Exploring the Landscape of Online Events and Purpose-Built Platforms

Fully online
Pushing some boundaries
Take some breaks
Pretty sophisticated


  • When developing your own tools, don’t work as an island. Collaborate with other organisations, share knowledge and resources, and afterwards extend your new infrastructure to others for their use.
  • The audience interplay is a key part in live events, so it is vital to find a way to circumvent the passive audience behind a livestream for digital ones, and interact with your visitors and let them interact with each other.
  • Building online spaces as recreations of physical spaces is almost never the best solution.

In March 2020, when events, exhibitions, and performances suddenly had to take place in online spaces, the infrastructures required for this didn’t exist. In the early days of the pandemic, most of the platforms that were being used to socialise with one another or host events were for business meetings. The effect was that attending cultural events felt a bit too much like being in a meeting – leading to hours and hours behind our screens staring at the same interfaces. Video chats are much heavier for our brains to process than regular face-to-face interactions or phone calls, and a 2021 research paper from Stanford University shows that Zoom fatigue is real. 

How can we combat this Zoom fatigue? Since the pandemic, artists and cultural institutions have considered the best way to translate their activities to the Internet. We have seen all kinds of new platforms emerge and experienced many experimental events. With The Hmm @ Online events on June 23rd 2021, we gave our audience a lay of the land. We invited the following eight artists, cultural organisations and developers to our livestream to talk about the platforms they’ve built, the events they’ve organised, and how they’ve translated their programs to the online realm.

Florian van Zandwijk about Enter, a platform he’s developing for Het Nieuwe Instituut 

In addition to Florian’s presentation, we also did an in-depth interview with him about the Enter platform, why they developed it, the hurdles encountered along the way, and its future iterations. You can watch the full interview here.

Amy Langer about the San Fransisco Neo Futurists and their theatrical experiment The Program

Aurélien Lepetit about their online interventions: Speed Series

Jannes Heidinga about NITE HOTEL, a virtual environment built by the interdisciplinary theatre ensemble NITE

Tereza Havlíková about watching and visiting art online via common.garden

Jara Rocha and Seda Gürses about the ‘platframe’ built for the Workshop on Obfuscation

Gary Burnett about teaching in Nottopia

Monique van Dusseldorp about her research into online events

To find out more about Monique’s research, you can read our expert interview with her.

* This article was originally published as part of The Hmm’s Hybrid Events dossier here: https://thehmm.nl/report-the-hmm-online-events/