Meet Up @ IDFA Doclab

Responding to the future storytelling: the art of following

21 Nov
November 21, 2016
8:00 PM - 10:15 PM
De Brakke Grond, Nes 45, 1012 KD, Amsterdam (Rode Zaal)
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Meet Up @ IDFA Doclab

VPRO Medialab Meet Up

Broadcasting companies tell stories on TV, radio and the internet. But nowadays stories can be found everywhere: on your body, in the train or on your phone. How can we use new and unexpected platforms to tell these stories? Which story suits which medium? And above all, how do you reach an audience in these particular situations? VPRO Medialab is going up and down the country with the travelling dialogue ‘VPRO Medialab Meet Up’ to find out what the future holds for storytelling. Media makers and storytellers with all kinds of backgrounds and disciplines come together to discover new things and inspire each other. Programme developers, journalists, creative coders, game designers, artists and innovation experts can all partake in these meet ups.

Meet Up @ IDFA Doclab: The Art of Following

An evening exploring the narrative potential of privacy, intimacy and following, organised in collaboration with the VPRO Medialab Meet Up series. How can personal data be used (or abused) for the creation of a story? This evening together with IDFa DocLab we explore the narrative potential of privacy, intimacy and following.

IDFA DocLab, started in 2007, is a festival program for new media within the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam(IDFA). The mission of IDFA DocLab is to showcase interactive documentaries and other new digital art forms that successfully push the boundaries of documentary storytelling in the age of the interface.

The evening starts with presentations and live experiments by Bregtje van der Haak (White Spots), Lauren McCarthy (Follower), Kyle McDonald (Wi-Fi Whisperer), Moniker ( and Bert Hana (I Am Not Home Video). Followed by a discussion hosted by Elfie Tromp. Closure will be done by Geert-Jan Bogaerts, head of VPRO-Digitaal. 

Tickets and registration

Curious how makers and artists use different platforms and media to tell their story? Do you want to join the conversation with the makers? The amount of people that can join is limited, so make sure to buy your ticket in advance. 


The programme is as follows:

  • Door open
  • Introducing the theme: the art of following 
  • Presentations of 4 makers
  • Paneldiscussion with 4 makers and Q&A from audience
  • Conclusion by Geert-Jan Bogaerts
  • Drinks





Read more about the makers of this Meet Up below.

Bregtje van der Haak is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. Since 1998, she directs documentaries and transmedia productions about the changing world. In 2015 she was a co-developer of the app White Spots VR. Do you want to escape the flow of information around us? The White Spots app visualizes the invisible digital networks in which we live and offers an escape route. With the White Spots app, you can see a visualization of mobile and WiFi networks. In this way the normally invisible cloud is visible. Additionally, you can immerse yourself in 360 degree videos with stories of people who live without internet or technology. For VPRO Tegenlicht, Van der Haak made the episode Offline as a luxury. A small but growing group of people is saying goodbye to being always connected and examines ways to regain control themselves. What can we learn from them about life in the digital age? Read more about White Spots or the article Van de kaart – offline als luxe?

Lauren McCarthy is an artist based in Los Angeles and Brooklyn whose work explores current social and technological systems and structures for being a person and interacting with other people. During this Meet Up she will talk about her project Follower. Follower is a service that grants you a real life Follower for a day. Someone that watches, someone that sees you, someone who cares. The Follower stays just out of sight, but within your consciousness.

What is the relationship between attention and surveillance? There are sites you can go to to buy 1000 online followers for $10. We have this intense desire to be seen, to feel connected. But is that desire really fulfilled by watching your follower count tick upward? Could a real life follower provide something more meaningful or satisfying? Read more about Lauren and Follower. 


Kyle McDonald is an artist who works in the open with code. He is a contributor to arts-engineering toolkits like open Frameworks, and spends a significant amount of time building tools that allow artists to use new algorithms in creative ways.
The project he will talk about is Wifi Whisperer. Wireless is one of the most ubiquitous means of digital connectivity. But far from being a neutral medium, these networks often betray their users. This can happen when an internet provider decides to monitor or manipulate your data, but also when someone nearby listens in on your activity. The WiFi Whisperer is an art installation that explores the social nature of the WiFi protocol. It is able to grab data and display it in the form of artworks and sound.

Director and found footage fanatic Bert Hana has been collecting home videos and answering machines for years. I Am Not Home Video is a virtual translation of a selection of answering machine messages and one very special videotape that Hana found in a second-hand store in France. In the video, someone is filming his house. It’s 2001, and there’s no one home. The person seems to be recording his house for posterity, or maybe for insurance purposes? 
To mark the 10th anniversary of DocLab, Bert Hana and the VR studio Purple Pill have transformed this French video into a 360-degree world. Enter a virtual flashback to the end of an era (the collapse of the Twin Towers) and the beginning of a new one (brand new euro coins and banknotes). Read more about Bert and I Am Not Home .


Studio Moniker is an interactive design studio researching the social effects of technology: how do we use technology and howdoes it influence our daily lives? Often, they ask the public to take part in the development of their projects. This is also the case with their newest project, in cooperation with VPRO Medialab:, which will premiere this Meet Up.

You and your mouse - an intimate relationship you seldom really think about. But your mouse behaviour can betray as much of your identity as your search terms. With, Studio Moniker gets you clicking consciously. Whenever you open a website, your mouse movement will be explicitly observed and commented on by an expert who talks to you. And he likes to draw conclusions. “Three clicks in succession? You have a tendency to be aggressive.”

The voice continues to talk to you - even if you switch tabs on the website, he’ll try to lure you back. also seeks to stimulate you to explore all the potential interactions of your mouse with the screen. Persistence pays off!