Collaborative worldbuilding is a participatory, interactive music video for Lake of Pavement a new track by the emerging Rotterdam based artist Jo Goes Hunting. The video is made in conjunction with Neuhaus, a temporary academy for more than human knowledge at Het Nieuwe Instituut.

It incorporates user-generated photographic material to construct an ever-changing, ever-evolving music video, completely reliant on external contributions for content.

The contributed photo stays in the video as long as nobody else takes a new photo for that specific shape. That moment the photo will be overwritten by the new one. This way is constantly in flux.

Users can either add their work to the permanently mutating public version of Neuhaus or – if you are with a closed group – start a private version of the video.

A version of the video photographed by the fans of Jo Goes Hunting

A temporary academy

Het Nieuwe Instituut proposes Neuhaus as a means to host, generate and share other knowledge, to escape the destructive status quo. Neuhaus aims to explore, investigate and promote knowledge based in marginalized and unrecognized cultures, knowledge that strays far from any traditional reductionist analysis or mathematical modelling, knowledge that lives in plants, animals and machines, and knowledge that relates to the entire physical body and all of its senses, beyond the rational mind.

The present is marked by multiple challenges and there is a renewed need for other knowledge. The current crises could all be traced back to an economic system that focuses purely on productivity. It is built on – and in turn continuously acknowledges and reinforces – a system of knowledge production rooted in (mathematical) analysis, quantifiable data and control, in order to facilitate productivity. This system is so omnipresent that, even though we feel the need to think, design and act differently, it has become almost impossible to even imagine anything outside of its constraining logic.


Multi plane glass shot for Chicago Joe and the Showgirl, 1990
The scene of

We started the project with our fascination for the 'matte shot' an old visual effect as old as cinema itself. It's a way to create a visual illusion by filming through a glass on which a part of the film is painted. This can be used to create an illusion of depth. The idea to create a cinematic world in which the viewers can 'paint' on the glass by photographing forms the basis of this project. A world that only exists as a skeleton and an infinite amount of photographic versions.

We wanted the skeleton itself also to look good. Therefore we did quite some test to see what kind of texture would fit the film before it was filled by a user. In the end we settled with random colors. This is still visible when you start a private neuhaus world.


The shapes in the animation were made in Adobe's Illustrator and imported into Blender, a free and open-source toolset for 3D computer graphics. In Blender we arranged the shapes and created the animations. The camera movement was done manually with the help of a HTC Vive controller and Unity 3D. The completed scene and animation was then exported for use in three.js, a cross-browser JavaScript library to display 3D computer graphics in a web browser.

The overlaying interface is build with React and Redux. These libraries are also responsible for communicating with our backend. In our backend contributions are being processed by an application built with the Nest framework. We use Dokku to manage the applications on our server and allow us to have easy, reproducible deployments.

Campaign was also used as tool to build a promotional campaign for the academy.

Together with Maureen Mooren we have made several advertisements and billboards. It was so nice to see our digital environment turned into ink on paper.

Selected Coverage

  • And there you were thinking it was just a music video.
  • The sporadic universe [...] is suitably fragmented, a fitting representation of the choppy, in places psychedelic, nature of the track.


  • Director
  • Music
  • Technical development
    Thomas Boland
    Grischa Erbe
  • Design
    Jolana Sýkorová
  • Client
    Het Nieuwe Instituut
  • Concept and technology