2017 Speakers

Benjamin H. Bratton

BenjaminBenjamin H. Bratton’s work spans Philosophy, Art, Design and Computer Science. He is Professor of Visual Arts and Director of the Center for Design and Geopolitics at the University of California, San Diego. He recently founded the school’s new Speculative Design undergraduate major. He is also a Professor of Digital Design at The European Graduate School; Visiting Faculty at SCI_Arc (The Southern California Institute of Architecture); and, for 2016-18, Program Director at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow. 

In The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty (MIT Press, 2015) Bratton outlines a new theory for the age of global computation and algorithmic governance. He proposes that different genres of planetary scale computation can be seen not as so many species evolving on their own, but as forming a coherent whole: an accidental megastructure that is both a computational infrastructure and a new governing architecture. His current research project, Theory and Design in the Age of Machine Intelligence, is on the unexpected design challenges posed by A.I.

Constantijn van Oranje-Nassau

ConstantijnConstantijn van Oranje-Nassau advises companies on their digital innovation strategies. Since 1 July the Dutch Government appointed him, as Special Envoy of StartupDelta, with the ambition to make the Netherlands the best place to start, build, grow, and scale up innovative businesses. Constantijn has a background in government, management consulting and policy research & advice, at the European Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Booz Allen & Hamilton and the RAND Corporation. Most recently he was employed as Chief of Staff of Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of the Digital Agenda for Europe. He went on to establish his own advisory business and initiated the country’s biggest ever startup event ‘StartupFest Europe’, reaching over 36.000 people at 30+ events in 16 locations. He is passionate about culture and art, which is reflected in various board and advisory positions at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, World Press Photo, Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development and the Netherlands Violin Concours. Constantijn has master degrees in law en business administration from Leiden University and INSEAD respectively. He lives in The Hague is married and has 3 children.

Rem Koolhaas

remRem Koolhaas (Rotterdam, 1944) founded OMA in 1975 together with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp. He graduated from the Architectural Association in London and in 1978 published Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan. In 1995, his book S,M,L,XL summarized the work of OMA in “a novel about architecture”. He heads the work of both OMA and AMO, the research branch of OMA, operating in areas beyond the realm of architecture such as media, politics, renewable energy and fashion. Koolhaas is a professor at Harvard University where he conducts the Project on the City. In 2014, he was the director of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, entitled “Fundamentals”.


Dr. Cissie Fu

cissieDr. Cissie Fu is Dean of the Faculty of Culture + Community at Emily Carr University of Art + Design and Co-Founder of the Political Arts Initiative, which invites 21st-century imag-e-nations of the political through digital technology and the creative and performing arts. After an AB in Government and Philosophy at Harvard University, Cissie explored public interest law in Washington DC before moving to the University of Oxford for an MSt in Women’s Studies, an MSc in Political Research and Methodology, and a DPhil in Politics and International Relations. She lectured at Oxford and University College London prior to serving as Senior Tutor and Director of Studies at Leiden University College in Leiden University’s Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs in The Hague. Having returned to Canada recently, she continues to be a regular guest curator and performer at art institutions in and out of Europe.

Cissie’s research sits at the nexus of politics, philosophy, and performance, with a focus on contemporary manifestations of the political through individual and collective action and expression. Suspending divisions of theory/practice, contemplation/action, and analysis/performance, Cissie seeks common ground where thinking, making, and acting are equally foundational to being human, which, when taken as the starting point of political theorising, casts performance—of identity, will, and responsibility—as a powerful source for political awakening and a robust realisation of citizenship. On the premise that the aesthetic refracts the ethical and the political, Cissie draws from artistic practices for her current book project on the politics of silence, towards resuscitating silence as a positive political concept which can articulate and embrace the constructive ambiguities between attachment and detachment in political practices of speech and action. 

Christopher Kulendran Thomas

ChristopherChristopher Kulendran Thomas is an artist who works through the processes by which art produces reality. Thomas’s work has been included in the 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016), the 9th Berlin Biennale (2016), “Bread and Roses”, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2016), “Co-Workers: Network As Artist”, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2015) and “Art Turning Left: How Values Changed Making”, Tate Liverpool (2013). Forthcoming exhibitions include shows at Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart (Berlin) and Tensta Konsthall (Stockholm).


Paul Spies

PaulPaul Spies (1960) graduated in Art History and Archeology at the University of Amsterdam. In 1987 he founded D’arts, an art-historical consultancy and organisational bureau, that produced many museum concepts, exhibitions, publications, marketing and communication campaigns, television programmes etc. In 2009 he was appointed director of the Amsterdam (Historical) Museum. Since then, he has lead the renovation of the presentations and organisation of these museums. Also, he started several partnerships with other heritage museums in Amsterdam. In November 2014, the doors of a new development of the Amsterdam Museum opened its doors: the Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age.

Since October 2015 Spies has been appointed director of the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin, consisting of five museum locations. He was also appointed chief curator of the exhibitions of Berlin in the so-called Humboldt-Forum (the Berlin Castle that is currently rebuild on the Museum Island, due to be opened in 2019). 

Tobias Madison


Swiss born in 1985, lives in New York City.

Tobias Madison shuttles between refusal and participation, withdrawal and exposure, communal spirit and calculated outsourcing. In doing so, he works his way along the edges of found formats: the work, the exhibition, as well as the figure of the “young” artist.

Tobias Madison’s artistic practice resists simple categorizations, but at its core is the fundamental question of self-determination. His work shows a continued interest in drama, technology, and an almost inhuman sense of self sufficiency.

He has had institutional solo exhibitions at the Swiss Institute in New York City (2010) curated by Gianni Jetzer, the Kunstverein Munich (with Bart van der Heide), many group exhibitions, a solo at the Kunsthalle Zürich (with Beatrix Ruf), NO; NO; H, E P, a Frieze commission in 2014. In April 2015, Madison returned to Kunsthalle Zurich (directed by Daniel Baumann) to play in Theater der Überforderung [Theatre of Excess], a month-long performance with daily open rehearsals directed by Barbara Weber, which “precipitated” in five premieres.

Madison teaches a monthly seminar in the Master program of the HEAD in Geneva and contributes regularly as a critic to magazines such as Texte zur Kunst, Frieze, May and Flash Art. 

Dave Beech

DaveDave Beech is a member of the art collective Freee, writer and Professor of Art at Valand Academy, Gothenburg. His book Art and Value, published by Brill 2015, was shortlisted for the Deutscher Memorial Prize. His work had been exhibited at the Istanbul Biennial and the Liverpool Biennial. He is a regularly contributor to Art Monthly, co-authored the book The Philistine Controversy, Verso (2002) with John Roberts, edited the MIT/Whitechapel book Beauty, and is a founding co-editor of Art and the Public Sphere journal.



Tino Sehgal

tinoTino Sehgal (1976), who originally studied political economics and dance, crossed over to the visual arts in 2000. He achieved international renown for his groundbreaking, experimental work presented at the Venice Biennale, the Documenta in Kassel, in the Guggenheim Museum in New York and Tate Modern in London. The Stedelijk has worked with Sehgal from the outset of his career, presenting his work in 2004 and 2006; the museum acquired his first work in 2005: Instead of allowing some thing to rise up to your face dancing bruce and dan and other things (2000).

For Sehgal, an artwork consists of a live encounter between artwork and viewer. Sehgal does not make objects; he creates ‘situations’ within the museum space, in which interpreters enact choreographed actions and occasionally converse with visitors. These encounters offer the visitor a wholly unique experience of live artwork.