More than 45 Dutch artists, creatives, and companies will participate in the music, film, and interactive programs of South by Southwest (SXSW) March 11-20. Innovation in art, technology, and music thrives in the Netherlands. Dutch creatives in the fields of virtual reality, gaming, music, film, design, and transmedia storytelling will take the stage in Austin, Texas, where SXSW presents the ideal platform for the Dutch to celebrate their centuries of start-up culture while in the heart of the American southwest.
Consistent contributions to innovation by the Dutch make the Netherlands a hotbed of entrepreneurship and innovation. Dutch artists including Simon Heijdens and Nick Verstand, and musicians Sevdaliza, zZz, and Amber Arcades will join companies VRmaster, OWOW, IDFA Doclab, and Submarine Channel, to name a few, to present the latest innovation from the Netherlands.
“Dutch innovation is world renowned, and will be on full display in Austin,” said Henne Schuwer, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States. “The Netherlands believes in supporting invention, collaboration, risk, art, and science. There is no better place in the world to show our contributions to the fields of gaming, music, interactive storytelling, virtual reality, design, film and technology than at South by Southwest.”
The Dutch presence at SXSW will delve into the world of virtual reality (VR) and explore how VR can help people deal with the loss of a loved one. “Fragments of Him” by Sassybot Studio uses interactive storytelling to illustrate ways people can cope with bereavement. Dutch creatives will also look at how the use of scent can enhance storytelling. Designer Marcel van Brakel will lead a workshop on this, and media developer Frederik Duerinck will take part in a panel session about the theme of scent.
SXSW also presents Dutch innovation in gaming and VR with games for dealing with fear and depression. The meditative VR game “Deep,” developed by Owen Harris in association with Niki Smit (Monobanda), counteracts stress, angst, and mild depression. “The Shoebox Diorama” by interactive illustrator Daniel Ernst unleashes the user in a labyrinth of interactive VR games and stories. While experimental interactive stories, such as “EXIT” by the Dutch-American duo Jongsma and O’Neill, will let attendees experience an alternative to fatalistic thinking about the end of time. IDFA DocLab, which is also part of the Dutch SXSW selection, will offer a cross-sectional sample of these VR developments with a showcase of projects.
Highlights of the Dutch at SXSW:
March 11-20: The Dutch innovation of Simon Heijdens will give visitors the chance to get away from it all with his “Silent Room” installation. The “Silent Room” will let festival goers step into pure silence in a fully soundproof chamber in the heart of SXSW. In this unmediated space, each person will experience absolute and complete silence. This installation of “Silent Room,” commissioned by SXSW, will serve as the project’s world debut.
March 11-15: ANIMA interactive art installation by Nick Verstand. ANIMA is a three-dimensional sphere that investigates communication between humans and an artificial intelligence. ANIMA interprets the visitor’s body movements and responds in kind with an array of audiovisual expressions. ANIMA is part of Art at SXSW, a platform for artists to gain international exposure and connect with leaders in the fields of music, film, and technology.
March 12, 14, and 17: US premiere of the film, “Bodkin Ras” by Kaweh Modiri. Filmed in Scotland, “Bodkin Ras” is a hybrid of documentary and fiction blended together to tell the story of one man’s search for home.
March 13-16: Dutch Trade Show in booths 1309 and 1311 at the Austin Convention Center will showcase the reasons why Holland is Europe’s launching pad for start-ups. The Amsterdam booth at SXSW will be a meeting place for Dutch companies and international start-ups. Launch Pad sessions will allow start-ups the opportunity to have one-on-one meetings with Dutch start-ups. Entrepreneurs can also learn how to acquire a “start-up visa” that will give them the opportunity to apply for a temporary residence permit in the Netherlands to launch an innovative business.
March 14: The Royal Netherlands Embassy hosts a reception at Brush Square Park from 2-4 p.m. celebrating Dutch creative culture at the festival. Representatives from the various Dutch creative industries including artist Simon Heijdens, and film director Kaweh Modiri will attend.
March 16: The Dutch Impact Party features a standout group of musicians including Amber Arcades, Sevdaliza, zZz, PAUW and Eerie Wanda. The Dutch Impact Party is part of the 2nd annual FLOODfest at SXSW, organized by FLOOD magazine and Dutch Impact. Additionally, Dutch musicians Janne Schra, traumahelikopter, Azure Hiptronics and Sofie Winterson will perform at various venues throughout the festival.