reacties van ons (inter)nationale netwerk

We collect all the (inter-)national reactions to and share them in this document.

naut humon- artistic director- Recombinant Media Labs US:
What the hell is going on over there? So to save or redirect some 1% of the total arts budget they're gonna undermine the very vanguard organizations that stands in our minds for the Netherland's leadership for new media and the inter-related arts? Yes, the orchestra and museums and other traditional arts are fine but hey , the 'official' office holders upstairs want to pull out the rug from under all of these absolutely amazing and quintessential interdisciplinary arts centers that have been and are trailblazing NL innovation in progressive media inside and out of one of the most fantastic countries in the world for fueling the creative engines of digital culture. These special institute staffs & artists are vitalizing and actualizing the trends for tomorrow along with keeping a reference to preserving the 20th century awareness and origins of this most re-inventive and essential knowledge-based media artform platform. We stand in solidarity with Olof / NIMk here from America and all of those with him from these remarkable arts associations who are faced with this pending shut down / slam shut little option mentality to go into parliament this week and shake some rafters and be heard .. These are critical times - so persevere and stay sincere ... all accords!

Joseph Mumbasi
short sighted and appalling.

Nelly Voorhuis
waarom Time Based Arts nooit genoemd door NIMK, maakt toch ook deel uit van geschiedenis naast Montevideo. TBA toonde video en geluidskunst en film, grote internationaal netwerk en uitstraling in die tijd opgericht door mediakunstenaars zelf.

Brent Klinkum, Transat Vidéo
In these short sighted times, where it appears that only myopic financial economies and outrageous attempts to coddle up with the extreme right wing have any credence, it would seem that Mr Halbe Zijistra, the Dutch Secretary of State for Culture, is lacking a few basic notions of contemporary cultural Dutch art history. The MonteVideo Gallery founded by Rene Coelho in 1978 was the first public space in Europe dedicated to art video. And nearly thirty-five years later, the Netherlands Media Art Institute continues to agitate the international artistic scene through it’s precursory actions in the field of distribution – both in the extremely wide and pertinent choices of international and Dutch artists distributed, and the remarkable professionalism in which they continue to do so -, their innovative approach to producing and distributing new media installations, their little publicised efforts in addressing serious questions of new media conservation. The list is long! Possibly on par with this decision is the fact that the one of the most efficient and professional means for Dutch artists to begin an international career will quite simply disappear.
Mr Halbe Zijistra, please reconsider this disastrous decision before it’s too late. These cuts as planned will hamper Dutch innovation and international cooperation for decades to come.

Peter van Hoof, programmeur International Film Festival Rotterdam
Met verbijstering hebben ik kennis genomen van de bezuinigingsmaatregelen op Cultuur door de Nederlandse regering: pure kaalslag zonder enig vorm van terzakekundige visie. Ik kan niet anders concluderen dan dat het hier een doelbewuste aanslag betreft op het kloppend cultureel hart van ons land met als enig doel zoveel mogelijk slachtoffers te maken.
Het NIMk is één van de instellingen die met één pennenstreek van de kaart wordt gevaagd terwijl het de taak waar het voor staat: het op de kaart zetten van Mediakunst zowel in NL als internationaal met verve vervult.
Naast een keur aan activiteiten waarin het NIMk niet alleen de presentatie van Mediakunst in haar eigen gebouw maar ook de archivering van en reflexie op het medium ter hand heeft genomen speelt het instituut een vooraanstaande rol in de totstandkoming van een sterk internationaal podium voor de innovatieve maar kwetsbare vormen van film- en videokunst. In nauwe samenwerking tussen het NIMk en het IFFR hebben we o.a. met succes gewerkt aan de totstandkoming van internationaal netwerk van distributeurs van videokunst en experimentele film DINAMO, dat Nederland daarbij als haar standplaats heeft gekozen.

Mat Schulz, Unsound Festival, Krakow, Poland.
I find it astonishing that the Government of a highly developed country would consider abruptly cutting the funding by 100% for an organization as innovative and reputed as The Netherlands Media Institute. It's even more surprising in that such a decision flies in the face of advice given by The Dutch Secretary of state for culture's advisory board.
The Netherlands has long been at the forefront in terms of state funding for the arts, showing other nations in Europe and beyond the importance of financing creativity and culture, and how this feeds back into society in a myriad of essential ways.
I hope this decision is one that can be reversed, and soon will be.

Roberto Meyer
this sad, shameful decision relates to what the wealth of nations is.
this cut will never be a saving but a loss.
i totally agree with oliver that this is a call for action.
i hope this can be overcome.

