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shaping the land while walking


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Annabel Schouten (1999), Utrecht & Nijmegen, the Netherlands

During my studies I had been meaning to find out what and who I wanted to become as a professional. In the hope that by finding my profession I would be able to find out how to contribute to society - life - evolution.

I remember a very clear moment with my teacher Albert van Veenendaal in which we came to the conclusion that I wasn't able to categorize myself in a certain way. I could recognize elements of the following professions: sound artist, director, musician, artistic researcher, conceptual artist, composer, initiator, performance artist, improviser, community artist, inventor... But all of these only partly fit me. I started to realize there is power in not being able to categorize oneself: by not 'being' something I created the opportunity to be and become anything, whatever - whenever I wanted, whatever - whenever would be needed. By realizing this I could allow myself to even be or become something beyond the things that already existed. I came up with a few new titles for myself: music landscape artist, sound inventor, instrument composer 


Of course these titles do not define me, I still see myself as an undefined professional, kindly leaving myself the space to think and create beyond - even my own - definitions. 

After the point of no return, the conversation with Albert and the evolution it triggered in me, I began to understand that the reasons why I wanted to create were more relevant to me than what I was creating. For as the work has a value beyond the actual work itself. The work became a tool to meet nature, to meet strangers, to listen, to open and to become aware. From the moment I started to see art as a tool I noticed the things I made naturally contributed to society - life - evolution. 

picture by Simon van Boxtel

an interview about the work

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