Work by Juuso Noronkoski, Device No.5 (The Third Sun) detail, 2017, Seeing without a Seer @ Looiersgracht 60, September 2018

On the entanglement of image and gaze, lecture, Uniarts, Helsinki

Work by Martine Stig, still from WTC (Walking in The City), Seeing without a Seer, Looiersgracht 60, September 2018

Overview @ UNSEEN COOP

Work by Marjolijn Dijkman and Toril Johannessen, still from Reclaiming Vision, Looiersgracht 60, September 2018

Work by Martine Stig, Stephan Keppel and Hiryczuk / van Oevelen @ UNSEEN COOP

Editions by El Lissitzky and Hiryczuk / van Oevelen @ UNSEEN COOP


In order to physically meet and exchange with our audience, collaborators and peers we organise public events on location on a regular basis. In addition to our activities on this platform we initiate and take part in visual presentations, lectures, publications and/or interviews.

SEEING WITHOUT A SEER, exhibition and symposium
(Looiersgracht 60, Amsterdam, September 20 – 30, 2018 (exhibition), September 21 (symposium)

In the context of an ongoing research programme the art cooperative Radical Reversibility organizes, in collaboration with Looiersgracht 60 the exhibition and symposium Seeing without a Seer. The programme explores alternative ways of looking, thinking and image-making that evade the central position of the viewer.

Seeing without a Seer is set up as a cooperative, imaginative and speculative exercise to grasp what is at stake in the act of seeing. What is 'seeing' and where is it located when we take non-human agencies into account? Can we, for instance, imagine how plants or stones ‘see’ their surroundings? In which ways could ‘machine vision’ influence our worldview?

Ever since the Renaissance visual perception has been transformed into an all encompassing mathematical structure based on the scientific laws of optics and Euclidean geometry. The discovery of linear perspective and the invention of the point of view accorded a central place to the beholder. Notions such as ‘eye level’, 'viewpoint' and 'vanishing point' established a clear distinction between viewer and viewed, each situated at opposite sides of the 'picture plane'. This seemingly objective system of representation did not only constitute lens-based technology but it also shaped our understanding of and interaction with visual media like photography, video and film.

As an alternative to this system of representation Radical Reversibility embraces the concept ‘seeing without a seer’ by Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida (1870 - 1945). This idea describes a 'place of nothingness' which envelops not only the object seen, but also the seeing action and that in which both are established. 'Seeing' is not a subject's act defined in opposition to an object, but is an event prior to the distinction between the two*).

The exhibition focusses on counter strategies to our habits of visual representation. The participating artists delve into the barely visible and the microscopic and analyse machine vision and image-making in a post-digital era. Their works explore ideas about a ‘self-seeing world’ and question the anthropocentric character of the camera as a pure registration tool and a technical extension of the human sensorium. The symposium presents lectures, visual case-studies and conversations by artists and researchers that will present works and ideas related to this subject matter.

Artists: Anouk de Clercq (BE), Tom Callemin (BE), Marjolijn Dijkman (NL), Hans Gremmen (NL), Hiryczuk/ Van Oevelen (FR/NL), Toril Johannessen (NO), Taisuke Koyama (JP), Tuula Närhinen (FI), Juuso Noronkoski (FI), Martine Stig (NL), August Strindberg (SE), Mikko Rikala (FI)

Speakers: Alena Alexandrova (BG), Basje Boer (NL), Marjolijn Dijkman (BE), Hiryczuk/ Van Oevelen (FR/NL), Steven Humblet (BE), Toril Johannessen (NO), Adam Loughnane (CA), Tuula Närhinen (FI), Henk Oosterling (NL), Ali Shobeiri (IR), Martine Stig (NL), Frank van der Stok (NL), Agnieszka Wolodzko (PL)

*) From: Adam Loughnane, "Nishida and Merleau-Ponty", European Journal of Japanese Philosophy I (2016)

The exhibition and the symposium are made possible by the generous support of:

AFK Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Mondriaan Fund, Looiersgracht 60, Norwegian Embassy, Frame Visual Art Finland, Caradt Avans, AKI ArtEZ, Fonds Kwadraat, Gilles Hondius Foundation, Unseen

(November 29, Uniarts, Helsinki)

Prognostics lecture series inquires into the future of art by taking a closer look at the new languages, models and forms that the latest generation of artists are creating in response to the urgent questions arising today in the domains of art, politics and sociology.

Artists Martine Stig and Elodie Hiryczuk are co-founders of the practice- and research-based art cooperative Radical Reversibility. The RR cooperative aims to investigate and develop visual and conceptual strategies that radically reverse the paradigms of our current visual culture. For the Prognostics series they will give some insight into the background and the common fields of research of the cooperative. They will also present their current projects entitled Vertigo, The Detached Gaze and Les Extrêmes ne se Touchent pas.

UNSEEN CO-OP (21-24 September 2017)

For Unseen CO-OP – the new addition to Unseen, the international platform for contemporary photography – curator Lars Willumeit has selected RR together with 12 international art collectives to present themselves. Our first public presentation will be centered around a key work by El Lissitzky – In the studio, 1923 – and includes works by Martine Stig and Hiryczuk/ Van Oevelen. In addition we will show a new collaborative project by our first guest contributors Stephan Keppel and Hans Gremmen.

On the occasion of our launch we will issue a printed manifesto, designed by Hans Gremmen along with the first RR special editions of work by Hiryczuk/ Van Oevelen, Martine Stig, Stephan Keppel and El Lissitzky.


Thursday 21, 20:00

Official launch of RR and presentation of our manifesto to Lars Willumeit, CO-OP Booth 11 (on invitation only)

Saturday 23, 12:30

All that is solid melts into clouds, RR contribution to POIUYT Radio, CO-OP Booth 3

Sunday 24, 14:45

CO-OP Talk with RR co-founders Martine Stig and Sjoerd van Oevelen, in The Living Room

For more information please visit UNSEEN CO-OP.

This event is made possible by Mondriaan Fund, Unseen Amsterdam, Expertise Centre for Art and Design at Avans University, Hans Gremmen, Stephan Keppel, Daria Tuminas, Taco Hidde Bakker, Niels Schrader, Mertens Frames, Atelier Lasociale.