Mediamatic 2023

Here you will find an overview of our highlights in 2023, go here to see the full overview of our program or here for who we worked with this year.


14-04-2023 Sus Willems geeft een presentatie tijdens het Japanse Duizendknoop Symposium - Lief je Gast - Japanse Duizendknoop Symposium Het Japanse duizendknoop symposium, dat plaatsvond op 14 April 2023, is een bijeenkomst met onderzoekers, ontwerpers en kunstenaars, waarin de Japanse duizendknoop en onze omgang met deze plant werd onderzocht. De Japanse Duizendknoop is een 'invasieve exoot' die mag worden uitgeroeid. We zoeken juist naar manieren om met deze plant samen te leven. Zijn er ook andere mogelijkheden dan een buitenstaander uitroeien?

Japanese Knotweed Festival

Mediamatic organized a three-week festival around Japanese knotweed, a fast-growing plant known in Europe for its intrusive properties. What many do not know, however, is that this plant species has a host of positive properties. During the festival, we explored how to live in harmony with this controversial plant and what we can learn from it.


The festival started with a symposium where creatives and researchers from multiple fields discussed Japanese knotweed. Apart from the exciting new insights that came as a result of the symposium, we also found that collaboration and interaction between different disciplines can be a great stepping stone for a more holistic approach to dealing with knotweed. We enjoyed 2 days of talks from more than 20 speakers from different backgrounds. 


Mas Jansma (UVA) - Speaking at the first Japanese Knotweed symposium at Mediamatic Justin Knelange

Met: Mas Jansma


14-04-2023 Geurkunstenaar Frank Bloem presenteert Japanse Duizendknoop geuren - Lief je Gast - Symposium Japanse Duizendknoop Het Japanse duizendknoop symposium , dat plaatsvond op 14 April 2023, is een bijeenkomst met onderzoekers, ontwerpers en kunstenaars, waarin de Japanse duizendknoop en onze omgang met deze plant is onderzocht.

Exhibitions Japanese Knotweed Festival

In the Japanese Knotweed Festival we also presented a series of exhibitions dissecting the aesthetic qualities of the plant and displaying its value in society. Viewers immersed themselves in the world of knotweed through photographic storytelling, installations, and interactive exhibitions.

Not in my Backyard! 

This exhibition is an adaptation of Kristof Vrancken & Niek Kosten's photography book ‘Not In My Backyard!’. The book collects a wide array of experimental work that explores various visual and imaginative strategies to relate to the issue of invasives. During the festival, their complete book was showcased in the Sluisdeurenloods (Barn).


Not In My Backyard -

Invasive Energy Harvesting: EROI Drink 

Yoshinari Nishiki’s showcased EROI (Energy Return on Investment), an energy drink made from invasive Japanese Knotweed harvested in the Netherlands. The drink is a by-product of controlling an invasive plant. Nishiki prepared ingredients for the Amsterdam edition of EROI Drink, allowing the audience members to create their energy drinks within the exhibition space. Besides this, Nishiki displayed tools that were used in his attempt to eradicate the invasive Japanese Knotweed. Visitors could make their own free knotweed energy drink in the exhibition. 


EROI Exhibition - Energy Return On Investment by Yoshinari Justin Knelange

The Dog Chased its Tail To Bite it Off

On the brick wall in the restaurant of Mediamatic ETEN, we put an adaptation of Alaa Abu Asad’s ongoing project 'The Dog Chased Its Tail To Bite It Off'. Struck by the intensity of the language used around the plant, Abu Asad has spent five years compiling a list of nearly 400 words that are used to refer to the Japanese knotweed. The violent nature of the terms bears resemblance to the insulting language often directed toward human migrants.


'The Dog Chased Its Tail To Bite it Off' - Exhibition showcased during the Japanese Knotweed Festival Justin Knelange

Remaking Knotweed

The open studio of designer Virgile Durando showed an array of different applications of Japanese Knotweed stems. From weaves to joints and from marquetry to complete furniture, these diverse applications show the versatility of the material. On selected days Virgile presented in the studio to answer questions and share his knowledge. Virgile also conducted a workshop, providing participants with the opportunity to create their own marquetry using Japanese Knotweed.


