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Tjebbe van Tijen

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Tjebbe van Tijen (born 1944, The Hague, Netherlands) is a sculptor, performance artist, curator, net artist, archivist, documentalist and media theorist who lives and works in Amsterdam.[1] He is best known for his 1960s collaborative public performances, and for his later artworks and projects done in collaboration with archives and libraries.[2][3]

Life and education[edit]

Tjebbe van Tijen was born in 1944 in the Hague.[4][5] From 1961 to 1965 he studied sculpture at schools in Den Bosch, Haarlem, Milan and London.[6][7] In London he studied with Jeffrey Shaw, then a street artist, an with whom he would later collaborate with on several projects.[8]

Art career[edit]

In the 1960s van Tijen was involved in numerous happenings in European cities.[9][10][11]

Sigma Projects[edit]

Returning to Holland in 1967, he developed a number of collaborative street art projects in Amsterdam under the rubric of Sigma Projects.[1]:153[8] One such project, with Jeffrey Shaw and Willem Breuker, was Continuous Film, a film project of abstract imagery projected onto buildings with a live performed soundtrack.[1]:155 Another similar project Continuous Sound and Image Moments by the same trio involved a projected black-and-white animated film loop.[12][13][14]

Another Sigma Project was the work titled Continuous Drawings.[15] In it, and using various transportaiton including taxis and an airplane, van Tijen drew a line from the Institute for Contemporary Art in London to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and from there to Rotterdam.[16][10]:153 During the execution of the London side of the drawing, van Tijen and his friend John Latham were arrested on August 24, 1966 by police for refusing to clean the pavement of their drawing.[8]

Imaginary Museums[edit]

With Robert Hartzema, he founded the Research Center Art Technology and Society in Amsterdam, which operated from 1967 to 1969.[17] The center was based within the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. It later became the Documentation Center for Social History at the University Library, Amsterdam that operated from 1973 to 1998 and covered subjects related to the history of social activism within cities.[18] Van Tijen operated both centres as curator under the rubric of his Imaginary Museums project.[19]

In the 1980s van Tijen collaborated again with media artist Jeffrey Shaw on a project called the Imaginary Museum of the Revolution.[9][20]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Robert Adlington (12 September 2013). Composing Dissent: Avant-garde Music in 1960s Amsterdam. OUP USA. pp. 154–. ISBN 978-0-19-998101-4. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  2. "We no longer collect the Carrier but the Information". Mediamatic. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  3. Lovink, Geert. "Unbombing & Ars Memoria: An Interview with Tjebbe van Tijen". Archived from the original on 2018-05-01. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  4. Hans-Peter Schwarz (1997). Media--art--history: Media Museum, ZKM, Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe. Prestel. ISBN 978-3-7913-1878-3. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  5. Open. NAi Pub. 2004. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  6. "Tjebbe van Tijen - ZKM". zkm.de.
  7. Gerfried Stocker; Christine Schöpf (1 January 1996). Memesis. New York. ISBN 978-3-211-82846-5. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Timothy Brown; Lorena Anton (30 July 2011). Between the Avant-garde and the Everyday: Subversive Politics in Europe from 1957 to the Present. Berghahn Books. pp. 42–. ISBN 978-0-85745-079-1. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  9. 9.0 9.1 Geert Lovink (2004). Uncanny Networks: Dialogues with the Virtual Intelligentsia. MIT Press. pp. 386–. ISBN 978-0-262-62187-8. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  10. 10.0 10.1 Joann Cerrito (1996). Contemporary Artists. St. James Press. ISBN 978-1-55862-183-1. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  11. Ingrid Schaffner; Matthias Winzen; Geoffrey Batchen (July 1998). Deep storage: collecting, storing, and archiving in art. Prestel. Siemens Kulturprogramm, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Henry Art Gallery. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  12. Claudia Giannetti (26 April 2004). Ästhetik des Digitalen: Ein intermediärer Beitrag zu Wissenschaft, Medien- und Kunstsystem. Springer Vienna. ISBN 978-3-211-00571-2. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  13. Jeffrey Shaw; Anne-Marie Duguet; Peter Weibel (January 1997). Jeffrey Shaw: a user's manual, from expanded cinema to virtual reality. Cantz. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  14. Katharina Gsöllpointner; Ruth Schnell; Romana Karla Schuler (10 May 2016). Digital Synesthesia: A Model for the Aesthetics of Digital Art. De Gruyter. pp. 77–. ISBN 978-3-11-045993-7. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  15. Studio International. Studio Trust. 1967. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  16. John Albert Walker (1995). John Latham: The Incidental Person-- His Art and Ideas. Middlesex University Press. ISBN 978-1-898253-02-0. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  17. Christiane Paul (2 March 2016). [ttps://books.google.com/books?id=ODS4CwAAQBAJ&pg=PA52 A Companion to Digital Art]. Wiley. pp. 52–. ISBN 978-1-118-47518-8. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  18. http://www.iisg.nl/collections/tiananmen/documents/chinesepeopmov-aanv.pdf
  19. Sharon Macdonald (16 August 2010). A Companion to Museum Studies. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 310–. ISBN 978-1-4443-3405-0. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  20. Jorinde Seijdel (2004). (No) Memory: Storing and Recalling in Contemporary Art and Culture. NAi Publishers. ISBN 978-90-5662-393-7. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png

External links[edit]

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