Art in the Age of the Metaverse

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Livestream tickets are now available for €5,-. You can watch the livestream during the day and be part of the conference from De Salon – the hall next door. If there are seats available in De Grote Zaal (where the conference takes place) you can take a seat.

A new technological universe has created new artistic landscapes. During this conference, artists, curators, activists and industry professionals who work at the intersection of contemporary art and digital technologies, will take us deep into the metaverse, a shared space at the nexus of the virtual and the physical that is gaining increased attention as a space for artistic production and experiences. How are we interacting with it, and how can we shape its future direction in a more ethical and collaborative manner?

Through talks, discussions, and presentations, the speakers will share their insights and explore key questions such as: What are the forms of artistic practices at the intersection of the physical and the virtual? How do artists, using these technologies, engage with the ethical, social, and environmental implications? How can we counter big tech in deciding what the metaverse is and can become? And what role do we, as participants, play in shaping the future direction?

During the lunch break, there’s a panel discussion between Peter Wu+, Katja Novitskova and moderator Wade Wallerstein, this takes place online. You can watch it here.


The conference day starts 10:30 with a keynote from Micaela Mantegna. A paneldiscussion (11:20 – 11:55) between Iang Cheng and Mantegna follows. After that, De Balie provides coffee and tea – lunch is not included.

Starting again at 12:20, Trevor McFedries gives a talk. Followed by a Q&A with Mcfedries and Arif Kornweitz (moderator). From 13:15 until 13:45 there’s a Q&A with Jinha Lee.

Lunch break until 14:45: during the lunchbreak you can watch the livestream – online talks with Peter Wu+, Katja Novitskova and moderator Wade Wallerstein.

The conference continues with a keynote from Morehshin Allahyari and a talk (15:25) with Chao Tayiana. From 15:35 until 16:05 there’s a panel discussion with Morehshin Allahyari, Chao Tayiana, Kevin Bray & Arthur Steiner (moderator).

Coffee break 16:06 until 16:30.

Continuing with talks and a Q&A with Moving Castles (Arthur Roeing Baer+GVN), Ali Eslami, Keiken & Leonardo Dellanoce (moderator).

Another coffee break until 18:00.

Continuing with a talk with Primavera De Filippi (18:00 – 18:30) and Barbara Cueto (18:30 – 18:45). After that, there’s another panel discussion with Marina Otero, Primavera de Filippi, Barbara Cueto & Margarita Osipian (moderator). End of the programme 19:15.

About the speakers

Morehshin Allahyari

Morehshin Allahyari (Persian: موره شین اللهیاری‎), is a NY based Iranian-Kurdish artist using 3D simulation, video, sculpture, and digital fabrication as tools to re-figure myth and history. Through archival practices and storytelling, her work weaves together complex counternarratives in opposition to the lasting influence of Western technological colonialism in the context of SWANA (Southwest Asia and North Africa). Her work has been part of numerous exhibitions, festivals, and workshops at venues throughout the world, including the New Museum, MoMa, Centre Pompidou, Venice Biennale di Architecture, and Museum für Angewandte Kunst amongst many others.

Ali Eslami
Ali Eslami is an Iranian artist based in Amsterdam. His work deals with long-term, practice-based research that builds and grows over time through speculative thinking and world-building. Exploring simulations and models as conditions that can be exercised and pushed to limits through play, which often results in the form of poetic engineering. He uses VR as a vessel to further investigate the shifting roles of form and function that create virtual worlds—shaping synthetic realities that challenge the player and cycles between the real and unreal. In 2016, his VR project won the IDFA DocLab Award for “Best Immersive non-fiction”. And in 2020 the Golden Calf for Best interactive at NederlandsFilm Festival with fellow artist Mamali Shafahi for Nerd_Funk project.

Trevor McFedries

Trevor McFedries is the founder of Friends With Benefits, Web3’s premier Social DAO, as well as the Founder and former CEO of Dapper Collectives, an organization dedicated to decentralizing media and social via DAOs. McFedries is the creator of virtual pop star Lil Miquela and founded technology startup Brud, which was recently acquired by Dapper Labs. Since its inception in 2017, Brud has raised funds from Sequoia Capital, Spark Capital, and SV Angel amongst others. Friends With Benefits pioneered social tokens and counts Andreesen Horowitz, Spark, Pace Capital, and Kindred Ventures as investors.

Chao Tayiana

Chao Tayiana is a Kenyan digital heritage specialist and digital humanities scholar that works at the intersection of history, digitisation and public education. She uses digital technologies to unearth previously hidden or suppressed historical narratives, make these accessible to a wide audience and enable communities to engage with their cultural heritage.  She has a background in computer science and heritage studies, as well as extensive experience working in the cultural sector in multiple capacities.

Marina Otero Verzier

Dr. Marina Otero Verzier is Head of the MA Social Design Masters at DAE. In 2022 she received Harvard’s Wheelwright Prize for a project on the future of data storage. From 2015 to 2022, she was the Director of Research at HNI, where she led initiatives focused on labor, extraction, and mental health from a post-anthropocentric perspective, including  ‘Automated Landscapes,’ and ‘BURN-OUT.’