Miguel Peres Dos Santos · Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten
The reason for the cuts on funding by Zijlstra on culture, education and science are of course not related to the financial crisis. Such cuts and intentions behind them are also not new in history. Regimes all over the world have used precisely the same tactics to stimulate ignorance on society with the sole intention of diminishing critique and consolidate power.
I'm afraid this is only the beginning...

Anna Melina Petrou · Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
And why is this becoming a common theme of late?

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer · Concordia University

This is appalling and short-sighted. Mr Halbe Zijlstra you are sabotaging years of hard work to gain a position of international leadership, recognition and respect. I can't do much but feel sad that my colleagues in Holland have to deal with this embarrassing politician. Time to switch from Philips to Osram!

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer · Concordia University

Pepita Hesselberth · Universiteit van Amsterdam
And this one...

Pepita Hesselberth · Universiteit van Amsterdam

and another one

Tijs Ham · Hilversum
The comfort, the happiness, a feeling of escape, thought provoking idea's, the wonder, the smile and all the other beautifull things that great art can achieve is not measured in money. It's value can only be measured by taking a look in the eyes of someone who is moved by sound, touched through vision and feeling so much more alive by experiencing art at its best...

Bram van der Hoeven · HKU faculteit Kunst, Media & Technologie

And art, can be anything :)

Tom Mason, (London)

As a Briton who has lived in the Netherlands, interned at NIMk/Montevideo's media art library (2000), and hoped at some point to attend one of the other great Dutch art institutions also currently under threat, I am deeply shocked at news of the cuts to the arts there. For myself and many other international arts practitioners, the Netherlands will be more off than on the map as a place to work and contribute to, once the cuts blitz the enviable art infrastructure there.
The arts constitute a huge industry employing many dedicated people and contributing to the culture and reputation of a country going forward. While art survives the trivia and playing politics of impermanent governments, its ambition, scope, conveyance and contribution -by the simple fact that art seeps through to all cultural activity- to the lives of all people in a country, will be severely disabled from 2013 onwards, should this policy go through.
All the institutions that I have read of being under threat are world-class, world renowned educational institutions. (To imply that a place like NIMk is unnecessary and unimportant would be laughable if the horizon reality being constructed by government wasn't so alarming). This cannot be stressed enough, and their dismantling will send a very clear and deeply negative message out from the Netherlands - that while of course many wonderful and progressive artists and thinkers reside there, they are not supported or taken seriously by a short-term, market-obsessed populist government. This runs contrary to the Dutch reputation (whatever the ratio of truth and stereotype), well regarded across the world. So I would ask the present government what they wish to be that reputation's substitute?

Abina Manning
For many decades, NIMk has been at the forefront of innovation in the field of media arts, leading the way with research, restoration and exhibition. As the director of Video Data Bank in Chicago, I often reference them as an example of what is possible when governments choose to support arts organisations that are leading the way an...d ensuring the future of important cultural histories, histories which would otherwise be lost. I can only urge the powers-that-be in the strongest possible terms to reconsider this short-sighted and ill-considered decision. Haven't they read the research that shows that the arts foster jobs and the economy?

imai supports NIMk
The Netherlands Media Art Institute is one of the world’s leading institutions for media art. Its outstanding collection and its widespread activities are well-known to artists, researchers, curators, conservators and everybody who is connected with this art category. With its initiatives and projects particular in the field of preservation NIMk has developed fundamental knowledge and is a most important partner to push forward the international research work today.
We hope very much that NIMk is going to continue its work like we have appreciated it during the last decades. Dr. Renate Buschmann, - director -, imai - inter media art institute, Düsseldorf / Germany

FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology)
We are shocked and concerned to hear about the slashed arts funding in the Netherlands and are especially concerned for our closest international collaborators, Nederlands Instituut voor Mediakunst and v2.

Destriez Thierry
As a curator I have the chance to work many time with NIMk. I'm deeply trouble about this strange situation. All my support to the team and please feel free to ask for any further supports or actions.

Edward A. Shanken
The Dutch government fails to recognize how important the innovative artistic culture of the Netherlands is for the international profile of the country, for drawing international businesses and tourists to its cities, and for its key role as an engine for creativity and invention. Unfortunately, it appears that the Netherlands wants to adopt neoliberal US models of cultural support, based on consumers (or corporations) voting with their pocketbooks, a model that is about as enlightened as a black and white movie starring Ronald Reagan. Vincent van Gogh was a miserable failure commercially during his life because popular markets are utterly inept at recognizing and supporting the most innovative art of their time. Zijlstra, in essence, is cutting off the support of the future van Goghs... Eliminating funding to key arts organizations, like NIMk, that support innovative art will be particularly disastrous in the Netherlands, where there is no tradition of individual or corporate arts funding, and where there is so much to lose because so much investment has already been made to create vibrant, flourishing institutions.

