Category: Blog

A Tree

Trees of Rotterdam will be in the group show A Tree at Onomatopee in Eindhoven from 13 July to 22 September this year. If you like trees, this is the show for you!

More information at the Onomatopee website.

Note: for some reason, only Alice is credited on most of the show promotional materials. So it goes.

Modes of Production

The film Alice Ladenburg and I made – Trees of Rotterdam – will be shown as part of performance presentation at the Modes of Production conference in Coimbra, Portugal, on Friday 28 June. More information about the conference here, and the film here.

Time Frames exhibition at Natlab

Exciting news – I have a solo show opening soon at Natlab in Eindhoven. It’s called Time Frames, and is based on my 2023 live video essay of the same name. It’s about time.

The show features two video works in some specially-made cinematic rooms:

Time Frames (2024)

Yes, this video lends its name to the exhibition – and it’s a newly updated version of the film, in a specially-created cinema room. It’s a film essay made using my Reflexive Scripted Design process, about the way that the times we live in shape what we perceive as possible. It’s thirty-something minutes long and features footage I’ve shot from around the world.

86400 (2016)

A special version of 86400 – a 24-hour film that features a new Google Images search for every second of the day – constructed inside a modified viewer. This work hasn’t been shown since 2017 – previously it was projected on a huge screen at the Palais de Tokyo, and in the hallway of the School of The Art Institute in Chicago. (Do you want to know more about this project? There is a write-up in my PhD here.)

All the details

Time Frames

A solo show by Ollie Palmer.
Natlab, Kastanjelaan 500, 5616 LZ Eindhoven
Exhibition open 23 June until 3 October 2024.

Produced by Baltan Labs, supported by CBK R’DAM.

On the 22 June at 17h there will be an opening party, featuring a live performance. Bring your best timepiece.

Thank you to Baltan Labs – Marlou, Sarie, Ishani, and Lorenzo – for making this happen!

More information at Baltan Laboratories’ website

Trees of Rotterdam at Boijmans Museum

When I first moved to Rotterdam 7 years ago, I was excited to have the Boijmans Museum so close. So many paintings I’d seen in books – so many Jheronymous Bosches! iki/The_Tower_of_Babel_(Bruegel)” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>The Tower of Babel! – there in real life, in front of my eyes. Then, in 2019 it closed for major renovation…initially, for 7 years, but now it looks like it will be 10.

So imagine my delight when I was asked recently if we could screen Trees of Rotterdam at Boijmans as part of the Rotterdam Architecture Month!

If you’d like to see the film in a pretty rare setting, please come on down on the 8 June at 20h. More information and tickets available at the Rotterdam Architecture Month website. I think there will be a Q&A too.

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IFFR 2024

I am terrible at keeping news up to date. This is a retrospective post…

Trees of Rotterdam, the short film I made with Alice Ladenburg, premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in January. It was paired with Carel van Hees’ beautiful documentary Berichten uit de Hunkerbunker, a moving portrait of a city through the eyes of an elderly woman living in the RVS apartments on the Beukelsdijk in Rotterdam. I absolutely loved Carel’s film, and it was a pleasure sharing the stage for the many Q&A sessions.

Overall, there were six sold-out screenings of the programme. The film will also be shown at a few more venues later in the year, to be confirmed.

Here are some photos. As ever, I’m not great at documenting things as they happen.

Artists Alice Ladenurg and Ollie Palmer pointing in disbelief at their own poster at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2024

Art x IFFR

The cast and crew of Trees of Rotterdam: Jens van der Zee, Alice Ladenburg, Ollie Palmer, Kees Moeliker, Adriaan Wormgoor

First scene of Trees of Rotterdam as seen in Cinerama cinema

The audience at Lantarenvenster

Alice Ladenburg anwering a question at a cinema Q&A session

Carel van Hees anwering a question at a cinema Q&A session

Still from Trees of Rotterdam on the screen in Lantarenvenster cinema, Rottedam

Baltan Labs podcast

Over the past few months, I’ve been participating in Baltan LabsRaise Your Voice programme, a “learning trajectory developed by Baltan for designers and artists who focus their practice around social, economic, political and environmental issues, so that they can grow their own voice and position themselves in these topics.”

I really enjoyed the trajectory – getting to know a group of interesting designers and artists, participating in workshops outside my usual mode of practice, having conversations and exchanges that pushed what I know, and how I position myself.

