Digital Culture – 21 projects selected

In the third Digital Culture round of 2023, 21 projects have been selected. Sean Gilis, coordinator Digital Culture Grant Scheme, reflects on the round.

23 November 2023

general impression

In this round, many applications once again relate in their own way to artificial intelligence. AI appears in the subject matter or as a methodology, as in the project Slow AI, in which Nadia Piet Creative explores an alternative to the current big tech-dominated AI. Algorithmic Art Therapy, a research project by Floris Schönfeld, also deals with the changing role of AI in our society and how we as humans can relate to it.

Slow AI – Nadia Piet Creative

The round includes different forms of projects. They range from the science-fiction podcast DRIFT, whose listeners find themselves in the future where the climate threats and technological dilemmas have been overcome, to the educational game News Detective, in which children learn to distinguish reliable news sources, recognize misinformation and make informed decisions. In the AR app Future Botanica, developed by Polymorf, the user collaborates with AI and others and designs speculative ecosystems with new forms of nature. With The Regeneration Commons: EcoloGPT, a chatbot is being researched that can answer questions about the current ecological state of the Netherlands and by extension digital tools to promote climate resilience.

selection
The available budget was not sufficient to award a grant to all 22 positively assessed applications. This meant that prioritization took place. The procedure used is described in the Digital Culture Grant Scheme. After prioritization, one project was eliminated from the selection.

A few notable projects from this round’s selection are:

Celine Veltman – Curiosmos
During pre-production of the game Curiosmos, a game about the wonders of the universe, Celine Veltman came up with the following research question: how should we deal with incorporating complex scientific knowledge into a video game where realism sometimes gets in the way of gameplay and graphics? Curiosmos is a playful and educational digital playground about planets, solar systems and the wonders of the cosmos. The aim of Curiosmos is to make astronomical knowledge accessible to all. During the study, five playtests with different target audiences will be organized to test Curiosmos and its design. The feedback and results collected will be taken to the next one and will help to improve the game, so that after this evaluation process Curiosmos can find the perfect balance between science, gameplay and style. After the study, a report will be drawn up detailing the approach, methodology and findings to share with other game developers.

Ainhoa Hernandez – (DON’T) LOOK ME IN THE EYES
(DON’T) LOOK ME IN THE EYES is a dance performance by Ainhoa Hernandez featuring three human performers, two robots and an avatar inspired by the Greek myth of Medusa and the Gorgons. The performance explores the relationship between bodies and technology and the concept of the monstrous feminine, and aims to reflect on the representation of women and queerness in Western narratives. The project is divided into research phases, with rehearsals, choreography development, research with robots, sound and AI collaborations. The project aims to devise a dramatization for robots and avatars on stage. The starting grant will be used for research with robots and the avatar interaction. The piece will be presented at Spring Festival and at Frascati Amsterdam in 2024, with try-outs at Plein Theater, International Art Talent Festival 2023 at Felix Meritis and in the context of The Artist(s) Are at Frascati Amsterdam. ICK Amsterdam, YAA Prize, Erik Impuls, KAAP, Antic Teatre, Spring Festival and Frascati Amsterdam are confirmed collaboration partners.

Body.Scratch – Body.Scratch: Move to Create
In the start-up phase of the Body.Scratch: Move to Create project, a beta version of an app/game was developed for children to learn to code in a full-body experience. The next phase consists of two parts. Firstly, creative coders, dancers and designers will come together during a two-week residency period during which they will explore gameplay with a prototype as the end result. In addition, a pilot campaign of three mini-films will show how three different traditional movement forms (Hip-hop, Pantsula, Qigong) can change the way people, and especially young people, approach flow and digital creation. The results will be shared on social media. For the further development, the applicant is collaborating with Red is Dancing, De Fabriek Eindhoven and Cooking Noise Music.

Click here to see all the projects selected in Digital Culture in 2023.

numbers

The budget available for this round was € 400,000. Of the 57 subsidy applications taken into consideration, 21 are receiving grants. This brings the percentage of applications receiving grants to 37%. The number of applications for a starting grant was again very high at 29. Of these, 11 were assessed positively. The next closing date of the Digital Culture Grant Scheme is 16 January 2024.

Photo at the top: Studio Philip Vermeulen