NRW Künstlerinnenpreis 2022

Early 2021 I was among those approached by the Frauenkulturbüro (Women’s Culture Bureau) of the German state NordRhein Westfalen to put forward a possible winner for their annual prize for best female artist coming up in 2022. That year the focus would be on women artists working in the field of digital art. Having worked just recently with Dutch artist Joan Heemskerk on her groundbreaking quantum computer piece Q&Q(liza), which she produced for Rhizome’s 7X7 exhibition in Norway but was shown as try out at GOGBOT, choosing her was a no-brainer. The jury of the prize agreed with me, and in April 2022 Joan Heemskerk received her award via an obligatory online ceremony for which I gave the eulogy speech. I also was one of the writers for the Frauenkulturbüro blog about the prize and wrote an article on how to evaluate digital art. The picture here shows a screenshot of Heemskerk's Q&Q(liza).



JRC project ‘HumaniTies and Artificial Intelligence’

After presenting at the EU Joint Research Center in Ispra, Italy, in October 2019 I was asked by former ZKM curator Freddy Paul Grunert to join an adviser team to think about a research project around artificial intelligence. We were to have a four-day workshop at the JRC facility in the Lombardia region when the pandemic hit there hard. The project had to be rethought, and through online sessions it was finally decided to produce a book about AI and its difficult relation to the humanities. I reviewed part of the articles and wrote a text about the human factor (specifically emotions) in AI. The book came out as open access publication in 2022 at the NOEMA lab.

HumAI book cover

Archives Digital Cultures and Design Het Nieuwe Instituut

In 2019 the Nieuw Instituut in Rotterdam, the merger of the old Dutch architecture institute, Virtual Platform, and the Premsela instituut for design, started a project around the preservation of projects, works and products created at the intersection of digital culture and design. It started with a round of conversations with adviser groups in which I took part.

From the project website: “The Network Archives Design and Digital Culture (NADD) is working toward an accessible archive for design and digital culture that collects the knowledge and strengths of museum and heritage organisations, educational, cultural and research institutions, designers, governments and other partners. The network lays a solid foundation for sharing insight and experience and for the joint development of new knowledge. This network is based on the unifying capacity of its individual partners and the specialist knowledge of multiple parties. It focuses on making the existing public activities and programming of all network partners visible and stronger, and, where necessary, contributes to the supplementation or development of new programmes.”

The project still is under development.

archief digitale cultuur

Digital Art Canon

The Amsterdam based institution for the preservation of media art LIMA not just helps restore and save art, but it also plays an important role in spreading knowledge and creating theoretical context for media art. In 2017 LIMA asked me to be one of their advisers for a project they called the Digital Art Canon. The idea behind it is to bring the rich history of digital art in the Netherlands to the fore and save some groundbreaking works from obscurity. Our role as advisers was to choose twenty works of digital art made between 1960 and 2000. After about six meetings, of which one was an international community meeting at Transmediale in Berlin, LIMA set out to approach the twenty artists chosen and created an exhibition at the Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam with both documented and restored works. The project is still ongoing and so is my role as adviser here, alongside my esteemed colleagues Martijn van Boven, Annet Dekker, Sandra Fauconnier, and Jan Robert Leegte, and of course Sanneke Huisman and Gaby Wijers of LIMA. The picture here shows the community meeting at Transmediale in 2018.

Digitale canon community meeting TM


Net Art Anthology

In September 2016 I was approached by Rhizome curator Michael Connor to take part in a new project around preserving net art. This was the Net Art Anthology. Initially the project was to revolve around works of net art that had disappeared and that would be recreated or restored. This focus on works that disappeared later changed into a focus on works of influence. I gave general advise and recommended other advisers, plus I wrote three texts for the online project. When a book was published and an accompanying exhibition took place at the New Museum in New York I was invited to give a presentation there. The Net Art Anthology was an important landmark in the rethinking of art and the internet and helped revive and restore the memory of many important artworks. The photo shows Philip Glahn, Michael Connor and me on stage during the Q&A at the New Museum in March 2018.

Screenshot 2024 01 11 at 15 58 24 Images New Museum Digital Archive

Stimuleringsfonds voor Creatieve Industrie: Digitale Cultuur

From 2013 till 2017 I had a great time as part of the advisory group for the fund for creative industries in the Netherlands, the Stimuleringsfonds. I worked alongside many esteemed and knowledgeable colleagues: designers, curators, critics, and artists, all from the field of digital culture. It was sometimes challenging to make art fit into the narrow margins set for this funding body by the government, but we managed to get a lot of wonderful experimental and interdisciplinary works and projects funded.  

Screenshot 2024 01 10 at 17 00 41 Regeling Digitale cultuur Stimuleringsfonds

GOGBOT / PLANETART adviser 2010 - ongoing

After I got involved with the GOGBOT festival in Enschede in 2010 as a symposium moderator I quickly became a regular advisor and ambassador next to being its symposium curator of this unusual and sympathetic event. GOGBOT is organized by the artist initiative PLANETART, which was founded in Hengelo in the nineties. Hengelo and Enschede are ten kilometers apart in the largely rural Dutch region called Twente. I was born in Hengelo and lived there until 1982, when I moved to Enschede for one year and left for Amsterdam from there. It was a delight to find the region shaken up and brought into the 21st century with GOGBOT. Very little interesting and exciting happened in Twente culturally until PLANETART shook up the region with Survival Research Laboratory type events from the early nineties onwards. These started at a small scale, but grew into the four day extravaganza GOGBOT is today. Nearly every interesting media artist in the Netherlands had one of their first exhibitions or performances at the festival. I scouted artists, advised on themes and in later years curated side programs and co-curated the festival. Here are a few of the artists I brought to GOGBOT.

 Constantgogbot  Constant Dullaart during his Youtube on the Floor performance in the Oude Kerk in 2011

peter luining rafael rozendaal gogbot 2011 Peter Luining (r) and Rafael Rozendaal (l) during their screenings on the church ceiling

Angelo Vermeulen GOGBOT 2014Angelo Vermeulen photographed after finishing his amazing Seeker sculpture for the 2014 Spaceship Earth festival theme



NiMK net art research program

Even if art in and around computer networks was made from at least 1980 onwards and internet art had a big momentum in the late nineties, it took a quite a while before it became a serious field of research and attention in even some media art institutions. In Amsterdam the Dutch media art institution NiMK (Nederlands Instituut voor Mediakunst), born from a merger of video art organizations, was also relatively slow in adapting to internet and interactive art. In 2009 this changed, when then NiMK curator Petra Heck and conservator Gaby Wijers approached me for advice on what could be a possible test case for preserving and presenting net art for the NiMK. It was a no-brainer for me: the test case had to be JODI, the Dutch-Belgian net art phenomenon. JODI's work encompasses a rich variety of materials and practices, from websites and computer game hacks to sculptural work and performance. Because of Dutch budget cuts the NiMK unfortunately closed only a few years later, but its important research was picked up by the LIMA, an organization dedicated to the preservation of media art founded by Gaby Wijers. The picture shows one of the skateboards created by JODI for their Sk8monkey performance on Twitter, which happened during their 2009 exhibition in Dordrecht.

jodi skateboard