Baltan made a podcast series featuring the particpants – Camilla Carmack, Lieke Mangindaan, Asja Keeman, Rosalie Bak, Sarah Kaushik, Talisa Harjono, and Agat Sharma. Each person was asked to make a 5-minute sound piece, which they listen to with a partner (or two) and then discuss.

I had a lovely conversation with Baltan Lab’s co-director Lorenzo Gerbi and Marleen van Bergeijk, in which we touch upon quite a few subjects – the idea of control, the position of an artist in the current economic model, the masks you have to wear, and a lot more – all of which can be found here:

I also really enjoyed the conversation between Talisa and Agat. Not just because they’re now friends of mine, but also because they invoke two things I love – Georges Perec, and David Attenborough.

I’m looking forward to listening to the whole series over the coming weeks!

The entire series can be found on Soundcloud and Spotify.

2022.09.29 Quick video: wide journeys

I made three quick experimental videos the other day with footage from train journeys in three different countries. Note, they are all extremely wide, so it might be hard to make them play on a phone. On a computer, you can make them fullscreen by double-clicking somewhere in the video.


The first video I made was from France, taken sometime in 2016. I think it’s just outside Paris:

Link to the video

Stills from the video:

Sunsine on the French countryside

Sunsine on the French countryside

Sunsine on the French countryside


The second video is from an old video of a train journey across England, about 2013:

Link to the video

Stills from the video:

British countryside, as seen from a train window

British countryside, as seen from a train window

British countryside, as seen from a train window

British countryside, as seen from a train window

British countryside, as seen from a train window


And finally – and perhaps most successfully, a longer form train journey across Chicago, from 2015. Note this is the only version with sound:


Link to the video

Stills from the video:

Compilation image of Chicago skyline from 10 videos Compilation image of Chicago skyline from 10 videos Compilation image of Chicago skyline from 10 videos Compilation image of Chicago skyline from 10 videos Compilation image of Chicago skyline from 10 videos Compilation image of Chicago skyline from 10 videos Compilation image of Chicago skyline from 10 videos Compilation image of Chicago skyline from 10 videos


I make short experimental videos quite regularly (see here, here, here, here, here, etc), as a way to sketch an idea, and keep developing my video editing skills. For years, I’ve been taking videos of places I’ve been, looking out of various vehicular windows. I’ve got scores of them (and other footage) stored away on various hard drives. And whilst I enjoy the process of taking films, quite often I find the videos themselves are a reduction of the experience of being somewhere, as if you have to perceive the environment you’re in through a very thin rectangular cardboard tube. There is so much in a journey that doesn’t come across in a film; a wider field of vision than a smartphone camera can capture, the sounds all around you, the lingering smell of a stranger’s fried dinner further up the carriage.

I’ve been reading Ed Yong’s book An Immense World lately, and thinking about the myriad ways in which animals perceive the world, and how our umwelt is so specific to our physiology. I’m on the part about vision at the moment, and it is so much stranger than you might think. Jumping spiders have multiple types of eyes with different functions; scallops distribute their vision throughout their body; there are so many ways to see. Yong argues that the mode of vision we take as ‘normal’, i.e. two eyes in the front of the head, is anything but. Take, for example, birds of prey:

Many birds of prey, like, eagles, falcons, and vultures, actually have two acute zones in each eye – one that looks forward, and another that looks out at a 45-degree angle.

– Ed Yong, An Immense World


All of which caused me to think about vision, and memory, and how the films that I take regularly always fail to capture the entirety of an experience; that cameras are made not to capture reality, but to frame an aspect of it for a screen. I wanted to make films which capture the texture of experience, so that you experience the texture of a place on a journey; rather than focusing on individual things in the journey, my intention is to show textures and patterns in movement. I think they’re getting towards what I’m trying to do – there is too much to focus on any one thing, and so instead of watching a video, you can see similarities between them, how parallax movements shift into and out of logical sync, and so on.

This is not an articulate definition of this stuff – it’s hurriedly written, and these are sketches, rather than exhibition-ready things, posted here in the spirit of sharing my experiments in progress.

Song rememberer bot

I made a bot a while ago called Song Rememberer, which asks if you remember a song. It’s continually remembering songs but can’t quite name them – really just an extension of the sound system in my own head. It asks questions like:



I am one of the only people who follows it, but every day I get to remember an imagined song or two. Occasionally someone replies with an attempt to name the song. You can follow it too at @songrememberer.

The code was made with Kate Compton’s amazing Tracery, and hosted via Cheap Bots Done Quick!. The source code is available here, if you want to make something similar.