Collaborative project, Group show, 2023
AG, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Photography by Tom Putman, Peter van Dijk & Niels Albers

OCTA is concept for temporary collectives, a collaboration between artists from two different cities. Within the intercity project, the participants want to break through the boundaries of their individual practice by adopting a collective attitude and creating joint work for exhibitions in both cities of origin, thereby prioritising adventure and experimentation to perfectionism and convention.

For the exhibition, the collective created an installation that focuses on the spectator’s experience. The participants wonder how important it still is to leave your own home, as the digital world seems to make it possible to experience everything from your living room. Since the pandemic, it is clear, missing out on physical experience and interaction with others creates shortcomings.

The installation is a reflection on urban planning and change. New construction projects are changing the image of the city into a smooth, clean, clinical and structured landscape, where one’s eyes can focus on the screen instead of the surroundings. The transformation phase, often lasting several years, often looks different. Large construction sites cordoned off with fences, open dug-up streets where pipes, power cables and ‘super fast’ glass fibres emerge, all accompanied by the thumping sound of large machines.

By drawing on this imagery and re-contextualising it, the collective’s participants made a space-filling installation, representing an environment that creates various sensory interfaces – an environment where one must use all the senses, where one loses orientation, where one can go on a journey of discovery and where one’s own perception is brought back into focus.

OCTA III consist of Tom Putman, Anna Reerds, Bart Schalekamp and Samantha Vlaming from Utrecht and Niels Albers, Bas Burghard, Janina Frye, Sachi Miyachi from Amsterdam.