Presentation of the "Hull Time Based Art", Walter van der Cruijsen


Walter van der Cruijsen studied history and fine arts, self-learned programmer. Works since 1985 as independent artist, author, media arts curator and ICT consultant. Currently lives in Hull and in Berlin. Currently director of "Hull Time Based Arts".

Since the mid eighties of the last century, Walter's main activity has been setting up artists-run-spaces, creating infrastructure, engage and invite people, enter and add to the public domain. First net based project was co-founding the Digital City (De Digitale Stad) in Amsterdam in 1993. He was developing a first graphic interface and moderating the 'arts and culture' section. DDS has provided the community of Amsterdam free access to the Internet since the beginning, which has been stopped last year's October. The initiative also served tools and know-how for effectively using the web and creating content for the web. There were numerous public events, which helped the digital city to grow to more than 80,000 users in the first year. 1994 Walter van der Cruijsen founded the "Flying desk", a media lab, that served as an experimental on-line laboratory for artists, coders and activists. Well-known on-line forums, such as Nettime and Rhizome, have started from desk and the workspace was a well attended environment. From 1995 until 2000, he worked for the Center for Arts and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany, developing both net based art projects and managing projects for the ZKM media museum and the online department. His last major project for the ZKM was curating 'net_condition', a large show in 1999 and 2000 with much emphasis on net based arts and how media technology affects our society, from daily life to arts and science. Since autumn 2000, he has started to travel and to map media culture and net based activities, basically in Central and Eastern Europe. Currently he is working with Ljudmila in Ljubljana, Slovenia and with Multimedia Institute in Zagreb, Croatia. This presentation is a part of workshop on web content management system that will be held 08. - 10.11. in New Media Center -

Walter van der Cruijsen, Hull

Walter van der Cruijsen presented his artistic works and collaborative projects that he has been a part of in the recent decade and more. One of the first actions was reoccupying and adaptation (squatting) of abandoned city spaces and transforming them into art centers. Social aspect of his engagement continued also in the time when WWW appeared. In 1993 he took part in project "De Digitale Stadt Amsterdam" (Digital city Amsterdam), a project that fostered real transparency instead of declarative one that was promoted by politicians. They gave the people access to information - introduced them to Internet basics and web sites. Digital city was very successful project, and in the first several months it had more than 80.000 visitors.

In 1994 he founded "Flying Desk". Together with others, they took 'obsolete' computers from companies, repaired them and gave them to public institutions. From 1995 he worked in ZKM in Karlsruhe (Zentrum fuer Kunst und Medien) where among other activities he was one of curators of "net.condition" exhibition. In 1998, together with Vuk Ćosić and Luka Frelih, Walter founded "ASCII Art Ensemble". He presented possibly their best-known work, "Deep Throat" in ASCII format ("Deep Throat" is the first porn movie that was shown in US cinemas). This version of movie was downloaded more than 300.000 times! Walter emphasized that there is need for demystification in the world of, which he showed through ironic presentation of conference "Net art per se". In the last part of presentation, he talked about his current engagement as director of "Hull Time Based Arts" (Hull, England) and plans that he wants to realize in forthcoming years.