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Thursday Night Live! will explore the relations between the 1980s culture of cyberpunk, the spread of the computer virus and its biological counterpart AIDS. With a.o. lectures from Ivan Lopez Munuera, Charles Boucher and Andrea Bagnato, a \/\/iFi + OSS/**** performance by JODI and a performance by Red Light Radio. This event is part of the extended programme of Malware: Symptoms of Viral Infectioncurated by Bas van de Poel and Marina Otero Verzier.

also this evening

17:30-19:30 Thursday Bite 

19:30-21:00 Film Screening Memories of Underdevelopment 



Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam


Free entrance, RSVP via ticket link 

In 1986, the first computer virus appeared in virtual space. As its name indicates, the 'Pakistani flu' already pointed to a more than metaphorical similarity between biological and computational diseases as agents of bodily invasion. More were to follow. The analogies between the discourse on cybercrime and immunology – and in particular between the raise of computer viruses and the so-called AIDS epidemic in the 80s- sparked popular anxieties, ideologies and cultural discourses. Cyberpunk, the dystopian science-fiction genre based on information technology was one of the first realms that linked computer viruses and their biological counterpart. Writers like Bruce Sterling and William Gibson used the threat of contagion of the body and cyberspace to build a futuristic imaginary around the idea of human and society.

These imaginaries continue to haunt possible futures. As implantable technologies such as pacemakers and cochlear implants are used to improve health conditions, computer virusses could even pose a direct threat to the human body. Is it still possible to catalyze these threads into radical socio-political change?


Kinships on the Dance Floor: HIV/AIDS Discotecture 19:00-20:30
A lecture by New York-based academic and curator Ivan Lopez Munuera, followed by a conversation led by Marina Otero Verzier with Andrea Bagnato (architect/researcher), Joan Heemskerk (JODI), Charles Boucher (virology professor at Erasmus MC) and Bas van de Poel.The New York party scene in the early 1980s created an architectural revolution where new forms of critical consciousness emerged and became a model for an emerging form of political engagement to face the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Embedded in and abetted by a built environment, bodies, music, messages, and technologies were drawn into an extensive urban fabric of political activism. A scene meshed by nightclubs and discos blurred boundaries and identities: between gig and performance, theater and political space, and between performer, spectator, and activist.  

\/\/iFi + OSS/**** performance by JODI 21:00 – 21:30
JODI is an artist collective formed in 1994 that consists of Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans. Chaos and the dysfunctioning of modern technology are topics they explore in their practice. During the event Heemskerk will re-enact a combination of two past actions: the \/\/iFi project focusses on the relationship between users and online platforms and the pervasive infiltration of software in everyday life and OSS/*** is a CD-Rom based program that uses distortions and interferences to explore new navigation experiences.

Virus Detected 21:30 – 22:00
Charles Boucher, Jornt van der Wiel (Security Researcher, Global Research & Analysis Team, Kaspersky Lab) and Bas van de Poel will share the most remarkable viruses and forms of infection, connecting the biological and computational fields.

Stallion’s Stud 22.00-22.30 

In the year 2018, Red Light Radio co-founder Hugo van Hejiningen and Identified Patient joined forces to debut their new musical project, Stallion’s Stud. They dig deep into their shared love of off-kilter electronics, post-punk era experimentation and dubbed-out drum machine rhythms. On top of that former punk singer Hugo spreads his mind-altering vocals and twisted lyrical flows.

Interstellar Funk's label Artificial Dance released the first fruits of the duo’s studio collaboration. Earlier this year Rotterdam's Pinkman put out the second EP. With gigs at places like Bassiani, Berghain, SXSW and the Strange Sounds From Beyond festival, they are not to be missed live.

Baby Bosma 22.30-00.00

Red Light Radio resident DJ for many years is Baby Bosma. With his background in punk & electronic acts like Ploegendienst, Aux Raus, Bullerslug, Firestone & Coevorduh you can expect anything in his DJ-sets. Mostly dark, loud and usually at least one track from The Fall.


Cyberpunk Documentary
Ongoing screening of the documentary Cyberpunk, directed by Marianne Trench. A fascinating exploration of the cyberpunk movement featuring the novelist William Gibson, Timothy Leary and Vernor Reid that share their thoughts on the future of society and technology.


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Thursday Bite 

Before the Thursday Night you can grab a bite to eat with the speakers and staff of Het Nieuwe Instituut. At 17:30 Het Nieuwe Café will serve a light vegetarian meal. Dinner vouchers are available for € 7.70 up to a day before the particular Thursday Night event via the Tickets link.

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Become a Member of Het Nieuwe Instituut and you’ll support our mission to navigate the vast and evolving field of design. You’ll also be inspired by our special program of Members’ events, meeting up with other like-minded people as we invite you to reflect with us on design’s changing role in technology, economics, culture and society.


Malware: Symptoms of Viral Infection was made possible thanks to the generous support of:

Bas van de Poel, Marina Otero Verzier
Astin le Clercq, Bas van de Poel
Astin le Clercq
Tomorrow Bureau, Bas van de Poel
Vera van de Seyp, Marc Vermeeren, Bas van de Poel
Randall MacDonald