ADE 2020 x Nxt Museum
At a time when events, travel, and cultural life were restricted due to a global pandemic, Minimal Collective looked for creative ways to keep the electronic music industry alive. When Amsterdam Dance Event invited us to curate and produce a to-be-live-streamed experience for the 25th edition of their festival, we took the chance to go the extra mile and re-invent the live streaming industry. Joining forces with Nxt Museum, a livestream was created at the intersection of the material and immaterial, between dance and movement, closeness and distance.
The aim of the event was to create an immersive 2-day digital experience on the verge of contemporary electronic music and digital art, introducing a new form of audiovisual experience. We wanted to create a live stream with a large impressive set-up that would stimulate the senses at home with a grandeur that Amsterdam had never seen before. An audiovisual streaming event with the impact of a physical experience.
To realize a multidisciplinary concept of this magnitude, forces were joined with Nxt Museum in Amsterdam north. The then recently opened digital art museum offers an unrivaled 370 square meters, floor-to-ceiling projection space, which had not been used before in full force at that time. To us, it was a canvas that enabled visual artists to take maximum creative freedom.
Keeping in mind the ‘staying at home’ context of the audience, we aimed for a combination of intelligent electronic music with immersive live visual screenings. The curation of the audiovisual program had a transcendental body of thought throughout both nights including a selection of artists that could guarantee this concept.
For the opening night, we invited Boris Acket and Vincent Rang took over the projection surface through an audiovisual performance that portrays the rise of nature through microcosms that are enlarged on Nxt Stage’s immersive screen. In the hour-long performance, chemical reactions in Rang’s aquarium give birth to eerie, icy forests and abstract rock formations.
During the main night, the world-renowned Danish/Spanish duo Desilence synchronized their live-generated visual scripts with two DJ sets that moved the mind into an upbeat trance. First, the inventive beats of Willikens & Ivkovic pulsated to the hypnotic movement of Desilence’s visual eruptions. To close the night, the forward-thinking Dutch duo Spekki Webu and Woody92 were invited. Engaged with the wide array in which psychedelic sounds manifest, the couple covered a broad spectrum of psy and goa-trance, IDM, and glitchy experimental. In sync with the crisp visuals by Desilence, the highly shamanistic soundscapes truly turned the virtual into the spiritual.
The experience of a physical event is hard to fully replace by a digital stream. However, the lines between the physical and digital were blurred during this event series at Nxt Museum. Normally attracting 450.000 physical visitors from over 150 countries, tens of thousands of people were now browsing through the digital ADE platform. A ripple effect of creativity and inspiration was cast amongst the industry at a time when cultural innovation seemed doomed. We showed that cross-disciplinary concepts and technical innovation can transcend the here and now. An impactful message with the note that the future holds exciting possibilities.