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PhD defence Anton Cotteleer

Blurry Scanning

Defence of the PhD research ‘Blurry Scanning’, conducted by Anton Cotteleer between 2019 and 2023 at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp (AP hogeschool) - within the research groups Body and Material Reinvented and Thinking Tools - and the University of Antwerp (ARIA)

Promotors: Gert Verschraegen (UAntwerp) and Ria De Boodt (Academy)

13:30  doors open - gathering in the 'Salon' of DE STUDIO (first floor)
14:00 - 14:30

in the exhibition ‘Out-of-Focus II’ 

14:30 - 16:00

Jury: Tom Paulus, Ria De Boodt, Gert Verschraegen, Elisa De Wyngaert, Veronika Pot, Valerie Verhack, Jon Wood


The phantom statute of the unsharp, its relationship to our memories, its intimate character and openness for interpretation is what attracts Cotteleer in the blurry. After investigating the meaning of the blurry and the sharp within photography, he looked as a sculptor how the sharp and unsharp relate to sculpture. In this he developed a well-founded personal vision about 'the blurry' or the unsharp. In the project, he analysed how analogue family photos from the 1970s and 1980s, from both personal and anonymous photo albums, could become blurred and how this lack of focus determines our perception of the images. He created new photographs through the act of enlarging and cutting. These new images brought forth mysterious, occasionally broken shapes that were unrelated to the intended subject of the original family photo. They triggered unexpected emotions and memories that paved the way for new interpretations.Based on these new images, he created tactile sculptures and installations that are characterized by blurriness. How do sharpness-unsharpness relate to the memory that takes shape through visual media such as family albums? What is the role of focus and blurring in sculpture versus photography? And what is the impact of this effect on our memories and emotions? How does sharpness-unsharpness relate to the tactile space and how does 'being embodied' in a tactile environment relate to the sculptural? How does this relate to other media? These are just a few research questions he dealt with. By the exhibition ‘Out-of-Focus II’ at DE STUDIO and the publications ‘An Out-of-Focus Scan, part 1’ and ‘An Out-of-Focus Scan, part 2’ Cotteleer gives both visual and theoretical answers to the questions. 

BOOK LAUNCH and OPENING exhibition

Sunday 15 October 2023, at De Studio
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