Making the shared need to escape the starting point of their collaboration and creating from feeling and intuition in response to the fast-paced world we live in, audiovisual artist Boris Acket and visual artist Vincent Rang decided to join forces in a new project. Home is the result of their creative synergy, a piece that “is intended as an hour-long slow spectacle,” as stated by its creators, who took some recordings from 2018 to create soundscapes resulting in an unprecedented visual-auditory experience.
It's hard to believe that the fascinating universe that Home plunges us into was created on the corner of a table and in a small aquarium. And it is that the ecosystem with its own life in which ink coexists with flowers and plants expands our mind, enabling us to travel to unknown lands through a complete sensory proposal defined by timelessness and the ability to escape the earthly world. Emerged without a premeditated intention, the collaboration between the Amsterdam-based artists is structured in seven chapters, which together make up a film that is almost an hour long. “They are different pieces selected from about twenty-three tracks I made in the timeframe,” says Boris, who created the music recordings more than two years ago.

Time – as a result of the pandemic – has been fundamental in the execution of their joint piece. “This, I believe, was an instrumental part of the creative process, and gave us the patience to create something which also emanates a restful and calm state,” explains Rang, who wanted to explore long, extensive and abstract creations as opposed to ephemeral stimuli and immediate visuals we get in our daily life. Now they get ready to carry out the perform the complete experience on stage.
Boris, Vincent, before we dive into your work, could you please introduce yourselves to our readers?
Boris: I am Boris Acket, an audiovisual artist from Amsterdam. I am working on both the auditory as well as the visual side of projects and usually work on large scale installations or scenographies for museums, artists and festivals. Themes like time, control, space and natural phenomena always play a big role in my work. For this specific project I only worked on the music (and a bit on the concept side), the visual part was done completely by the extremely talented visual artist Vincent Rang. And while the world of Home is an endlessly layered one, it was created in small spaces: the corner of a dinner table and a 30x30cm aquarium.
Vincent: I’m Vincent Rang, an Amsterdam based visual artist. Most of my work ends up in some way or another on a screen and is often an observation of a natural pattern. In this particular project Home, I use a water filled-aquarium, inks and a large variety of plants and flowers to create live, ever-evolving compositions to delve into and lose yourself to.
More than 50 minutes long, seven chapters and one project that combines the visuals and the sound under the title of Home. Your new proposal is unusual and evokes an atmosphere that we are not used to. How would you define this piece?
Boris: The piece is intended as an hour-long slow spectacle. It is intentionally called Home, as both the visuals and music create this small cocoon you can drift away in. The title forms a nice contrast to these endless worlds and how and where the music and visuals were made. The film in full feels like being an audiovisual diorama. Creating endless depth and layers with only a few elements and minimal means to produce them with.
Vincent: Was it a daydream or was it hypnosis? Was it a walk in the park or an expedition in the jungle? I believe the common thread between Boris and I was that we were both creating from a necessity of escape, but also to share this experience of escaping and losing yourself in this fantastical world. What that world is exactly, I believe, is up to the viewer.
Boris, this project addresses the depths of human emotion and instinct. And the music you propose, which you refer to as ‘behoefte-muziek’ or ‘necessity-music’ combining experimentation, ingenuity and lightness. What can you tell us about this musical genre that you have developed?
Boris: The music itself was created at the end of 2018, a bad time for me personally, and it was on a hard drive I only found again when the whole pandemic thing started. It was necessity-music, a cocoon for me to escape in: soothing, playful and naive. An answer to my daily struggles.
As Vincent said, we found a beautiful synergy in this. I think the honesty and playfulness of the full piece couldn’t have gotten to this level without us sharing this common ground. I don’t necessarily see the music as a new genre. I think everyone has something – or someplace – they go to to escape when things are dire. Even when this place is in their heads. With this film and album, I think we both tried to formulate our own answer to this refuge in a time when we needed once again ourselves.
To understand the origin of the new album, we have to go back to 2018, the year in which you suffer personal anguish from which you take refuge playing music in your house. Although it is in 2020 when you get back to these recordings when the pandemic strikes in our lives. Is music a repair balm? How did you react when you listened to the audio tracks again two years later?
