In 2022 I curated the GOGBOT exhibition for the Rijksmuseum Twenthe. Theme of the year was SO FUTURE, a referral to the ironic and iconic doge memes. The theme revolved around the stories we create about the future and how these influence the way we think and act today. The exhibition showed work by Isabelle Arvers, Jeremy Bailey, Constant, DISNOVATION.ORG, Femke Herregraven, Viviane Komati, Amor Muñoz, Sabrina Ratté, Jonas Staal i.c.w. Jan Fermon, Stanza, Ivar Veermaë and ViaOral. The installation Shadow Growth by was a commission and especially created for the show. The curator of the museum asked Disnovation if the installation could be paired with a work from their collection, a 17th century painting entitled the Money Counter. The artists agreed if the painting would be shown in the glow of red neon light. You can see the painting in the back of a photo of part of the Disnovation installation.



During the first year of the pandemic, I was also asked to curate an online exhibition for the Amsterdam gallery Upstream. All online exhibitions at Upstream took place within an interactive environment designed by Dutch artist Constant Dullaart. I put together a show called Appearances featuring only female artists and artist couples. Participating artists were Addie Wagenknecht, Annie Abrahams & Daniel Pinheiro, Amy Alexander, Claudia Del & Jaume Clotet, Evelina Domnitch & Dimitry Gelfand, Knowbotiq, Nancy Mauro-Flude, PolakVanBekkum, Stephanie Syjuco, Valentina Gal, and Winnie Soon. An excerpt from the exhibition concept: “Appearances exist on the edge of reality and perception. Appearances can be sudden or take their time to show. They can be lasting, decaying or downright misleading. We often see what we want to see. We more often see what we expect to see. Most of the time the poetry of that situation escapes us.” Unfortunately, Upstream’s online exhibitions only run for a month. One of the works was Amy Alexander’s What the Robot Saw, a “live, continuously-generated, robot film, curated, analyzed and edited using computer vision, neural networks, and contrarian search algorithms.” The film takes live footage from the internet. The picture shows a still from the movie.

amy alexander

Critical Coding

In the first year of the Covid19 pandemic the Amsterdam based organization for the preservation of media art LIMA arranged a great series of online artist talks and discussions. I was asked to make a proposal for this series and chose to have a discussion with two female artist coders: Nancy Mauro-Flude and Winnie Soon. An excerpt from the announcement: “The internet and the computer depend on language as the most basic, hidden interface between humans and machines. By intervening at the level of code we can describe and create alternative digital environments. Code often is an expressive mixture of mathematical programming languages and pre- and postdigital cultural codes, which can bring either reactionary or progressive societal forces to the fore. Cultural bias and political directionality are embedded in it. The same holds true for how we describe and approach the tools and cultures of the digital age 'above ground' in our cultural discourse. Also here language highly influences our experience and behavior.” The event was recorded for the LIMA online streaming archive LIMA online streaming archive here.

Screenshot 2024 01 22 at 15 36 58 LI MA Amsterdam

Telecommunications Art history session Ars Electronica

After researching the possibility of a re-enactment at Ars Electronica of Robert Adrian groundbreaking work The World in 24 Hours from 1982, I was given the opportunity to host a session on the history of telecommunications art at the Ars Electronica festival in 2019. The session focused on the work of three artists and curators from the field: Bill Bartlett, who organized the first online conference in 1979 and started the first online artist network with Adrian; Heidi Grundmann, partner and important collaborator of Robert Adrian; and Salvatore Vanasco, part of the famous Van Gogh TV event at Documenta in 1992. It was quite an emotional event, because it was Bartlett’s first public appearance after almost forty years and age-related issues of Heidi Grundmann. It was and is important to bring the work of these pioneers in online community art to the fore, so I am greatful we were able to have this event.

