Open Set Lab


September 2017 - January 2018

We are proud to announce the collaboration of the Master Institute with Open Set and the Institute of Image and Sound. We will be hosting Open Set's workshop and lectures of which some will be open for our graduates. 

Memories of the Future

In light of the increasing complexity and uncertainty of the political, environmental and social challenges humanity is facing now, a growing number of events and publications are addressing the necessity and difficulty of envisioning alternative futures. There seems to be an urge for re-engaging with our heritage and memories, not only as the ‘source’ of the present condition but, paradoxically, as an instrument for planning the future. How can we de-mystify our historical conventions, re-contextualize our previous experience, give it new meaning based on present conditions and transform it for the future? How do we preserve the traces of the past, and how do we make sense of them in the digital age? Whether it be social network platforms, carefully curated collections, or state archives, how we archive and what we archive are unavoidable aspects that determine our memory.

The Lab investigates the power of agency held by designers and artists to create new tools, ways of thinking and visual or performative narratives that can reactivate our memory – and as a result, open up futuristic pluralities. However, the complexity of the global challenges described above calls for a concerted effort of research expertise in the domains of the arts, humanities, philosophy and technology.

The programme consists of three interconnected thematic trajectories:
1. Mutation of the nature, meaning and practice of archives in the digital era. The contemporary archive as an authority that narrates collective memories versus a territory for creating subjective memories and futuristic pluralities.
2. Visual strategies in audiovisual documents: the codified construction of events or facts. What role does fiction play in factual news reporting? The constructing of a public audience in the history of broadcasting: conventions, or contradictory evidence proposing an alternative public or alternative history of the same events?
3. Algorithmic nature of contemporary data archives: curatorial dimension of algorithms for analyzing, searching and distributing content; influence of computer learning mechanisms on the design of archival algorithms. The archival process and archival infrastructure: misuse and disruption of systems that predetermine the usual direction of viewing and navigation.

Line-up of experts  

Catalogtree (NL) — design studio

Annet Dekker (NL) — researcher and curator

Sebastian Groes (UK) — reader in english literature

Johan Grimonprez (BE)— multimedia artist, filmmaker

Mishka Henner (UK) — artist

Arne Hendriks (NL) — designer and curator

Johas Lund (SE) — artists

!Mediengruppe Bitnik (CH) — art group

Martine Stig (NL) — visual artist

Noam Toran (UK) — designer

More to be announced soon on  openset.nl