Neuropower – Research Lab Rietveld Academy (28 February h 14.30)


Our theme for this year’s Research-lab is Neuro-power referring to the brain as one of the most complex phenomena on our planet and its enigmatic power of control versus the loss of control. And how this very brain invented machines to take over vital functions and decisions in our life.

10 students of VAV-moving image from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie dive into this subject and let their own brain take the lead on this path of research. Trespassing into various realms; the metaphors and the reflections that pop up ín our brain and are propelled out of our brain. Where is the control panel of this brain? Is it the Self? The myth of the Self? The Selfie?

Some say: in order to reach some understanding or knowledge or skill, there is always this phase during this process of learning, when you need to surrender to a certain flow of not understanding or not knowing. How to visualize this left and right hemispheres of the brain, its functions and malfunctions?


They go into a nervous discussion with a sculptural element, the vastness of form and the emptiness around it.


How would our brain cope with a language that starts acting autonomously, mixing up its vowels, as we speak and still pretend to talk flawless.


Some wonder: Can a brain live a happy life without a body? Will it be possible, in the near future, that technology separates the brain from the body and thus enters the virtual world?


What about the social awkwardness and hidden manipulations in our daily communication with the brain of the other? Mistranslations and miscommunications trigger our brain to act as a Perpetuum Mobile of troubleshooting.

Installation in the Wardrobe and interactive introduction of the NEUROPOWER program

MORAL RETREAT CENTRE (2016) by Elizaveta Federmesser


Moral Retreat Centre is a non-profit online organization established in 2016. It offers its guest to explore their common sense and reinvent their inner software.

Moral Retreat Centre is always with you, just a few clicks away.

Feel welcome to visit us!

Film Program:


AEIOUY (2016) by Ebba Stoppelenburg, 4’50”

AEIOUY exercises the manipulation of dialogue in film and the impact it can have on the viewer. The film portrays nothing more than the banal life of a young man, but through slight conceptual changes of the English language, the viewer experiences his world as more absurd. This vowel-filled film is as much a comedy as it is commenting on the human condition.


“Fill Up” (2017) by Gaspard Combes, 2’43”

As we are floating through an empty swimming pool, a lonely musician comes across. Playing a tune to fill up this surrounding void. A poetical bracket which vanishes as it came.


“RAI” (2017) by Nadja Henß, 3’15”

Different worlds of people in uniforms, straining themselves towards results. Conventions contain results.

The convention center of Amsterdam writes on its website:

WELCOME TO THE RAI, a place that brings people together.

Crossing borders and providing inspiration.


”PLAY#1” (2017) by Elizaveta Federmesser, 3’07”

PLAY#1 is an open letter about social awkwardness and mistranslation. This is a short film exploring weak points of human’s interactions and common difficulties of false expectations.


”Escape from Eden” (2017) by Luciënne Venner, 10’

After encountering a worm on the kitchen table between the maggoty apples, a young farm woman sees her husband transform into an attractive worm woman. Whether she’s hallucinating or having a vision, her need to escape the farm seems inevitable.


”Rivers, Reverse” (2017) by Martina Gudmundson, 7’ (video performance)

‘Rivers, Reverse’ is an attempt to draw and translate ambidextrously, upside down and forward back in different languages at the same time. Taking place live in the cinema, the action is being transmitted from a plotter paper to the white screen. The process involved automatic writing and lessons in Syrian Arabic language.


ZU HILFE ZU HILFE (2017) by Oded Rimon, 6’40”

 On the night of filming, a house located on the Korte Koningsstraat 20 was occupied by the sound coming from 5 metal rigs, placed on the bodies of actors. The house and territory around was transformed into a playground exploring segments from two operas, written by Mozart: “Magic flute” and “”The abduction from the seraglio”. The sound of costumes played the role of a navigator for the performers, while the camera served as an element following the act in itself.


”The Shooting Star” (2017) by Anastasia Afonina, 5’10”

The story of a young girl who was suddenly immersed in a totally different social environment


LE MACAOUR (2017) – 16mm film/animation by Roman Ermolaev, 9’

“Le Macaour” is a 9 minutes play between documentation and observation in action. It is a project offering direct entrance to the image of the story.


OPERATOR #4 (2017) by Hansje Hofland, including performative part: approx. 5 minutes

A content operator gets uploaded on a computer server in order to find people that have gone missing.

This years contribution of the researchlab is guided by our teachers Margriet Kruyver (Head of the VAV department), Martin Grootenboer, Mariken Overdijk and guest teacher Albert Wulffers.

The following film works are the outcome of a research connected to the topic of Neuropower, by a selection of students of the 2nd & 3rd specialisation year of  VAV-moving image department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.

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