Parallels connect matter and myth, metaphor and phenomenon, theory and observation, virtuality and reality, the physical and digital, and the present and the future. Parallels are like mirrors giving us a new perspective of our world and a way to extrapolate deep into the future. But just when you thought everything was perfectly aligned, you might be in for a surprise.

In this expo creative researchers from the Leiden University Media Technology MSc program will imagineer new realities, blending art, research and technology. 

This will not be a static expo, more a playful research lab that mixes scientific approaches to art with creative approaches to science, for all ages and audiences. The researchers work from personal inspiration and create physical works to explore concepts and engage the visitor to evoke ideas or questions. Many installations are interactive, some are early studies and prototypes, others will be more polished end products. The creative researchers will be around to discuss the concepts, inspiration, ideas and methods behind their work, and even hack some more on the fly. 

The expo combines works from the first year New Media New Technology course with selected works from the second year project Statement to Experience, see end of page for background.

Free admission. Please support us by signing up and sharing our Facebook Event, or follow us on Instagram (@mscmediatechnology).

Location: Peron EConcordiastraat 80, Utrecht. Take the entrance opposite 2e Daalsedijk 27 in the direction of the rail tracks.

We would like to thank Peron E, De Ping Pong Club, De Stadstuin and Skonk for hosting this event. For more information, contact Peter van der Putten


See below for an aftermovie (thanks Gorkem Sifael), the exhibiting creative researchers and their works. 

Parallels Open Lab Expo 2019 | Utrecht | Aftermovie from Gorkem Sifael on Vimeo.

For more context, you can also check out the Portfolios on the right panel for some of the earlier exploratory projects worked on leading up to the expo. 

Works from New Media New Technology

// Geminoid Fish // 
by Marianne Bossema, Lilian Toonstra & Martijn Wester

Parallel worlds, that’s what we’re talking about in our project. A real living fish in the underwater world is mirrored by a geminoid fish robot in our terrene world. The two worlds are explored in parallel by the movements of both creatures: a symbiotic relationship between fish and bot. Experience the underwater life in front of you; no water needed!

// digital vs analog // 
by Jordy van Miltenburg, Jeroen Offerijns & Mees Gelein

Hidden from our eyes is a digital world that we cannot see, where viruses roam freely. However, the border between the digital world and the physical world is slowly eroding. A virus has managed to escape and is starting to invade the analog world. As humans, we have to work together in order to stop the virus from taking over the world.

// Kartrak // 
by Andrei Nesterov, Hanna Öberg & Edith Järv

The barcode is a visual representation of data. The width and spacing of the black and white parallel lines carry information about objects around us. It is readable for a machine – but what can humans see in a barcode? Is it purely visual for us or there is a message behind the lines? Experience the language of the lines at the train hangar – the place that originated the barcode as we know it today.

// Parallel Dimension //
by Claudia Agustini, Arianna Freni & Francesca Savoldelli 

It is easy to slip into a parallel dimension. Who has never traveled with the mind and wondered whether an alternative version of ourselves was doing the exact same thing, in a parallel universe? In our exposition you’ll be able to physically explore what means to be immersed in a parallel dimension. Come check our black space and find out what alternative reality is waiting for you

// Living in Parallel //
By Susanne Spek & Anne Nelissen

Once upon a time, when technology was scarce, every aspect of life was seasoned with a splash of uniqueness. Nowadays, we live in a world of parallels. Identical duplicates of some of your most precious personal items, are held by a hundred or even a thousand other people around the world as well. Can we escape the current of becoming all the same? Or are we doomed to start modifying ourselves as intensively as we have modified the world around us?

// Hello World //
By Nicole de Groot, Joost Mollen & Max Peeperkorn

The freedom of robots is inherently limited by their existence. Always designed for a specific purpose. Only able to perceive the world through their given senses. These bots are looking for the way out. Can they escape and break free? Isn’t that what they were designed for anyway?

See the project page for more details.

Hello World

// Artefacts of Verisimilitudes // 
Lesley van Hoek & Marissa Memelink

Our dreams and realities form a perpetual feedback loop vulnerable to all kinds of external and internal interferences. Residues of dreams seep into our memories as we try to make sense of real world experiences. Are we aware of delusional visions? Let's consciously look at the unconscious, and reveal the flaws in the weaving of our realities.


// Blinded by senses // 
Mauro Ricchiuti, Joanna Mania, Maarten De Bruijn


lines defined by perception
explored through dimensions and perspective alternation
in an segmented empty space

how does the transformation affect
the realms that have never met before? 

[read more here]

// While you wait //
by Sylvia Vermeulen

We spend a good deal of our days waiting, in lines, waiting rooms, traffic jams. These waits have purpose, an outcome. But how do we justify the time we spend waiting for things that may never show up?