Boris: The music struck me. It immediately felt like the cocoon again. It was like a looking glass in which I could see myself sitting at the exact same spots as where they were created. This is why I think the field recordings pair so nicely with the project. They are like auditive photographs, seemingly making the world around you bigger by enhancing the power of your ears. The full tracks feel the same a bit: like family photographs embedded in an album with sounds and images that can take you back to certain places and moments. It also helps that we were in the studio together for weeks to prepare our first live show.
The moments in the album and film become these multi-layered time capsules in this way, carrying a dozen memories out of a few different timezones. I found it beautiful to be able to completely re-evaluate the worth of music-making, of disappearing in a creative process. Time essentially was one of the biggest ingredients, and we had it because of the pandemic. That’s why this project is so close to our hearts I think. It was made without prejudice, just two people coming together sharing their way of coping and putting it together into something that eventually grew bigger and bigger.
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This musical style is far from the best-known genres, such as pop or rock. The music acquires varied textures and even colours as reflected in the visual piece. What instruments and elements have you used to get the sound you wanted?
Boris: All music was made out of necessity, not so much thinking about a specific process; in other words, in the easiest setup of that moment. Some are full-fledged synth jams but others are completely in the box, just made and mixed with headphones from a room in my house. I am really into field recording as it is a way to sort of photograph the world. I also like the fact that you almost turn yourself into an ant, if you make the world louder it grows and you shrink. Buildings seem to be taller, trees seem to be higher. You extend your hearing by five hundred metres. In other words, if you put a microphone on something you make it more important. To emphasise the theme of appreciating little things and being able to get lost in a small moment, I think these self-made and collected field recordings really work to paint the picture. They enhance this feeling of being somewhere while you are actually not. In a live setting, they work great as well. It really feels like we’re live scoring and creating a film while you are sitting in the room watching.
Home travels through seven episodes, from a Lightbulb on ceiling, wind through curtain, to Moon reflecting in posterframe. Titles that allude to the spaces where each single was created. Are they independent chapters or are they part of a unique story?
Boris: In the music, they are different pieces selected from about twenty-three tracks I made in the timeframe. But I think they all have the same audio-wise style. Combining the soothing with a sort of positive naivety throughout the album; creating these strange temporary worlds to ease away in. The titles came later when we were working on the concept of the record. We really liked the contrast of the super abstract world and the almost stock photo like titles. The titles form an open invitation to see something in nothing.
Vincent: Visually, they are all part of the same narrative. There’s a natural evolution happening inside the water aquarium, which guides the compositions. As time progresses, the aquarium gradually fills up and the compositions become fullers and more intense. But as the music leads us through this journey, and the songs are all different, we decided to embrace the different chapters and their different moods.
You have achieved an effective synergy working together that consists of starting from reality to move to a surreal plane. Vincent, what would you highlight about the co-creation process?
Vincent: I would say that this piece was created with the greatest gift on our side: time. Our collaboration began in the early stages of the pandemic, when we were all in an abundance of time as shows, gigs and work fell through. This, I believe, was an instrumental part of the creative process, and gave us the patience to create something which also emanates a restful and calm state.
But years before I met Boris, I was already developing these live visuals and this narrative and it’s only in retrospect, and with patience that these things can slowly evolve and happen when they are ready to. Just like the visuals created in the water, there’s a limit to how much I can force or control them. I cannot make ink fall faster. I cannot control gravity. And in the same way, I cannot force any collaboration to happen faster (or at all). This organic and natural order of the process, meeting Boris, developing the show alongside him, and the patience involved, is the highlight of this process.
Is there any episode that is especially important because of the meaning or the emotional charge it has?
Boris: The opening track has a really strong emotional connection to the process of me and Vincent. It accidentally came to life when we were jamming in the studio. The piece is written and jammed in a signature Terry Riley key in which you can only use the CDEA keys making it immensely hypnotic. And it is played fully live -without sequencers that is- and improvised on by Vincent. I guess this track is a very important example to me of the multi-layered timezone feeling I was talking about earlier. You can really feel the moment we performed it. It is as if the listener is briefly on the other end of the line of this specific studio session.
