Studium Generale Rietveld Academie is an extensive transdisciplinary theory programme that addresses students and faculty at all departments of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. It regularly opens 
up to broader audiences. Studium Generale wants to show how art and design are linked with other domains (from the personal to the political, from the vernacular to the academic), how our ‘now' is linked with past and future, our ‘here' with ‘elsewhere'. 

In the belief that art students can only learn to think independently when knowledge, imagination and reflection combine to work together in an unorthodox and critical way, Studium Generale Rietveld Academie embarks every year on slightly unruly and therefore always exciting research trajectories. Annually selected curators and numerous guest lecturers from all over the world propose a wide variety of entry points to contemporary discourse.

Hold Me Now – Feel and Touch in an Unreal World

Preliminary Program at Rietveld:

10, 17, and 31 January; 7, 14, and 21 February; and on 7, and 14 March

Starting time: 13:30


Conference and Rietveld Uncut at Stedelijk Museum:

21, 22, 23, 24 March


This Studium Generale is about the sense of touch in artistic, philosophical and political terms. It wants to conceive how the haptic – i.e., relating to or based on the sense of touch – is thought and experienced in life, art, design and theory.

Touch is of vital importance to our emotional and neurobiological development. So how do we feel and touch in our technologically mediated dematerialized digital cultures? Do we solely stroke and swipe our screens? How is the body and its feel involved? Are we in fact cultivating different tactilities in relation to the world and others? Further, how can we trace the ways in which touch informs and reforms the body in concepts such as violence, gender, sexuality, democracy and identity? If art and design have privileged sight and sound, should touch – and all the senses – be addressed and activated in order to help us stay ‘in touch’ with our bodies and the material world?

Key words:

affect, body, blindness, braille, button, care, click, contact, disabality, feel, feelies (the), finger, force, gesture, hand, hapticality, intimacy, interface, joy stick, love, manicures, manual, movement, neurophysiology, oculocentrism, pain, perception, phantom pain, pinch, pressure, prothesis, scanning, screen, senses, sensitivity, sensorium, tentacular, tentacles, Shadow Dexterous Hand, sign language, skin, soma, surface, swipe, tactility, tele-dildonics, tele-tactility, touch, trans*hapticality…

Talks, readings, presentations, performances, screenings:

Karen Archey, Army of Love, boychild, Rizvana Bradley, Sarah Browne, Staci Bu Shea, Fiona Candlin, Holly Childs, Yvonne Dröge Wendel, João Florêncio, Ioanna Gerakidi, Ine Gevers, Amelia Groom, Jack Halberstam, Jort van der Laan, Erin Manning, Laura U. Marks, Marianna Maruyama, Mark Paterson, Paul Preciado, Joke Robaard, Charlotte Rooijackers, Eloise Sweetman, Hypatia Vourloumis, Eyal Weizman and many others


For previous editions, see the archive. The lectures can be viewed here.

Like every year the Rietveld Uncut exhibition will be part of Studium Generale.