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Recent music video releases of among others Janelle Monáe and Taylor Swift will form the basis for a debate on the articulation of political realities through production design and fashion. With Dan Hassler-Forest (Assistant Professor of Cultural Theory, Utrecht University), Emma Westenberg (video director) and Romke Faber (production designer). The evening will be moderated by Shay Kreuger.

This evening is part of For the Record, a research project by Het Nieuwe Instituut on the technologies, spatial design and forms of representation in contemporary video culture. The event will take the form of a public recording studio, visualizing the forms production and postproduction that are deployed in video and that shape our mediated realities.

20:00 – 21:30

Emma Westenberg

Blessed with the gift to visually transform any setting, storyteller artist and Grammy-nominated filmmaker Emma Westenberg crafts cinematic creations imbued with a happy-go-lucky and whimsical aesthetic. Graduated from the renowned Rietveld Academy and the Cooper Union School of Art in NYC, the director received a special distinction ‘cum laude’ for her short film The Still Life of Estelle – which she wrote, directed, produced and art directed. Soon after she picked up an award at the Milano Fashion Film Festival for her short film ‘Blue and You’. Her first steps that would really define Emma as a filmmaker were a diverse set of projects, ranging from commercial work for the likes of ASOS and Swatch to short films and music videos. The latest of which being the viral sensation PYNK, and her contribution to Janelle Monae’s ’emotion picture’ Dirty Computer. The same year she directed her first ever Superbowl spot, featuring Zoe Kravitz. Emma is currently working on her first feature film, and is successfully juggling projects in fashion, music and fiction.

Dan Hassler-Forest

Dan Hassler-Forest works as Assistant Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at Utrecht University. He has published books and articles on superhero movies, comics, transmedia storytelling, adaptation studies, critical theory, and zombies. 

Romke Faber

Romke Faber designs narrative spaces inspired by a world building process which invites other departments to co-create a powerful story for an audience to be immersed in. These narrative spaces range from science fiction via new narrative worlds into everyday reality with a little twist. His work includes music videos, commercials, short and feature films. Romke studied production design and graduated in 2007 at the Amsterdam based Dutch Film Academy. He received the student award for best production design for a student graduation film Gödel (directed by Igor Kramer) at the Munich Film Festival 2007 and won best set design for the short film “Growth”  2017 (directed by Sil van der Woerd).


Marina Otero Verzier, Director of Research, Katía Truijen, Senior Researcher and Delany Boutkan, Researcher
Koos Breen and Jeannette Slütter
Koos Breen
Tanja Busking
Shay Kreuger