Remaking Knotweed Virgile First Workshop, Virgil showing participants how to glue the knotweed veneer. -

Events Japanese Knotweed Festival

A series of public events were organized to celebrate the Japanese Knotweed. 

Freedom Meal

Mediamatic organized a Freedom meal to celebrate the 5th of May. The 4-course menu was set up by Aslı HatipoğluUno Fujisawa. The dinner was led by Alaa Abu Asad, who guided guests through three acts of storytelling that explored the journey of the Japanese knotweed into Dutch territories, the legal implications and connotations surrounding the plant, and the possibility of its liberation as a future companion. Meanwhile, artist Uno Fujisawa showcased the beauty of the Japanese knotweed through ikebana, the traditional Japanese flower arrangement.


05-05-2023 Vrijheidsmaaltijd over de japanse duizendknoop - Vrijheidsmaaltijd ism het 4/5 mei committee. Kunstenaars Aslı Hatipoğlu  (Thailand/Turkije), Alaa Abu Asad  (Palestina/Nederland) en Uno Fujisawa (Japan/Nederland) hebben een bijzonder Vrijheidsmaal samengesteld in het kader van bevrijdingsdag en het Japanse Duizendknoop Festival . Tijdens het 5-gangen diner gingen we met elkaar in gesprek over wat vrijheid voor mens én plant betekent.  Jiyoung Lee

The Invention of Music

Combining storytelling with poetry and education, Marc Lemonnier presented his show 'The Invention of Music'. This family-oriented show is a musical journey from an introduction to the first natural sounds, materials, and percussion, to the crafting of the first prehistoric instruments. Marc will craft his natural instruments in front of everyone's eyes out of Japanese knotweed. Besides this performance, Marc hosted an interactive workshop where participants made a pan flute from Japanese Knotweed.


Marc Lemonnier with audience - Justin Knelange

Under the Counter Burek Exchange

While governments fight the war on knotweed with prevention and eradication strategies, The Under the Counter Burek Shop promotes eating this abundant plant instead. Since it is illegal to exchange the plant for money, we invited guests to negotiate its value by offering us a small act in return. If the negotiation was successful, the guests would receive a burek. The burek was made by Krater, an emerging production space near the city center of Ljubljana.


Bierproeferij van Oedipus - This is a Key image that has been set up to redirect (in the Advanced/Geavanceerd tab) to the Japanese Knotweed Symposium programme page

Workshops Japanese Knotweed Festival

In collaboration with various artists, we organized several workshops, all focusing on different aspects of the Japanese Knotweed. Through these workshops, participants were able to learn how to embrace the plant rather than fear it.

Foliage & Rhizome Dye Workshops

In these workshops Lucie Havel guided the participants step-by-step on how to dye wool using the leaves, stems and roots of Japanese Knotweed. The wool is from Dutch sheep who actually eat Japanese Knotweed. Several techniques developed by Lucie will be applied to create a colour palette of five to ten colours during the workshop.

Pan Flute Making Workshop

Guided by Marc Lemonnier, musician/forager specialized in natural percussion, participants (of which many kids!) crafted a pan flute from knotweed together and learned to play a song. 


Marc Lemonnier giving a group instruction during the Japanese Knotweed Pan Flute workshop -

Observational Drawing of Japanese Knotweed

Artist and biologist Annemarie Verschoor shared her knowledge about the plant's biological properties during a drawing workshop. Participants were invited to forage a piece of the plant and then drew it as accurately as possible, while Annemarie explains all of the plant's details. This creates a thorough understanding of both the appearance and the biology of the Japanese Knotweed.

Herbology of Japanese Knotweed

In this workshop the history and medicinal properties of Japanese knotweed were shared, participants learned how to forage the plant in a responsible way and how to make an own tincture with it. Led by Lynn Shore groups learned what you can do with knotweed and how it can improve your health.


