V2_ was founded in 1981. In 1987, it made its name with the Manifesto for the Unstable Media, which proposed that new media rearrange society and make all structures unstable. Rotterdam-based V2 has grown into an internationally renowned institute, part of a broad international network in the field of electronic art. V2_ collaborates with and advises universities, research institutes, modern art museums and the business world.
Every year, V2_ organizes many public lectures, exhibitions, performances and presentations. These events showcase the most exciting developments in media art, present V2_’s research, and function as a platform for debate, offering artists an opportunity to present new work to an audience and exchange ideas with other artists, researchers and technicians. V2_ also regularly presents its projects at international festivals and symposiums.
The most important of these presentations is the Dutch Electronic Art Festival (DEAF), held every two years since 1995. Here, V2_ presents all the aspects of its work. DEAF draws an international audience and is one of the most prominent festivals in the field of electronic art. Each edition has its own theme, such as The Art of the Accident, Information is Alive or Interact or Die! This theme is approached from various angles through seminars, presentations, workshops, an exhibition and a symposium.
V2_Lab offers technical and production support to artists working with new technologies. It is a place for aRt&D: artistic research and development. V2_Lab does research into new tools and forms of expression using new technology. In V2_ projects, artists, technicians and scientists work together to develop technology for specific artistic projects. An artist-in-residence program is one means of achieving this. V2_Lab also develops generic technical solutions that are relevant to the fields of art and culture. The result are published and made available under open-source licenses whenever possible.
V2_ publishes books about art, new media and media theory. V2_Publishing’s books connect practice and theory and link disciplines such as sociology, architecture, media theory, biology and technological innovation. V2_’s books are frequently used in universities, colleges, polytechnics and art academies.
The V2_Archive documents and contextualizes V2_’s activities. The extensive website contains descriptions of events and the theorists and artists involved as well as documentation of projects, interviews, articles and other materials. The site also offers live streams and video reports from the various DEAF Festivals and other V2_ events as well as tens of thousands of images. The site's content is constantly expanded, contextualized and enriched, forming an invaluable source of information on the general history and development of electronic art and V2_’s particular role in it.