1998 - 2003

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By Dirk van Weelden, 2020

When and where did Kadoum emerge?

To understand and appreciate Kadoum, it is good to know the context from which it arose and the questions and mysteries it is based on. Kadoum was a performance and an installation that connected singers, electric motors, heart monitors, mobile phones and the internet. The idea arose in 1997, back when Google was just being set up, there was no video on the internet, and even MP3 had yet to be invented. The internet consisted of poor-quality images and text, accessible only through computers connected by a cable to a modem and fixed line network. Fewer than one in four people possessed a mobile phone.

Anybody who looked around and tried to grasp how quickly everything was changing could have been blown away by a frightening thought: if everything could be converted into digital data (images, sounds, texts, numbers) and everybody was connected by the internet, then access to the medium would mean that everybody was, in principle, available for one another, always and everywhere, no matter what the physical distance. What is ‘remote presence’ and how does that change the experience of physical presence?

Johan Wagenaar is a sculptor, someone who thinks through images and space, and Kadoum can best be understood as a spatial and sensory representation of that question. It is posed here, not on a website but in the physical world, where the work and the public come together. Moreover, it is a communal question, for Kadoum is the result of collaboration between the artist and a computer programmer, telephone engineers, an entrepreneur, a composer and various choirs.

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Kadoum in de documentary ‘Echo van het hart’ by Harro Henkemans, 2001


Concept en execution: Johan Wagenaar
Composition: Daan Manneke
Musical performance: Berlin Rundfunkchor Berlin
Client: PIZZART Foundation, Pierre Eichenberger
Medical assistence: Dipl. Ing. C.A. Swenne, Herzforschungszentrum der LUMC, The Netherlands, Dr. George B. Moody, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard Projektleiding PIZZART Foundation, Amsterdam Bing Ie / Impulse Art
Management: PIZZART Foundation
Project coordination: PIZZART, Berlin, Bing Ie / Annikki Scheu
Graphic design / web design: Jörg Dedering / Markus Drews Redactie
Website (1998): Annikki Scheu
Technical support Alfons Gonzalez / Anatoli Kanakhine
Organisation Australië: Louise Herron
Sponsored by: PIZZART.COM Sa. / Pecelart / Polar Nederland BV Almere / Mavilor Motors Barcelona / Ulma Steigers b.v Utrecht / Verweij Elektrotechniek Utrecht / Nokia International Finland / Glaverned, Utrecht, Niederlande /Niederländische Botschaft Berlin Medienpartnerschaft taz, berlin.de Produktionsleitung & Medienarbeit Berlin ARTEFAKT Kulturkonzepte
©Johan Wagenaar