Can I touch you online? Can we measure intimacy? How does your kiss feel in EEG Data?

Artists and researchers Karen Lancel and Hermen Maat work interdisciplinary in art, science, technology and society. They are considered pioneers exploring shared experience of embodiment, empathy and intimacy, identity, privacy and trust, in bio-social-technical entanglement. Through Artistic and Scientific Research, they investigate the way we socially and bodily connect in complex participatory systems in mixed realities. Their works exists of visual art, media art, (large-scale) participatory performances and spatial installations; theater and internet art. Their prize-winning works have been presented internationally.

Lancel and Maat raise questions about the role of empathy and intimacy, in sustainable socio-technical ecologies with (non-)human others, in a changing climate. To explore these questions with the audience, they create performance scripts for poetic Trust-Systems and Trust Rituals. The artists radically re-assemble communication and control systems (brain, robot, social touch and face technologies) and re-wire shared neural sensations of seeing, hearing, touching and feeling touched, in AI generated synthesized connections. The audience is carefully hosted to embarq on an immersive sentient journey, to explore new shared sensitivity with fluid boundaries between self, others and data.
Lancel and Maat’s works are presented as aesthetic Meeting spaces and dialogue platforms (‘Artistic Social Labs’ and 'Reflexive Data-Scapes') that provoke awareness, shared storytelling and imagination. Their works mean to facilitate agency to co-create new narratives of “togetherness”, key to social change in future co-existence.

Lancel/Maat’s multi-disciplinary Art and Science partnerships have inspired new perspectives on ethics and design of emotional well-being: social connection, disconnection, isolation (f.e. through trauma, autism); neuro-diversity, (tele-)presence and inclusiveness. Lancel has a PhD from the University of Technology Delft, on Online Shared Social Touch experience in HCI (download).

In Science, data represent things - in Art data point at themselves for shared imagination.

Lancel/Maat's works received EMAP European Media Art Platform Award, Europe Cultural Program 2018-2021; and a NFF Golden Calf 2019 Netherlands Film Festival nomination 'Interactive'. The work is part of Dutch Digital Art Canon 1960-2000; and received the International TASIE 2019 / Wu Guanzhong Prize China for Art, Science, Innovation.

Lancel and Maat give art and science presentations internationally as exhibitors, (keynote) speakers, educators, researchers (find here). Their Presentations in Europe, Asia and USA (find here) include: Venice Biennial 2015; Ars Electronica Festival Linz; ZKM Karlsruhe; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; National Museum of China; ISEA Gwangzou South Korea; Nabi Art center Seoul; LABoral Gijón; Eyebeam New York; Sonic Acts Amsterdam; Transmediale Berlin. Their work has received generous support and grants (find here) by a.o. Mondriaan Fund; Fund for Creative Industries; NWO Dutch Scientific Research Organisation, European Cultural Program; and is represented by Public Art Lab Berlin (find here). Their works are part of public collections of a.o. ZKM Karlsruhe; Digital-Canon LIMA; KPN Telecommunication Netherlands.
Artist-in-residencies, fellowships and include: EMAP European Media Art Platform; TASML Tsinghua University Beijing, Banff Media Center Canada; Iaspis Stokholm; EIT Europe; University of Applied Science Vienna; TU Delft; and Public Commissions are a.o. UP Projects London, Kunstgebouw Zuid-Holland and Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (find here).
Their works have been included in numerous publications (find here) published by among others Routledge, MIT Press, De Gruyter Publishers, CHI, Intellect Books UK, Springer Verlag. Essays and papers authored by Lancel and Maat (find here) have been published by Springer Verlag, InderScience, TEDx, CHI, ArtsIT, Leonardo, MIT Press.