We Need to Talk About Computing #1

LI-MA and Nieuwe Instituut present a conversation about system critique and online identity.

15 February 2024 19:30
Nieuwe Instituut, Museumpark 25, 3015 CB Rotterdam

In the context of the REBOOT. Pioneering Digital Art exhibition, an open conversation will take place over two evenings around the memory of digital culture and the themes of the present and possible futures – asking, How might an equal internet look? With Bregtje van der Haak (Director of EYE Filmmuseum) and Ali Eslami (VR artist).

Computers have become banal. Because of their ubiquity, it is hard to see what they really do – and whether it could be done differently. But it wasn't always so. REBOOT is about the early days of the computer, and how artists played a crucial role in it. By exploring the possibilities of the computer at a very early stage, they shaped today's technological world – sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously. By looking closely at the choices that were made then, we can now talk about what's possible today.

On this first evening, the conversation will revolve around system critique and online identity, asking how an equal internet might look. Together with Bregtje van der Haak (Director of EYE Filmmuseum) and Ali Eslami (VR artist), we will explore how the internet serves as a place for people to meet on the basis of equal values, talk about affirmation and critique, online influence and power, and the possibility of change.

Ali Eslami's work Homā’s Phantom (2023, pictured below) is on display now at REBOOT. Pioneering Digital Art: an exhibition featuring key works from 1960 to 2000, plus new interpretations by contemporary makers. REBOOT is an initiative of Nieuwe Instituut and LI-MA. The exhibition presents the impact of digital technology in art and society and builds on the Digital Canon of the Netherlands, compiled by experts in 2017-2019 and commissioned by LI-MA.  

This event is organised in collaboration with Nieuwe Instituut and moderated by Florian van Zandwijk.

Ali-Eslami 'Homä's Phantom' (2023) at REBOOT. Pioneering Digital Art, Nieuwe Instituut. Photo by Pieter Kers.

Header image: Martine Neddam, Mouchette.org (1996–present) at REBOOT. Pioneering Digital Art. Photo by Pieter Kers (beeld.nu.