TOUWFIGUREN, 16mm, 14’, 2016

For her audiovisual piece Touwfiguren (String Figures, 2016), Katrien Vermeire drew inspiration from the encyclopedic film Fadenspiele (1969), part of the German film series Encyclopaedia Cinematographica by H.R. Haefelinger. Touwfiguren shows two children making a succession of string figures. It focuses on the practice as a game, with relatively simple figures, which we perhaps recognize from our own childhoods. In Touwfiguren (2016), Vermeire plays with the frame rate (slow-motion, high-speed), so as to focus attention on the movements and the action. Her 16mm film shows string figures being made in Brussels, almost fifty years after the German work.

Directed by Katrien Vermeire
Camera Michel Houssiau
Editing France Duez
Production management Christian Châtel
Production Mount Vision Pictures


  • Atelier Cinemakina, March 12, 2017

  • Beursschouwburg Brussel, March 8, 2017

    Katrien Vermeire invites James Murphy for an interactive evening on String Figures.

    James Inoli Murphy is a retired mathematics teacher from Cherokee descent. While teaching at a high school in New York, he used string figures in an intuitive way, to challenge his disaffected students to learn how to make and create figures of their own, under the motto: ‘the hands are the teachers of the brain to learn how to think, to learn how to learn’. Daily practice proved hugely beneficial, in terms of both self-confidence and mathematical understanding, such as the ability to visualise complex three-dimensional patterns.

  • PRIVATE TAG, Atlantikwall Raversyde (BE), 2016
  • TWISTED STRINGS, M - Museum Leuven (BE), 2016
  • This project is funded by M Museum Leuven, Beursschouwburg Brussel, VGC, Provincie West-Vlaanderen, Kunsten en Erfgoed and Culture Culture