Reboot Culture

Reboot Culture experiments with collective cultural experiences deeply rooted in urban space, combining public physical space and public digital space.

Through hybrid formats and the support of a mobile, modular media infrastructure, the program engages with practices that can make culture ‘go-round’ in its hybridity, embedding cultural co-creation in the city fabric.

With floating stage and studio facilities at the riversides Reboot Culture merges (urban) landscapes with Hybrid Staging, developing a strong symbolic momentum for the rebooting of culture.

Concerts, Jam-sessions, Performances, Screenings & Narrow- and Broadcasts @ Instrument Inventors, Royal Academy of Art & Royal Conservatoire the Hague, Sonic Acts, V2 Lab for Unstable Media, Waag technology & society, The Netherlands, 2020-2021


How to enable and support new forms of hybrid (combined physical and media) public events also for smaller cultural institutions? How to develop a strong symbolic momentum with hybrid (combined physical and media) public space staging and renditions that mark the rebooting of cultural programs?

By focussing on the potential of hybrid formats to meaningfully activate public cultural space in the with- and post-COVID-19 cultural landscape, Reboot Culture embeds the rebooting of culture in the urban environment, drawing on the multiple voices and sounds of the polyphonic city.

Reboot Culture designs sophisticated mobile technological infrastructure that support hybrid cultural formats, broadening the outreach of long-established cultural institutions as well as of smaller venues. The program offers mobile, modular and re-configurable broadcasting studios and media connections, relying on containers, busses, pontons and/or boats.

By setting up floating venues, stages, and studios along riversides and quays, Reboot Culture enables the reintroduction of in-person events for a wide audience, whilst upkeeping the necessary measures of physical distancing. Reboot Culture @ riversides develops powerfully evocative views of an inclusive hybrid cultural co-creation and celebration that merges with the city and the landscape.

Culture Go-Round

Amongst the many interrelated and complex challenges that COVID-19 made us alert to, the absolute necessity to have access to appropriate, flexible and up-to-date media infrastructure and skills cannot be “unseen”. Reboot Culture makes culture go-round, filling the gaping distance between high-end, long-established cultural institutions that have the means to hybridise their cultural production processes, and smaller, local cultural institutions.

Reboot Culture is a program providing the needed technical infrastructure and expertise to enable new forms of hybrid public events also for smaller cultural institutions. A decentralised network of mobile media infrastructures – media-containers, media-busses, media-pontons and/or media-boats – travel via road or waterway to cultural institutions to mobilise culture.

Acting upon the commitment to the revitalisation and redesign of culture within the with- and the post-COVID-19 urban landscape, the Reboot Culture program envisions hybrid staging on an ambitious and evocative mega-scale, temporarily shaping public spaces by contemplating large-scale, captivating, hybrid cultural events alongside riversides and quays. This would combine the comfort of dispersed, physically distanced attending participants whilst making the most out of in-person and on-site cultural co-creation – as a celebration of the rebooting of culture.

Hybrid Staging Infrastructure

As changes and current events push culture to change, flow and adapt, Reboot Culture references the wider Hybrid Space Lab’s commitment to explore the future of staging through a variety of hybrid tools and approaches.

More specifically, Reboot Culture engages explicitly with the reactivation of public cultural space and with the pressing challenges that smaller, less affluent cultural institutions are faced with then entirely re-thinking and re-visiting their activity.

Reboot Culture therefore explores Hybrid Staging in scale – by addressing the nano, medium, and mega scale – complementing physical, context- and site-specific features with mobile technological infrastructure.

Open and Flexible Modular Structure

Reboot Culture offers a re-configurable and modular structure, consisting of elements that provide a broadcasting studio infrastructure and media connection. As a modular infrastructure it easily adapts to local program design of the institutions it supports, enabling cultural programs to engage with larger audiences via broad- and narrow-casting (TV, radio, Internet).

By addressing the mega, medium and nano scale, Reboot Culture envisions a nuanced, context-sensitive approach to culture co-production and hybrid reception, integrating onsite features with sophisticated mobile technological infrastructure.


As a floating stage and studio, the mega-scale of the Reboot Culture program focuses on the possibility of reintroducing in-person events for a wide audience, whilst up-keeping the necessary measures of physical distancing as they change and are adapted over time.

By setting up floating venues, stages, and studios along riversides and quays, Reboot Culture merges the urban landscape with Hybrid Staging, permeating the city and landscape fabric with processes of cultural co-creation and reception.

By activating public space through the multiple voices composing the polyphonic city, Reboot Culture cherishes the city as a Voiced Space. Long established places of globalisation, interface, and connection such as harbour-cities become the symbol of the urban vibrating in its own rhythm, recognising the richness of flows, trajectories and voices. Adopting and designing breakthrough hybrid formats, Reboot Culture therefore also investigates what it means to read and listen to oceanic cities as music boxes, as well as how to integrate the harbour as environmental and globalisation interface in cultural co-creation.

