This new TU Delft Dream Team is not building a high-powered rocket, they are making art

Meet Emergence, the newly accredited Dream Team that explores the intersection of art, science, and engineering.

Co-founder Lars Geluk (far left): “We want to create experiences that help people reflect on our digital society and the way we use technology.” (Photo: Shreyas Sidhar)


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Emergence is the newest tenant of TU Delft’s acclaimed Dream Hall. Contrary to what you might expect from a team sequestered amidst factory-like machinery, the team is not building a new-fangled automobile or high-powered rocket. Emergence seeks to create ‘new media art’ that facilitates the understanding of technologies that have become ‘blackboxed’. 

Besides this main project, they will also engage in side projects entailing creative, curiosity-driven research. In doing so, they will collaborate with local art schools — something that has been somewhat of a rarity at TU Delft. 

Left, the Emergence team’s workspace in the Dream Hall. (Photo: Oscar Greenwell)

Socially conscious art 

In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, ‘new media art’ is a contemporary art form that implements modern technology to create immersive experiences that challenge traditional art boundaries and encourage viewer participation. New media art installations are often complex works, incorporating elements like video, sound, computer-generated graphics, and sensors. 

New media art installations are apt for exploring the relationship between humans and technology, societal changes driven by digital culture, and the fusion of the physical and virtual realms of experience. A great Dutch example is Waterlicht, an award-winning installation conceived at Studio Roosegaarde in Rotterdam, and first featured at Loevestein Castle in Gelderland, before embarking on a world tour. This exhibit immerses observers in a ‘virtual flood’, giving them a visceral experience of rising sea levels due to climate change. According to Lars Geluk, Co-founder of Emergence, “such an experience has a totally different impact on people than just an IPCC report where you are presented global emissions statistics.”