukabumi. Workshops on free software and new media were held for the Cellsbutton02 media art festival organised by the House of Natural Fiber in various schools in Yogyakarta. At last we visited the YPKP Foundation in Jakarta and held a workshop also there.

Back in Amsterdam we co-organised with Waag Society and YPKP the evening Reconciliatie met rechtvaardigheit - de Kudeta en nu, offering to the public a brief overview on the progressive role of the Internet and "new media" in general for the Indonesian Population adopting such tools to establish democracy in the country.


Especially this year the activity of our small yet active research and development department benefited from collaborations established via the Bricolabs trans-local network, hosting a public mailing-list for discussion that has seen a blossoming growth and active exchanges from all around the globe.

A theoretical inquiry on Ambient Intelligence was lead this year by Rob van Kranenburg, also including our contribution: the notebook The Internet of Things has been published by the Institute of Network Cultures, available on-line for free.



Media Creativity

Our contribution to Free and Open Source development of tools for media creativity is progressing and has achieved an international outstanding position. Workshops on software and hardware manipulation for media production have been held in Tesla (Berlin), Kozavisual (Ankara), i4d filmfestival (Kuala Lumpur) and Video Vortex (Amsterdam).

A generic presentation of our activities was also held at the Global Knowledge third conference.


The Bricolabs project was started as a development framework for Generic Infrastructures, in collaboration with a wide network of media labs across the world, in the context of countries as Brasil, Indonesia and of course the Netherlands. Core organisations involved are Metareciclagem,  dyne.org, goto10 and HiveNetworks. During the year workshops were held in festivals Pixelache / Democracy : Do It Yourself (Paris, Main D'Oevres) and Enter_ Unknown Territories (Cambridge, Downing College). Bricolabs was selected as a breakthrough project by the Holland Open Software Conference.

Digital Rights

A lecture about Piracy and Privacy, focusing on the progressive intrusion of digital anti-piracy campaigns into the privacy of citizens in Europe and worldwide, has been held by Jaromil at the Goodbye Privacy symposium of the Ars Electronica Festival (Linz) and at the Black Market symposium of the Steirischer Herbst Festival (Graz). A collection of acts from the first symposium is available on thenextlayer.org.



During 2006 the development of the open source digital video sync-starter software IvySync continued achieving new features. The interactive installation "Jardin Secret" by Lydia Schouten has been implemented with an ad-hoc customisation of the software, opening the way for sensor controlled setups.

Thanks to a new remote control feature (XMLRPC) the software can now interact with Montevideo's web catalogue, as it has been employed also for single-channel video playback in Montevideo's Mediateek, playing back on-demand local streams from the video server.

IvySync was employed in more locations for the exhibition of multiple channel video artworks by Julika Rudelius (Montevideo, De Balie, "Eastern Neighbours" in Babel Utrecht), Calin Dan, Magnus Monfeldt, Broersen & Lukacs (Stedelijk Museum 's-Hertogenbosch).

Besides its direct adoption in Montevideo, the software started being freely employed by researchers in media labs and video art musea, within the terms of the GNU General Public License: while it isn't possible to keep exact track of this dissemination, we had notice from the Glasgow School of Art (Ben Dembroski) and the Bergen Center for Electronic Arts, plus more researchers and artists in the Netherlands experimenting with it.

As a research publication our "Wide Area Network Streaming" documentation has been written, completed with encoding benchmarks and published in the "Competence Network for Media Design" book (ISBN 3-9502013-2-7) as a collaboration with the Austrian FHplus program run by Universities of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg/St.Poelten/Salzburg.



During the year 2005 development of the digital video syncstarter has been completed: it gave birth to a new open source software named IvySync, which was released publicly with a demonstration at the
Piksel conference in Bergen (Norway), attracting attention from both artistic and scientific communities.

IvySync has been immediately employed in various video installation works by Erwin Olaf (NIMk, Museum nacht) and Peter Bogers (Rotterdam, Schouwburg plein) among the others, as well shipped for distribution of multi-channel video installations in Portugal, Hungary and Austria.