Embodied involvement in empathetic relations, in interactive media art

Photo Credits: Kissing Data, Ars Electronica Linz 2018 ©lancel/maat

Embodied involvement in empathetic relations, in interactive media art

Today, intimate technologies are increasingly part of our daily lives and bodies. How can we create a new form of ‘communal intimacy’? This artistic research aims to create an artistic platform for dialogue in (semi-) public space, to evoke reflection on experience of intimacy and empathetic embodied mirror processes in technologically mediated relations. Although this has been the subject of sociological and neurological research for some time, less research has been done on the immediate experience of empathetic relations in technological environments. Immediate experience of empathy is a key prerequisite for intimate connections and social sustainable behaviour. Point of departure is Lancel/Maat’s interactive art practice with their ‘Artistic Social Labs’ as format to create new performative meeting rituals through touch. Since the Covid-19 outbreak touch seems to become almost criminalized. In this context new experiences of togetherness will be developed and researched. Simultaneously this artistic research offers new knowledge for the development and implementation of suitable design principles. Can we create new forms of togetherness, in merged realities of presence, touch and technology?


Groningen Research Arts and Society Platform; University of Groningen (RUG) and the Hanze University (Hanze UAS)| 2020-2024 | supervisors: B. van Heusden & A. Coumans

Acting Like a Robot

This project demonstrates and puts into practice the potential of collaborations between theatre and robotics for the development of the interaction with, behaviour of and reflection on social robots. The project builds on observations by international experts, bringing together their suggestions and expanding these into a direction indicated by them as promising for further development, namely that of object and puppet theatre. This approach is developed in collaboration with renowned puppet and object theatre-maker Ulrike Quade and her company, and in interaction with a selection of robot projects-in-progress. My PhD project will be developed within this framework.

The representation of trauma in the oeuvre of Marcel Möring

Nienke van Leverink

The representation of trauma in the oeuvre of Marcel Möring

Universiteit Leiden 2019-2023 | Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Yra van Dijk en Dr. Esther Op de Beek

This research will provide a textual analysis of the oeuvre of second generation writer Marcel Möring, with a focus on the representation of trauma in the context of the Shoah. Through the years, Möring’s fiction has become more experimental and transgressive. His texts circle around a void that just can’t seem to be expressed in words. Through close reading, I will examine how this ‘unrepresentability’ tries to find its way out and expresses itself through different layers of the text, like the disruption of time, intertextuality and magic realism. It is my aim to position this oeuvre in the broader spectrum of Shoah literature and postmemory.

The sense of place in site-specific performances (with a focus on Pahlavi II architecture)

The never-ending conflict between tradition and modernity has a determinative place in Iranians’ memory. Therefore, the problem of identity and the sense of suspension are the two shared themes in Iranian architectural studies and Iranian cinema (since the forties). Since architecture has always been one of the main footmarks of modernity in Iran, it has always played a crucial role in Iranian cinema as well. Tehran, with its history of different conflicting modernization plans, has hosted the majority of Iranian cinema, as the representative of modernity in Iran. The lack of a cohesive plan to preserve the contemporary architectural heritage in different political periods has created an identity crisis in Tehran’s architectural memory. On the other hand, Iranian contemporary architecture has a significant role in Iranian contemporary theatre, especially in site-specific performances. This project will focus on the role of the audience’s cinematic memory of Iranian contemporary architecture in perceiving the sense of place in site-specific case studies. This project will also focus on the performances’ agency in the process of amplifying and stimulating the spectator’s cinematic memory.