Esther Venrooy


Dan Fox – Limbo

Barbara Baert – In Response to Echo

Bernard Rudofsky – Architecture without Architects

Listening to:

Stacks – Our Body Memory


Jan Martens – The Dog Days Are Over

Thinking about:

Exploration of Spatial Narratives: Our daily encounters with spaces resides in the ordinary, often the primacy is given to the visual sense.  A space is not only the ceiling, walls, floor, or the configuration of the objects, but it has a wider context. It is not empty, but belongs to a community of people, and is filled with historical, cultural and geographical legacies, stories and memories. I want to rebut the idea that a space is something static and unchangeable, which has important societal and artistic repercussions.  

(…) Walking through a space, we engage ourselves in temporal experiences of space through the act of looking, measuring, sensing and listening. Over time, we are able to perceive spatial subtleties, which presents new opportunities. To read a space, or narrativity within architecture is a form of spatial storytelling. By looking at the floors, walls, ceilings, doors, and windows of a building, and observing the markings, transformations and rotting of materials, smelling the muffled odours and hearing the ticking of the old heating system, we experience the idea of architecture as a spatial narrative

Be a Knife – reflections on the critical moment: The view of reality as a series of interconnected crises, which are part of a larger collective structure, brings me to the critical moment. A split, crack, shiver, sigh, or break which is always sharp and sudden, a sensorial shift which often leads towards a new situation or opportunity. The critical moment can be viewed as an in-between space, where different experiences and perceptions of time occur, with the possibility of also missing or not seizing the opportunity. And I wonder if it is possible to “create” a critical moment? What are the conditions or elements in the Umwelt of the artist which may lead to a critical moment? What are the manifestations of Kairos, or the critical, opportune moment?

Professor of Mixed Media, performance and sound art Esther Venrooij considers her dual roles as artist and composer as occupying two different sensorial planes. She creates work in a variety of media, such as composed music, improvised combinations of electronica, video and site-specific installations. A keyword in her artistic research practice is “experience”. She wants to come to a different understanding of architecture, with the possibility of creating a relationship between the physical environment and the “immaterialities” of space, like sound and movement. Having collaborated live and in the studio with a variety of visual, sound and dance artists, Venrooij’s biography reads like a mixed media map of projects. She has performed and presented her works extensively for audiences in Europe, Asia and United States. In 2015, she completed her PhD studies in Art at KULeuven with an exhibition of a series of sound installations and a dissertation: ‘Audio Topography: The Interaction of Sound, Space and Medium’. In februari 2018 she was granted a ZAP-mandate at KULeuven, in the field “Spatial Experiences: Spatial Experiences: Visual, Auditory, Sensorimotor, Tactile and Conceptual” and is he supervising the doctoral research projects.

Esther Venrooy