Digital culture has emerged as digital networked technologies infiltrate almost all aspects of society. These technologies — from computing devices, databases, protocols and algorithms to the online environment of the Web itself — have transformed design processes, their underlying production systems and geopolitical and economic contexts. They produce images, objects, and spaces; they are media and infrastructure, working material, instrument, site-condition and agent all at once.
A selection of projects and activities
This web magazine documents the proceedings, output and cultural context of the Bot Club, a recurring programme on algorithmic culture, one of the long-term research projects of Het Nieuwe Instituut’s R&D department.
Garden of Machines
In the context of the 34th World Expo opening in Milan on May 1st, Het Nieuwe Instituut addresses this phenomenon from different perspectives between April 26 and August 23. The exhibition Garden of Machines speculates on a new ecosystem in which technical and organic beings learn to live together.
The State of Eindhoven
The multiyear cultural programme De Staat van Eindhoven (The State of Eindhoven) looked at the changing relationship between government and citizens and, specifically, Eindhoven’s twofold ambition of being a smart city in a participatory society.
Control Syntax Rio
Monitoring the Collective Body
The city of Rio de Janeiro has an advanced command and control centre from which various scenarios – from traffic jams to acts of terrorism and natural disasters – can be predicted and potentially prevented. The installation Control Syntax Rio, on show at Het Nieuwe Instituut from 12 June 2016, shows how this Olympic city is being read as a matrix of potential calamities and the impact this has on the social climate of the city.
The Life Fair
New Body Products
With universal themes such as Birth, Work, Sex, Security and Health, the exhibition The Life Fair: New Body Products explores how the quest for an optimal body has developed into a highly competitive market. First and foremost in the development of goods and services: commercial parties whose products exploit the fears and desires underlying our physical capacities and vulnerabilities.
The Art of the Screensaver
Rafaël Rozendaal questions the anonymity and ephemerality of the screensaver and is fascinated by its subversive, playful and diffuse character. He creates an immersive space for the visitor that captures the extraordinary visual language of this virtually lost medium.
Benno Premsela Lecture 2015
In cooperation with the Society of Arts, Het Nieuwe Instituut organised the Benno Premsela Lecture 2015, given by Benjamin Bratton. Bratton's lecture examined the consequences of the widespread digitalisation for our cities. He sketched the way in which cities could develop in relation to algorithmic perception, sensory perception, cognition and physical automation
On 2 March 2017 The Bot Club took a critical look at a world in which bots, algorithmic agents and generative processes do the work. Helping to place this world centre stage are media artist and bot-maker, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, and Me You and the Robot.
On the Cross-Pollination of Nature, Science and Creativity
For the Biodesign exhibition, curator William Myers has selected dozens of projects that illustrate new ways to harness living systems for art, design and production. The exhibition will glimpse into our possible future and provide inspiration for designers, artists and scientists in the form of varied, in-depth information on new materials and potential biological applications in architecture and design.
New Archive Interpretations
Five Research Commissions
In 2014 Het Nieuwe Instituut launched New Archive Interpretations, a series of commissions for artists, designers and researchers to examine the influence and impact of the digital archive in relation to its analogue predecessor, the paper archive. Over a two-year period they investigated the challenges and opportunities of digital archives.
Reuse of digital collections in museums and archives produces new stories in potentially surprising, innovative forms. Het Nieuwe Instituut and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision invite makers to create new work using archive items from their digital collections. Three makers will be selected through an open call to develop ideas into three new, autonomous media works to appear at Het Nieuwe Instituut in the autumn.
The Drone Salon provided an overview of the challenges and opportunities of the fast-developing drone technology, both in the battlefield and in the civic realm. In this seminar, demonstrations and presentations were punctuated by conversations between Malkit Shoshan, Ethel Baraona Pohl and experts in the field: lawyers, activists, civic and military drone operators, artists, writers and designers.
DEAF Biennale 2014
The Progress Trap
How can we go beyond the cult of progress to develop a better understanding of the radical technological innovations of today? The exhibition The Progress Trap formed the centre of the Dutch Electronic Art Festival (DEAF) and brought together the work of international artists, including Cohen van Balen, Louis Philippe Demers, Jenny Holzer, Nam June Paik, Boris Petrovski and Melle Smets.