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Between My Eyes and Ears: Visual Arts and Music to the Dome

Allow me to recap Dekmantel Music Festival 2023 by the route around. Bear with me, while we take a teeny-tiny glance at my mind on visual arts and music.

The difference between art that I listen to and art that I consume visually, seems to me one of lust and love. When I hear a great song, something that moves me deeply in the moment, I get butterflies flapping in my stomach and the hair on my arm stands up to get a better listen. Whereas when I find an image with significance, it doesn’t always tap me right away. Sure, there must be something aesthetic, something solicitous or visually appealing as to draw the image to me in the first place....but rarely does that feeling compare to say, the moment Palms Trax drops the beat next to your best homies or when Bach’s Prelude reaches it’s final climax. Music is more collective and expressive in that way.

Images, on the other hand, composite a different sort of interoception. For me, it takes time, it takes a caring for details, it takes a willingness to submit in a place where music would only grab me and shake me for all it’s worth. A great tune gives me no choice whether or not to succumb. That or it just doesn't take at all. Images and their meaning come at my pace. Shall I run with the idea or abandon it? Do I turn it over, do I look left, right, upside down? Even then, do I find it appealing or even appalling? With music, I mean...what crazy person listens to music they don’t like? With images, I crave the ones I don’t like. I crave the idea that this piece is something that disagrees with my internal convo or is outside of my internal convo because in that disagreement I can feel myself grow. The form of my thoughts pushes against the formless, unthought of thoughts suddenly coalesce and form again. The difference is ruminative versus intoxicating, two different sorts of stimulation.

That’s not to say that music and imagery and their aim are mutually exclusive, of course not. Maybe the image in front takes you right away! Maybe a song (your national anthem or Hallelujiah, by Leonard Cohen) makes you contemplate deeply. My experience with the photos I really love is that they don’t always appear with a dazzling proclamation, but only after having thought about why or how, does the feeling hit home (and not all at once either!). Again that’s not to say that music can’t be deeply thought. In fact I’d argue all music can be deeply thought, should we let go of our vanities and perception of how a song makes us feel...same goes with a picture of a gorgeous woman or a nasty bug. But we are feeling creatures after all, and noone is above the laws of ...DJ DROP THAT ISHH!

Whatever the case, the music and images here come together to create a very special story for myself. Put together the ecstasy of emotion/the experience of that feeling in music with the quiet introspection and ponderance of images....and what do you get? An epicccc photo collage remembering the pure-bliss Dekmantel festival experience in Tisno, Croatia, the former Kingdom of Dalmatia (sidebar: I thought Dalmatia was a toponym for a white furred dog with black spots (I looked everywhere for Dalmatians), apparently the word resembles the Roman name Delminium and Albanian delmer for "shepherd" instead. Bring your staffs next time.)

Thank you to those artists and organizers who put on the show, the locals/cheeseheads who worked the stages (for weeks back-to-back) and to my friends who have yet again provided the clean, crystalline headspace to explore mind and body through dance and connection. Facile victory.

You may disagree with a few words/pictures in this article or you love it all, fig-tastic! Express yourself in the comments, show me your lack of guidance ;)


Palms Trax was a headliner at DKMTL 2023, check out his set from the year before, right here:

My favorite set of at DKMTL 2023 by Dutch-Indonesian DJ Sekan:


Are you going to DKMTL 2024?

  • Heerlie de peerlie! (Ready to party!)

  • Even een frisse neus halen (I'll take a breath of fresh air)

  • Maybe?


JH Vivadelli is a Photographer based out of Virginia, USA. If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more, help him out by buying a coffee at! Thank you!

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