Annette Wolfsberger · Producer at Sonic Acts
How can the Dutch Government say that it wants to support talent and in the next sentence that it wants to close down support systems and organisations that educate, foster and grow these talents. Doesn't innovation come through experimentation? The kind of experimentation that is lead by institutions like NIMk, on an international scale. A change in systems and organisations is not necessarily a bad thing, but cutting off roots is killing future blooms. The Dutch Government presents an example of worst practice, when it comes to fostering talent and safe guarding a diversified cultural history. (ad)

Josephine Bosma:
I guess the fostering of talent will be outsourced, like most of the industry. Neo-liberal logic.

Chris Byrne · Edinburgh, United Kingdom
I fear you are right. The ideologues of this current coalition in the Netherlands, like those in the UK coalition, probably couldn't care less about the protests. It may even make them more determined to impose their agenda. Very sad that this is happening.

The recently announced radical cutbacks will have a devastating effect for the whole field of emerging arts. Many Dutch arts and technology organisations have played an influential role in the development of the sector internationally. These organisations will face a loss of their structural and project based funding and a decrease in the accession of new talent, knowledge and innovation.
In stead being provided with the possibility to redesign, these unprecedented cutbacks will take immediate effect as of January 2013. This means a lot of the quality as well as the infrastructures that were built up over past decades will be lost by this sabotage of all scaffolding.
In addition, the government is working hard to deliver the whole Dutch arts and culture sector and all its cultural workers the image of a useless hobby and a bunch... of deadbeats as a way to justify their actions.
It's a damn shame and a great loss for everyone.

Kim Mobey · Artist & Commentator at Humans
We'll just have to work harder to prioritise art in the private sector.

Heure Exquise · Mons-en-Baroeul
HEURE EXQUISE! international center for video art wish to support the We want to support the historical work made by NIMK, an essential partner for art video and media art. We can not understand the policy of The Dutch Secretary of state for culture. We are deeply trouble and we do protest. Culture is not a necessity. Heure Exquise! -
Jean-Luc Bruyelle president and the Heure Exquise!'s team.

Rolf Coppens · Co-Founder at Grrr
Veel succes in de overlevingsstrijd! Ik kom graag in het NIMk en blijf graag komen!

Lawrence English
In an age where one of the greatest cultural exports is knowledge and innovation, this move to radically de-fund and effectively destroy a central thread of the Netherlands cultural fabric, seems both poorly timed and poorly conceived. I dearly hope these plans can be reconsidered and more appropriate actions be developed for the continued growth of this important area - both for those inside the NL and globally.

Marieke Van Hal · Director at Biennial Foundation
Dutch society is going back in time. Unfortunately, the Minister of Culture is not realizing what damage he is causing by his radical approach of closing down so many cultural institutes. Great international PR for The Netherlands.. Bravo Minister, are you aware what (conservative) message you are sending out?

Wassili Zafiris
Totally agree.

Jonathan Reus · Residencies / Education / R&D at Steim
I get the feeling that the minister realizes what damage he is causing. The severity and lack of reason behind these cuts seems to imply they are more of a well-considered political maneuver than a well-considered policy decision.

Sixpac Kfilm
The Dutch government thinks only about financial criterias and this in a very shortsighted way. To take care of the budget of a state is one way, to think about how to reallocate the budget another – the most important - way. It is a scandal for the cultural politics of the Netherlands to cut down a governmental budget of an internationally well know organisation like the Netherlands Media Art Institute, who built up a collection of audiovisual works since 1978. At the start of Montevideo (now NMAI) the Netherlands were famous for supporting the arts of film and video. If the government will make its plans true, it will get famous for having killed the distribution, research, restoration and in the end the visibility of the works of the media artists. SLEEP WELL! (Brigitta Burger-Utzer; Managing director sixpackfilm; Vienna)

Mark Deuze · Associate Professor at Indiana University
art and aesthetics are in these days pretty much the only things that remind us of our common humanity. in (new) media, such expressions even beget political potential (cf. the Arab uprisings). cutting subsidies to organized networks that stimulate and foster international collaboration in media/art is a devastating act of bureaucrats, who only seem to see/believe in a strictly mechanical/industrial view of the world.

Amalie Roberts · Manchester, United Kingdom
It is very sinister. Why should the arts be cut so dramatically? The problem lies perhaps with Governments being unable to accurately measure the true value of the arts - particularly economically. UK reports show for every £1 spent on arts and culture initiatives more than £2 is returned. An interesting project is the Lost Art website, which is dedicated to measuring the impact of cuts to cultural organisations. Perhaps an idea for the Netherlands...

