Witteveen+Bos – Geert-Jan Hobijn


The Witteveen+Bos Art+Technology Award 2014, ISBN: 9789490335076, English, 50 pages, 2014, The Netherlands

How can a printed material “sound”? This unanswered question has probably resounded many times in the mind of Geert-Jan Hobijn, founder of the experimental label Staalplaat and then of the artistic group Staalplaat Soundsystem. His career was first embedded in the label’s releases, with a unique production, fully realised in the integration of both sounds and packaging as a single concept usually directed by Hobijn himself (Hobijn once said that “production is not democratic”). It was also realised in the workshops, performances and exhibitions of the group involving an horizontal, often enthusiastic, audience with no specific training, able to produce sounds from consumer electronics, radios, turntables and various (found) materials. This is not a definitive monograph, but the catalogue of a well deserved award: The Witteveen+Bos Art+Technology Award. With a perfect introduction by Douglas Kahn and an essay by Jorinde Seijdel, this ‘catalogue’ perfectly embodies Hobijn’s spirit. It has been enclosed in a cardboard ‘cover,’ with a small electronic instrument that reacts to light on one side, and on the other a single 7″ with locked grooves that can be played manually with a glued needle, or with a turntable. This printed material can, then, “sound,” answering our initial question. And it can sound on its own, not as a commercial, useless gadget, but as a perfectly coherent work, playfully and consistently integrating the aural into the visual standards of print.


Uitreiking Kunst+Techniek-prijs 2014