Niels Otterman

Niels Otterman (1996, NL) is a graphic designer, researcher, curator of Van wie is de stad?, and graduate of the master Non Linear Narrative

Interview Niels Otterman

Niels Otterman interviewed by Tuana Inhan during the Graduation Show 2022 at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK).

To Stim

Graduation project 2021-2022 by Niels Otterman
Multimedia installation

To Stim is an exploration on the distinction between intentional and unintentional movements as well as their social restrictions. Since Niels was young he’s been making stimulating repetitive movements – stimming – to manage emotional response, such as joy or anger or as a self-protective reaction to sound and light overexposure.

These movements vary from rocking the body, fluttering the hands, to making

oral noises without any purpose of communication. If Otterman were to make these movements in public, people could react in a dismissive, uncomfortable or distant manner. Through this project he draws a difference between physical freedom of movement and social freedom of movement. The fact that he can only stim at his place, is the result of a lack of social freedom of movement.

Investigating the boundary between intentional and unintentional movements, the work examines the limits of humanity and the uncanny.

Niels Otterman
Installation view, KABK Graduation Show 2022, photo: Roel Backaert