// DØRREN //
by Aram Pooryousefi, Matthias van der Waal, Imara Bolinger

We live our lives in parallel to each other, all of us opening the door to something else. Experience what others might.

// Homage to Myrtle K. Cobb //
by Kuhu Sinha, Shanique Roberts & Yannick Nales

Experience an interpretation of the unfinished research of this lesser known self-taught researcher.

// Another You //
by Simo Feng

There is a parallel world you have not known yet. 
A world where everything looks and sounds surprisingly different. 
A world where another you is staring at you! 
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, let’s get digital!”

// Remembrance //

by Jeannette Shijie Ma

Different senses are working in parallel to our experience every day. Unlike the past, artworks of new media and technology are not always laying behind protection glass limited to visual interaction. This project is a story adventure puzzle game integrating different perceptions and introduces a multitude of multi-sensorial experiences in open exhibitions.

4. Remembrance - Open Expo Parallel
(Click image for more information)

// Akousmatick //

by Louis van den Brink

"It is about a species that has evolved a system of communication, independent from man. A rich ecosystem allowed their language to function on abstract sound. In the process of having to adapt to a rapid and continuous change, they developed an underlying procedure beyond human understanding." 

-From an obscure story- 

"I don’t say this is true,’ he would prefix himself. And afterwards he might say,
‘What do you think of such wild ideas?" *

-From a lesser unknown text-
* Both quotes are from obscure resources and haven't been verified. In any case, the artist and other involved parties claim no rights regarding the quotes. 

//  1/3  //
By Jurre van Rijswijck, Esmée Stouten and Tom Kouwenhoven

In this installation we show that the dormal world is seen as an unreal world that exists separately alongside our daily lives, while in reality it is one-third of our existence. It is a huge chunk that no person actively experiences in the eternal continuous physical world. It divides the mind from the body and sends the unconscious produced thoughts elsewhere, to an ever-changing non-physical world. What happens there remains a mystery. We invite you to fill that undeniable 1/3 part of your existence. 

Works from Statement to Experience

by Romy Koch and Gabe Webb

Think about your kitchen table. Taste each meal you've eaten there, and visualize the world from each chair. Revisit all the guests you've sat with. Be quiet and listen. Now, imagine what this room was 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 1,000 years ago. What happened here: a fit of laughter, a kiss on the lips, a blow to the head, the spark of a fire, the end of a hunt? Imagine this space, from the beginning of time until the end, accumulating energy into a coherent, monochrome chaos. Everything that was here before is here right now.

// Panta Rhei //
by Sander de Jong, Gaia Manganello and Lisa Pothoven

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” (Heraclitus, c. 535-480 B.C.)

Qualitative and quantitative changes unceasingly alter the state of the world, blurring the lines that confine concepts. The same principle applies to you: your body cells keep dying, you lose your memories and change your mind. How much change can you undergo before you stop being yourself?

Panta Rhei Teaser


In media technology one trend, technology or fad quickly follows the next. For anyone with an interest in media technology  and creative science it is important to be up to date with the latest and greatest, from augmented reality to bioengineering, and from fabrication to responsive environments. However it is equally important to be able to critically reflect on these trends, to connect these to classical discussions, and to identify what is really novel and what is merely a hype. Only then we will truly be able to research and imagineer for the future in non incremental ways.

The New Media New Technology (NMNT) class explores the latest media and creative research technologies and concepts, organized by more timeless themes such as new media history, social relationships, space and intelligent perception and action, so that these technologies can be placed into perspective and context. The course follows a tinkering approach and is a mix of lectures and practical assignments, and students are asked to create works that incorporate a new technology or concept and motivate why it is not just a gimmick or hype. Prototypes and end results will be presented at an exposition open to the general public, at the end of the first year in the master program.


Throughout every student's third semester in the programme, a project is scheduled in which groups of students work towards realizing an actual product or installation. However, the process of researching while creating the product is as important as the product itself. All projects start from their own theme, and students can also suggest new themes. A coach (scientific staff member) assists every project team. The final product must be experienceable in a public exhibition and critically challenge its audience. It typically includes a media component as well as a technical component.The semester project has three phases. First, students are asked to explore their theme in the broadest sense (social, mathematical, biological, etc.) and discover what it could possibly relate to. After gaining sufficient insight they formulate compelling statements related to the theme. Only once this stage is completed they translate their statements into installations. Together these installations form the semester project exhibition.


New Media New Technology and the semester project are courses in the Media Technology MSc Program at LIACS, Leiden University, The Netherlands. The Media Technology MSc program is a place where students are encouraged to formulate their own scientific questions, and to translate personal inspirations and curiosities into their own research projects. To answer these questions, students create actual products, because we are convinced that by doing and creating, new scientific insights into the underlying question are encountered. 

Lecturer and Curator: Peter van der Putten
Student assistants and creative producers: David Lopez-Cotarelo Flemons

Past editions of NMNT can be found here.