ArtScience x Sonic Acts

7 December 2017

Sensing the Shipyard
A Sensorial Journey

The ArtScience Interfaculty is currently working together with Sonic Acts and several educational institutes in the Netherlands and abroad on Sensing the Shipyard: A Sensorial Journey project in the run-up to the upcoming Sonic Acts Academy 2018. The project is part of ongoing research into the transformation and rethinking of modes in the artistic field. Under the guidance of artist and teacher Cocky Eek and Sonic Acts curatorial team member and ArtScience alumna Nicky Assmann, a group of ten art students are running a research programme at the Damen Shiprepair in Amsterdam.

During November, these students tapped into the different industrious rhythms of the huge shipyard, which is used to conduct numerous repairs on cargo and leisure ships. This terrain, located in the harbour on the north side of Amsterdam, next to the River IJ, is in operation for almost a hundred years and is bustling with energy and activity on an industrial scale. With the coaching of architect and creative researcher Renske Maria van Dam and sound artist BJ Nilsen, the students delve into questions such as: How do we relate our human presence to enormous living machines? How is this relationship sensorially inscribed at this rich and historic industrial complex?

Field trip during Sonic Acts Academy
By recording the different sounds, movements and smells, and investigating surfaces and scales by touch, the students explore this remarkable shipyard by sensorial mapping, whilst researching how they can recompose these location-specific stimuli into an artistic experience that the Academy audience can embark on. More information will be announced at

The second edition of Sonic Acts Academy will take place from 23 to 25 February 2018 at various locations in Amsterdam.

'I’m standing right here below sea-level next to the riverbank of the IJ in Amsterdam North. To be more precise, I’m standing at the bottom of dry-dock nr 3 of Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam, in front of the giant cruise ship, while tiny tiny men are tending it carefully. I’m facing the vertical front line of this giant ship towering out high above me. This dazzling vertical line connects me straight through the bottom of the ocean and up to the sky above. From the bow line of the ship, two sensuous steel planes curve upwards reaching out to the surface of the sea. When the gate will be opened the water of the IJ will fill the dock with fluid matter, lifting the body of this ship, to get itself afloat on the maritime waters of our world.'
Cocky Eek