• Cultural and Creative Industries
  • Situated Art and Design
  • Biobased Art and Design
  • All


Art for Machines & Vertigo

Research Group: Cultural and Creative Industries

The Art for Machines research focuses on the changes that the photographic image has undergone in the transition from analogue to digital and the consequences that this seemingly irrelevant transition has for the role of humans in image production. 

Art for Machines

When celluloid was replaced by sensors twenty years ago, the photographic image became bilingual. The digital image, now being shot, shown, stored and shared by one device, lives up to (and beyond) expectations of analogue mnemonic technologies. Satisfying the human urge for visual traces, the easy-to-use digital apparatus tempt us to produce photographic images. Yet the current ubiquity of images demonstrates not only our analogue’ needs to archive and share memories, it also points towards a digital’ hunger for data. The photographic image, both data and imagery, speaks to different audiences. The human audience, with its growing need for visual updates of other peoples’ lives and the nonhuman technological audience, gathering data to index, recognise and categorise patterns in order to predict future developments. Pointing towards past and future at the same time, in between narrative-based stories’ and data-based storytelling (1) the data-image serves both needs. We, seduced by the digital device, feed the data-hungry and the image-needy more and more. And now, ‘Life is experienced as increasingly documentable, and perhaps, also experienced in the service of its documentation, always with the newly accessible audience in mind,’ (2) a seemingly irrelevant transition changed the human role in image production forever. 

  1. Louise Amoore & Volha Piotukh (2015) Life beyond big data: governing with little analytics, Economy and Society, 44:3, 341–366, p. 347  
  2. The Social Photo, On Photography and Social Media, Nathan Jurgenson, Verso, 2019. 


The research project Vertigo was the predecessor of Art for Machines. Vertigo is an attempt to grasp and capture a new perceptionwhich arose as drones and satellites made an array of visual perspectives, beyond human eye level, a part of our everyday lives. 

Shift of perspective

This research examined a shift of perspectivesthrough combinations of birds-eye view and street view, and the influence technology has on our visual culture. The research question explores whether combinations of images taken from (humaneye level and birds-eye view lead to a new visual language that utilises technological progress to renew our view of the world. It is an art research, methodologically conducted through photography. The outcomes of this research were shared with students during the visual experiment Scenes from above that was carried out during Studium Generale 2017. Scenes were filmed synchronously from eye level and directly above, and overlaid in postproduction. The film touches on contrasts such as visibility and invisibility, and public versus private. 

Technology and perception

Are we able to read the world around us if we ignore the immediacy of the embodied view? Are we able to decipher the world from viewpoints other than those of (humaneye level? Our senses expand through technical mediation and turn our x-y-z world into a 360º space. We view the world via drones and satellites, the hologram multiplies our appearance in real time, and VR takes our point of view to places our body is unable to go. Is our visual culture, built upon the photographic image, able to depict this new space? What is the impact of todays mediating technology on our perception and worldview? 

Completed research, 2016 – 2020. 

Principle Investigator
Martine Stig

Other researchers involved
Prof. B.P. Veldkamp UT Twente

Sebastian Olma

buitenlandatelier Mondriaan Fonds Beijing (honoured), 
Somfy Photography Award (nominated), 
Isea2020 Artist talk (honoured)
Noorderlicht Festival (honoured)
Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam, presentation
Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Photography, presentation
Atelier Neerlandais, Paris, presentation 

Fw:Books, Amsterdam, Hans Gremmen, preparing for publication 

Avans University of Applied Sciences

‘Doing research connects my practice with teaching; it strengthens and brings them closer together.’

Martine Stig was a researcher within the Cultural and Creative Industries research group from 2016 until 2020. She is also a tutor at the Master Institute for Visual Cultures. She is co-founder of the practice and research-based art cooperative Radical Reversibility. 

Martine Stig arrow


Stig, M. (2018) Walking in the City, HD 11:32, (film, Caradt genoemd in de aftiteling).

Stig, M, (2018) Seeing without a Seer, publicatie bij tentoonstelling, Hans Gremmen, Caradt genoemd in colofon en artikel)

Stig, M. (2018), Interviewarrow over onderzoek Vertigo en tentoonstelling Seeing without a Seer door Robert van Altena, voor Springvossen.

Stig, M. (2018) DEEP / FLAT (publicatie bij tentoonstelling, Hans Gremmen, essay Basje Boer) (Caradt genoemd in colofon).

Stig, M. (2017), Radical Reversibility, Publicatie Hans Gremmen, Fw-books.

Stig, M. (2017), Planar, HD 8:54, film.

Research Group: Cultural and Creative Industries

The research group Cultural and Creative Industries investigates the role of artists and designers as creative innovators and drivers of social and economic change. Affiliated researchers analyse the cultural and creative industries from a critical point of view and examine the conditions under which timely forms of aesthetic expression and social connectedness can actually take place within the precarious reality of this field. What economic models are required by artists and designers to create a meaningful practice within the aesthetic, social, and economic intentions of the cultural and creative industries? What skills sets are required for those artists and designers who don’t just want to follow movements, but actually shape novel social and economic models of the future?

Read more arrow
All news & events arrow
All projects arrow

Thank you for your subscription! Please check your email inbox to confirm.