By Veerle Fanoy
–Although the weather may imply otherwise, ‘Hidden Systems’, the summer edition of AUC’s biannual festival Scopophilia will be held at Cinetol this Saturday, September 30.
The event was originally scheduled for June 18, in the previous semester, but had to be postponed due to a budget miscommunication. According to Gordon Lucas, the Art Committee’s CAO at the time and a third-year Science major, there was a misunderstanding between the AUCSA and the Scopophilia team, who is operating under the Art Committee, regarding the income. “The Scopophilia board was told that they would have a budget of 1400 Euros available, when in fact the budget stated 1400 Euro expenditure and a thousand Euro prospective income,” said Lucas. Shambhavi Chouhan, a second-year Social Science major and Scopophilia Treasurer, explained that the thousand Euro prospective income was included in AUCSA’s budget, but not in Scopophilia’s budget. “Based on the budget we thought we had, we decided not to ask people to pay for a ticket, but make it a free event instead,” said Vera Grosskop, second-year Science major and Scopophilia Chair. “As a result, there was a thousand euros shortage to cover the costs,” she added. Three days prior to the event the budget inconsistency was discovered, and the event had to be cancelled. The team managed to improvise an evening at the dorms with a performance of Penny Dreadful, a collective of AUC alumni.
Scopophilia was founded to give young artists the opportunity to present their work, and it encourages visitors to explore and enjoy various forms of art. The theme “Hidden Systems” was developed by the five board members for this edition. “Hidden systems can be very small and personal, but it can also apply to bigger structures, such as culture, politics, traffic, and mechanical systems,” said Grosskop about the theme. “It touches on connections and structures in daily life, and is open to personal definitions,” she added.
Rescheduling the event required some changes in the program, but the initial location could be confirmed for the alternative date. However, for both main acts alternatives had to be booked. Initially, the planned main acts were the Dutch band Ballarat and the solo-artist Maya Shanti, but they could not perform on the alternative date. Instead, the first main act will be the singer Anika Emma in collaboration with Sam, a French electronic musician. “The result of this collaboration will be a mixture of electronic and pop music,” said Chiara Arena, second-year Social Science major and General Board Member. As the second main act, The Mexican band The Organic Monster Project was booked. “The second act has a music style with a funky-gipsy vibe, which is something totally different and therefore perfect for Scopophilia,” added Arena.
“The biggest challenge of re-organising the festival, was to maintain the initial vibe while having to make changes to the programme,” Chouhan states. However, it also brought a few additions to the program, such as a collaboration with the Storytelling Committee, who are replacing the spoken word by Penny Dreadful this year.
The broad scope of the theme is also embedded in the works and performances. Although the artists were selected based on the extent to which their work matches the concept, they were free to interpret it in their personal way. “We wanted to find a theme that would invite people to think about what it actually can entail and what it means to them,” says Chouhan. Omri Bigetz, a graduate from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, will show his work which is based on the mechanical interpretation of the theme. Andrew Kambel, current AUC student and third-year Social Science major, will display his photo collection which focuses on the systems of cities and cultures with his photo collection.
“We wanted to pay attention to the fact that we live in Amsterdam, and [to] the rich artistic life that comes with that,” explain Chouhan and Grosskop. This year’s board has made efforts to create a balance in the program between AUC students and non-AUC artists. While Scopophilia collaborates with some of AUC’s committees and students, it also hosts international artists as main acts.
“In the end, we just want people to sit back, and enjoy all forms of art,” Chouhan concludes.
Check out details about the festival on Scopophilia’s newly updated website: http://scopophilia.nl/