Japanese Knotweed sprout. Author: Jiyoung Lee -

Exhibitions 2023

Growing Gunya - Dasha Tsapenko

Gunya is a Ukrainian traditional wool coat, originally worn by Hutsul shepherds in the Carpathian mountains. Providing physical protection from severe weather and animals, throughout the years it has carried a deep symbolic meaning, serving as an amulet for its owners. Using the classic shepherd’s coat as a template, we told stories of local materials, natural components and living organisms. The use of different cellulose and protein based materials in combination with natural dyeing techniques showed the ample variety of outcomes and possibilities. Dasha Tsapenko is a bio-designer, who works with elements of art, fashion and material research. She investigates alternative production processes in (textile) design and is inspired by symbiotic relationships in nature.


17-12-2022 Growing Gunya - Gunya is een traditionele wollen jas uit Oekraïne die oorspronkelijk gedragen werd door Hutsul herders in de Karpaten. Door de jaren heen heeft de jas een diepe symbolische betekenis gekregen, waarbij de jas als amulet dient voor de eigenaren. Met de klassieke herdersjas als sjabloon, vertelt 'Growing Gunya' verhalen over lokale materialen, natuurlijke componenten en levende organismen. Het gebruik van verschillende materialen op basis van cellulose en proteïne in combinatie met natuurlijke…


Growing Gunya.4 -

Face Nature - Madeline Schwartzman

In this exhibition the Mediamatic biotope was filled with hidden videos and photos of the face of the artists with biomatter attached to it. Visitors received a map to find over 40 unique artworks in and around our building. The artist also hosted workshops Face Nature in which participants learned how to morph found nature with their face. Madeline Schwartzman, writer, artist, and educator from New York, experiments with morphology, the fusion of human and non-human nature. She animates her body and face with the biomatter she gathers from parks and forests wherever she goes.


27-05-2023 Face Nature Exhibition opening with visitors - Madeline Schwartzman In Face Nature experimenteerde Madeline Schwartzman met de ontmoeting tussen menselijke morfologie en niet-menselijke natuur. Huid en plantaardig materiaal botsen en integreren met elkaar. De expositie is onderdeel van een reeks projecten die onze relatie met de natuur onderzoeken. Jiyoung Lee


Face Nature photos in the restaurant - by Madeline Schwartzman Part of Face Nature 2023. 


Face Nature - by Madeline Schwartzman Jiyoung Lee


Dog Dinner 

Dogs hold significant roles within our families, yet they are seldom included at the dinner table. Mediamatic and Eva Meijer have collaborated to develop a unique fine-dinning experience at our restaurant that celebrates the bond between you and your beloved canine companion. The same menu, the same treatment. All sessions were sold out.  


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


Dog Dinner - Dogs and their companions enjoying their dinner - This dinner was organized in collaboration with artist Eva Meijer - Jiyoung Lee, Justin Knelange

Dinner of the Damned - Neo Futurist Dinner 16

Director Martin Butler, artist/chef Alice Héron and performer I-Chen Zuffellato invited guests to embrace melancholy, dive into darkness and discover internal peace. This theatrical dinner was inspired by gothic culture, gastronomical alchemy and bittersweet elixirs. This 5-course vegan dinner combined traditional and unconventional knowledge, herbal wisdoms and remedies from all around the world. The Dinner of the Damned incorporated ingredients known for their mood-enhancing properties, and healing grieving rituals. Martin and Alice took us on a culinary path that left us fed, healed and transformed while connected with our gothic souls.


18-10-2023 Deelnemers eten het 5-gangen diner over melancholie - Dinner of The Damned - Martin Butler, Alice Héron, I-Chen Zuffellato Regisseur Martin Butler, kunstenaar/kok Alice Héron, performer I-Chen onderzochten via een 5-gangen diner hoe we onze melancholie kunnen omarmen, de duisternis in kunnen duiken en innerlijke rust te ontdekken. Dit veganistische 5-gangendiner combineert traditionele en onconventionele kennis, kruidenwijsheden en remedies van over de hele wereld. The Dinner of the Damned' bevat ingrediënten die bekend staan om hun stemmingsverbeterende eigenschappen en helende rouwrituelen. Martin en Alice nemen… Justin Knelange


Dinner of the Damned - 18 - 29 October 2023 Northern Europe is slowly entering the darker season. Some of us might fear a dreading winter depression and others prepare to hibernate or finding ways to escape. Are the end of the year festivities a nightmare for you too? Director Martin Butler, Artist/Chef Alice Héron, Performer I-Chen Zuffellato together with Mediamatic are inviting you to embrace melancholy, dive into darkness and discover internal peace. Justin Knelange

Museumnacht - Wat denk je Zelf? 