Barbara Cueto

Barbara Cueto is the Digital Curator of C/O Berlin. Her projects are at the intersection of contemporary art, new technologies and activism. She has published, convened and curated projects internationally at institutions like Singapore Art Museum, Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven, Marres in Maastricht, Impakt Festival in Utrecht, and de Appel arts centre in Amsterdam, all in the Netherlands; MMOMA Moscow for the 6th Moscow Biennale for Young Art in Russia(RU); Asian Culture Centre in Gwangju and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul in South Korea (SK); La Casa Encendida in Madrid (ES); Bétonsalon in Paris;. She has also been resident at Tokyo Wondersite in Japan, Rupert in Lithuania, and Cité des Arts in Paris.

Micaela Mantegna

Micaela Mantegna is an activist and video game evangelist pursuing scholarship in digital realities, especially the metaverse. She is authoring work on how to create equity and protect our rights in these emergent areas, which are fast becoming civic spaces for engagement.


Keiken is an artist collective, co-founded by Tanya Cruz, Hana Omori and Isabel Ramos in 2015, Based between London and Berlin, they come from mixed diasporic backgrounds (Mexican/Japanese/European/Jewish). Keiken’s collective title is taken from the Japanese word for experience; the lived experience being an idea at the core of their practice. They are collaboratively building and imagining a Metaverse to simulate new structures and ways of existing and to test-drive possible futures. The metaverse is a fully immersive virtual space of multiple worlds, which allows Keiken to become the architects and collaborators of the future. The metaverse pierces our perceptions of reality and defies all that we know.

Moving Castles

GVN and Arthur Röing Baer are the co-founders of Moving Castles, a game design studio researching and developing Autonomous Worlds and on-chain games. They have published influential essays on world building and online community governance, like ‘Moving Castles: Modular and Portable Multiplayer Miniverses’ and ‘Three Eras of World Generation’. The studio is currently composed of PWR, Manus Nijhoff and Agnes Cameron.

GVN is a world designer with a background in cinema and procedural storytelling. Alumni of Fabrica, the Jan Van Eyck Academie, the Sandberg Instituut and lecturer on real-time CG at Goldsmiths University, London and Staedelschule, Frankfurt.

Arthur Röing Baer is co-founder of Trust, a tech and arts online community & space in Berlin. Previously head of growth at FOAM. Postgrad Design research program, Strelka Institute, Moscow. MA, Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam.

Peter Wu+

Peter Wu+ is a Los Angeles-based artist whose practice is characterized by a keen engagement with the role of technology in shaping our perceptions of reality, identity, and history. Utilizing modeling and rendering software, 3D printing, projection mapping, and machine learning, Wu+ creates thought-provoking artworks and immersive environments that address the complexities of our technologically-driven society.

Wade Wallerstein
Wade Wallerstein is an anthropologist from the San Francisco Bay Area. His research centers communication in virtual spaces and the relationship between digital visual culture and contemporary art. Wade is the founder and Director of Silicon Valet, a virtual parking lot for expanded internet art where he runs an exhibition platform and digital artist residency program.

Katja Novitskova

Artist whose work revolves around the relationship between ecology and technology, around the meaning of images in relation to biology and human evolution

Iang Cheng

Artist known for his simulations that explore an agent’s capacity to deal with an ever-changing environment

Primavera De Filippi

Primavera is a legal scholar at Harvard University, as well as an Internet activist and artist exploring the intersection between law and technology, focusing specifically on the legal and political implications of blockchain technology

Margarita Osipian

Margarita Osipian is a curator, researcher, and writer living and working in Amsterdam. Engaging with the intersections and frictions between art, design, technology, and language, she organizes collaborative projects both in formal institutions and in more precarious and fleeting spaces. 

Arif Kornweitz

PhD candidate at the KIM RESEARCH GROUP on critical artificial intelligence at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design and head of a new MFA at Sandberg Instituut titled ARTIFICIAL TIMES

Jinha Lee

Award-winning designer, inventor, and entrepreneur from Korea. He is co-founder and chief product officer of Spatial, a metaverse for culture that brings people together for art exhibits and cultural events

Kévin Bray

French interdisciplinary artist based in Amsterdam. His practice focuses on breaking and combining narratives and techniques of our past and present in the aim of debunking realities of our fictions

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Morehshin AllahyariArtist using 3D simulation, video, sculpture, and digital fabrication. Photo credit: Antonia Colodro 
Iang cheng De Balie
Ian ChengArtist known for his live simulations. (Photo: Rachel Rose)
Ali EslamiIranian artist who works with Virtual Reality.
Micaela Mantegna De Balie
Micaela MantegnaAn abogamer (video game lawyer).
Trevor McFedriesFounder of Friends With Benefits and CEO of Dapper Collective. Photo: Angi Welsh.
Chao Tayiana
Chao TayianaKenyan digital heritage specialist.
Dr. Marina Otero Verzier Head of the MA Social Design Masters
Barbara CuetoDigital Curator of C/O Berlin
Keiken De Balie (Photo: Callum Leo Hughes)
KeikenArtist collective, co-founded by Tanya Cruz, Hana Omori and Isabel Ramos (Photo: Callum Leo Hughes)
Moving Castles De Balie
Moving CastlesGame design studio (illustration by pangchiucowboy)
Peter Wu de balie
Peter Wu+Los Angeles-based artist
Wade WallersteinAnthropologist
Katja NovitskovaArtist ecology and technology
Primavera De Filippi A legal scholar at Harvard University
Margarita OsipianCurator, researcher and writer
Arif KornweitzPhD candidate at the KIM RESEARCH GROUP
Jinha LeeAward-winning designer, inventor, and entrepreneur
Kévin BrayInterdisciplinary artist