Virtueel Lichaam at Perdu

The internet is fertile ground for fiction. Strange ghosts and entities shaped like humans rise up from the black box of the computer, like Mouchette, the fictional teenage girl who started her own website in the early 2000s. Or Annlee, the cheap manga doll with a greyish skin and alien eyes who became the subject of a worldwide art project. Or Bella Goth, the video game personality from The Sims who is mostly known for her mysterious disappearance.

During this evening, Perdu will explore the virtual character. Together with artist Martine Neddam and writers Dominique De Groen and Nadia de Vries, we will explore the contours of computer-generated people, of artificially intelligent fiction; what happens when a fictional character does not appear on the page, but between the URLs and pixels? “Fictional characters,” writes Rita Felski, “are Janus-faced figures who point to real persons and their own fabricated status. They have their own reality, force, and weight of being.” What is that reality, that force, that weight? And how does this change when the character drifts into the digital sphere?



Dominique De Groen is a poet, writer and visual artist. Her work has been published in Deus Ex Machina, Kluger Hans, Gierik & Nieuw Vlaams Tijdschrift as well as in Samplekanon and hard//hoofd. Her debut collection Shop Girl (2017) was published by ‘balanseer’, followed by Sticky Drama (2019) and offerlam (2020). De Groen was nominated for the Poetry Debut Prize Aan Zee 2018, the Herman de Coninckprijs 2020 and the Fintroliteratuurprijs 2021. She is the recipient of the Frans Vogel Poëzieprijs 2019.


Martine Neddam is a visual artist who has been working with internet virtual characters who lead an autonomous artistic existence in which the real author remained invisible. She has been exploring anonymously the concept of online identity through virtual characters such as Mouchette, David Still, XiaoQian, and the shared interface With MyDesktopLife she continues investigating identity in a browser by developing an original visual style and an inner voice.


Nadia de Vries is a writer and culture scholar. She is the author of Kleinzeer (Uitgeverij Pluim, 2019) and two English-language poetry collections, Dark Hour (2018) and I Failed to Swoon (2021), both published by the British publishing house Dostoyevsky Wannabe. In 2020 she received her PhD at the University of Amsterdam with a thesis about the online depiction of the dead human body. She frequently writes about art for Het Parool, De Witte Raaf and Metropolis M, and is editor of the literary magazine nY. In May 2022, her debut novel, De bakvis, was published by Uitgeverij Pluim.

Fri 3 Jun 20:00

Virtual Body
The digital and the fictional


Doors open: 19:30
Event starts: 20:00
Ticket price: €9 standard / €6 discount (Stadspas/CJP/students)
Livestream: €6
Multilingual event (English and Dutch)


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