in the Category: art

An Anti-Island Campaign

MIKS, the artistic platform of De Warande, celebrates its second instalment from October 2020 until January 2021. Interdisciplinary exchange is at the core of this year's edition. We asked participant Stan and coach Frederik (Be Irving) about the importance of art and music and the value of getting off your island.

Interview by Camilla Peeters
Photos shot by Kayla Van Durme

MIKS is a multidisciplinary platform. Its website states 'Everything is possible'. What is the intention behind MIKS? 

Frederik: MIKS is definitely about the exchange between different disciplines. The coaches are happiest when the participants take the initiative. If someone wants to do something in visual arts and would like a musician to translate the work into music, it's possible. That is the starting point: everything is possible.
We work towards a general presentation of all the works. Last year, the show took place in January 2020 in an old garage, a kind of squat. It was part of Turnhout By Night, a nice walk through certain buildings in the city showing the work from the MIKS trajectory. People can encounter performances or an exhibition and can choose to stop or to walk on.

Stan and Frederik, you both are involved in music. Frederik, you coached Stan during the first edition of MIKS.

Frederik: Stan made my life really easy.

Music really is my thing and I would have never realized that by myself

Stan: My original plan was to stay in the background and help others with their performances and works. At some point, I told the coaches that I also liked to make music and that I was doing a bit of Beatboxing. They immediately replied that I should go for it and not stay in the background. That is what I did and I am so happy about that. Making music brings me so much joy. It really is my thing and I would have never realized that by myself. That is what I love about MIKS. Voilà. 

Are there any specific doors MIKS has opened for you? 

Stan: The coaches helped me with the performances and with feeling confident about playing in front of an audience. On a more technical level, Frederik helped me during the live shows with the mixing panel and the overall sound. Aside from that, I mostly went my own way and I explored my interests further. Now I have bought a loop station, which will make my performances much more interesting for an audience. 

The second edition of MIKS will take place in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. What will be different this year? 

Frederik: This year, there will be more coaches and disciplines available. That means more opportunities for exchange and cross-pollination between different interests. Someone could initially come to explore music, but in the end, find themselves in slam poetry of photography or anything else. The walk will still take place, though we will have to keep the distance and avoid bottlenecks. The coaching will be in small bubbles, spread across the terrain. It is not nice not being able to speak with your audience but if worst comes to worst, we will have to work like this.

Stan: I think it is very important to be able to share your ideas and creativity with others. In these times it is put aside too often. I believe it is important to give art a place in society. I like the concept of MIKS. I am happy it is still standing, amidst mouth masks and social distancing. It is important for young people and adults to come together and explore their own thing. 

The things you produce with others are much richer

Frederik: Exactly. It is an anti-island campaign. There are so many things in our daily lives that isolate each of us on a different island. I just bought a new phone, out of necessity. Technology isolates us more and more. You are asked to stay at home in your very small universe. You do it for the greater good, but it is so critically necessary to meet other people. I am in a band and I often think it would be easier to just make the piece myself, more efficient and quicker because you do not have to discuss it with anyone. But the things you produce with others - especially with people you'd normally not work with - are much richer. In that case, we have tried to broaden the MIKS audience by addressing refugees and vulnerable youth in need of a creative outlet. 

Does art play an important role in the broadening of someone’s perspective? 

Frederik: I think that in media and in politics, people act too much out of their own sense of ratio. It is really easy to categorize things, but the way in which we grow is by moving something emotionally. Beauty is the best way to move something and art is the way to show the beauty in differing cultures. 

Stan: I have difficulty expressing myself emotionally, but I can express my emotions very well in my music. This might also be important: that you can be yourself, regardless of what others think of you. To be able to share what I feel with others feels fantastic to me. 

To be able to share what I feel with others feels fantastic to me

Frederik: To me, music is a way of communicating with others. I think everyone who makes music feels the need to get across a message they cannot put into words. It might be reductive, but music is the way to get across a feeling without words. There is so much nuance in music, it has movement, colour, timbre. I find what Stan does to be amazing. There is nothing purer than a human voice. As humans, we are very sensitive to human voices. If you use just that to compose… I think Stan goes right to the basics of what music is. It moves something in people. That is music to me.

M I K S is the artistic platform for young people from the Turnhout region.
Their bootcamp-weekend will take place on 20/02 and 21/02.
You can subsribe for it until 15/02.

Are you between 14 and 26 years old and would you like to develop a creative idea with feedback from a professional coach?
M I K S is what you are looking for!

More info