Mediamatic 40 years

Is the question of why you can't kick a dog but can eat a cow still relevant in 2024, we wondered in Mediamatic's office. Some colleagues think this question is going too far in public, others find the subject boring and milked out. Still others find it important and brave. Conversations ensued. About rules, differences, about what we think is normal and what the future might look like.

We asked these, and other questions, in 2009 within our project WhatSpinoza? Baruch de Spinoza (1632-1677) studied political theory, mathematics and philosophy. In the Netherlands, his ideas about freedom, power and God, among other things, were considered dangerous, and he was expelled from the Jewish community and later from Amsterdam. His best-known work, the Ethics, had to be published anonymously.


Spinoza in de stad - Waarom is een hond schoppen een misdrijf maar een koe opeten niet? Voor het project WatSpinoza? heeft Mediamatic posters met vragen gebaseerd op het gedachtegoed van Spinoza door heel Amsterdam verspreid. Michel Langendijk

In collaboration with writer and philosopher Dirk van Weelden, we drafted 16 questions and distributed them throughout Amsterdam and Turkish Kocaeli, then a sister community. Passersby were able to get involved in the discussion by sharing their thoughts via SMS. Some reactions were fierce; even 400 years after Spinoza, asking critical questions is a risk.


WatSpinoza? in Turkije - Posters van het WatSpinoza? project in Turkije. 21 - 23 mei, Kocaeli

Mediamatic has been asking questions for 40 years now. Since 1984, we have been doing projects on social issues and taboos. Every month we look back at our program and highlight topics that are still relevant in 2024. We want to be able to ask questions and keep talking to each other.


Spinoza in de stad - Wat denk je dat god nu zit te doen? Voor het project WatSpinoza? heeft Mediamatic posters met vragen gebaseerd op het gedachtegoed van Spinoza door heel Amsterdam verspreid. Michel Langendijk

Dog Dinner
Last year our Dog Dinners were a great success. A project with writer and philosopher Eva Meijer (UvA), in which we explored our coexistence with other species. All the dinners were sold out, because people love their dogs and love to share a special experience. Dog and human received the same treatment, the same menu and dinners were at low tables, no dogs on leashes.


9-08-2023 A dog and their companion enjoying the dinner - Dog Dinner - Eva Meijer Honden spelen een belangrijke rol binnen het familieverband, maar toch worden ze zelden bij het eten betrokken. Mediamatic en Eva Meijer nodigen hond en mens uit om gezamenlijk te genieten van een uniek vier-gangen menu.    Jiyoung Lee, Justin Knelange

In the Netherlands we eat more meat every year. Although in the Netherlands it is not forbidden to eat dog, it is much more common to eat a piece of chicken or cow. In some countries eating dog is more common, what we find normal or tasty seems to be partly a cultural matter. Is a future without animal meat inevitable? What we can all agree on is that eating humans is out of the question. Or can it?

Eating Humans
In 2019, we hosted a five-course dinner with Gwen van der Zwan, Krisztina Czika and Bryce Steba. With the premise of eating bodily substances, such as blood, skin and tears. The meal did not aim to shock, but mainly to be very tasty, while re-examining some self-evident things. There was a lot of attention in the media, and again there were strong reactions. Again, people were confronted with the careless way we normally consume animals.


08-11-2019 Asparagus and some optional blood - Course 6 - During the The Eating of Humans, guests could experience how tasty humans can be. Chef Bryce Steba created a dinner experience where guests were invited to add their own blood to their meal. With this dinner we asked ourselves, why is it ok to massively slaughter animals but we can't fathom the idea of eating a little bit of human? 

Mediamatic ETEN
In our restaurant, we believe that plant-based sustainable gastronomy is the future. We believe that every ingredient has a story. We are inspired by the seasonality of ingredients, their textures and flavors and dishing up beautiful and festive food daily. Completely without Bio-industry. Welcome!


Mediamatic ETEN - Mediamatic ETEN   is the restaurant of Mediamatic Biotoop. Located in a greenhouse on the waterfront, our restaurant and bar offers great city views. Join us for some great-tasting and (where possible) locally-sourced food or simply for a crafted Amsterdam brew on our sunny terrace. Anisa Xhomaqi