Masterclass: Image and its Affects
Image and its Affects: a masterclass with Bruno Zhu (Portugal, 1991) about the consequences of ‘usership’ in relation to the audience within the fields of cinema, fine arts, gaming and book publishing.

How do makers and mediators relate to this? Are they watching from a distance of do they appreciate experiences as moments of critical reflection? This masterclass is being held on the occasion of Bruno Zhu’s exhibition New Arrivals, currently on show in Foam.

Installation view of Bruno Zhu - New Arrivals, 2015.

The masterclass starts with a series of lectures and discussions by academics and experts from different fields, related to the theme. Inspired by these fresh perspectives and ideas, excellent students will explore possible topics at play in the solo exhibition. Bruno Zhu’s masterclass invites participants to open the discussion by bringing along and presenting something from their own research (e.g. an object, an image, a series of objects or images, a book, a text, a text message, a situation). Each presentation will be scrutinized with ‘what if’ questions from the other participants, generating alternate versions of the original narratives, which will be transcribed and translated into more images, objects, texts and situations.

The end result of the masterclass could be a book, a series of objects, images or texts, moments or other things that explore the meaning of representation. The core of the workshop lies on further developing the creative process via the juxtaposition of logic and absurdness and how sometimes watching funny videos on YouTube or having silly impulses can actually lead to new and unknown territories.


Morning programme
08:45 Doors open
09:00 Welcome and introduction by Zippora Elders, Foam curator
09:30 Lecture by dr. Joke Hermes (University of Amsterdam)
10:15 Talk by Freek Lomme (Onomatopee)
11:00 Coffee break
11:15 Lecture by Daniel van der Poel, researcher
12:00 Panel with participants
12:30 Lunch

Afternoon programme
13:30 Masterclass by Bruno Zhu, visual artist
16:00 Participant presentations and feedback
17:00 Round up
17:30 Drinks

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With New Arrivals, Bruno Zhu (Portugal, 1991) remodels the Foam 3h library into another reading room – one that flattens the representation of reading itself. Twisting time and space, both physically and conceptually, the installation juxtaposes visual motifs from the private space into the public and vice versa. This way, Zhu light-heartedly explores his fascination for photography’s ambivalent symbol as surface and object, representation and appropriation. New Arrivals welcomes a new chapter into Bruno Zhu’s research on how desire works within consumer cultures.

Bruno Zhu has a degree in Fashion Design from Central Saint Martins in London, and is currently attending the Master of Fine Arts at the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam. His previous installations were largely focused on subverting the topology of the space. Outsourced from catalogues and lifestyle magazines, the images of styled furniture invite readers into a world of brightness and positivity, to imagine the juicy bookshelves in our living rooms, and how enriching they would be to our environments.

Zippora Elders studied art history and museum curation at the University of Amsterdam and the VU University, where she specialized in visual art of the 20th and 21st centuries. She is interested in time-based media art, new media art, image culture and network culture. Zippora has worked and written for various art institutions. Since 2014 she has been working as a curator at Foam museum for photography in Amsterdam, where she explores visual culture and the field between photography, the digital and visual arts. She is a (contributing) editor at Foam Magazine and Foam's talent blog Spotlight.

Joke Hermes studied political science at the University of Amsterdam, where she also received her doctorate for her PhD about the reading of women magazines. She worked for the department of communication science and was visiting professor in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Sunderland (UK). She has been co-editor of the European Journal of Cultural Studies since 1996 and she regularly publishes articles on media and culture. Currently Hermes is lecturer in the Department of Media and Culture at the University of Amsterdam and she is lector Media, Culture and Citizenship at Hogeschool Inholland.

Freek Lomme is a freelance curator, lecturer, moderator and writer as well as founding director and chief curator of publishing house and art-space Onomatopee. He studied Arts and Science at the University Maastricht, holds an MA in Art Policy and Cultural Identity, but learned in practice. Lomme is particularly interested in visual culture within the experience economy and modes of collaboration and organization. At large, he practices a sort of poetic and experimental conceptualization of wonder.

Onomatopee playfully frames and manifests our progressive capacity to design culture. At Onomatopee, architects, urban planners, graphic and spatial designers, cultural critics, marketers, artists, politicians and others willing to engage with the meaningfulness of designed culture, get together, within a constructive sphere of nurturing, cultural citizenship, to negotiate and establish our cultural future via design’s playful, political practice All in all, Onomatopee is a movement by and for anyone interested in engaging with the quests and cases fundamental to our designed culture. Let’s try to open up this field and make it accessible for everyone – let’s enjoy playing with the parameters!

Daniël van der Poel is a researcher and occasional art critic specialized in digital media. Since 2012 he’s been studying how different ways of representing space in images influence and reflect our perception. To this end he initiated the research project Perspective and Perception, which centres on spatial representations used in computer applications and video games. Its aim is to measure how using different representations (for instance a first-person linear perspective versus an isometric view) affects people’s thoughts and behaviour. A clearer understanding of such image-perception relations will improve our ability to analyse visual culture and helps designers choose the spatial representation best matched to their design goals. Van der Poel is based in Amsterdam, regularly publishes about his research and worked as a teacher at the VU University.

Foam organises masterclasses to inspire outstanding art academy students. The cost for participating is €100 and includes a full day programme, lunch and an informal reception at the end of the day where all participants and contributors will be present. It is common for academies to cover 50% of the participation fee, but we strongly recommend checking first with your institution. 

Do you want to sign up for this masterclass or register one of your students? Please make a reservation through the reservation form. If you need more information or have questions, please contact Maren Siebert, Head of Education at Foam via

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Masterclass: Image and its Affects