Prof. Dr. Katja Kwastek

Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, VU Amsterdam

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interactive art & interaction aesthetics / media art & theory / digital humanities / wireless & locative art / documentation /
audiences of art /art & technology / modern & contemporary art & media / public art / slow art / italian renaissance /



new chapters in new books


recent and upcoming talks, lectures, conferences

Opera Forward Seminar: Vrijheid, bezieling, en improvisatie (with Reinier Munk); Nationale Opera & Ballet, March 23

Lecture: Real Freedom is a Consequence of Real Limitations. Freedom and Rules in Participatory Art. VU University Amsterdam, February 18

Lecture on the position of digital art in the history of contemporary art, International Symposium Transformation Digital Art, Stichting Behoud Moderne Kunst / LIMA, Amsterdam, February 18

Conference: Digital Horizons, Virtual Selves: Rethinking Cultural Heritage in the Museum, January 21-22 2016, Research Center for Material Culture, Leiden (moderation)

Farewell Seminar Paul Spies 'What happens in the Contact Zone?', January 13, Amsterdam Museum (contribution)

Lecture series: The Creative Imperative, with Margaret Boden, Florian Cramer, Martha Buskirk, Kerstin Stakemeier, Dieter Daniels, and Jonas Lund, in cooperation with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Sept-Nov 2015

"Renewable Futures" conference keynote, Riga
October 10th 2015

"ReCreate", MediaArtHistories conference, November 5-8 2015
talk on "Post-digital collections as discursive laboratories",


out now:



June 18th, 2014, inaugural lecture at VU University Amsterdam


In 1998, Nicholas Negroponte, founder of MIT’s Media Lab, announced the end of the digital revolution. It was his predilection that digital technologies would become so commonplace and ubiquitous that they would be taken for granted like air and water. This, as we have seen, did not turn out to be entirely true. At present our information society is still facing rapid and fundamental changes. Negroponte did, however, rightly foresee the increasing ubiquity of digital technologies. As of today, these technologies even have exerted vital impact on the material world, and our own bodily presence therein. To describe this situation, we use the notion of the post-digital.

In her inaugural lecture as professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the VU University Amsterdam, Katja Kwastek will argue that art plays a seminal role in highlighting and critically reflecting these developments. In creatively playing with digital technology and its effects on our behavior, our environment, and society at large, artists force us to critically engage with the technological systems that increasingly shape our lives. A post-digital art history must undertake the task of analyzing, mediating, and contextualizing such art. Set against the long history of art, visual culture, and human creativity, this post-digital art history can also open up new perspectives on art of the past.
Furthermore, a post-digital perspective can help to clarify what is at stake for the so-called ‘digital humanities’. Beyond merely making use of digital tools, the digital humanities should seek to actively collaborate in establishing the links between material and digital culture, the historical object and the database, and the individual artistic statement and its statistical prevalence.

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