Every new technology, whether it was the paint tube or the smartphone, changes our perception of the world. It mediates our view. Different technologies open up new experiences of our apparently ‘real’ world. PolakVanBekkum’s work revolves around this mechanism and specializes in the poetics of movement in time and space.

Ivar van Bekkum and Esther Polak (PolakVanBekkum) in their studio in Amsterdam.

Represented by Galerie DudokDeGroot, Amsterdam.
Work distributed by Li-Ma (former NIMK/Montevideo) and Eye Experimental.

PolakVanBekkum is supported by The Mondriaan Fund

Their work has been presented in a.o. the Amsterdam Museum, ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Transmediale Berlin, IMAL Brussel, Museo for Image and Sound Sao Paolo, Marrakech Biennal, Ars Elektronika Linz, ISEA and The Oude Kerk – institute for contemporary Art in Amsterdam, the IJsselbiennal.
Their experimental short films premiered at a.o. IDFA, Dutch FIlm Fesitval, Berlinale Forum Expanded, Visions du Reèl and were shown at EYE Film Institute Netherlands, the Chicago Underground Film Festival, Busan International Short Film Festival, Rencontres Internationale Paris Berlin and FID Marseille.

The works and projects of PolakvanBekkum have been generously supported by numerous national and international governmental, non-gouvernmental and privat organizations: The Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunsten, Nederlands FilmFonds, Stimuleringsfonds voor de Creatieve Industrie, ZKM Karlsruhe, Stichting Liedts-Meessen, STROOM The Hague, Stichting kfHEIN, Stichting Stokroos, European Cultural Foundation, Digitale Pioniers, Royal Netherlands Embassy (several countries), Education et Culture, Culture 2000, Ministery of Agriculture The Netherlands, NIMk, NCDO, NWO, Friesland Foods and many more.

Short history
The AmsterdamREALTIME (2002)* project was the first big scale project using GPS as an artistic tool worldwide. The 2005 follow up MILKproject** won the Golden Nica for Interactive Art at Ars electronica.
Experimenting with GPS led to visualizing movement in more ways. In 2014 PolakVanBekkum has created a new cinematographic language based on synchronizing GPS routes and sound recordings resulting in several short experimental films. They experimented in digital worlds as Google Earth, Streetview, Games, in digital technology (laser drawings), and sometimes in using photography, video or paper and paint in ways that are fervently inspired by thinking in movement.

In a great deal of their project PolakVanBekkum work together with participants.


* by Esther Polak, Jeroen Kee, Waag Society
* by Esther Polak, Ieva Auzina, Rixc

In recent years they have put their research and ideas of the poetics of movement in writing. In 2020, this research titled “The City As Performative Object” was published as a chapter in The Routledge Companion to Mobile Media Art. As one of their Google Earth based video’s, this essay was published in Open! – Platform for Art, Culture and the Public Domain.

The creation of this website was made possible by Mondriaan Fonds and Fonds Kwadraat