Our founder Boris Bischoff (Amsterdam) tells us how p01nt started, from his point of view.
Why am I doing this? It’s a question I often ask myself. Over the past decade of my life, I’ve tried my hand at many things. At different points in time I was in a band, filming theatre, making music for myself, editing clips, producing theatre and studying art.
With each one of those endeavours however, I caught myself being more interested in the actual social meanings of what I and the people around me were doing than with the actual ‘craftsmanship’ of the fields.
This was most visible when I was at art school. I didn’t feel at home. My classmates would always express their desires to make this new artwork, or that new installation, but I couldn’t express my creativity in the same way.
For I would always think about the societal meaning of what I was doing. I was constantly thinking in terms of what our art, and the fact that we were so privileged to spend whole weeks of on one artwork, actually meant in the larger context of the bigger society. I couldn’t just let go and dive into the art of making art.
I wasn’t happy. I felt blocked off and isolated, and – this is something I had my whole life – I felt the urge to connect to society on a bigger scale. Creating an artwork while locking myself up in my room, and then showing it to maybe 10 other students and a teacher, wasn’t what I felt like I wanted to be doing.
That all changed one lucky day. Unhappy as I was with my studies, I was looking out for opportunities to do something different. As it was, VICE’s Creators Project was offering internships. I decided to apply on a whim. I didn’t think much of it because I didn’t have any prior writing experience, but I wrote the application anyway and sent it over.
Surprisingly enough, I got in.
Since then, I have been hooked on journalism. In the 1,5 years I worked for VICE (first as full time intern and later as freelancer) I discovered the joy it gave me to dive deep into other people’s motivations for making art, and at the same time think about their implications for society myself and get to create discourse about them on a larger social scale.
One of the pieces I’m most proud of was an article about a piece of feminist art by a Dutch student. In it, I used the powers of a great artwork, combined it with social reflection, and at the same time reached a large audience that embraced it by mass, which was for me the most important because it meant I had opened up discussions about the topic.
I decided that this would be my way of doing something for society. I decided to do it in a different way. Instead of doing plain journalism, I started my studies in the social sciences. I believed that I first needed to know more about society on a theoretical level before being able to write about it.
When I started at AUC, I had to stop writing to focus on school, but the desire was still there. I met Nina when I was almost halfway through my first year. Both of us, it turned out, were sitting on ideas for starting our own platforms, and – after some intellectual testing from both sides – we decided to join forces.
Soon, as you can also read in Nina’s starting point, logos were designed, a manifesto was created and domain names were bought. Big plans were drafted for our launch and meetings were held. Interestingly enough, however, the project didn’t come to life. Looking back now, almost a year later, I think it was due to our perfectionism, and at the same time perhaps still preoccupied figuring our own lives out.
We’re ready now though. When Nina and I ran into each other three weeks ago and started working on another project, it was clear that the enthusiasm hadn’t left us. We knew we had to do this. So we have.
I’d like to introduce you to p01nt. An open space that I hope can help us all express our creativity, and come closer together through intimate stories, artworks and other forms of expression. For it to thrive though, we need you.
Are you with us?
Boris Bischoff, Amsterdam
There are two sides to every story. p01nt’s is no different. To find out how this all happened according to our other founder Nina Klaff, click here.
As always, you can make a start on your own p01nt by filling out this form