Michiel van Bakel, Artist in distribution, Netherlands, 1966
Michiel van Bakel was born in 1966 in Deurne, the Netherlands, and currently lives in Rotterdam. He briefly studied astronomy and psychology before switching to art and attending the art academy in Arnhem. Originally a classical sculptor, in recent years his focus has shifted to multimedia works in which spatial relationships are still a main concern. His works have received awards at international film and video festivals, including the first prize at the Black Maria Festival (USA) in 2004 and the Special Jury Prize at Video Lisboa in 2000. Van Bakel uses a complicated and inventive technique in which short scenes are filmed by different cameras from a large number of angles and then edited together in the method of a 'flip-book' animation. As a result, the bodies of van Bakel's subjects appear to be unnaturally suspended in space, because most of the duration of the video is taken up by showing a single moment (for instance, the moment in which a man jumps in the air) from different spatial angles, demonstrating how our perception of the physics of bodies moving in space is highly governed by the temporality of that movement. The fact that van Bakel uses footage of subjects moving in outdoor architectural settings extends these experiments to considerations of how different mediums, such as architecture and video art, represent or manipulate the nexus between time and three-dimensional space.