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Biography MARNIX _

Wiki

Marnix van de Vijver (Sluiskil, 1977) is a Dutch designer, social entrepreneur, imagineer, creator, and Imagination powerhouse.

“You’re asking what I’m doing? A bit of everything and Nix.” – Nix is Dutch for nothing ‘niks’ with a twist.

MARNIX

Biography

  • When asked what he is doing, Marnix consistently responds: “A bit of everything and Nix (Dutch for nothing ‘niks’ with a twist).” It is in that “Nix” time that his imagination is at work, giving rise to ideas that form the foundation of all his concepts, advice, and works.
  • Born as the middle child among three boys in the Zeelandic village of Sluiskil.
  • Marnix is half Belgian and half Dutch: his mother is from Bruges, Belgium, and his father is from Biervliet, Netherlands.
  • The family has a deep-rooted love for nature and creativity. As a child, Marnix built treehouses, cable cars, rafts, and explored the ditches of the Zeelandic landscape.
  • Grandma on mother’s side was a highly skilled dressmaker, operating a sewing atelier that could count on a loyal clientele. Her husband was a board member of the largest cultural network in Flanders. He worked as a technical draftsman for trains and was a proficient photographer. Additionally, he was a member and set designer for the amateur theater group.
  • Grandma on father’s side enjoyed family life and working on the farm. Her husband played many musical instruments. They lived by a lake, and across the pond, there was a campground. In the evenings, he walked outside to the edge of the lake, where he treated the camping guests to trumpet music.
  • Marnix often collaborated with his youngest brother on creative projects, winning prizes for videos and spatial installations at events such as the Film By the Sea Festival and Kunstbende.
  • As the winner of the Zeeuws Patrouillekamp at the Scouting, he participated in national Scouting competitions. He also contributed to the camp newspaper.
  • During his teenage years, Marnix organized semi-legal parties and festivals with friends, featuring unique and cool bands.
  • Marnix is an avid runner who takes the opportunity to pick up litter during his runs.
  • Marnix suffers from the autoimmune disease alopecia areata, resulting in a completely bald head.

The Power of Stories

  • At the age of seven, his music teacher took Marnix on a musical journey through the symphonic poem “Vltava” by Smetana (The Moldau). This piece connects different worlds, each with its own musical style, captivating Marnix immediately.
  • At the Scouting, Marnix (10 years old) created a slide-sound presentation: inventing a story, writing a script, scouting locations, making slides with special effect lenses, adding voice-over, music… It was here that his love for creating immersive worlds was ignited.
  • The art of telling theatrical stories has always fascinated Marnix, rooted in the creation of experiences and the invention of new worlds.
  • During a trip to New Zealand, he found inspiration in Maori stories. A presentation at the Rotorua Museum / Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa left a lasting impression. Mauri symbolizes life force and, according to the Maori, can be found everywhere in nature, a lasting inspiration.

Theatre

  • Finalist in the monologues festival Brabant 2009, where he wrote his own piece based on Tideland, a film by Terry Gilliam.
  • Inspired by Jim Henson’s The Storyteller and the Peter and the Wolf version by Spitting Image (Peter and the Wolf: A Prokofiev Fantasy 1993), Marnix created his own remake, a multimedia spectacle involving the entire family. It featured shadow play, life-sized puppets, light, and sound.
  • At 17, he designed sets, including for the youth orchestra The Young Ones (where he played the clarinet). A highlight was hoisting a cockpit on stage from an airplane behind the stage.
  • Developed a preference for lighting. Worked as a lighting designer and operator for a comedian, often incorporating his own special effects—with varying degrees of success.

Music

  • Marnix plays the clarinet.
  • With the youth orchestra The Young Ones, he performed at Disneyland Paris and Parc du Luxembourg. He was amazed at how a performance could transform a place into something magical, a concept he internalized.

