Contact: Foundation Beelddiktee
Wg-Plein 31 
1054 RA Amsterdam
email: info (at)



Recent projects

Spiral Sunrise
On exactitude in mapping

Locative media
GPS projects:

Souvenir |The Landscape as a place of work



-ZKM catalogue text
-Artist statement


Sound projects

Radio Oostvaart

Luidt de Zuidpoort

The preparatory national course on image dictation:
-a series of special lessons in which participants
are being trained to see more.:

les 03: Looking over the see - September 2004
les 02: Looking and space, i.c.w. Frank van der Ven - 2003
les 01: Looking and the city, Congres Urban Planning RAI, Amsterdam 2003
les 00: De Bovenkamer -January 2003


A Reading for Watching
part of lesson 00
download pdf file
Journal for insiders:
Initial text on AmsterdamREALTIME
download pdf file eng
Abstract ISEA paper

'In my arrogance I thought I could see.  An artist should have this kind of courage. But during a period in which I regularly walked with bird-connoisseurs in woods and open fields, it occurred to me that I completely need to start learning to see again.  My landscape was changed forever, now filled with bird names.  The question struck me: what do I not see now?  How many professions and occupations exist that have a looking-grammar?  Does everybody live in a world in which they do not see more than they do see?  Are artists an exception to that?'

Esther Polak


Foundation Beelddiktee (Dutch for: Image Dictation) was founded in 2004 by the artist Esther Polak.  She noticed that her locus of interest in her projects mostly revolves around a certain kind of research: research of the technically, socially or culturally mediated observation.

This mediation forms selective spectacles, or rather a sieve, between us and reality.

Sometimes these selective spectacles are language ( it is only when you can give something a name, that you can see it), sometimes a technique (once one looks under a microscope, their reality will never be the same again), sometimes a culture (if one grows up in a culture that appreciates clean sidewalks, will always immediately notice dirt on the streets). These spectacles themselves, however, are invisible. Only when we move from one phase of observing to the other, we become aware of them.

The foundation aims at supporting art and culture projects that include research of this mediation as an integral part of the concept. In fact, all good works of art use certain spectacles, or make them visible, but this usually happens in an intuitive, or unconscious way. There is nothing wrong with that, but foundation Beelddiktee would like to primarily focus on projects where the visualization of this mediation is an integral part of the concept, on the basis of which design-decisions can be tested.