If You Are Not There, Where Are You? (IYANTWAY)

Maartje Nevejan 90'

‘If you are not there, where are you? (IYANTWAY) aims to find language for the often fearful and misunderstood experience that children have during an absence. Science and art are connected in a unique experiment which will artistically represent the invisible experience in a transmedia way. More insight into where these children are, when they are not there, will not only teach us more about them, but will also give us insight into human consciousness and the theatre of our mind.

The transmedia project, which is a collaboration between art and science, creates a completely new narrative for absence epileptics. Approximately 65 million people worldwide suffer from this disorder that takes place in the head. A visual phenomenology gives them a common language. To maximise the impact, four components are being developed, each of which will develop the new narrative through its own audience. field-synopsis 1. The website www.areyouthere.nl.

1. The website www.areyouthere.nl. This is a place where children and young people can tell and share their stories. During the research, ten children visualised their absence experience in co-creation with ten artists. The result was a mini-documentary of 10 artworks that was presented by the creators to the parents, teachers and neurologists of the children. The installation consisted of a VR experience, a painting, a collage, drawings, 360 film, a musical composition, a book, a scenography and a mummy. These works each have their own space on the website, which can also be viewed virtually using oculus rift glasses. Children and adolescents with an abscess are invited to share their experience through this media. They can add their own experience to the website. This experience site will eventually result in an international database of absence experiences. Target group: children and adolescents with absence epilepsy

2. An immersive VR game In my Absence. Game developer Monobandaplay designs in co-creation with the children an environment that feels like an absence experience. There is no controller, just like in real life. The poetic experience guided by the senses makes it tangible, visible, emotional, sensitive and physical. The target group for this innovative game are young people and young adults with and without an abscess. Because we are sending it to international game, VR and Art&Technology festivals, we are also attracting a wider interested public.

3. Artistic research in collaboration with the Lectorate of Performative Arts of the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU). They analyse the collaboration between art and science and develop a method for future collaborations. This will result in a publication (a book). Where the last century stood for the discovery of tangible new worlds, this century stands for the discovery of the inner world. Science is running up against its own limits here. A collaboration with art is crucial for the knowledge of the future. Target group: students within art courses.

4. Inspiration events:In cooperation with SPUI25 we organise a number of meetings that feed the dialogue between art and science. Target group: children, young people, students, young scientists. The first was on 25 October 2017 during Cinekid; a Kinder College was given ‘Looking with your brain’. The second was a meeting at the Stedelijk Museum on 3 November during the Worlding the Brain festival. On 11 November we are at the INScience Festival Nijmegen.

5. The documentary essay Where Are You? takes shared language as its starting point. Maartje Nevejan uses the children’s perspective to look for the source of absence experiences. How do these images come about and what do they have to do with the images we all have sometimes when we ‘escape from reality’? Images that cast doubt on what we experience as real, but which we refer to as fantasy. Our brains make the world bigger than the tangible world around us. How do we do this? And how real is this larger world? As Dumbledore said: Of course it is happening in your head Harry. Why would that mean, it is not real? In the film Where Are You?, Maartje Nevejan uses filmic means to investigate how we create our inner reality.
The documentary is for all ages and in co-production with VPRO.

Willemijn Cerutti is nominated for the Impact Award 2016.
Supported by The Art of Impact, Prince Bernhard Culture Fund, Banning de Jong, The Epilepsy Fund, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Transmedia non-fiction scheme, a joint initiative of Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, Filmfonds and Mediafonds.

Maartje Nevejanis documentary director with a background in theatre and new media.

If you are not there, where are you? aims to find language for the often anxious and misunderstood experience of children with absence epilepsy during moments of absence. Science and art are connected in a unique experiment which will artistically represent the invisible experience in a transmedia way. The project is a collaboration with the Lectoraat Performatieve Maakprocessen of the HKU. The creative documentary ‘Ik ben even er niet’ (90), one of the stories in the transmedia project, is in co-production with the VPRO.

Harry, Tiny en Sonja (56′) is Nevejan’s first collaboration with Cerutti Film. This film was produced in co-production with HUMAN, for whom Nevejan made the film in 2009. Theo van Gogh? He is dead and in 2011 directed The Needle and the Girl.

For BNN she made the documentary series We are stuck with Sophie Hilbrand in 2015. For NTR, she made the four-part series Het Nationale Canta Balletthat documented the creation of a ballet by Het Nationale Ballet and 53 Canta’s, a custom madedisabled car of Dutch manufacture. This documentary was the core of several cross-media productions, including a book, a radio documentary and a GPS recording of the Cantas’ route, with the city of Amsterdam as the dance floor.

In 2004 and 2007, she directed two documentary series Couscous & Colafor BNN, in which post-9/11 immigrant children from Amsterdam struggle with their identity and their hatred of the West. The success of the series on Al Jazeera led to Couscous Global (2008), in which young people set up debate groups and filmed each other.

Transmediaproject If you are not there, where are you?

Head of Design: Maartje Nevejan
Research: Nirav Christophe
Head of production: Marieke Nooren
Camera: Sander Roeleveld
Sound: Fokke van Saane
VRgame: Monobanda Play – Niki Smit en Simon van der Linden
VR-website: Inspector V – Wouter Rouf en Roeland den Ouden
Campaign: Studio Moniker – Roel Wouters en Lune Maurer
Supervisor graphic design IYANTWAY: Rogério Lira
Photography and camera: Jaap van den Beukel
A co-production with the Lectorate Perfomative Manufacturing Processes of the HKU.
Involved artists Ruud Lanfermeijer, Nirav Christophe, Henny Dörr, Joris Weijdom, Falk Hübner, Wouter Ruoff (inspector V) and Bobby de Groot.
Supported by The Art of Impact, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Het Epilepsiefonds, KNAW and the transmedia nonfiction scheme of Mediafonds, Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie and Filmfonds.

Creative documentary Where Are You? in co-production with VPRO (development).
Scenario: Tamara Vuurmans
Dramaturgie: Wanda Reisel
Camera: Jean Counet
Editor: Gys Zevenbergen