Also, a lot of the field recordings on the album are made by me, and the album starts in my garden with quite an annoying bird but also with this signature sound. You can hear we are outside, but you can also hear the beautiful reverb of a typical outside courtyard in Amsterdam. Voices, wind and birds mixing up in this reverb and slowly traversing into the musical trip. In this way you quite literally start at home, to slowly drift away into our world.
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One of the characteristics that most draws my attention is the peace emanating through it. An unusual feeling in the world in which we live, where constant changes and visual stimuli divert us from what is truly important on repeated occasions. Is this piece a reaction to the hectic world we live in?
Vincent: Absolutely. I began working on these visuals a few years ago, and only fairly recently realized that much of it was essentially a reaction to the hyper-commercial work I do in advertising. As a creative in advertising, I am often asked to communicate in an ultra-simple language that cannot be misinterpreted and needs to be consumed in under 5 seconds, as some ads are that short. So, when I set out to create these visual pieces, I wanted to create long, slow, and abstract pieces that came from my feeling and intuition, rather than having to explain or rationalise why something was one way or another.
Also, I believe that this endless beeping and buzzing we are constantly (willingly) subjected to, with all kinds of tech demanding our attention, in the end, is detrimental to our imagination. We’re constantly distracting our minds, and for me, creating something so minimal and quiet is also a way to confront the viewer and the public with their own imagination. They will need to figure it out by themselves. And thoughts and feelings and questions will arise, but there won’t be any explanation. All there are abstract visuals and music.
Boris: I totally agree with Vincent here. I think what is nice about us coming together is that we could finally use this necessity art we were essentially making four ourselves – and maybe a few people around us – to sharing it with the world. What I like about your notion about peace is that we never intended it to be peaceful, it just became peaceful by the process. I think we live in quite interesting times, and seeing genres like ambient, but also hardcore electro grow makes you think they are all reactions to the fast-paced mainstream overflowing brains continuously.
And what conclusions do you draw after having carried out the project?
Boris: It made me think a lot about time and the worth of it. This was the first project I did since the pandemic hit and it was immediately full of all the elements I missed in the years leading up to it: rest in the process, time to create, time to let things grow. I already have difficulty defending these elements in my new projects now the world is opening up again. Vincent's process is all about time and calm, while my bigger projects in 2018 and 2019 were also often about results, deadlines and flying from one project to another. While I still find a lot of difficulty in finding the right balance, this project certainly showed me the importance of slow pace in contrast to fast pace.
Vincent: It’s hard to say, as I feel this project isn’t fully concluded yet. One of the main reasons why I was developing a show that could be performed live was because of the magic that can be created at a particular moment in time. In an era where everything is stored forever on hard disks or the cloud, I wanted to create a special and intimate moment, which is, every time different. This to me is the magic of a live performance. And although we have had the absolute honour to play a live (really live) show in the Muziekgebouw aan ’t Ij, and a live stream in the Nxt Museum, we have not yet performed this live to an audience, because of Covid.
What feedback have you gotten?
Boris: We are just now taking it to the stage and sharing it with live audiences. It was quite special to share it at Muziekgebouw (a concert venue in Amsterdam) though. We mounted microphones on the side of the building to be able to start the stream concert ‘in the centre of Amsterdam.’ Then while the camera was travelling inwards, we slowly drifted away from the real world. We almost made a film in a film. I mainly appreciated some people coming back to us emotional, that made me feel we were able to convey something through these stupid screens we were all already watching too much during our lives. Apart from this, I am just really looking forward to playing this in front of a live audience.
Vincent: This work was very much created with a large screen in mind, where people could lose themselves in the work. And unfortunately, because of Covid, we have not yet truly been able to play it with audiences. Fortunately, we do have some shows planned in August in Utrecht and Nijmegen.
And where would you like to direct your career? Will there be a second part of Home?
Boris: I think we first want to tour this, play shows and share the project with the public. As we love organic processes I can see a second project coming out of playing these shows, but who knows what the future will bring!
Vincent: It feels difficult to plan or look ahead in a time of so much change around us, so it’s a hard question to answer. I do know that I’ve always had a creative drive and that will remain, but as to the kind of art, whether it’s performance art or visual art or any other type of art, that remains a mystery and is probably the reason why I still pursue these endeavours, as you never know what you will get.