Masters of Amateurism

In the event series Masters of Amateurism, Premsela invites international authors, scholars and designers to give presentations on their work in light of particular aspects of amateurism, such as DIY, Web 2.0, bricolage and street fashion.

Hot Photography
Arjen Went and Manon Navarro of the Tintype Studio, the photography lecturer Flip Bool, and members of the Lomography community shared their views on “hot” photography in a Masters of Amateurism event on 2 December in Amsterdam. They discussed analogue photography, instant photography, and the recent surge of interest in these “hot” media in our increasingly digital world.

PR_MoA_HP_460x310.jpgHot Photography. Photo: Sander Marsman.

Biodiversity in the City: Hands On!
A workshop and talk on urban biodiversity – the latest of Premsela’s guerrilla gardening events – took place on 15 November at Rotterdam’s Nu Hier. Designer Ester van de Wiel gave students from Delft University of Technology and instructor Felix Madrazo a tour of the site and a presentation on her work related to biodiversity and plant life in the city. The students subsequently designed a project for Nu Hier.

Guerrilla Gardening at Lowlands 2011
Visitors to August's Lowlands 2011 festival found themselves digging the dirt in our edible guerrilla gardening installation. Advocates of the guerrilla gardening movement carry out small-scale actions to beautify neglected bits of urban space. We showed festivalgoers how to make seed bombs, brew beer, garden without land and more.

Design It Yourself... With Others
How does a designer get his or her work out into the world and into the right hands? Promoting your work involves more than blogging. Choosing the right place, time and tone is important. The Canadian writer and game designer Jim Munroe, the illustrator and cartoonist Han Hoogerbrugge and the photographer and concept creator Gé Smit of G-O-D talked about promoting your own work on 14 May in Breda's Graphic Design Museum.

Re-Mix symposium
December 2010's Re-Mix symposium, a joint project of Premsela and VU University Amsterdam’s Arts & Culture department, delved into the consequences of digitisation for intellectual property. The US writer Aram Sinnereich, the political scientist Joost Smiers and the samplist Eboman debated questions like: Does copyright protection hinder cultural growth and artistic expression? And: With digitisation allowing everyone to alter others' material, are the boundaries between consumption and production blurring?

Tattoos and illustration
The young British cartoonist Julia Pott spoke with Henk Schiffmacher about illustration, inspiration, tattoos and her own rapid success in December 2010 at Amsterdam's SPR Space. Pott's innovative way of working makes her an inspiration to those seeking to push the boundaries of design.

From blogging to jobbing
In July 2010, the Berlin fashion blogger and photographer Katja Hentschel spoke at Amsterdam's Streetlab Projectspace about being discovered by well-known brands and subsequently building a professional career. The fashion journalist Aynouk Tan and the writer and Internet expert Maurice Seleky also gave presentations. The event was part of Amsterdam International Fashion Week’s Downtown programme.

Photorealistic graffiti
The German graffiti artist and curator Falk "Akut" Lehmann gave a presentation and a live art performance in April 2010 at Amsterdam's Urban Arts Festival. He spoke about his detailed way of working and how he has become an authority on photorealistic graffiti in spite of having no formal training. Chaz of the street artists’ collective The London Police introduced Lehmann's talk with a discussion of his own experiences producing street art.

Her wonderful world
Our first Masters of Amateurism guest, the London illustrator Nina Chakrabarti, spoke about her book, the unexpected bestseller My Wonderful World of Fashion, in December 2009 at the ABC Treehouse. The designer Diana Krabbendam interviewed Chakrabarti about her passion for fashion and what motivated her to make a DIY book for girls. 

Follow the links at right to see photo reports on these events and video portraits of our guests, and keep checking Premsela.org for more news of upcoming presentations.