#19 Power Tools

POWER TOOLS >

engineering [as] empowerment

keynotes and panel discussion 

keynote speakers: Andreas Broeckmann and Elisabeth Schimana
panel members: Byrke Lou and Rebekah Wilson aka Netochka Nezvanova
moderator: Andrea Reyes Elizondo

Sunday, September 29, 2019 at 15:00 – 18:00
iii Workspace – Willem Dreespark 312, 2531SX, The Hague, Netherlands


In 2016, media art historian and curator Andreas Broeckmann published his book “Machine Art in the 20th Century”, an investigation of artists’ engagement with technical systems, tracing art historical lineages that connect works of different periods (MIT Press, 2016). Andreas Broeckmann was surprised to find comparatively few female machine artists and raised the question how it was possible that relatively few women were prominently present in the field.

A lecture and discussion event about how artists relate to ‘machines’, and the powers at play in the intricate world of technology and system design. Can we learn from the way artists build, use and destroy machines? While the ‘canon’ is continuously being re-written to include forgotten female inventors and artists, we want to ask how critical engagement with new technologies can reveal existing power structures and whether the act of engineering itself might be a tool to overcome systemic oppression.

With lectures by Andreas Broeckmann and Elisabeth Schimana. They will be joined on the panel by Byrke Lou and Rebekah Wilson.  The audience is explicitly invited to participate in the discussion which will be moderated by Andrea Reyes Elizondo.


Andreas Broeckmann [photo © Christoph Kniel]

Andreas Broeckmann (DE)

Andreas Broeckmann is an art historian and curator who lives in Berlin. Currently Visiting Professor for Art History and Media Theory at the Academy of Fine Arts, Leipzig (HGB – Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, 2017-2020) and engaged in the research and documentation project, Les Immateriaux Research. From 2011-2016 he directed the Leuphana Arts Program of Leuphana University Lüneburg. He was the Founding Director of the Dortmunder U – Centre for Art and Creativity (2009-2011) and has curated exhibitions and festivals in major European venues, incl. transmediale and ISEA2010 RUHR. He holds a PhD in Art History from the University of East Anglia,  Norwich/UK, and lectures internationally about the history of modern art, media theory, machine aesthetics, and digital culture. He is the author of Machine Art in the Twentieth Century” (MIT-Press, 2016).



Elisabeth Schimana [photo © Reinhard Mayr]

Elisabeth Schimana (AT)

Since the 1980s the musician and composer Elisabeth Schimana has been active as one of the Austrian female pioneers of electronic music with projects marked by a radical approach and equally unconventional aesthetics. 
After completing vocal training, she earned degrees in composition, computer music, musicology, and ethnology. She has worked intensively with the theremin in Moscow and with the Max Brand Synthesizer in Vienna. Not only has she created countless radio works in cooperation with ORF Kunstradio but numerous sound installations and interdisciplinary and performative projects as well. Her concepts for experimental set-ups fathom the social field and put to the test new ways of interacting musically on the Internet. In her artistic work, Schimana examines questions of space, communication, or the body in its presence or absence, especially the imparting of compositional concepts (scores), which gives rise to completely new approaches that experimentally explore how we hear and demand a heightened musical presence on the part of the performer. Her probing approach also led her to found the IMA Institute of Media Archeology, which has dedicated itself to acoustic media at the analogue/digital interface and to the subject of women, art, and technology since 2005. In this capacity Elise Schimana initiated publications such as the bilingual book and online resource “Zauberhafte Klangmaschinen“, a history of revolutionary, commercially forgotten and successful, music machines (Schott, 2008) and her most recent book Hidden Alliances – versteckt verbunden” (Hatje Cantz, 2019) about 20 female professionals in the world of electronic and experimental music.


Byrke Lou [photo © Arnaud Ele & Laura Knoops]

Byrke Lou (DE)

“For me it all started with a curiosity for mathematics, technology and computers. I was especially fascinated with cryptography and space travel. I realized, if I wanted to participate in creating the future I had to learn how computers and the internet worked and how to program and build machines. This lead me to study physics. When studying statistical mechanics, I was fascinated by the principle of “universality”, which says some properties of systems can be largely independent of their underlying structure. Thats why, in my advanced studies, I specialized in the theoretical physics’ discipline of complex systems.”

Byrke Lou produces artistic experiences of fundamental scientific questions. She is an expert on VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality), XR (mixed reality) and AI (artificial intelligence). Her works consist of visual art, new media art, electronic music, dance and instruments that she designs. Byrke is based in Berlin. She speaks six natural languages and 10+ programming languages. Her recent album “CODE” (2019) was published on vinyl by Research and Waves and ZCKR Records.


Rebekah Wilson [photo © Adam Biagianti]

Rebekah Wilson (NZ)

Rebekah Wilson studied music and taught herself computer technology. From 2001-2003 she was Artistic Co-Director at STEIM, Amsterdam, where her passions for music, performance and technology became fused. Since 2004 she has been co-founder and technology director for Chicago’s Source Elements, providing networked services for the digital sound industry while performing and lecturing in many international venues and festivals. Recently completing her masters in the nascent field of networked music performance at NZSM, she has returned to Amsterdam where she continues her work today in dis-entangling / re-interlacing her many technical, musical and cinematic threads.


Andrea Reyes Elizondo [photo © Anne Wellmer]

Andrea Reyes Elizondo (MX, NL)

Andrea is a researcher and book historian based at the University of Leiden where she works for two faculties. At Social Sciences she carries out research on the output of scientific systems as well as working on European projects that centre on research integrity. At the Humanities faculty she carries out her doctoral research on reconstructing historical possibilities of reading, by considering the activity as a cultural technique with its particular affordances. Her background on communication sciences as well as both of her research lines touch upon the subjects of technologies and tools, their implied neutrality, and their consequences both for individuals and society at large. Andrea is member of the Huizinga Institute (the Dutch research network for Cultural History) and co-chair of the Nederlandse Boekhistorische Vereniging (the Dutch Book Historians Association).


The lectures and the discussion will take place in English. 

underbelly soundartmedia will have publications by our guests for sale during the event.

tickets: € 5–10 sliding scale – for a sponsored ticket please send a message to anne AT newemergences.com. This event is curated and hosted by Anne Wellmer.

to follow the event : facebook and twitter


This event was made possible with the financial support of the Creative Industries Fund and the Goethe Institut in Rotterdam and with our partners iii in Den Haag en Steim in Amsterdam.