My name is Valerie van Zuijlen, I am a Fall 2019 graduate student at the Department of Cinema Studies at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

To give a bit more of a background, I am originally from the Netherlands, Amsterdam. As for my career of studies, I have a Bachelor degree in graphic design (BA 2016, ArtEZ University of the Arts, NL) and along the way, I have been developing a world in combining different genres of expertise within my practice. As for studying computer science and electrical engineering (SS 2017, Stanford University, US), videogame studies (SS 2018 University of Hong Kong) and recently graduated my first Masters degree within the field of film production (MA Shadow Channel, Sandberg Institute, NL, 2018/19) ever as I have been simultaneously stating to render my practice within the field of cinema studies through participating a second Masters program (MA Cinema Studies, Tisch, NY, 2018/20). 

Along the way I have been nominated for several awards and proudly received the Young Master Award (Media Art Festival, NL, 2016). Even as my work has been presented and screened globally; Future Archeology (GDASS 2016, Mexico-City), the Dutch Design Week (Materializing the internet, NL, 2017), Hong Kong Film Festival (PUFF, 2018), Crow Foederer Talent Award GLOW Eindhoven (2019). I have participated within several internships, as for more computer technical opportunities (Linked by Air, New York, 2016, 4 months), ever as film production and directing (Metahaven, Amsterdam, 2017, 6 months). Also I had the pleasure to volunteer for last year’s Margaret Mead Film Festival at the National Museum of History (2018), as I took a course in Anthropology and documentary in my first semester at Tisch. 

My choice to follow two Master programs at the same time, positioned geographically in two different continents, Amsterdam and New York, which at first almost seemed almost undoable. However, through my understanding of this age of digital and virtual connection, I was able to be present in both places at once. As for my work, which is established through art installations and films, is mainly based on this daily immersive and personal relationship with technology, which can be seen as an exploration of the digital wonderland I encounter. I do have to note that as for having a more practical background, the possibility to surround myself in the field of cinema theory within a university perspective, in which both classic cinema ever as temporary theory is been reflected, has given me a totally new understanding of the choices I made throughout my own field of practice as a filmmaker. To me the ability to relate myself towards the understanding of daily life circumstances through the reasoning of the past, as for history, ever as the future of the capturing of life through the medium of film is key.  

I graduated my masters in film production in the Netherlands with a short 45 minute film titled “AIREAL”. It consists of a description of a memory, a dream, in which the notion of home, connection, family and the role of contemporary media in geopolitics are brought to moving imagery. The scenes ever as the script is mostly inspired through course materials reflected through the courses I followed at Cinema Studies, as for Science Fiction and Interactive History. Even so, the film draws a fascination with the moon. An object in space which might be resolving to be my intermediary between me and my family. As the moon portrays a simultaneous vision. To be precise, as nightfall hits the New York Streets at 5:23 pm, I call my family, as we both look up to the sky and can see the “same” living light. As for today my fascination to the moon is being expanded through my collaboration with both Stanford University Radio Astronomers together with Dutch Radio Astronomers of the Dwingeloo Radio Telescope, in which we attempt to travel both audio and film to the moon and back, as they call it a “moonbounce”. However, if anything, what would you send to the moon? And back? At the moment I am working on a extraterrestrial light show inspired by Close encounters of a third kind (Steven Spielberg, 1977), which will be part of GLOW lightfestival this November 2019.

After taking “Interactive History” (Fall 2018) and “Contemporary Science-Fiction” (Spring 2019), the main reason why I am taking this course in Interactive Cinema & New Media, is my ongoing interest in the cross-disciplinary between film, science and technology. I am hoping to engage more within this course into the quest of finding examples, concepts or tendencies which attempt to visualise or make use of this particular intersection as a field of study.
Also I am fascinated by the notion of the phycological explanation of questioning when, what and how cinema is perceived to become interactive. As through my terms, interactive can be perceived as “any” form of interaction with the human mind, as for alternative forms of raising consciousness.

JFK Space Center, Florida
Moonbounce Slow Scan Television, First Avatar on the Moon