Media and technology are omnipresent in contemporary society, and the same technological developments that are changing communication, production, trade, urban culture and medicine, are also transforming the arts.


Manifesto for the Unstable Media, 1987

Art which applies electronic media - especially digital or unstable media - reflects upon and takes into account the meaning, idiosyncrasies and boundaries of such media. In this process, instability is a creative force that is essential to the continuous re-ordering of the social/cultural, political and economic relations in society. Instead of providing us with an orderly, homogeneous worldview, unstable media present an image of a world that is inconsistent, heterogeneous, complex and variable.

V2_ is interested in the relationships and interactions between different media and in the relationship between art and scientific disciplines. The connections between art, technology, media and society are continuously explored, by bringing together artists, scientists and civil organizations and by initiating interdisciplinary collaborations. Over the past 30 years V2_ has succeeded in establishing an ongoing dialogue within a wide network of contacts that contributes to the development of specific (art) projects for research and presentation. V2_ offers a critical perspective on the futuristic promises that new media technologies always seem to carry.



Ecology is the overarching theme for the V2_ activities in 2013 and 2014. Ecology tries to understand the coherence of complex systems, and teaches us how everything is connected to everything else. The fundamental idea of ecology is that elements and groups of elements direct each other to form open systems with a more or less stable organization in time and space. Looking at the world from an ecological perspective means paying attention to the interaction between elements, and implies a concern for relationships. How can we foster relations? Ecology is about forms of organization, of living and non-living elements and complex combinations thereof, and thus concerns the relations between man and nature, as much as those in cultural, technological and social networks.

V2_ focuses on the unstable, fragile and the diversity of relationships instead of trying to purify, reduce or abstract them. Our ecological vision does not aim at abstracting the world to arrive at a purified philosophical or scientific concept, but it embraces contradictions and diversity. We marvel again and again at the diversity and variety of shapes created by biology. How are connections created? How do they generate structure and form? How do we understand the principles that shape art, culture, and politics? And what is the role and impact of technology – as it plays an active part in these processes? How can we develop technologies that focus on generating diversity instead of  homogenizing and standardizing the world? How can we develop a technology that allows and stimulates diversity and a variety of form?

Beauty is important: beauty exercises an attraction. We pay attention to beautiful things and care about them because we want to maintain the beauty. Ecology is about how to 'fit' things. Elements are attracted to each other, they interact – they fit together. This fit creates beauty. An ecology of beauty implies a situation in which things help each other. From this aesthetics follows an ethics: where things fit, there are also elements that are excluded. How an ecology of beauty functions is part of the research of V2_.

We are in the middle of a huge paradigm shift, in the middle of a complex balancing exercise. The crisis that we are in – the crisis of the economy, the arts, finances and the climate – are all due to the fact that relationships are no longer in balance, and are not respected. We are looking for a new balance.

With the theme of ecology V2_ puts the dynamics of the interaction between living and non-living things right at the center.

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V2_Organisation, Institute for the Unstable Media (Foundation). Trade register 41082049, Rotterdam.


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