Digital Culture – 16 projects selected
In the fourth Digital Culture round of 2022, 16 proposals have been selected. The available budget was not sufficient to award a grant to all positively assessed applications. Sean Gilis, coordinator Digital Culture Grant Scheme, reflects on the round.
In the last round of the year, an unusually high number of applications were positively assessed. This meant that the available budget of € 350,000 for this round was unfortunately not sufficient to award a grant to all 26 positively assessed applications. As a result, the advisory committee had to prioritize. The procedure used is described in the Digital Culture Grant Scheme. After prioritization, 10 projects were eliminated from the selection.
A few notable projects from this round’s selection are:
Internet Cafe – Salwa Foundation
Internet cafés became hugely popular in the early 1990s and were a place for both online and offline encounters, especially in the non-Western world. Salwa Foundation’s project aims to reflect on the internet café as a knowledge-exchange centre for migrants and to understand how internet cafés have transformed from hotspots to a place generally labelled as unsafe. For the project Internet Cafe, Salwa Foundation will launch an open call from which four migrants living in the Netherlands will be selected to participate in a three-month residency. All the artists will meet weekly, so that they can share the literature, resources, stories and experiences related to the subject, and guest lecturers from the field of art and technology are invited to give lectures and workshops. With this project, Salwa Foundation aims to decolonize the field of media arts by bringing the experience of migrants to the fore – experiences that are essential to understanding the complexity and dynamics of both tangible and intangible internet infrastructure. The results of the residency will be presented in an exhibition at Casco in Utrecht. The intended collaboration partners are Varia, Casco Art Institute, Framer Framed and Fiber Festival.
Success Breeds Success and You Need to Be a Friend to Get A Friend (Apoptosis & Pornography) – Sophie Serber
Success Breeds Success and You Need to Be a Friend to Get A Friend (Apoptosis & Pornography) focuses on the production and denial of ‘consumptive desires’ in the context of digital pornography. For this project, Serber utilizes her experience as a former performer in the porn industry and will draw on a project database that includes correspondence, tweets and web analytics from her time as a porn performer to reflect on porn consumption. The project uses tracking technology to extract body movements from previously filmed scenes. The intended result is a new video work and accompanying publication that together explore the abstraction and manipulation of desire, using biological processes as an analogy.
InCommon – Louise
During the second Covid-19 lockdown, the profound lack of personal connection in digital communication became apparent. This problem has continued after the pandemic, which motivated Louise’s team to research emotional experiences in the virtual world. InCommon is an experimental VR experience aimed at creating a deep, intimate connection between two strangers by means of an interactive and responsive VR environment. To maintain anonymity, participants are depicted as avatars. The installation consists of two booths in which participants sit separately and can communicate with each other through voice chat and gestures. During the VR experience, participants’ biometric data is recorded and analysed, and based on this data, the virtual environment changes. InCommon is also a critical examination of VR as a medium; the team was inspired for this project by early techno-philosophical theories, in which electronic devices are an extension of the human nervous system. The interactive environment will be developed in close collaboration with TU Delft, after which the project will be screened at various (media) art venues such as V2_ and Sickhouse.
Of the 54 subsidy applications taken into consideration, 16 are receiving grants. This brings the percentage of applications receiving grants to 30%. The closing dates for 2023 are: 18 January 2023, 12 April 2023, 16 August 2023 and 11 October 2023.