Reboot Culture provides strongly symbolic experiences, signalling a fresh start for in-person events constitutive to our cultural life, celebrating and cherishing the rebooting of culture.


Making culture go-round can be adapted to a medium-scale, too. By relying on buses and/or boats, more sophisticated technological infrastructure can reach and be temporarily used in venues where they were previously inaccessible.

By enriching and broadening the possibilities for hybrid cultural production by smaller local venues, Reboot Culture’s mobile infrastructure shake up the way it travels and streams, increasing polyphony in the with– and post-COVID-19 cultural landscape.

Recognising and up-keeping the value of public space, Reboot Culture places a strong emphasis on the public nature of cultural events and practice and on developing safe and public hybrid (combined media and physical) cultural spaces.


Reboot Culture program pays attention to the needs of the nano-scale, too, by equipping light-weight vehicles such as tricycles to enable local, neighbourhood circulation of technological infrastructure, to infiltrate cultural realities. This enables fine-grain integration of art and culture co-creation in the urban tissue.

Co-Curating the City- and Water Scape

As the hygiene requirements of the current COVID-19 pandemic push the outdoor staging of events, we are experiencing an unprecedented proliferation of outdoor cultural renditions. With outdoor staging enabling culture to permeate the city and landscape fabric on very different scales, Reboot Culture fosters such processes of inclusive hybrid cultural co-creations and celebrations, embedding culture in the physical social environment.

Future of Public Cultural Space

Drawing on Hybrid Space Lab’s engagement in the rethinking and strengthening of public space and culture in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Reboot Culture is launched by Hybrid Space Lab as part of a threefold of projects: With  Hybrid Staging, exploring the artistic, social, and sustainable potential of hybrid (combined onsite and online) cultural staging, and  (Re)Venue, re-envisioning museums’ venues and revenue models, Reboot Culture addresses the need for a modular mobile infrastructure to support hybrid public cultural events.


Reboot Culture is initiated by Hybrid Space Lab and co-organized by Prof. Elizabeth Sikiaridi and Prof. Frans Vogelaar of Hybrid Space Lab in collaboration with Eric Kluitenberg, independent theorist, curator, and researcher.


Instrument Inventors, The Hague, The Netherlands
Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, The Netherlands
Royal Conservatoire, The Hague, The Netherlands
Sonic Acts, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
V2 Lab for Unstable Media, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Waag technology & society, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

the Future is not Digital
the Future is Hybrid!

The title of the project “Reboot Culture” refers also to reBoot floating media art experiment and telematic club event. reBoot was an experimental media venue and broadcasting facility on a boat descending in fall 1999  the Rhine, the archetypal symbol of connection between Germany and the Netherlands. With more than 80 participants on board, reBoot staged concerts, performances, screenings and broadcasts, docking at quays along the Rhine at different locations in Germany and the Netherlands.

reBoot was co-organized by Prof. Frans Vogelaar at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne and Eric Kluitenberg at De Balie, Center for Culture and Politics in Amsterdam, in collaboration, among others, with V2_Organization in Rotterdam and Montevideo TBA in Amsterdam.

reBoot is hosted on the servers of the Kunsthochschule für Medien in the original 1999 web site format

© Heike Mutter

21 Being here. Being here now. Designate a place. Designating a place. Holding a place in memory. Making a mark.

59 There

86 The ark, the raft, the ship. Floating buildings. The travelling temples of the Indians, the wandering houses of the Mongols, the dwelling of the Gypsies are early precursors for the floating, flying architecture of the electronic age, the aeroplanes, rockets, space stations.

10 Being nowhere, placeless, lost. The hiding, concealing of fixed places, the abolition of places and going on journeys. Utopia means U-topos, no place, nowhere.

15 Paths, roads, rivers Straight ahead, around to the right, around to the left. While places show “coagulated states”, paths demonstrate virtual processes. Time is depicted in space as a before – after phenomenon. Path forms contain movement patterns that build up protension and retention in the moving person, i.e. anticipation and retrospection, expectation and memory.

13 Signposts. Like a mountain or a tree in the landscape, a built thing can point the way. To facilitate orientation, to be a point of reference for our everyday manoeuvres, to be a symbol in our spatial imagination, to fix our memory.

2 Somewhere outside of space. In cyberspace, orientation is fixed to instruments, i.e. to scales of displays, no longer to concrete things and places. Where are the referents of the available signs. More and more, the pilots’ rituals of action elude the corresponding sense of the body. The spaceship is predominantly determined by the network of transmitting and receiving data. These signs are now the actual, the primary world of perception.

1 Disasters the accident, the plane crash, the zeppelin fire, the sinking of the Titanic, the burning up of the manned space rocket. The most powerful industrial devices can lead to the most terrible catastrophes if they are not checked very carefully. The masses they set in motion, their speed, all their power, have the most terrible destructive effect if they are suddenly stopped or diverted from their target.
© Heike Mutter

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