During Museumnight 2023, Mediamatic transformed into a lively self-examination site. With the help of 14 art projects, visitors explored questions such as: "How different am I?" and "Do I really want to belong anywhere?" Visitors received a Self Test booklet in which per artwork questions about themselves were asked. By answering the questions you could get access to new artworks, but if you are too normal? No entrance! Or you had to get back in line. 

Concept by Jam van der Aa, curators Annelies Doom en Willem Velthoven


Two visitors of Museumnacht with their punch cards - Romy Kerkman

The following projects were part of Museumnacht 2023: 

Ignacy Radtke - Smile Like You Really Mean It!
An examination of emotional labor. Come smile like you really mean it and get your share.


4-11-2023 Het publiek lacht voor geld - Smile Like You Really Mean It - Ignacy Radtke /Museumnacht 2023 "Smile Like You Really Mean It!" is een onderzoek naar emotionele arbeid. Die is het meest voor de hand liggend in de dienstensector, maar niet alleen daar!  In deze replica wordt de glimlach in een emotieloze realiteit geplaatst waar het een handelswaar wordt, niet anders dan aluminium, tarwe of goud - ontmenselijkt en deel van een groter systeem. De basisprijs voor een minuut glimlachen is €1,00, maar de waarde ervan fluctueert op de aandelenmarkt.

Thijmen Peters - Thank You For Your Patience
This installation plays with the waiting dynamics between systems and their users. You are invited to generate alternative waiting calls.


Museumnacht 2023 - Installatie Thijmen Peters 4 november 2023, installatie Thank You For Your Patience

Weimin Zhu - Playful Jewelry for the Inner World
A collection of silver jewelry that invites the wearer to move meditatively. The rhythmic movements bring you closer to your inner world, make you more aware of your body and allow you to process stimuli better.

Simone Hooymans - Talking Plants
In this sound and video installation you are challenged to explore a strange botanical world with mystical plants and their personal voices.


Talking Plants - Animation by Simone Hooymans during Museumnacht 4 & 11 November 2023 Romy Kerkman

Jemima de Jonge - A Body of Water, Table Scene
In this video, eight versions of the artist eat their own surroundings - until one of them chokes on a piece of cardboard and panic breaks out.


A Body of water - Jemima de Jonge -

Yvonne Dröge Wendel - Moments in a Thingtank
In this playful installation, Yvonne creates experimental encounters between people and objects. She explores how humans and non-humans form a world together.

Moments in a Thingtank one exhausted object and five respons-able objects by Yvonne Dröge Wendel - From the opening, December 15th Photo: Romy Kerkman

Genevieve Murphy - Your Feeling
Genevieve's work is always musical and often deals with her own mind. She creates theatrical work in which she always throws herself into the fray. The tension between language and expression in this work sometimes becomes unbearable.


Museumnacht 2023 - Genevieve Murphy Video installation Your Feeling during Museumnight 2023  Zelf / Self 

Pet van de Luijtgaarde - 11 Selected Collections
Pet collects collections, to the point of compulsion. All these collections are carefully sorted and grouped. Pet displays eleven of these collections in our small waterfront greenhouses.

