Ditmar Bollaert & Els Prevenier

DitmarBollaert_ElsPrevenier - Ditmar Bollaert.jpg

Ditmar Bollaert is a collector and lanternist. He possesses an impressive collection, from which he draws to allow audiences to experience the authentic power of the magic lantern. In addition to his role as a lanternist, Ditmar taught photography at the Sint-Lucas Academy in Ghent. In 1988, he, along with his father Herman Bollaert and Annet Duller, co-founded the "Laterna Magica Galantee Show." For over 30 years, they have been presenting shows in both Europe and the United States, preserving the craft of the lanternist - a skill mastered by only a few. Authentic materials are used, including a nineteenth-century lantern and original hand-painted slides from that era. This unique group of lanternists gathered a team of collaborators engaged in various artistic disciplines, including theatre, puppetry, photography, film, and music.

For the Arts & Media Archaeology summer school, Ditmar Bollaert and his partner Els Prevenier are serving on the dramaturgy of Kurt Vanhoutte's lecture.

"Magic lantern lecture and performance"

For more information, visit this webpage.

Guido Devadder

LUCA School of Arts - KU Leuven

Guido Devadder is an artist and PhD researcher at LUCA School of Arts in Brussels, where he also teaches at the Department of Audiovisual Arts. A fascination for the idiosyncrasies of obsolete visual media and abandoned modalities of creating and perceiving moving images is at the core of his research. Combining old and new, his work explores the materiality in contemporary moving image art and tries to formulate a meta-critique on the slippery concepts of reality and illusion through animation.

Session abstract "Quantum loop: Reanimating the Wheel of Life"

This session will zoom in on experimental media archaeology (Fickers & van den Oever, 2014) as an approach at the intersection of art and education. Both my own artistic research and the Image Research course (Animation program at LUCA School of Arts Brussels) are centred around a media archaeology lab. Students are encouraged to engage empirically with 'obsolete' media, ranging from analogue video and 16mm film to various proto-animation devices. Parallel to a traditional elements-of-art course, the (animated) filmic apparatus is deconstructed into its constituent elements: light, motion/time and materiality/spatiality. Combining contemporary tools and artistic sources of inspiration with historical devices and media practices in a process-based approach (cf. 'thinkering', Huhtamo, 2010), the aim is to expand the boundaries of the medium. 

 From this perspective, seamless loops are an essential component both within my own artistic practice and pedagogical approach. Although often disregarded in film theory, loops are not only indispensable in animation, e.g. for creating walk cycles or background animations, but anchored at the very origin of the medium through the phenakistiscope, invented almost simultaneously by Joseph Plateau (1832) and Simon von Stampfer (1833). Scrutinizing the phenakistiscope artistically not as a mere predecessor of cinema, but as a specific type of animation opens up to a unique set of affordances. As the proof of the pudding is in the eating, this session will extend to an experiential part in which participants are invited to join a hands-on exploration of this enchanting medium.

Deirdre Feeney

University of South Australia

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Deirdre Feeney is a cross-disciplinary artist and lecturer of Contemporary Art at The University of South Australia. Her research interests include the materiality of image making, media archaeology and the history of optics. Deirdre’s practice-based research collaborates across disciplines of physics and engineering to develop optical image systems. Her creative works are hybrid systems incorporating old and new technologies and technological ideas, from Renaissance natural magic to nineteenth-century optical mechanics. With a background in glass-making and the projected moving image, Deirdre uses materials such as glass and mirror to develop image systems that physically and emotionally engage the viewer.

Session abstract "Re-imagining forgotten media"

In this artist presentation I will explore the relationship between materiality and imagination in obsolete optical image apparatus. Extending Zielinski’s three categories of imaginary media  - 'untimely', 'conceptual' and 'impossible'  - I will speculate on how creative practice permits an additional approach to imaginary media, by extracting and juxtaposing diverse elements of 'dead media' (Sterling, 1995) into novel optical image systems. As well as requiring my own imagination as the artist-maker, these image systems also depend on the performance of the device to activate the imagination of the sensing viewer. 

Through applied practical combinations of old and new technologies and technological ideas such as water lenses, LCD screens, and 3D-printed stereograms, I will discuss how practicing experimental media archaeology (van der Heijden and Kolkowski, 2023) can reveal contingencies relevant to contemporary experiences of image devices within our ever-changing media landscape. 

Sarah Vanagt

Sarah Vanagt makes documentaries, video installations and photos, in which she combines her interest for history with her interest for (the origins of) cinema. Her work includes films such as After Years of Walking (2003), Little Figures (2003), The Corridor (2010), Dust Breeding (2013), Every Tear (2018), Divinations (2019) and The Porters (2022) ; and video installations such as Les Mouchoirs de Kabila (2005), Power Cut (2007), Ash Tree (2007), The Wave (2012), Showfish (2016) and The Models (2024).

Floris Vanhoof

Floris Vanhoof combines homemade musical circuits and abandoned projection technologies for installations, expanded cinema performances, films and music releases. Translating one medium to the other to find how our perception operates and which new perspectives appear. 

Part of his practice is to carefully dose sounds and visuals. Considering how much to show or let hear and what to omit. Subtly overloading our perception so our imagination goes to work. Looking inside and outside. Creating small problems that put big ones into context.

Image: Mich Leemans

Session abstract "Soap bubbles"

Following the bubble studies of Joseph Plateau, I started playing with soap. A laser shines through soap bubbles and 2 diodes listen to the lightwaves that are bent through the-ever changing surfaces. Bursting bubbles make dynamic pops and photons diffracted through microscopic movements of liquid soap make glissandi. 

How the sound is picked up: An LED (light-emitting diode) emits light when an electrical current passes through. Here, this process is reversed and the diode detects light. When light shines onto the diode, the current passes through (in the opposite direction) and we hear the amplified current. 

How the light diffracts: Light travels through space as a wave. When a wave travels through a medium, certain random variations of that medium can cause the wave to spread out. This changes with time as the bubbles age and thin. When the medium's random structure is larger than the laser's wavelength, nonlinear optical phenomena, sometimes not unlike the recently discovered 'branched flow of light,' can be seen and heard.