Erik Kessels is a Dutch artist, designer and curator with great interest in photography. Erik has been the Creative Director of communications agency KesselsKramer in Amsterdam since 1996.
He has created work for national and international clients such as Nike, Diesel, J&B Whisky, Oxfam, Ben, Vitra, Citizen M and The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel.
As an artist and photography curator Kessels has published over 50 books of his 're-appropriated' images: Missing Links (1999), The Instant Men (2000), in almost every picture (2001-2015) and Wonder (2006).
Since 2000, he has been an editor of the alternative photography magazine Useful Photography.
For the DVD art project Loud & Clear he worked together with artists such as Marlene Dumas and Candice Breitz. Kessels writes regular editorials for numerous international magazines.
He lectured at the D&AD Presidents Lecture and at several international design conferences such as in Singapore, Goa, NY, Toronto and Bangkok. He has taught at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam), Ecal (Lausanne) and at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture where he curated a celebration of amateurism.
Erik made and curated exhibitions such as Loving Your Pictures, Use me Abuse me, 24HRS of Photos, Album Beauty and Unfinished Father . He als co-curated an exhibition called From Here on together with Martin Parr, Joachim Schmid, Clement Cheroux and Joan Fontuberta.
In 2010 Kessels was awarded with the Amsterdam Prize of the Arts, in 2015 for the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize and is often seen as the most influential creative of The Netherlands.
Fascinations and Failures
We live in an age where most of our creative tools we use are close to perfection. Our computers, phones, applications and navigation systems make no mistakes. Perfection is not a really good starting point to create new ideas, so to sometimes deliberately go towards a mistake and from their find a new direction is actually something good. Society teaches us to avoid mistakes, but for creative people and innovators they are essential.
Erik Kessels will speak about his book Failed It! How mistakes inspire him and how he makes works out of it. Erik will show examples from his work at KesselsKramer and how mistakes play a role in this.
The talk will end with the artistic work that Erik did over the years with vernacular and amateur photography. During the talk he will stimulate the attendees to fail and fuck up.