Artists and researchers Karen Lancel and Hermen Maat (Lancel/Maat, based in Amsterdam) work in the fields of art, science and technology. They create interactive media art, performance, video and installations; and mediated social touch rituals. Their work has been presented internationally in different cultural and geographical context, of Europe, Asia and USA (amon others in Seoul, New York, Melbourne, Berlin, London, Istanbul, Parijs, Amsterdam, Beijing, Shanghai) and was awarded many grants, artist-in-residencies, research positions, fellowships and prizes. Work by Lancel/Maat is represented by Public Art Lab Berlin.

'I am part of the networks and the networks are part of me...I link, therefore I am.’ W. J. Mitchell, ME++
Lancel and Maat are considered pioneers exploring embodiment, empathy and intimacy, isolation, privacy and trust, in posthuman bio(techno)logical entanglement with (non-)human others. They critically reflect on current politically, commercially framed data representations and interpretation of our embodied experience and intimate connections. In their works, automated biometric control technologies are radically deconstructed to create poetic biotechnological feedback systems and neural mirror perception - for a new experience and imagination of shared embodiment.

Can I touch you online? Can we measure intimacy? How does your kiss feel in EEG data?
In their Artistic Social Labs, aesthetic and seducing Meeting Places in the (city) public space, the audience interacts as 'co-researchers’ of cyborg intimacy. In carefully hosted Meeting Rituals and Trust Systems, the audience's private bodies are extended with immersive, digital synaesthetic technologies (of face-recognition, smart textile, brain computer interfaces).
The audience shares data of their meeting performance in Reflective Datascapes, visible as as social data portraits on (urban) screens and in public databases. Lancel and Maat state that in science, digital data represents things, while in art, they points at itself (click HERE for statement). In interaction, the audience is hosted to share their actions with algorithms as Co-Actors, and explore future narratives of feeling together .

If distance becomes the standard for meeting (through technologies, or pandemics) than how do we feel together?
Currently, Lancel and Maat develop a novel multi-sensory interaction model for Intimate experience of social touch 'Shared Senses', that proposes playful, aesthetics of interaction in AI/AE neural networks. This interaction model is developed to inspire artists, scientist and designers, and the educational field; to rethink a sustainable socio-technological eco-culture of merging realities. It emerges from collaboration with ArsElectronica & European Media Art Platform (EMAP); and from Lancel/Maat's artistic research and PhD at the TU Delft (Participatory Systems Lab).

2019 Wu Guanzhong Art Science Innovation Award 2019, National Museum of China and TASIE, Tsinghua University Beijing; 2019 LI-MA Digital Art Canon; 2019 Golden Calf Nomination Netherlands Film Festival Interactive; 2018 Global Art & AI Competition Award GAAC, Tsinghua University Beijing; 2017 Europe Programm Horizon 2020 - Award BrainHack 3d prize (Waag Society Amsterdam & Science Gallery Dublin. With Alexander von Lühmann, University Berlin); 2012 Best Practice Award by Virtueel Platform 2011, 2012.

Media Kunst Museum ZKM Karlsruhe; LIMA Digital Art Canon; KPN Telecommunication Netherlands;
Iaspis Stockholm; private collections in France, USA, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Riga, Beijing.

56th Venice Biennale 2015, China Pavillion // ZKM Karlsruhe // Ars Electronica Linz // Ars Electronica Export, Berlin // Transmediale Berlin // World Expo 2010 Shanghai - DCC Mobile Platform // Waag Society Amsterdam //
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2000, 2011, 2012, 2017) // Rijksmuseum Amsterdam // Banff New Media Institute Canada //
Public Art Lab Berlin - Connecting Cities Network // 5th TASIE National Museum Beijing //
EMAP European Media Art Platform, Creative Europe Program //Art Center Nabi Seoul // RIXC, Riga // BCAC, BCAF Beijing // CEAC Xiamen // HeK Basel // ISEA 2011 & Istanbul Biennial 2011 // ISEA 2016 Hongkong // ISEA 2004 Helsinki //
ISEA 2019 Gwangju South-Korea // Urban Screens 05 Amsterdam // Urban Screens 08 Melbourne // IASPIS Stockholm //
Kiasma Museum Helsinki // Artfair Artforum Berlin // Eyebeam New York //
V2_Institute & Architecture Biennale Rotterdam // Gogbot media Festival Enschede // Robot Love - DDW Dutch Design Week 2018 Eindhoven // Baltan Laboratories - DDW Dutch Design Week 2019 //
2nd TASIE New Media Art & Science Exhibition - Millennium Art Museum Beijing //
3rd TASIE - Technology Museum Beijing // TASML Beijing // De Appel Amsterdam // Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam SMBA // Nes & Frascati Theaters Amsterdam //
NFF Netherlands Film Festival Interactive 2019 // EYE Film Museum Amsterdam // COMO Telecommunication SKT Seoul // Creativate Grahamstown Films South-Africa // KPN Telecommunication Tower Rotterdam //
Go here for more to the extensive biography.

