Various location in Utrecht and online
03 – 07 / 11 / 2021

The upcoming IMPAKT Festival 2021 (in Utrecht and online from November 3–7) is titled “Modern Love” and is curated  by Katerina Gregos and Arjon Dunnewind. In our networked society, we increasingly meet, date and love online. Platforms like OnlyFans and social media already offer limitless possibilities to perform our perfect self and engage in virtual romantic and sexual fantasies. A future in which algorithms, artificial intelligence and online encounters determine our romantic experiences does not seem so far away.

In virtual environments we pose, make selfies and chose how we want to present ourselves. Online we look for intimacy, but our carefully constructed personalities are often so artificial that they can get in the way of a real connection. At the same time, the Internet also creates many new bonds and communities. The internet and social media provide a safe and liberating stage for identities and alternative forms of desire, from LGTB+ communities to secret fetishes.

Through a five-day programme of performances, talks, keynotes, panels, film screenings and an exhibition, we explore how these developments change the way we meet, date, love—or even break up. Is there a way out from the so-called “cold intimacies” caused by digital technologies? Can artists help us understand the way in which new technologies are affecting love and relationships?

The programme includes:

  • Artist, healer and curator AA Bronson, who will reflect on love, art, society and identity in a conversation with Centraal Museum director Bart Rutten;
  • Philosopher and activist Srećko Horvat takes us on a philosophical and visual journey through the early 21st century to highlight the political potential of love;
  • Sociologist and author Eva Illouz, interviewed by Modern Love curator Katerina Gregos, will show how capitalism has transformed our emotional life;
  • Futures-anthropologist Roanne van Voorst questions what makes us human in a time of algorithms and AI;
  • Author and New Media scholar Dan Hassler-Forest, invited several guests artists for a colourful conversation on Janelle Monáe’s queer afrofuturism;
  • Newly commissioned works by Melanie Bonajo and Jonas Lund will explore online dating experiences;
  • An exhibition titled Modern Love (or Love in the Age of Cold Intimacies), presented at IMPAKT and the Centraal Museum, including works and performances by: Laura Cemin, Kyriaki Goni, David Haines, ​​Juliet Jacques, Mahmoud Khaled, Lauren Lee McCarthy, Maria Mavropoulou, Kyle McDonald, Marge Monko, Peter Puklus, Marijke De Roover, Margaret Salmon, Hannah Toticki and Dries Verhoeven; in dialogue with historical and contemporary artists from the collection of the Centraal Museum: Hendrick Bloemaert, Marlene Dumas, Sanam Khatibi, Duran Lantink, J.H. Moesman and Rory Pilgrim.