Nathan Dick
tres intersting Roberts. And I can brush up on my Dutch whilst I'm at it.

Richard McMorn
And those that could measure the value of the arts (me) were not so kindly asked to leave!

Amalie Roberts · Manchester, United Kingdom
That is very true. Everyone, meet Richard McMorn he is an expert in measuring value in culture and the arts. Currently based in Australia, after the UK made his role redundant. So any of those Governments out there still pretending they're not making ideological cuts, give him a call and work out what you're actually losing through cutting arts and culture, a lifeblood to creativity, intelligence and - yes it's true - actual revenue to the economy!

Giorgi Tabatadze
why don't we (artists) volunteer any ways possible for the institution... what ever we can, regarding what institution asks for and needs? I guess now is the time for solidarity and shared responsibility. only protesting is not a way to go...

Marius Watz · Brooklyn, New York
Sad to hear that Dutch funding for media art is under threat. The Netherlands have a long and consistent history of funding important organizations and events that have been essential in defining media art discourse.
Without organizations like V2, NiMK, STEIM and De Waag or events like Sonic Acts and DEAF the media art field will lose some of its most important venues, and artists will no longer be able to seek support for developing their ideas.
After the brutal art funding cuts in the UK I am surprised to hear that the Netherlands is following suit, and I would hope there are other options still...

Mike Stubbs
remembering the rich legacy and permissive culture of holland - cable et al - cable experments/apple/time based/montevideo/nmi and so on - it will be sad to lose that innovation and leadership.
personally as an artist in disribution wiht you for over 20 years it troubles me and both nmi and v2 are our closest international collaborators here at FACT - if there's an appeal - happy to contribute.

Abina Manning · Chicago, Illinois
here's more info and a link to the petition mike. maybe i'm overly optimistic, but i think if enough fuss is made, the decision to make these proposed cuts could be reversed...

Jahnavi D Stenflo
The Dutch arts community has been providing some of the best innovation in the world of arts and cultural exchange in non-commercial environments in recent years. As someone who has very little to (often) zero access in the United States to non-commercial arts funding or cultural support, I have often looked to the Netherlands as a standard to strive for and as a beacon of hope. I see this as being partially due to the fact that the Dutch government has been so supportive of the arts and cultural exchange. To remove that support will be a terrible blight on the Dutch government and to Dutch culture. To force art into the rude glare of commercialism is to show no understanding or appreciation for it at all. I am very sad and disheartened to hear such myopic policies have taken root in a place that has long represented acceptance, tolerance and individual expression as basic pillars of society.
I ask the Dutch Parliament to please consider that these steps will place the Netherlands on par with the lack of support and vision that had clouded the United States government for far too long. This kind of reasoning is cultural suicide.
Have you forgotten that the arts are what make a culture what it is? That no culture can survive without art? Please do not abandon your cultural relevance to the dog-eat-dog world of commercialism and profit-mongering. It will not serve your cultural heritage.

Jeff Kahn · U of Arizona, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Sc4
There are two things I hate; people that are biased against other cultures and, the Dutch...

Oliver Baurhenn
A good example of myopic governance, but what else could be expected from politicians in a country where the population is fed up with being tolerant, clairvoyant and open-minded. Someone has voted for the guys in the parliament. What to do? Solidarity helps and if the Dutch cultural scene agrees on the same point that these cuts are unacceptable why not go on STRIKE, close down all culture activities for one week, stop exhibiting, stop having concerts, stop having theatre, stop having cultural services, stop teaching arts, stop writing about culture in newspapers and so on for one week. Take advantage of being a small and well connected country and let the voters and politicians see what happens. Close libraries, close project spaces, shut down all the nice cultural activities that are only existing in NL.
It is frustrating to see how the richest countries in the world are unable to cope with unexpected situations in a more innovative and flexible manner (to use this political hookline again). NIMK, perhaps think about selling your institution to the Emirates, I could imagine that they would be happy about such an institution. STAY ALIVE!

Pablo Del Bosco

Yes, good suggestions from Mr. Oliver. And indeed it is frustrating to see that kind of easy reaction of just cutting... STAY ALIVE !!!

Olof Van Winden
thanks Oliver... we will not surrender!!

Pablo Del Bosco
Sad to hear an institution like NIMk, in a country as The Netherlands, is forced to think about surviving only by commercial support (some sort of unasked art-thanasia?). Doesn't make sense in a cultural policy plan, even in a time of cuts, when there should be a coherent and dedicated work in finding ways to preserve the investigation and impact achieved globally throughout the years by these kind of organizations.
I sincerely hope the Dutch Secretary of state for culture can take some time to think through and review this decision.