Rijksmuseum MediaLab Amsterdam 2013 // UP Projects London - This Is Public Space (TIPS) 2021 //
BCAF Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation 2015 // SKOR (Foundation for Art in Public Space) 2003 // Hong Kong Arts Center 2007 // COMO Telecommunication Seoul 2008 // KPN Telecommunication Rotterdam //
City of Zeist 2009 // City of Utrecht - Utrecht Province - Rotonde Lab 2012 // City of Amersfoort //
Semslinie Kunstlijn Provinces Groningen Drenthe 2000 // Kunstgebouw Zuid-Holland & City of Alphen aan den Rijn 2001

LANCEL is PhD candidate at Technical University of Delft Participatory Systems Initiative (promotores Prof. dr. Frances Brazier, Prof. Caroline Nevejan). She was art committee advisor for Mondriaan Fund (2014-2017) and for Amsterdam City Public Art (Stadsdeel Zuid, 2013-2017), and membered the Amsterdam School of the Arts (AHK) research group ‘ARTI’ (Artistic research, Theory & Interpretation by Dr. M. Hoogenboom, Prof. H. Borgdorff) 2008-2011. During 2005-2008, she was core lecturer and head of the MFA program for interactive media art at IME/ MADtech Hanze University for Applied Sciences Groningen, where she currently teaches.
MAAT was art commitee advisor for Mondriaan Fund. He teaches BA media art at Minerva Art Academy, Hanze University for Applied Sciences Groningen since 1997, while being member of research groups ‘Image in Context’ (dr. Anke Coumans, 2012-2014) and Hypersensorium Lab (2019-).

Essays and papers have been included widely in both art and scientific journals and publications, by among others Springer Verlag, InderScience, CHI, ArtsIT, Leonardo, MIT Press - accessible at

LANCEL/MAAT lecture internationally at Art Academies and Universities, including Art-Science Royal Academy The Hague; Tsinghua University Beijing; Rietveld Art Academy Amsterdam; Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU); Royal University for Technology Stockholm (KTH); ARTez Zwolle; MFA ARTez Enschede; Willem de Kooning Art Academy Rotterdam; MFA Film Academy Amsterdam; MFA a.p.t/A.pass performance studies Antwerpen/Brussels; Open Set Dutch Design School at Kookmin University Seoul and at Conferences a.o. TEDx SilkRoad Istanbul; ISEA 2011 Istanbul; 'Europe for People: Hack the Body' Baltan Laboratories/De Zwijger Amsterdam; TASIE Tsinghua University Beijing; Baltan Laboratories/Holst Centre/ Phillips Lab Eindhoven; 'Todays Art' The Hague; 'Worlding the Brain' University of Amsterdam UVA; EYE Film Museum Amsterdam; ThingsCon Amsterdam & University Twente; ArtsIT 2018, 2019; CHI Human Computer Interfaces Montreal.
Members of Research Groups Participatory Systerms Group University of Technology Delft; Urban Interfaces Group University Utrecht; Dutch Touch: Social and Affective Touch Group University Twente; Digital Synesthesia Group University Vienna; Neuro-esthetics & Neuro-cultures Group, University Amsterdam.

Beschrijving werk
Karen Lancel en Hermen Maat ontwerpen ‘ontmoetingsplekken’ voor de publieke ruimte. Deze ‘ontmoetingsplekken’ zijn performances en installaties, die zij ontwerpen als verleidelijke, visuele omgevingen. Elke 'ontmoetingsplek' of sociaal sculptuur functioneert als een 'artistiek sociaal lab’ waarin het publiek deelneemt als ‘co-researcher’. Hier nodigen de kunstenaars het publiek uit om te experimenteren en spelen met sociale technologieën; om zo te reflecteren op hun eigen perceptie en ervaring van de stedelijke omgeving; op de thema's lichaam, privacy, sociale cohesie, presence, identiteit.
Lancel en Maat onderzoeken sociale systemen in een gemediatiseerde samenleving; in smart cities en augmented / immersive spaces. Voor elke ‘ontmoetingsplek’ deconstrueren zij bestaande communicatie technologieën en strategieën; en ontwerpen een nieuwe, innovative montage en proces van fysieke en virtuele interactie. De ‘ontmoetingsplekken’ tonen sociale portretten van samenleven in een gemediatiseerde, stedelijke omgeving.
De ‘ontmoetingsplekken’ vinden internationaal plaats in dynamische urbane ruimtes zoals museums, pleinen, theater halls, treins stations; van onder andere Seoul, New York, Melbourne, London, Istanbul, Parijs, Amsterdam, Shanghai.