4-11-2023: Publiek beslist: Hoarder of Curator? - '11 collecties' Pet van de Luijtgaarden tijdens Museumnacht Wat Denk Je Zelf? Pet verzamelt verzamelingen, op het dwangmatige af. Al deze verzamelingen worden nauwkeurig gesorteerd en gegroepeerd. Pet toont elf van deze verzamelingen in onze kleine kassen aan het water, zo onthult elke kas weer een nieuwe wereld. Van telefoonkaarten tot ‘traditioneel’ meisjes- en jongensspeelgoed. Hiermee toont hij ook onze intieme relatie met dingen en hoe deze onze identiteit kunnen vormgeven. Romy Kerkman

Minjoo Choi - My Shadow is Part of my Body (performance)
Minjoo throws clay, she hurls clay against the walls, she flings clay against the windows, and the clay falls, the clay dries, the clay is picked up again and kneaded until it can be thrown once more.


My Shadow is Part of my Body - Performance at Museumnacht 04 & 11 November 2023 Photography: Jasja Offermans

Vera Lelie - The Waiting Room
In her research Vera plays into the irony of the many neurodivergent people waiting for treatment in a space they haven't yet learned to navigate. In her graduation project 'The Waiting Room', Vera uses the archetypes present in the waiting room to guide you through the neurodivergent experience. 

Jam van der Aa - Transformational Ragdoll Making
In this workshop, participants created small transformational rag dolls, known as poppets, with the intention of bringing about positive change and healing. This creative and introspective activity is designed to help one explore personal relationships, emotions, and desires for change through the art of doll-making.


04-11-2023 Deelnemers maken lappenpoppen - Transformatieve Lappenpop workshop - Jam van der Aa / Museumnacht 2023 In deze workshop creëerden deelnemers kleine transformatieve lappenpoppen, die bekendstaan als 'poppets', met de bedoeling positieve verandering en genezing teweeg te brengen. Deze creatieve en introspectieve activiteit is ontworpen om persoonlijke relaties, emoties en verlangens naar verandering te verkennen via de kunst van het poppen maken. De nadruk ligt op het gebruik van imitatieve magie voor het goede en persoonlijke groei, eerder dan het uitspreken van spreuken of vervloekingen. Romy Kerkman

Gerard van Wolferen - Self Gamelan
Gamelan is a percussion ensemble traditionally played in various styles by the peoples of Indonesia. Players joined together in creating complex rhythmical patterns and variations that can be recursively repeated. 

Silke Riis - Some Breathe Through Their Butts
With her sculptures of speculative species, Silke explores the idea that evolution is driven and shaped by climate change. Combining beauty and horror in the aesthetics of each piece, she reflects her own feelings about the uncertain future. This exhibition in our toilets will be on show until the end of 2024. 

Some Breathe Through Their Butts - Installation of Silke Riis during Museumnacht 4 & 11 November 2023 Romy Kerkman

Met: Silke Riis

On November 11, Mediamatic organized a low-intensity evening with the same program for those who find Museumnight a bit overstimulating and those who couldn't get a ticket anymore for the 4th of November. You find more information about this evening here.  

Weekend van de Wetenschap

This year we were again participating in Weekend van de Wetenschap (Weekend of Science). Kids and families could experience (for free!) how much fun innovation and technology is. We've had a fun program for young and old. From exploring intriguing plants in Aquaponics, to exploring what your nose can tell you in our Aroma Lab, to up close drawing of mushrooms. It was a big success with many visitors.  

A/artist Meetings

Our A/artist events on neurodiversity in the arts are held every third Monday of the month. We organise an evening with presentations by two artists, a good conversation and something to eat. These events are hosted by the A/artist program team, a project at Mediamatic which platforms artists and designers who identify as/with the ASD or ADD spectrums. The program started in 2021, focusing on hosting regular roundtable sessions and publishing articles generated through these discussions. Read more about the A/artist meetings in this article in Autisme Magazine (Dutch). 


