Shifting Desires, Unintelligible Threats: An Analysis of Horror, Media, & the Rearticulation

This project addresses the shifting connections between unintelligible desire, horror, and the media, as a means to analyze the current process of profound rearticulation and expansion of sociocultural intelligibility, as well as the networks and dynamics by which this rearticulation asymmetrically spreads across geopolitical borders. In order to do so, this analysis focuses on horror media manifestations from the US, Europe, and Latin America where the crossroads between sexuality and globally expanding intelligible conceptual formations (such as race, gender, migration, religion, or economy) give way to experiences and forms of desire that are unintelligible, and thus emerge as a source of sociocultural fear and anxiety.

Image: Art by Mina Hunt. | Based on an image by Kristen Fernandez

Keeping it Real? – Museums and Technology Use in the Digital Era

Digitisation has been one of the main issues driving the museum world for at least the past decade. However, the discussion often lacks a sincere reflection on the genesis of the institutional with the material object and its effects. Especially the history of technology adoption as an influencing factor in the valorisation of digitisation efforts is often overlooked. This represents a distinct lack of awareness for institutional historicity. The dissertation will provide a diachronic examination of the role of material culture in the handling of digitisation, including the institutional struggle with the perceived authenticity of digital heritage.


Image: Glass-Plate-for-Digitisation | Copyright: State Museum Nature and Man in Oldenburg

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.

Queering the Museum: Contemporary Artists and Curators as ‘Critical Visitors’ and Their Creative Interventions

Liang-Kai Yu studies contemporary art and critical museology, with a focus on queer artistic and curatorial productions. He is currently working on the PhD research project “Queering the Museum: Contemporary Artists and Curators as Critical Visitors and Their Creative Interventions”. The project investigates how contemporary artists and curators can intervene into Dutch, English and German museums in order to rethink the intersecting exclusions and inequalities within heritage institutions. It is funded by NWO and part of the consortium research project “The Critical Visitor” (2020-2025).
While Yu’s research focuses on queer artistic and curatorial interventions, his interests engage in larger issues such as the politics of display, institutional critique, critical theory such as intersectional feminist and queer theory, and radical museology. Prior to the PhD project, his MA thesis (cum laude) at Leiden University explores subversive display approaches of Fred Wilson, Henrik Olesen and the Schwules Museum in Berlin so as to open up queer imaginations in exhibition space. In addition, he curates exhibitions, writes for art magazines and delivers guest lectures on the subject of curatorial intervention and queer art.