Honor Harger

Deeply troubled to hear about the insane Dutch funding cuts, and very sad to hear that NIMk's future is in jeopardy. I'd be really keen to hear how international supporters can help.

Julia De Bres · Luxembourg, Luxembourg
in nz i always used to be quite proud of how well holland promoted its cultural production internationally, how depressing

Honor Harger
It's deeply shocking. They are basically razing arts and culture in one fell swoop. The cuts are across the board - visual arts is particularly hard hit, but theatre, dance and music do little better. Taken in light of similar (but less drastic) decisions in the UK, and new moves to chop arts funding in Slovenia, this could herald the withdrawal of the state from arts and culture across Europe.

Sid Volter
new media art needs strong organisations that show the diversity and talent in creative ideas and technical development, while being cross-disciplined and communicating with wider culture.
Organisations like NIMK are so useful especially for creatives further afield, as they provide stepping stones in the world, and allow for more diverse collaborations, rather than people being stuck on their own, or by the barriers of countries. It's so narrow-minded to think that the only influence of an organisation is within its own boundaries. Creative action has ripple affects that can't easily be measured, and is not the same model as a marketing company selling a product. How can you put that in a report or spreadsheet?
Especially for an early career artist like myself wanting to communicate to the wider world, and find involvement of my own country. NIMK in the Netherlands is a great source of information - even if there's no immediate or measurable interest or feedback from me (yet)..
@Nederlands Instituut voor Mediakunst.
Support NIMK !

Florian Wiencek · Bremen, Germany
It is really sad that so many important institutions in the field of media art - and amongst them the NIMk as one of the key players – are threatened of being closed down because of mere discontinuation of funding after years of hard work to build up these flourishing institutions.

Gerhard Dirmoser · HTL Linz
Was stimmt da nicht mit der Einschätzung der "media art"? Warum wurde aus dem AEC ein Science Museum?

Roddy Schrock · Associate Director: Creative Residencies at Eyebeam Art and Technology Center
This is awful, Holland has historically been the standard setter for how a society should support emerging arts.

Jörg Piringer · Friends with Zimoun StudioZimoun

I think it's insane to cut the budgets of instutions like the Netherlands Media Art Institute that work on the future of art and society. you can destroy it very easily but rebuild it will take years.

Francesco Carvelli · Owner at Riverman Films
from the first art videos collected by Montevideo till the exhibitions that Netherlands Media Art Institute held nowadays videoart found its home on the Keizersgracht in the centre of Amsterdam. It's embarrassing what the Dutch government is doing. You've got my support.

Tobias Hoffmann
This will cut deep into digital art culture- and its absolute not understandable why now? why in this area? just because banks are to big to fail? disastrous. I think they lost perspective.

Stefan Doepner
budget cutting? here in slovenia they proposed 18% off for culture and 27% for health, among others. call for action...

Annie Abrahams · Kunstacademie Arnhem
I do care

Ive Stevenheydens · Curator at Argos, Centre for Art and Media
I care because you do.

Daniela Fromberg · Owner of the studio CHESLEA MOTEL B-SIDE at Fine Artist and Curator

Next bad news from the netherlands within two days. First the Rijksakademie and now a 100% cutback for the Netherlands Media Art Institute. Long ago the days of been a model to other countries, too sad

Gabriella Giannachi, Professor in Performance and New Media, Director Centre for Intermedia, College of Humanities
I am deeply troubled to hear that NIMk, like V2 and other major arts organisations in the Netherlands promoting new media work, might be loosing its funding. The work of these organisations has been world leading, inspiring throughout the years, leading to substantial technological and societal innovation. To shut these organisations is a devastating and phenomenally myopic choice which hopefully can, and should be reversed. You have my strongest support

Tinie Kerseboom, Hoofd Collecties, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten
we zitten in hetzelfde schuitje …..ik wens jullie heel veel sterkte en succes! hier zindert het van de vechtlust, ik hoop bij jou ook

Anna-Karin Larsson, FILMFORM - the art film & video archive
Completely chocking news! NiMK has for many years been the good example and favourite model for Filmform. I’ll try to collect myself for some formulations asap.

Nol de Koning
Aan alle medewerkers van het NIMK, Dit is geen beeldenstorm meer van de kant van de staatssecretaris en kabinet, maar puur vandalisme. Ik bewonder jullie vastbeslotenheid om al jullie energie en daadkracht in de strijd te gooien om de mediakunst energiek en levend te houden. Sterkte en succes,