Education

  • Pursued further education in Advertising and Presentation Techniques at Sint-Lucas Boxtel, followed by the Utrecht School of the Arts, Faculty of Art, Media & Technology. Specialized in Interaction Design, with a Master’s in Interactive Multimedia from the University of Portsmouth.
  • Completed internships at NOB Dutch broadcasting production company, contributing to TV productions like Sesame Street, Goede Tijden, All You Need is Love, Tandenborstelshow, Wie ben ik and Kinderen voor Kinderen.
  • Internship at Valkieser, taking practical steps in the world of interactive media. Created the DVD menu for Buena Vista Social Club.
  • Encouraged by an HKU (University of the Arts Utrecht) lecturer to explore interaction beyond the computer, leading to a series of interactive installations over the years. Graduated with an award-winning research project involving an interactive installation (Kunst-Anjer, het Cultuurfonds) and a thesis on ‘The Secret of a Good Attraction.’

Fan

  • Fan of Anders Thomas Jensen, a Danish filmmaker, and Wim Helsen, a Belgian language virtuoso. Both are experts in alienating the familiar. Also, a fan of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, especially the radio play.

Work

  • Worked as a concept designer and decorator for various companies, contributing to projects for De Efteling, national museums, and international zoos.
  • In 2020, he transformed his studio into MARNIX.eco, aiming to focus on sustainability issues. His underlying intention is always that the stimulation of imagination and sensory experience leads to gaining new insights and perspectives, working towards innovative solutions.
  • Founded several businesses and projects, often in collaboration with creative minds in the fields of Art, Media, and Technology: Vijverman Productions (2007), Imagination Lab (2010) en MARNIX.eco (2020) – eco-positive, alienation, experience & aesthetics.
  • Mission: MARNIX is dedicated to creating a better world by touching people with meaningful experiences that uplift. These experiences stimulate imagination, joy, and thinking to contribute positively to a sustainable future.
  • Taught at Buas(Breda University of Applied Sciences).
  • He is involved by social organizations for strategic concepts/change processes, where connection is central through imaginative power.
  • The World is my playground” was his slogan for a while. In recent years, Marnix has experimented extensively in the fascinating world of interactive media, both online and outside the computer. Now, his focus is on Spatial Interactions, concept and brainstorming, and strategic drawing.
  • The theme ‘Come out of your bubble’ has been prominent in Marnix’s recent work.

“Radical experiments… see what happens to you. Let people step far out of their comfort zones. I think we can use that very well in times when we’re stuck in our own echo chambers and filter bubbles, constantly connecting with other life worlds with different value registers. It is ultimately the task to dare to go out of those comfort zones and inscribe ourselves in other value registers and perspectives, to keep our view of reality as broad and diverse as possible, and yes, we will have to make every effort to constantly seek those frictions within ourselves, but partly also stimulated by a government that understands what is at stake.” – Philosopher Hans Schnitzler

Portfolio _

Urban Wood Web

Trees communicate. Not with language, but underground, a lot happens. MARNIX uses art and technology to make the hidden tree network visible. A playground with illuminated roots creates a dynamic light show, immersing visitors in the secrets, beauty, intrigues, and workings of nature! Urban Wood Web is an interactive light artwork that allows city dwellers to experience the mystique of trees and become aware of the positive effects of nature in the city. The artwork Urban Wood Web is part of the outdoor auditorium ADORE and can be found at Zuylen Cemetery in Breda.

Podcast Team pLESStic!

In the Team pLESStic! podcast, we take listeners to places where plastic plays a special role. Team pLESStic! consists of Marnix van de Vijver and Romy van Dongen (chemical researcher). In the podcast, we engage in conversations with people working on solutions for our plastic challenges and a cleaner future, whether on a large or small scale. Some stories or actions may seem small, but all these actions together make a difference. Our podcast serves as a central hub for these good ideas. Started in 2018 with the eldest daughter, Romy van Dongen took over in 2021.

Midsummer Madness

As a creative producer, MARNIX translates Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream into a contemporary pop-up location theater performance, fulfilling the last wish of artist Anne Pillen. With this version of Midsummer Night’s Dream, Anne and her love for the magical place AnnAtopiA are honored. The co-creation with various artists makes the performance a unique experience with poetry, multimedia, theater, music, and visual arts.

Come out of your bubble!