Screenshot 2024 01 22 at 11 15 12 Salvatore Vanasco IT Josephine Bosma NL Doug Jarvis CA and Benjamin Heidersberger DE at Telecommunications Art Ars Electronica History Day POSTCITY

Thinking/Acting in Alliance

Former director of the Brussels institution for media art Yves Bernard approached me in 2018 to collaborate on a new project to develop and protect a healthy internet environment. The idea was to see if we could save the internet from corporate and authoritarian forces that threaten democracy and community interests and to see if we could also make the internet have less of a carbon footprint. We organized a workshop in the tradition of the unconference for Transmediale in 2019 entitled First Steps Toward a Digital Climate Agreement. It was a great event with amazing thinkers and activists lending their time and thoughts to the project. After a brief introductory discussion the participants divided into five groups, each focusing on a different part of the issues at hand. You can read a long report describing what happened exactly on the project's website. Unfortunately, due to internal issues at iMal the project stalled almost immediately. It would be great if another institution or organization would pick up where iMal left it. Yves Bernard has since left iMal.

Screenshot 2024 01 22 at 10 50 47 Thinking Acting in Alliance Transmediale Berlin

Come Closer #1, Oude Kerk, Amsterdam

End of 2017 I was approached by curator Radna Rumping and director Michiel van Iersel of the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam, the church in the heart of the oldest part of Amsterdam where Rembrandt's wife is burried, to suggest a theme and guests for an evening in their Come Closer series. They asked for any important or influential phenomenon from the history of internet art and internet culture of the previous two decades. I immediately thought of the dramas that unfolded around the online persona Netochka Nezvanova (NN), aka Antiorp, integer, m9ndfukc and more at the end of the nineties. The true identities of the persons behind this entity are still a mystery, but it was most likely a varying group of people. I invited artist Martijn van Boven to present a film he made with NATO.0+55+3d, video software created by this entity or collective, and also artist and academic David Gauthier to present his study of mailinglist dynamics of the late nineties, and theorist Florian Cramer to provide more context. Radna Rumping commissioned artist Damon Zucconi to make a new work around NN. We had a great evening despite the cold. It was January 2018 and the church was unheated. Everyone was dressed for outdoors. It was the first time I gave a talk wearing winter coat, gloves and a hat. The picture here shows the last part of the evening, when Florian Cramer presented his analysis of online troll culture from the nineties through to the alt.right's wrecking ball influence at the time of his talk. All presentations happened within the exhibition of works by Christian Boltanski that was happening at the time.P1040340

Born Digital symposium @ MOTI

In 2015 Director Mieke Gerritzen and curator Ward Janssen of the MOTI (Museum of the Image) in Breda asked me to compile a list of speakers for a symposium entitled Born Digital, to accompany their exhibition with the same title. I presented the symposium and gave a brief introduction to the history of digital art. Other speakers were artists Rafael Rozendaal, Rosa Menkman and Jan Robert Leegte, and MAMA curator Gerben Willers. The picture shows the first room of the exhibition.

Born Digital

Third Nature dinner conversations @ Zone2Source

After the devastating national art funding cuts in 2011 the Dutch media art institute NiMK had to close. It was a terrible blow to the media art community. The NiMk had been an important place to meet during exhibition openings, performances, talks and more. In order to bring the community back together and at least revive media art discourse artist Karen Lancel and me initiated Third Nature dinner parties at the new art initiative Zone2Source. Every dinner party had a different theme and the first one, of which you see a photo of the table setting below, revolved around the body in Third Nature. The gatherings took place in 2014 and 2015.

The project was inspired by the work of McKenzie Wark's Hacker Manifesto, in which she speaks of the emergence of a new economy and society through the influence of digital technologies as Third Nature. "Third nature is a world of networking, which makes possible new forms of commodity economy, but also new forms of what Geert Lovink calls ‘notworking’, new modes of association."

Third Nature dinner conversations 11 1024x731

Olia Lialina @ NiMK : Digital Folklore

Dutch media art institute the NiMK gave me the most wonderful birthday present in 2011 when they agreed to let me invite and present Olia Lialina to talk about her book Digital Folklore. The book, edited by Lialina and her partner Dragan Espenschied, is an homage to early DIY internet culture, paying particular attention to its folk, pop, and kitsch elements.