Astrid Poot talking about her DIY ethiek handboek - Romy Kerkman

Neuswijzer - Heel Nederland ruikt

For this edition of the Odorama, a team of scientists and artists will dive into the Scents of the Netherlands accompanied by scents specially composed by Frank Bloem. A sold out barn experienced the scents, listened to the fascinating stories from six speakers, and celebrated the launch of NeusWijzer - Geuratlas van de Lage Landen. This is a new atlas of scents of the Netherlands by Caro Verbeek and Inger Leemans


Frank Bloem telling a story about dutch scents at Odorama: Neuswijzer - Elin Mensinga

Elficological Know-how
This was a project based on research done by Elficologists into the diet of elves and other folkloric creatures: morning dew, bramble wine, slug slime liqueur,  fern bread, lichen butter and more. Elven food has no limits, offering a creative vision on  how we, as humans, consume and harvest the earth's resources. Artist-designer and researcher in elficology, Pauline Rip, explored the cultural tradition of the elves in a one of a kind participatory performance. Participants were taken on a journey through an important elven custom: the harvesting of morning dew while experiencing the sunrise and immersing in the world of elficology. 


Pauline Rip guiding the participants of the Elficological Know How Morning Dew harvesting performance. - Pauline Rip during the Morning Dew harvesting. She is holding the jar filled with morning dew that was freshly harvested that morning.    Picture of Pauline Rip   Picture taken by Jiyoung Lee

Korreltje Zout
Grain of Salt is a project focusing on the relationship between greenery and water. To care for the green opulence of the Dijksgracht, we use over a quarter of a million liters of water per year. To save precious drinking water, we now irrigate our plants directly with the brackish water from the Oosterdok. Not all plants can withstand that, so we will welcome more and more salt-tolerant plants into our Biotope. This project will thus not only result in practical water savings, but also puts the problem of increasing salinization in the Netherlands on the agenda, and will make visible what a brackish landscape can look like.


Jip setting up the waterpump - Picture shot by Sandra Ruiz Castroviejo Sandra Ruiz Castroviejo

Met: Jip Santen

Tattoo Your Skin - Soothe Your Mind

During these sold out workshops, participants were guided by A/artist project assistant and tattoo enthusiast Lynn Clemens (she/they) on how to give yourself stick-and-poke tattoos. The idea for this workshop came up in context of the A/artist project where we link ASD (autism) and ADD with art. All workshops were sold out. 


Lynn watching over a participant during their workshop "Tattoo your Skin ~ Soothe your Mind" -

Hildegard von Bingen's Herbs of Joy
Medieval abbess Hildegard von Bingen had solutions to help bring joy, whether a person felt low, empty, brained, full of rage or had memory difficulties. With Tamara, teammate of Urban Herbology, participants recreated the recipes of Hildegard using local plants and kitchen herbs to improve mental health.


Foraging for Mental Health - With Lynn Shore Eszter Jámbor

Piss Soap Workshop - with Arthur Guilleminot 
In this workshop, the basics of ecodeviance were presented and exemplified throughout the process of saponification (process of converting esters into soaps). The workshop presented the full process of saponification and the steps required to transform domestic waste into usable soap. Participants mixed the various ingredients and created a circular process informed by waste management, having the opportunity to create intimate and personal outcomes from your own (bio) waste.

Arthur and participants during the Piss Soap Trial - Justin Knelange


Meet-a-Maker is a 30-minute session to have a one-on-one talk with artists currently working at Mediamatic. We are lucky to be inspired by the many artists who work and stay with us for exhibitions, residencies and workshops. Throughout the year many visitors sat down with the artists to talk about their practise. 


Talking to Arne Hendriks - Participant Meet a Maker Ben Hopley


We are proud of our collaborations in 2023. Thanks to, among others Oedipus Brewing, iAmsterdam, Humanistisch Verbond, Hard//hoofd, Boom Uitgevers, Marineterrein, Waterbear, Fringe Festival, 4-5 mei comité, Joost van Bellen (DJ Huppeldepup), Krater Collective, Gemeente Amsterdam, Expeditie Oosterdok, Veggilaine en Waternet for the great cooperation!


Staff group photo - Photo taken by Romy Kerkman A photo of the Mediamatic team taken behind the Sluisdeurenloods Romy Kerkman


All Mediamatic activities are made possible in part by Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst en Mondriaan Fonds.


Face Nature sponsors - Exhibition and workshop by Madeline Schwartzman Exhibition Opening 26th of May Workshop 28th of May Funding by:  AFK Stimuleringsfonds creatieve industrie  Mondriaan Fonds