Upsetting Settings presents graduation projects initiated by Alexander Roidl, Alice Strete, Angeliki Diakrousi, Joca van der Horst, Natasha Berting, and Zalán Szakács.

Opening and presentations: Friday, July 12, 19.00-22.40. Drinks + DJ 22:40 – 02:00

Workshops and activities: Saturday, July 13, 11.00-14.00. See schedule below.

Where: UBIK + Slash Gallery, Boomgaardsstraat 69, 3012 XA Rotterdam


The concept of this exhibition arises from the idea of the default setting, a situation in which a specific mode of interaction is selected automatically, pre-configured to work out of the box without the need to tinker with its underlying apparatus. Every system comes with default settings predefined by its creators, and most of the time, these settings remain unchanged by us, the users of such systems. These defaults do not represent our needs but are possibly the materialisation of biases from the system’s makers, from corporate or political interests, from a society at large.

The projects engage with the concept of default modes and propose interventions in their core structure/source/root so as to start thinking collectively about better places from which to begin. You are invited to become root users, active listeners, smart speakers, intentional eaters, counter trolls, sensorial spectators!

Grad projects overview:
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The Experimental Publishing Master of Arts in Fine Art and Design (XPUB) is a two-year course that prepares students to critically engage with societal issues and social practices within the fast changing field of art, design, and cultural production. More specifically, XPUB focuses on the acts of making things public and creating publics in the age of post-digital networks. XPUB’s interests in publishing are therefore twofold: first, publishing as the inquiry and participation into the technological frameworks, political context, and cultural processes through which things are made public; and second, how these are, or can be, used to create publics.



Saturday Workshop schedule:

MEAL REPLACEMENTS 101 – Alice Strete 11:00-12:00
‘Is it time to eat, or is there no more time to eat’ is a desktop film inspired by my research on meal replacements, the most prominent techno-solutionist creation in terms of food. In this short gathering, we’ll be discussing the main points raised in my video around these products’ alleged potential of solving problems, as well as ponder upon their role within societies which value the authoritative roles of tech innovators, and their potential to impact the way humans live.

INSTANT WARNET WORKSHOP – Natasha Berting 12:00-13:00
‘Instant Warnet’ is a live action, role-playing game inspired by my research into the amount of networked harassment, trolling and overall policing that minorities (especially women) so often have to deal with online. During this game session, players will be invited to assume fictional identities on Instagram, and perform various tactics to talk back to online toxicity.

AMPLIFY ANGRY VOICES – Angeliki Diakrousi 13:00-14:00
This workshop will be about channeling our gendered ‘angry’ voices in public space. It will take the form of a short play, based on an initial discussion about personal experiences from moments of unspoken angry thoughts. We will capture them in sentences and use them as input for responses within an ‘angry’ dialogue. Our temporary act will be recorded and then played back, outside of Slash gallery. This public moment will be a chance to listen and expose the outcome of our collective process. The produced material will be included in an online audio archive, with the potentiality of re-broadcast or use for future workshops.

EIGENGRAU – Zalan Szakacs 13:30-14:00
The audiovisual experience features a custom-made LED circle, that in the timespan of 12 minutes takes the audience through a non linear time of five mental states: Deep State, Anticipation State, Weird state, Higher State and Relaxation State. This narrative is made visible through the pre-programmed motion of blue light gradients, referring to the colour of screen light. Eigengrau frames the negative space, and therefore it generates an illusion of non-material space. The installation offers a suspension from the isolation and digital saturation of contemporary society.