Digital Folklore cover

Dead Media Party @ WORM

Both of us inspired by science fiction author Bruce Sterling's Dead Media project I collaborated with Brazilian artist and activist Claudia Borges to organize a Dead Media Party, in which we focused on the re-use and subversion of digital technologies. After refusing odd demands to implement a popular rockband from our initial collaborator de Melkweg in Amsterdam Claudia Borges managed to find us a perfect partner in WORM in Rotterdam. We had performances from JODI, Gijs Gieskes, Love Action Machine, and more. A dead media quiz informed the audience on e-waste. Artist Sasker Scheerder made a beautiful edible installation of cakes with portraits of important inventors. Promo blurb from then: "Media technologies die almost faster than they are invented. A technique that was new, innovative and promising yesterday may be a thing of the past tomorrow. Competitive techniques, market forces and image are ever more clearly crucial to the survival of a technique or product. In the world of media competing for survival, new, old, dead, dying, comatose and even zombie media techniques and products tumble over each other, and their interaction is underestimated. With the Dead Media Party we want to show a glimpse of the richness of our entire media spectrum, of the interaction between new media and 'media that are not dead but just smell funny'." The photo shows SaskerScheerder and his amazing display of edible dead media hero cakes.




Net Art and Art Criticism

In order to spread more knowledge about art in and around the internet I collaborated with Eric Kluitenberg again to organize an evening about net art criticism in Amsterdam debate center De Balie. Keynote speaker was my friend and colleague Tilman Baumgärtel, a Berlin based critic and media theorist. Other speakers were curator Sarah Cook, artist Frederic Madre, and artist Graham Harwood.

Baumgaertel Tilman net art 2 0 New Materials on Art on the Internet 2001

N5M3 ( Next5Minutes 3 )

During N5M3 my role as an organizer was extended from managing the radio room to organizing the opening night in the famous squat De Kalenderpanden (with online art pioneers Station Rose as performing act), curating online performances by Fakeshop and Debra Solomon, and co-curating (with Eric Kluitenberg) the 'How Low Can You Go' evening in Paradiso, Amsterdam. I invited microradio pioneer Tetsuo Kogawa to give a wonderful performance. He gave a radio workshop as well, which you can see in the picture below.

n5m3 radioworkshop

HIP'97 (Hacking in Progress)

In August '97 I organized an Amsterdam free radio gathering at the second hacker camp in the Netherlands: Hacking in Progress. Among the participants were media theorist Geert Lovink and DFM radionaut Toek, who managed to ward off many hacking attemps on our livestream. In the end, after sleepless nights from Toek, our radiostation was the only one still netcasting/streaming from the campsite.

hip97 poster

Mr. competition

The Mr. competition was a playful subversion of the machismo developing among some artists of the group. It was organized on the 7-11 mailing list, which was in turn a project set up by jodi (Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans), heath bunting, and Vuk Cosic. The mailing list 7-11 served as the playground and online community space for anyone interested in and for the artists themselves, and was created mid 1997 after the mailing list nettime became moderated because some of its members saw art email as a form of noise or spam. For the mr. competition I put together an all female jury of artists, critics, and curators, with the intention to make all competition press releases revolve around the jury. In the end the winner of the competition was an experimental software, the first art browser, Webstalker.

Mr net art jury workshop V2_

Between 1996 and 1999 one of my focuses was internetradio: what it could be and what possibilities it offered for art and activism. In 1997 V2_ curator Andreas Broeckmann asked me to co-curate a weeklong workshop about Because of the precarious situation of the Serbian radiostation B92 many radiomakers from eastern Europe were invited. We made excursions to both pirate and legal radio stations and to very interesting sound art spaces. You can read a full report by Andreas Broeckmann here, and my report for the nettime community is here.

 Picture by Jan Sprij. I am in the center right, holding a microphone.

netradioworkshop V2

Radio section Next5Minutes 2

In 1996 I coordinated the radio section of Next5Minutes 2, the tactical media festival bringing together artists and activists working with media from all over the world. It was in the very first stages of online radio. We had 5 (!) RealAudio streams coming live from the basement of Paradiso in Amsterdam, where we had our radio studio.n5m2 radio better