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Is an Artist & Educator from the Netherlands with a background in graphic design, fashion, contemporary jewellery, live works, contemporary art and art education. She is based in Maastricht, NL. 

The practice of Karin Bartels is process and artistic research oriented. It arises by operating in daily life. Central to the development of the work are the results coming from subjective micro research (e.g. in public space). Karin archives all the bits and pieces that speak to her from the world around her, both online and offline. She observes, creates small interventions, makes and collects maps, clippings, sketches, drawings, photos, screenshots and writes notes of her chance encounters. The fragments of this arbitrary and expanding archive then become building blocks for her (interactive) Atlases. The Atlas structure begins as a chain of related and non-related topics and grows into a rhizomatic web of information through associations, using her imagination and chance. Switching gears between high and low culture. Through these atlases she searches for the meaning of the collected information and tries to discover whether there is a coherence between the alternative knowledge that she generates. In part these Atlases are a work in their own right, sometimes open to participants or joined in the form of a lecture or a narrative, but they also serve as a source to develop new projects or works.

Karin has an eye for design, elegance and style, but is just as much invested in playful, quirky, imaginative and offbeat combinations of ideas. She is developing different lines of research and experimentation (see below). 

Karin is not really tied to a specific theme or subject in her practice, but her work starts from a personal fascination and inquisitive attitude. The artistic research starts with a sense of
wonder, something that appeals to her imagination in combination with the "not knowing" (yet). This rises questions, ideas, experiments and a search for information in order to get closer to the core of the topic she is researching.

As a part of her practice she searches for and collects small objects, toys (novelty) jewellery and other materials at flea markets and secondhand stores. Karin considers jewellery and objects the ultimate media of subjectivity, open for anyone to project ones imagination, stories and memories on. The negative space that these objects possess – invisible; existing in memory or imagination - is the most exciting part of a piece to her, because it reaches beyond its materiality and material value. There within lies a hint of poetry,

a vessel of potential narrative, as in Proust's madeleine.

By incorporating found, lost, obsolete and damaged objects as part of her practice, she questions and reflects on the way we produce and value our belongings in the age of mass production and consumption.

There is no meaning if meaning is not shared, and not because there would be an ultimate or first signification that all beings have in common, but because meaning is itself the sharing of Being. ​

-   Jean-Luc Nancy (Being Singular Plural)

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Schermafbeelding 2014-03-16 om 12.43.13.

Atelier view Karin Bartels

Is a space for artistic research, experimentation and imagination. Set up by Bartels in an attempt to articulate and enclose the fringes in the scope of her artistic practice. To explore the absurd, bizarre, boring and (un)usual fascinations at a certain point in time. To dive into the potential of fragmentary bits an pieces, creating analogies between 

concepts, questions and ideas. Blurring fiction and reality, where nothing is what it seems and vice versa.

Serious play or playful seriousness.

Schmilblique derived from Schmilblick

The Schmilblick is an imaginary object created by the French humorist Pierre Dac during the 1950s. It is absolutely useless, and can therefore be used for anything, being rigorously entire. Pierre Dac himself credits the brothers Jules and Raphaël Fauderche with its invention.


The word quickly became very popular in French language and was sometimes used as a synonym for thing or stuff, or something designating a strange or unknown object. Nowadays, this word is frequently used to refer to some limited help provided by someone to solve a difficult problem. The idiom is actually 'Faire avancer le schmilblick' (To make the schmilblick move/get ahead, literally). Also, advancing a subject.

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Collection of Novelty Jewellery, backsides, Trouvé

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Map route 6eme, Pollution Walks

A subjective platform in the making that celebrates acquiring alternative knowledge when you refrain from doing what you should be doing while trying to meet a deadline.

Procrastination Academy is a place that wants to be intentional about the time spend procrastinating. An attempt to articulate the ideas en fascinations that are derived from the alternative knowledge of procrastinating. Switching gears between high and low culture, there will be playful, quirky, poetic, offbeat materials and imaginative connections. A place to find curated content that feeds a sense of curiosity and wonder.

Procrastination (n.)

"a putting off to a future time; dilatoriness," 1540s, from Middle French procrastination and directly from Latin procrastinationem (nominative procrastinatio) "a putting off from day to day," noun of action from past-participle stem of procrastinare "put off till tomorrow, defer, delay," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + crastinus "belonging to tomorrow," from cras "tomorrow," a word of unknown origin.

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