SETUP is an Utrecht-based medialab, established in 2010

Combining our research background with artistic practice, we strive to create an enriched, critical stance towards emerging technologies. What impact do new technologies have on society? What negative consequences can digitalization have and how can we steer developments towards more fruitful futures?

With our critical but humorous signature and hands-on approach, we aim to translate complex themes in ways that are understandable for a wide audience. That is why we became hungry data brokers for a few months and explored whether people would like a robot that files complaints for you. This results in stories that are worth sharing everywhere, whether you are at a family party or the Parliament.

Our main goal is to educate a wide audience, providing them with the tools necessary to design this brave new world, and infuse it with human values and new-found creativity.

We always search for an uneasy smile: our works can make you laugh, but will also stimulate you to think about urgent societal debates. Instead of screaming that ‘the robots are coming’, we ask: how can we make humans and robots together more intelligent than they are separately? We are not satisfied by the critique that smart cities invade our privacy, but redefine what privacy means and ask: who is really getting smarter?

To make this happen, we collaborate with artists, designers, scientists and other specialists in artistic research to imagine and visualize these possible futures. Over the years, we have developed a distinctive style, which allows us to translate complex issues into mediagenic, straight-to-the-heart projects and works of art. We stimulate people to create an ethical countermovement. To see what we can – or have to – do differently. That is why our artistic research is aimed at a wide audience and why we collaborate with governmental institutions, schools, libraries and other organizations.

Most of our articles are in Dutch. Want to know more about what we do? Send us an email at info@setup.nl.