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Jury Report Digital Culture Fellowships 2023

The three members of the jury, Nanna Verhoeff (Professor of Screen Cultures & Society, Utrecht University), Beri Shalmashi (Director of Avanti, film and programme maker) and Geert Mul (Visual Artist) has selected the first group of research fellows for the NFF Fellowship Programme.

The fellows have been selected on the basis of research proposals at the intersection of technology, storytelling and interdisciplinarity. A central quality is the connection between social relevance and artistic development. For their assessment, the jury used the criteria that the research should be innovative for both the artist and the sector; should examine the medium itself; and should offer a strong promise of further development after the fellowship period.

The jury believes that art which uses technology can offer ways to gain critical insights and specific knowledge regarding this technology’s role and impact on our culture and society. The proposals that were submitted testify to this quest for insight and knowledge that goes beyond the applied and often manipulative characteristics of commercial digital media.

Fellows for 2023-2024:

ARK Fellowships 2023


The jury considers the research proposal Exploring Collaborative Boundaries in Hybrid Knowledge Creation to be complex and ambitious, such that it will be crucial to keep the various components and the many focus points closely united. The jury finds the idea of collaborative narrative building an interesting paradox to investigate in a group without hierarchy. Further substantiation and exploration of the collective’s own working methods may be an interesting step and may contribute to its continuing development.

photo: Iris Duvekot


Špela Petrič

The jury regards the research proposal HOW AI PRODUCES BODIES: On definitions of ‘healthy’, compatible with AI as a strong, clearly expressed proposal with a clear yet diverse methodology exploring the stimulating question as to what a human body made ‘healthier’ by AI might be like. ‘Literally grounding and embodying the issues’ surrounding AI is exciting, and the approach enables an intersection between different ethical matters. At the same time, it offers a critical perspective on the industrial drivers of AI without leading to a superficial rejection of the technology. The ethical aspect, a healthy lifestyle in relation to AI, is also timely.

photo: Anze Sekelj

Portret Tina Farifteh Fellowships 2023

Tina Farifteh

The jury appreciates the ambiguity in the definition of the problem in the proposal Empathic Rage, whereby the connection between anger and empathy not only raises questions, but also offers the opportunity to present this as a topic for research. The jury is curious about how the various aspects will develop and be able to result in a nuanced study. The jury also appreciates how the tone of the film Kitten or Refugee? resonates with the proposal, and is convinced that this research period will contribute to the maker’s development.

About the Digital Culture Fellowship programme

The fellowships are made possible through a partnership with the Gieskes-Strijbis Fund and the Creative Humanities Academy of the University. It will be possible to follow the progress of these first three fellowships through a series of stepping-stone presentations. The final results will be presented at the 2024 festival. The programme will run for a total of three years, during which nine fellows will complete the process, and it will conclude with the publication of a book.

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