Alphabetum XII
How? Are you
High on Type (Vincent de Boer, Guido de Boer, Ivo Brouwer, Hans Schuttenbeld) & Henk Oosterling, Sigrid Stigsdatter Mathiassen, Danny Wolfers
08.10.2022 — 16.03.2023
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Alphabetum XII
How? are you

With High on Type (Vincent de Boer, Guido de Boer, Ivo Brouwer, Hans Schuttenbeld) and Henk Oosterling, Sigrid Stigsdatter Mathiassen & Danny Wolfers

08.10.2022 — 16.03.2023
West Den Haag in the former American Embassy, Lange Voorhout 102, The Hague

‘Alphabetum XII — How? are you’ is a project by the collective High on Type. Within this project, a new generation of Dutch ‘letter-writers’ enters into a public dialogue with experts from various disciplines, such as dance, music and philosophy. During three open residencies, the collective questions the writing of letters, based on the seemingly banal question: How? As a result, the project gradually realises a total installation in the Alphabetum that aims to re-inspire visitors about writing.

Once learned, the writing of letters appears to be a well-organised and clear process. On closer inspection, however, it is often not that straightforward. To be able to write anything at all countless decisions are necessary. For instance format, colour, structure, composition, style, contrast, methodology, etc. are necessary choices for writing. And also questions such as why, how, with whom, with what, and when, are part of this process. While in spoken language the way in which is spoken (How?) naturally plays a central role, this is usually not the case with written language. Think of the difference between singing a song and writing down the lyrics. While calligraphy is about the shape of the letter, penmanship is a reproducing practice; an action based on copying previously created letterforms. Also in typography, there is no question of ‘letter-writing’, but only of making choices from already existing letters.

For this project, High on Type transforms the space of the Alphabetum in the former US Embassy into a three-dimensional writing pad. Visitors are invited to contribute ideas and to write. The three residents will enter into a dialogue with the collective based on their own practice, whereby the mutual encounter is central. In this collaboration, philosophy (Henk Oosterling), dance (Sigrid Stigsdatter Mathiasssen) and music (Danny Wolfers) will form a cross-disciplinary approach during three periods. After all, we all write. The project ‘How? are you’ makes the visitor look differently at writing, and in this way we want to make everyone enthusiastic about writing again.

High on Type are Vincent de Boer, Guido de Boer, Ivo Brouwer and Hans Schuttenbeld. In recent years they have caused a lot of furore nationally and internationally with their innovative way of writing and thus creating different perspectives. High On Type works together as a collective and organises events. In addition, everyone has their own practice.

Henk Oosterling is a Dutch philosopher and writer. Until 2018, he worked as an associate professor of philosophy at Erasmus University Rotterdam. His work focuses on sustainability and social issues, such as pedagogy.

Sigrid Stigsdatter Mathiassen is a choreographer, performer and vocalist. As a maker, Sigrid uses both text and movement as a tool to blur the line between reality and imagination.

Danny Wolfers (Legowelt), is an electro producer and DJ from The Hague with international fame. His music spawns a varying range of sub-genres.