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A Critical History of Media Art in the Netherlands

Platforms, Policies, Technologies

Sanneke Huisman, Marga van Mechelen [eds.]


A Critical History of Media Art in the Netherlands

Platforms, Policies, Technologies

Sanneke Huisman, Marga van Mechelen [eds.]


Art / Film / video / New titles / Theory



Graphic designer

Mind Design, Niels Schrader, Martijn de Heer

Number of pages


Book size

17 x 22 cm



Date of Release: November 2019


Translation: Michael Meert (Dutch/English)
Image editing: Sanneke Huisman, Marga van Mechelen, assisted by Maan Meelker
Glossary: Sanneke Huisman, Eleonoor Jap Sam, Alexandre Michaan, Marga van Mechelen, assisted by Zoë Spaaij
Printing, lithography and binding: robstolk®
Project coordination and publisher: Eleonoor Jap Sam

Published by Jap Sam Books and made possible with the generous support of the Creative Industries Fund NL, Mondriaan Fund, LIMA and V2_.

A Critical History of Media Art in the Netherlands: Platforms, Policies, Technologies is of interest to those both within and outside media art: to individual artists, researchers, art historians, art institutes, art museums, curators and students in the field of art, art history, new media and visual culture.

This edited volume offers an in-depth exploration of Dutch media art from 1985 onwards from many different perspectives. Through early access to the Internet, state subsidies and dedicated institutions and festivals, a vivid counter-cultural environment and a cosmopolitan artistic and intellectual scene the Netherlands hold a unique position in regards to the development of media art.

Introduced by four chapters that retrace the main events and actors (governmental institutions, festivals and other art venues, artists and curators) of media art over the past 30-plus years, the volume is divided into five parts that examine different aspects of the media art scene. The inception and subsequent developments of video and digital art, as well as their critical and institutional reception, the hacker/squatter/maker scene in all its different guises, activist stances (particularly in regards to mass media), combined with the material, cultural and infrastructural conditions that allowed the expansion of these art forms, explorations and expressions, are all thoroughly examined in generously illustrated essays, written by artists, scholars, curators and critics. Attention is also given to CD-ROM and net art, VJing, sonic arts, television, robotics and live cinema, mapping a complex and fascinating artistic geography at the borders of technology, politics and counter-cultures.

With text contributions by Arie Altena, Karen Archey, Angela M. Bartholomew, Josephine Bosma, Martijn van Boven, Melanie Bühler, Constant Dullaart, Sandra Fauconnier, Darko Fritz, David Garcia, Sanneke Huisman, Jan Robert Leegte, Geert Lovink, Sven Lütticken, Marga van Mechelen, Sabine Niederer, Anne Nigten, Katja Novitskova, Domeniek Ruyters, Dick Rijken, Marina Turco, Lucas van der Velden, Suzanne Wallinga, Gaby Wijers.