Amsterdamse Kunst Academie

Workshop – Applicability (Toepasbaarheid)

Yesterday we all went to an illustrator company called: Def for the introduction of a new workshop for our students. This new workshop is given by Marcel de Buck with help of his long time good friend Arjan, who works at Def. Marcel is a freelance photographer. The subject of this workshop is: applicability(toepasbaarheid). Applicability is in this workshop defined as creating and picking the right photography/ illustration/ typography to strengthened a message.



The students were given the task to create a message of something they never told anybody before.

They could choose out of three techniques to spread there message into the world.

And there were also three types of message you could create; action, reaction and interaction.

These are two examples of ‘action’. These examples are from postsecret. PostSecret is an ongoing community mail art project, created by Frank Warren, in which people mail their secrets anonymously on a homemade postcard. Select secrets are then posted on the PostSecret website, or used for PostSecret’s books or museum exhibits.


As an example for ‘reaction’, Marcel told a story about a project he made. His grandpa just passed away, leaving his grandmother in a big beautiful house. This house was to big for an older woman to maintain. So the house Marcel came his whole life had to be sold, to great misfortune of Marcel. He had an idea to tell stories about the house the same way real estate brokers do. So he created some fake real estate ads to tell the great stories about the house to everybody.

Arjan’s example for ‘reaction’, were stickers he made for traffic light poles. He made stickers with funny and real quotes he found in diaries.

As an example for ‘interaction’ they showed us a couple of pictures made by a artist called: Candy Chang. She saw this fallen building in a bad neighbourhood in the United States. She painted the wall with the text: “Before I die I want to….” all over the building. She got the community in the bad neighbourhood to stop at the building and think and write about their futures.


Another example was from Aram Bartholl who had a great idea to embedded USB sticks into walls in New York City. The idea is to create an anonymous, offline file-sharing network in public space. The drives are completely public and anyone can plug in to drop and download files.

Our students got 5 weeks to create a similar project. Below a enumeration of the task at hand.

I will keep you all posted about the end results. Really looking forward to that.

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