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Den Haag |© Christopher A. Dominic / Flickr
Den Haag |© Christopher A. Dominic / Flickr
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TodaysArt: Den Haag's Biggest Audio And Visual Arts Festival

Picture of Tom Coggins
Updated: 26 August 2016
TodaysArt is an annual interdisciplinary festival held in Den Haag. The project’s organizers created the festival as means to gather together leading figures from the digital arts, and purposely shape TodaysArt’s program around multiple mediums and genres. Its acts merge audio and visual technology, creating groundbreaking performances that are at the forefront of modern art. Many artists produce work specifically for the festival, launching projects that have taken years to complete, making TodaysArt one of the largest cultural incubators in Europe.

Considering its diverse lineup it is difficult to separate the festival’s program into distinct categories. Nonetheless, TodaysArt organizers divide them according to style of performance, and the festival will feature a wide range of lectures, installations, and concerts. The event is spread over various locations throughout Den Haag — including a renovated power plant and one the city’s central plazas. By day these venues will host live shows and talks, while after sundown several locations will transform into clubs with the festival continuing well into the early morning.

Each year TodaysArt announces an open call for artists, offering funding and exhibition space to a winning applicant. This year the contest asked for projects that address the nature of public space, and, among fierce competition, awarded the prize to the Cargo Collective; a group of artists that will showcase their The Politics of Queuing and the Architecture of Queues. During the festival this installation will become part of Den Haag’s Spuiplein, interrupting the flow of pedestrians crossing this busy thoroughfare. The piece deconstructs the political implications of queuing, questioning the parameters and procedures that make this social phenomenon possible.

This debut is one among many, and TodaysArt will also present the latest work by techno pioneers Dopplereffekt — the group recently joined with a team of scientists to create an immense audiovisual piece titled Entropy. This performance journeys through the history of the universe, using advanced computer technology to visualize the birth of stars, and their eventual heat-death. Dopplereffekt composed the score for Entropy and will be performing their work live at the festival.

TodaysArt is committed to politically challenging artwork and this year will present Pedro Reyes‘ touring installation Disarm. This room spanning kinetic sculpture uses deactivated guns as musical instruments. Reyes collected these weapons from the Mexican government after they had been seized from criminal organizations. He, along with his team, then reshaped them into various instruments and connected their work to a system of electronic mechanisms that can be controlled via a computer. This network allows musicians to produce elaborate scores with the weapons, and Reyes has programmed the installation to repeat an impressive composition.

Several world renowned DJs will be playing at TodaysArt, including R&S records, Paula Temple and revered Berlin-based producer, Panthu du Prince. Over the course of the festival Nosaj Thing will be making two appearances — playing a dedicated DJ set, and teaming up with Japanese media artist Daito Manabe for a collaborative project that sets the DJ’s latest release, No Reality, against kinetic visuals.

📅 Thursday, September 22 – Sunday, September 25