Launch event of the Use-Me Art and Science projects!

Last week was the launch event of the Use-Me Art and Science project. The project challenges the VU community to think critically about the recursive relationship between technology and society. For example, what are the opportunities and threats that technology brings to society?

The launch event kicked-off with a buzzing talk by Dries Depoorter, a Belgian-raised artist who introduced a diverse range of his past and ongoing projects. With his critical yet humorous approach to themes such as social media image and popularity, surveillance, and human-gadget interaction. He discussed the issue of idea-originality in art and design. Dries’ work attracted both domestic and international attention when it comes to the importance of social media and gadgets in our daily lives. While getting a large number of responses to his projects from mass media, his work is proved to have a transformative aspect. Next up was Sabrina Verhage, who works as a creative technologist at Tellart Amsterdam. With the goal of creating societal impact and transformation through her work, Sabrina introduced many interesting initiatives she worked on throughout the years such as the well-known Live Coding Sessions and The Museum of the Future. She mentioned the aspect of futuristic design in her work, which encouraged Sabrina and her colleagues to go beyond pragmatism and create a space of innovative exploration, especially with the projects related to new ways of engaging during/after COVID19, Terraforms, and futuristic city design and climate change. The event was closed by Martin Krzywinski, Staff Scientist at Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, who started his presentation by asking ‘Should science be ugly?’. Sharing his experiences, Martin underlined aspects of creativity, effectiveness, and beauty should be when it comes to visual communication in science. The take-away of his talk: ‘real science should look just like in movies’.

The event was closed by a ‘gezellige’ borrel, where the participants interacted with the speakers more informally. On behalf of the organizing committee, we wish to thank both the speakers and the participants for a vibrant project launch!

More info on the Use-me project?
Are you interested in the digital society, AI, creative coding, and interactive art? Anybody at the VU is welcome to participate, from students to researchers and staff members. Participation can be individual or in teams. Click HERE to get more info on the initiative and upcoming workshops!

Some pictures from the event: