Dimitri van den Wittenboer is an artist and researcher originally from Germany with Russian migration background currently based in Amsterdam. He has graduated from the Royal Academy of the Arts in The Hague (2019) with the specialisation in the participatory aspects of performance art. In the context of his artistic research MA program Performing Public Space (2020 - 2021) at the University for Fine and Performing Arts in Tilburg, he has addressed the question of ‘public life’ by practicing various ways to engage with passers-by in urban spaces in Amsterdam. The research generated a series of performances and workshops in public space dealing with the topic of encounters with passers-by: About You (2020), Relevant Stories (2020), Meet my Friend (2020). In 2021 the performative workshop Hello Stranger was presented at the We Are Here Festival at Gessneralle, Zurich (2021) and was part of the We Are Public Program in Amsterdam.
In 2021 Dimitri van den Wittenboer has received the Balconescenes Fund of Fonds Podium Kunsten, Netherlands for a participatory co-creation project Fireplace (2021) that employs the artistic tools of storytelling and singing to create reflective moments with passers-by in public space. The project was developed collectively with Maria Magdalena Kozłowska, Noah Voelker and Pankaj Tiwari.
Since 2020 Dimitri van den Wittenboer collaborates with the theatre maker Pankaj Tiwari with whom he explores the intersection of fine arts and theatre in participatory art practice.
Their recent participatory project Neighbourhood of Commoning (2021) was developed in the context of the About Us! – Festival Zurich. The neighborhood project questioned the concept of private property by inviting citizens to open their private spaces for collective public activities.
In 2021 van den Wittenboer co-founded the international collective ‘Urge’ with four graduates from the MA program ‘Performing Public Space’: Anne Decker (DE), Ellie Bryce (BL), Rita Carmo Martins (PT) and Vittorio Campanella (IT). The collective explores artistic co-creation and focuses on the practice-led research of public space in different countries. Their long-term research project Nest addresses pubic life in the cities of their origin.
I my work am interested in two main topics: public space as a realm of social gathering and a site for political action, and interactions among strangers as an encounter of differences. I explore these interests artistically through participatory performances and workshops in public space that challenge the established socio-political habits and invite participants to try alternatives. To develop my ideas, I look into theoretical concepts such as “Commoning” by Hardt and Negri and translate them into practices in public space. I am interested in passers-by and citizens of a neighbourhood as my audience and collaborators to make art accessible to a wide range of people. My goal is to invite people to imagine and practice together alternative ways of public life. I believe that Art is a space in that such explorations can happen.
BAK, Utrecht, BAK Public Studies Art: as Politics
2020 to 2021
Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts, Tilburg, Research M.A., Performing Public Space
2015 to 2019
Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, Netherlands, B.FA., Autonomous Fine Arts, Performance Studies
Leiden University, Netherlands, Sociology and Philosophy
2013 to 2015
Freie Universität Berlin, Research M.S., Biochemistry
ART PTOJECTS/RESIDANCIES (SELECTION)
(upcoming) NEST, residency/participatory project, project by URGE Collective, collaboration with Anne Decker, Vittorio Campanella, Rita Carmo Martins, Kunstpodium T, Tilburg NL
(upcoming) Public Market Otherwise, residency/participatory project, collaboration with Holger Nickisch, Bureau Postjesweg, Amsterdam NL
Neighbourhood of Commoning, residency/participatory project, collaboration with Pankaj Tiwari, About Us Festival, Zurich CH
Hello Stranger, workshop - performance, We Are Public, Amsterdam NL
Fireplace, participatory project, Haarlemmer square, collaboration with Maria Magdalena Kozłowska, Noah Voelker and Pankaj Tiwari, Amsterdam NL
Hello Stranger, workshop - performance, We are here, Gessnerallee, Zurich CH
Insqaure at Witte Rook, residency, collaboration with Pankaj Tiwari, Witte Rook, Breda NL
Meet my Friends, participatory performance, Current Open Air, Current: a space, Amsterdam NL
Relevant Stories, participatory performance, Current in Quarantine, Current: a space, Amsterdam NL
about You, workshop-performance, A-Lonely Show, Sexyland, Amsterdam NL
about You, participatory performance, Hoodlabstories, Amsterdam NL
about You, participatory performance, Kifl The Kid Salon, Billytown, The Hague NL
Voice and Community, residency, Dhrupad Satsang, Bhopal, IN
Attack, participatory project, The Hague NL
The Present, participatory performance, The Handshake, Hgtomi Rosa, The Hague NL
Food, participatory performance, Come as you are, Trixie, The Hague NL
City Space Architecture , active member of the advisory board on public space
Urge Collective, co-founder, international artist collective
Insquare Foundation, co-founder, artists initiative, Amsterdam NL
ACTA, member, atelier broedplaats, Urban Resort, Amsterdam NL
Hgtomi Rosa, co-founder, artist initiative, The Hague NL
Haagse Kunstenaars, artist, The Hague NL
Balkonscènes Fund, Fonds Podium Kunsten for the participatory project Fireplace, NL
Insquare at Witte Rook, Witte Rook, Breda NL
About You, Staatliedenbuurt Magazine, Hoodlab, Amsterdam NL