“Creativity and the power of the imagination are the essence of what it is to be human. Making powerful, creative and imaginative projects happen is what I do."
One of my landmark projects is initiating, devising, curating, fundraising for and directing for 5 years the Arts at Cern programme, in Geneva, Switzerland — the Collide (International and Swiss) residencies, Accelerate research and Visiting Artists now called Guest Artists programmes.
Creating, producing and curating new international projects and exhibitions is still an important part of my work. It involves thinking creatively, brokering partnerships and funding to make them happen. I also work with individual artists to help them take their careers to the next level.
Below are some latest projects.
In the Covid era, place has become virtual and immediately local. So I have made and adapted Science Gallery Venice's Earth Water Sky environmental arts and science two month residency as a hybrid. It is both a virtual and physical residency, with one month digital, one month physical (when conditions allow) with the public being able to track and contribute to the process of artistic research by the second artist in residence, Haseeb Ahmed, who's investigating the wind, on his special website which is updated weekly.
Earth Water Sky at Science Gallery Venice is fully funded by Didier and Martine Primat Foundation
The Nordic Photography Triennale, Backlight2020 went ahead despite COVID September 4 – November 8, 2020 in Tampere, Finland. In addition to exhibitions, screenings and installations, the festival features lectures and seminars on photography, science and new technologies, as well as portfolio reviews.
I am one of the curators, together with the Finnish artist Maija Tammi, photography curator Lars Willumeit, and Director of Backlight Hannu Vanhane.
We have sifted through thousands of photographs in the past 8 months and selected 23 international artists on the theme of Related Realities.
Related Realities exhibition opened at the Gallery Himmelblau, Tampere, Finland on 5.9. – 31.10.2020
Real Feelings: Emotion and Technology HeK, Basel, Switzerland
August 26 2020-November 15 2020
Emotions are the core of human experience. The international group exhibition Real Feelings opening at HeK, Basel, Switzerland August 26th 2020 explores the rapidly changing relationship between technology and emotions. For over a year, I have been working with Sabine Himmelsbach Director of HeK and Angelique Spaninks, Director of MU, to create this exhibition and the accompanying catalogue. The works of the 20 artists presented in the exhibition enquire and show how technology today represents, manipulates and changes our emotions.
Artists: Antoine Catala (FR), Stine Deja & Marie Munk (DK), Heather Dewey-Hagborg (US), Justine Emard (FR), Cécile B. Evans (UK), Ed Fornieles (UK), Maria Guta & Adrian Ganea (CH/RO), Esther Hunziker (CH), Seokyung Kim (KR), Clément Lambelet (CH), Lorem (IT), Kyle McDonald & Lauren McCarthy (US), Simone C. Niquille (CH), Dani Ploeger (NL), Lucy McRae (AU), Shinseungback Kimyonghun (KR), Maija Tammi (FI), Troika (UK), Coralie Vogelaar (NL), Liam Young (AU)
Curators: Sabine Himmelsbach, Ariane Koek und Angelique Spaninks
First year of Earth Water Sky Residency Programme
Science Gallery Venice
June, September and November 2019
This June one of the world's underwater artists, Emma Critchley, began her 2 month Earth Water Sky residency which I created for Science Gallery Venice and for which I secured 3 years from the Swiss based Fondation Didier et Martine Primat. Emma is working with one of Italy's leading environmental scientists, Professor Carlo Barbante, who is based at Ca Foscari University and is one of the leaders of the Ice Memory Project - an extraordinary project to create a library of non-polar ice cores which record the changes in climate and which will be stored in Antarctica.
The bubbles of gas stored in the cores give clues as to how the climate has changed. Tiny particles organic materials stored in the ice core can give clues also to people's movements across time and space - across continents and the centuries - prooving also that migration and movement are facts of life.
Emma's residency continues in September and October and as Curator, I am there, making connections with her for research, ideas and production development, including beginning to set up future tours. At the end of the residency Emma will bid for the 26,000 Euro production grant to make the art work inspired by her time with Professor Barbante. It will be exhibited during the Venice Biennale in 2020.
Entangle — Physics and the Artistic Imagination
Curator: Ariane Koek
Black holes, dark matter, gravity, space, time and motion - these are phenomena that fascinate scientists and artists alike. The exhibition Entangle — Physics and the Artistic Imagination at Bildmuseet, Umea Sweden features 14 international artists who use physics as jumping off points of their imaginations.
The artists include Iris van Herpen, Julius von Bismarck, Goshka Macuga, Ryoji Ikeda, Sarah Sze, Davide Quayola, Julien Charriere and Keith Tyson, with two new commissions.
The exhibition presents painting, installation, fashion, architecture, sculpture, film, digital artwork and photography that are inspired by the science which reveals the fundamental forces that shape our world.
Primal Sonic Visions — Bill Fontana
Venice Architecture Biennale 2018
I initiated Primal Sonic Visions by the internationally acclaimed artist Bill Fontana coming to the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. To do this, I brokered the new relationships, including the funding, exhibition space, and production between IRENA (the International Renewable Energy Agency who originally commissioned the work) Ca Foscari University of Venice, Science Gallery Venice, the Italian production company Arthemisia and the artist.
The exhibition shows the beauty and power of nature and renewable energy sources through sound and vision captured by Bill Fontana. It was first shown in Abu Dhabi, UAE January 2018.
Shadow Soundings — Bill Fontana
MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology) Lisbon, Portugal.
Initiating Creative & Producer: Ariane Koek
The moment I heard the sounds under the iconic Ponte 25 d'Abril bridge in Lisbon, I rang up the international artist Bill Fontana and said he had to make a piece based on it. I then made it happen — working on the budget and pitch, introducing him to MAAT director Pedro Gadhano.
Bill Fontana considers this his masterwork.
I wrote about Primal Sonic Visions for the exhibition here
Bill Fontana considers Shadow Soundings his masterwork.
My career has involved working directly with over 500 inspiring artists, designers, thinkers, musicians, scientists and choreographers at different stages of their careers and creative journeys. This was done in a career spanning the BBC, the Arvon Foundation and Arts at Cern.
These include include creatives and thinkers such as — Anselm Kiefer, Iris van Herpen, Pipilotti Rist, Frank Stella, Anthony Minghella, Esa Pekka Salonen, Goshka Macuga, William Forsythe, Daniel Libeskind, Mitsuko Kaku and Wolfgang Tillmans.
Arts at Cern alone involved working with over 78 different artists, curating their encounters with scientists. These curated encounters at Cern led to the creation of many projects including the ones below.
This won the Grand Jury prize for the European Commissions’ the first STARTS award in 2016 for art and technology.
The dance/installation collaboration between choreographer Gilles Jobin and Julius von Bismarck which world premiered at CERN 2013, won the Hermes International Award which included premieres in New York and Paris and has been touring internationally ever since.
The multi award winning opera-dance film directed by Ruben Van Leer with choreography by Lukacs Timulak
A series of public talks and transmissions between artists and CERN scientists on the subject of Movement, Time and Matter
See the News page for the most up to date exhibitions & collaborations.