The pulse of time
By means of language, religion, science and art, we humans give meaning and purpose, or at least causality, to the chaotic and at first sight incomprehensible phenomena that surround us. Like other forms of expression, visual art is a tool to give form and meaning to the apparent disorder and randomness we call the world. Form and meaning are the inseparable ingredients of imagination – the most deeply human of all our qualities. The visual arts, in the best sense of the word, are always a reflection of the ideas, values and forms of the period in which they were created.
Over time, circumstances and needs change and with them the forms and meanings artists depict in their works. Works of art are therefore highly instructive for telling stories about the period in which they were created. At Rijksmuseum Twenthe, the museum of the imagination, we tell those stories to gain an understanding of who we are and how we came to be like this – starting in the late Middle Ages and continuing into the 21st century.
But it’s not just stories from the past. At Rijksmuseum Twenthe, we are also looking for the pulse of our own time. By keeping track of art, we try to understand and interpret the transformations of our own time.
Jaap Drupsteen is one of those artists who, for several decades now, has been tirelessly searching for the distinctive features of our times, in (digital) imagery and sound. About his working method, he says:
“I operate the buttons like the painter’s brush, but it often produces unforeseeable results. I frequently don’t use plugins for their intended purpose. Only when some buttons are in the incorrect position the surprises come. When I work with my own music, the process often expands in two directions. I then adapt the music to enhance images or vice versa. Using all available tools, I mess around until something emerges that surprises and excites me – and goes beyond anything I could ever have imagined.”