Hans Overvliet | Workshop | Distant Suffering XIV

Workshop Distant Suffering XIV

Hans Overvliet, Process to creating Distant Suffering at SEA Foundation
Distant Suffering XIV | i.d. of a shared cloud #2 – The process of manually creating a single image of the thousand images of explosion clouds used in this workshop.

11 – 12 – 13.10




AiR Tilburg

Distant Suffering XIV

Hans Overvliet temporarily works and lives in Tilburg. At SEA Foundation he elaborates further on his politically engaged project Distant Suffering, which is an ongoing project since 2013. The SEA Foundation’s edition of Distant Suffering XIV | i.d. or a shared cloud #2 consists of an exhibition and a performance/workshop with five participants. One of the participants is the artist himself. Hans Overvliet wishes to interactively engage the public and therefore he used social media and the SEA Foundation’s newsletter to call for participants to join in for a 3-day co-creating event. Together with four selected participants, Hans Overvliet labors over five new artworks.

With Distant Suffering XIV | i.d. of a shared cloud #2, Overvliet takes up the theme of seemingly innocent clouds. This iteration builds on a previous version of the project, in which Hans Overvliet filled three cabinets with photos on three different topics. One cabinet was filled with a thousand war photos of explosions, which Overvliet selected from various websites on the internet, and combined them with a unique code to indicate when and where the explosions occurred. Mapping was a decisive factor in imperialist expansion since colonial times: ‘In order to conquer […] global life, you have to be able to map it out’ (Patel and Moore, 2017). These two components, the clouds and the coordinates, both come from the pool of information available through the Internet. All these digital images have been gathered by hand, and have been manually copy pasted into a Word document grid. The individual content of the images and the mutual relations between coordinates and clouds initially seem random and without correlation. Yet as the work continues in a clear, and bespoke performance, meaningful documents emerge.


The performance is centered around the act of manually creating one’s own unique artist book. Every participant of the workshop will receive an empty grid with space for approximately 200 pictures, which each participant can fill up with the provided photos of explosions from the cabinet. By doing this, Hans Overvliet makes each individual participants the co-author of a book. Overvliet invites and challenges participants to join him in a slow, detailed and possibly frustrating task that entails incorporating contemporary media. The work process aims at providing a breathing space and offering a step out of the narcotic, frighteningly fast flow of the media spectacles. In addition, the collaborative work facilitates reflection and one may ask oneself “What do we do?” and “What should we do?”. When you are inspired to participate in this project by Hans Overvliet call or send us an email with a short motivation.

Workshop co-creators

Hans Overvliet selected 4 artists to co-create with. They are Virginia Lui, Susanne Khalil Yusef, Julia Fidder and Pim Steinmann

Hans Overvliet Artist in Residence
Exhibition Distant Suffering XIV
Website Hans Overvliet



Mondriaan Fund Netherlands
Hans Overvliet
Hans Overvliet workshop
Hans Overvliet Distant Suffering SEA Foundation Tilburg Workshop politically engaged art workshop