Theater in a new guise with percussion, ceramics, rules, and alienation from the known. It’s easy to get entangled in a bubble of comfort and affirmation. However, when living together, it’s important to be able to empathize with others and those with different perspectives. It’s precisely the things that don’t “fit into your bubble,” such as information and opinions that seem strange or threatening, that matter. If you can be open to a different way of thinking, you hold the key to a new society.

Vincent Van Gogh Experience

Heritage, craftsmanship, and visual culture come to life in an innovative mix with the traveling version of ‘The Potato Eaters,’ Vincent van Gogh’s masterpiece. By using 3D camera techniques, viewers are digitally picked up and suddenly find themselves at the table with the potato eaters! Working on a joint product stimulates imagination and fun in students and teachers in vocational education. The result: an iconic end product that thousands of people enjoyed. The end result was well-received and traveled to events such as Dutch Design Week Eindhoven, Red Hair Days, Brabant Heritage Award ceremony, International Tourism Fair Berlin, ART-Breda, Winter Wonderland, Van Gogh House Zundert, pop-up Museum Grandfather Van Gogh, pop-up exhibition Welcome to the world of Gogh, various Open Monument Days, and Cultural Nights.

Hidden paintings expo

Walking through an empty space with a blank canvas, paintings by Gogh are made visible through projection. Among the well-known works, you discover the ‘lost’ paintings. What was depicted on Vincent Van Gogh’s lost paintings? Due to a move, some of Vincent’s paintings were left behind in Breda. After years in the attic, some were eventually destroyed, and others were traded. Residents of the city of Breda were asked to interpret one of these lost paintings. Their paintings play a role in this interactive installation.

Get Rid of The Fixed Mindset

In the workshop, we look for new possibilities, different paths to take, new perspectives, and, above all, a fresh look to achieve that one goal. You utilize your creativity and that of others better and come up with innovative solutions. The Get rid of the fixed mindset workshop is a journey of discovery, provides new insights, and strengthens you in your creative work. Participants are challenged to leave their comfort zone, broaden their horizons, and break free from fixed patterns: get rid of the fixed mindset, putting their current way of working in a surprising perspective.

Welcome to the World of Gogh

Make a stop at Breda station and travel through interactive stories through the world of the Van Gogh family. Following the successful pop-up museum “Grandfather Van Gogh” in the city center of Breda, the new pop-up experience unfolds in the shopping gallery of Breda station: “Welcome to the world of Gogh.” A hub connecting the Van Goghs regionally, nationally, and internationally.

In kringen van de jonge Vincent

The exhibition ‘In kringen van de jonge Vincent’ in the Breda Museum tells about the inspiration and influence that Vincent van Gogh found and experienced in the Baronie of Breda, where the seed for his artistry was sown. Nature and art run like a red thread through his young life. One of the rooms within the exhibition has been transformed into an interactive nature experience! In the space, visitors experience what standing still means and what truly looking does to you. We respond to what Vincent van Gogh may have experienced.

Light art object BREDA360

The MOTI (Museum of the Image) dynamically takes you through places in the world named Breda using boundary-pushing visual language. An artistic light installation with international sounds.

StrawberryFloor

Together with IIZZOO, a dynamic and interactive floor has been designed that optimizes the effect of physiotherapeutic treatment. The ‘StrawberryFloor’ concept with game elements was tested on location at Philips & Desso’s Luminous Carpets.

Creative framing Coc Award Creative Entrepreneurship

The creative framing of the Coc (Chamber of Commerce) Award Creative Entrepreneurship Brabant & Zeeland. Popping dancers, a 15-meter interactive ‘eye-candy’ projection, confetti shooters, aroma experience & an enthusiastic audience create an unforgettable experience.

Augmented Reality Open Monument Days Breda

Reality meets history via Augmented Reality in 2 locations in the city of Breda. From the Town Hall, you look at 19th-century Church Houses that come to life. A lady freshens up the cushions, a painter tries to woo her, and eventually, the chimney sweep takes her away. At La Bohème on Prinsenkade, 2 harbor workers are waiting for work. If you watch for a while, you become part of the story.