Kijkers by Kessels Kramer

Picture 33

I was lucky enough to speak at the Boards Magazine Creative Workshop in Amsterdam last week. It was really good event and I genuinely enjoyed all the other speakers. There were a bunch of highlights. From seeing the amazing preview of the Killzone 2 Interactive Ad through to the incredibly inspiring Dr Bob Deutsch talking about primates and brands.

But there was one thing that really stuck in my mind as being totally brilliant. And it was some work that Erik Kessels showed off amongst a selection of their bonkersness He played some extracts from a series of short films called Kijkers. They are a bunch of 3 minute films that get kids experiencing TV in different ways.

I’ve searched for them online (so that I could get hold of the DVD) – and the description that I found of them online was: 57 korte kunstfilms voor kinderen vanaf 6 jaar. Which, given my lame grasp of languages, translates as something along the lines of ’57 short art films for children under the age of 6′.

I think that this Google translated text from here describes them better than I could:

Almost everyone can see, but not everyone can see. Look, you learn. Just as you must learn to eat oysters or olives. Norbert ter Hall en Erik Kessels made for Villa Achterwerk the program Kijkers: short art films that show how different things can look. The two seasons of Kijkers are now collected on this DVD. 57 films made by artists, filmmakers, directors and a sheep. About toes, clouds, beards, butterflies, a stop sign and much more. Kijkers has a gift for your eyes. See for yourself.

I could hardly find any of them online. But here’s a couple of examples:

And.

These aren’t as good as the best ones Erik showed. There was a clip of a rubber duck in a foamy bath bobbing up and down under a running tap. And some handy cam footage of buildings that look like faces (but with someone making the noises that the faces would make if they were human). Oh bollocks, they’re almost impossible to describe and make sound good.

Anyway they all play with notions of perception in really interesting and charming ways. And I want to see them all.

And furthermore Malcolm Goldie (aka Acid Malc from ClubPub of yore) did the sonic intro. It’s amazing what you can learn off Google ;-)

5 thoughts on “Kijkers by Kessels Kramer”

  1. Iain, your mastery of the Dutch language is impressive, very impressive. Just one small amendment if I may …… “57 korte kunstfilms voor kinderen vanaf 6 jaar” – says it’s for ages 6 and up, not under… dahhh

  2. I think these are great. The closest equivalent I can think of is some chidren’s TV from the BBC in the 70′s and 80′s. Before Neighbours came along and tapped the ‘young adult’ demographic, there was a lot more arty stuff aimed at kids; things like Vision On which was made for deaf kids and was paced slowly so they could read the subtitles and so had a strange arty feel.

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