From the STEIM Concert Blog, which gives some sense of who has been playing STEIM.

Takuro Maizuta Lippit, aka dj sniff, writes in thanks for the international outpouring of support for the STEIM music and art research center in Amsterdam, which faces potentially losing government funding. Some readers raised some questions about why STEIM is asking for support, and what the institution’s significance is — a reasonable question — and Taku provides some background here:

What makes STEIM an unique place is that it emphasizes on supporting independent artists with experimental and adventurous ideas in the live electronic art world. These artists tend to be young up-and-coming or outsiders to specific genres and established scenes. The projects may seem like "pet projects" to other people, but often the artists themselves believe these experiments will have significant merit to the future of artistic expression. History has showed us that often innovation comes from the outside rather than the inside.

Although the support for these artists is quite minimal (we only offer space and advise), STEIM is able to continue this because of structural funding from the government. If not, we would have to write grant proposals for larger projects that appeal to specific funders. This will change the whole character of STEIM and go against the basic philosophy of what it was founded upon.

I came to STEIM as a DJ/Turntablist who wanted to play improvised music using tools that i built with Max/MSP and physical computing. STEIM opened their doors to me and provided a safe ground where i can freely experiment and develop my methods and aesthetics. Even though there are not many DJ and turntablists that come to STEIM, I truly feel like I am part of a community of artists that believe technology and new tools, however much of a pain in the ass they maybe, do create new artistic expression.

We are very grateful to the domestic and international support that are being voiced. We are planning special events in the following weeks to show our stand and hope pull through this situation.

I have to say, I was having coffee with CDM contributor Mike Una yesterday and trying to think of other research centers for music and art around the world, and STEIM is on a very, very short list. We’ll keep in touch with them as the situation evolves. For what it’s worth, I agree that the Dutch government isn’t under any kind of obligation to support STEIM, but then, that’s not the point: it’d be a real disappointment if they didn’t continue their unique and brave support of a one-of-a-kind resource.


Help Save STEIM, Dutch Music Research Center; Monday Deadline

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  • I saw Mr. Takuro years ago playing his show in Moscow (with his SMASH TV crew, including Dill and someone else who produced noises from a strange white box based on magnets….may be).

    It was very advanced evening!

  • John C

    If the money put into STEIM is better used there than for something else, why must government pay for it? Talk about true greed, thinking that others should pay for your leisures when it is not even valuable enough to pay for itself!

  • Downpressor

    Pretty much with the previous commenter, cant see why creative types should be fed off the government teat. I got no objection to this type of space, but think that its better for these things to be privately run.

  • Thijs Scheele

    Thank you for the attention of this case on your blog. STEIM is one of the most worthwhile places for new music and new media artists in Holland.

    The simple comment of the last two readers surprise me. You'd have to know what STEIM is doing before making a comment like that.

    Also the government should be thinking twice to kill off organizations like these. There are a few in Holland but STEIM is there the longest. Not only do they have more well known artist come over, they also put a lot of time and effort and thus money in giving new talent a chance to do their thing and evolve. That is not the kind of thing you can run solely based on your own budget. Funding is an important part.

    The world renowed Nederlands Dance Theater couldn't even survive without funding. And that goes for a lot of artists and companies all over the world. Throughout the ages artist have had their funding. Kings, noblemen, wealthy people with an interest in art. And these days it's companies, governments and still wealthy people.

    Some musical works would have never been heard without this.

    I hope some people in 'high' places will come to their senses and realize stopping these initiatives will have an effect on more popular art as well in time. No more new cutting edge input of the underground art scene, no more development in the more popular arts. Learn you history.

  • robin parry

    as per the last comment re the previous two, as a brit living and working in Los Angeles, its a Very common American comment, a 'not understanding' of the relationship between art and society and the difference between art and commerce, capitalism doesn't supply money for anything hat doesn't provide a profit, hence the current state of electronic music in america! and the ignorance it fosters.

    seeing the possibility of one of the few )only?( independant music reasearch centers

  • It is really disappointing seeing how many people really do believe that art shouldn't need support from the government nor otherwise be publicly funded. Art is not entertainment and it is not "for profit" (well, maybe for the profit of society, but not in any monetary sense). I wish people had a better grasp of history and would be aware that the greatest explosions of art in society have often been when there was a massive influx of support from governments, public institutions or well-off private benefactors. Anyone heard of the Renaissance?