Walter Langelaar

Programme Director Media Design School of Design


Teaching in 2017

Research interests

media art; experimental design; computational aesthetics; software studies; hacktivism and hacker ethos; artistic research methods

Walter Langelaar profile picture


MA  Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam, NL

BA   AKI/ArtEZ Enschede, NL


Walter Langelaar is an artist and subcultural activist from the Netherlands. His work in media art and design ranges from artistic videogame modification to critical reflections on Internet technology and culture, and his installations and collaborative online projects were shown in numerous venues, galleries and festivals such as Transmediale & CTM, Jeu de Paume, Gogbot, the Hammer Museum, Videotage, WORM, Ars Electronica, Melkweg, FILE Festival, MQW Vienna, iMAL, V2 and Medialab Prado.

Walter studied Fine Art at the AKI in Enschede, graduating with BA degrees in both Conceptual Art and New Media Art, before continuing his studies in Media Design (MA) at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, under supervision of Matthew Fuller and Florian Cramer.

He cofounded and ran the medialab and hackerspace avant la lettre moddr_ from 2007 till 2013, which was part of the Rotterdam-based arts podium WORM, Institute for Avant-Gardistic ReCreation. During this time, he also worked as WORMs Media programme director, organizing various events, exhibitions, workshops and parties relating to the (post-)digital avant-garde and its critics.

In Wellington, Walter operates a studio at the artist-run venue Pyramid Club, together with partner Birgit Bachler. His longtime fascination for the access to and re-use of vacant space in our urban environments is currently taking shape in a position on the advisory board of the Urban Dream Brokerage.

Walter is an avid user and strong proponent of Open Source tools and methodology in his research, teaching and practice.

Walter Suicide machine Walter_commidify us


Walter’s current research is concerned with the plethora of recording devices employed in the post-Snowden spheres of networked interaction design, and how we may subvert the use of these devices from their initial states of surveillance towards new modes of awareness and cultural relevance. More specifically, recent projects involve research into recording capacities of online forms and various other web-based input mechanisms, criticizing their potential as contemporary psychometric tools for performance evaluation, as well as experimenting with possible artistic modifications thereof. Additionally, several recent projects have involved the use of network auditing and penetration testing hardware and software, including research into contemporary niche-tech subcultures related to these platforms as well as more general hacking and hacktivist practices.

In the School of Design, Walter supervises the Postgraduate research stream Data.Mine, together with his Media Design colleague Tom White

Walter ssid exquis Walter 'please don't shorten me


I believe in the transformative power of the classroom as a creative space, a place for experiment and transferal of knowledge. Connecting Ako, the Māori concept describing a reciprocal learning and teaching relationship, with the Fluxus-founded liberal arts education I myself enjoyed in my undergraduate studies, I have come to conclude that every participating individual brings value to a learning situation, whether they be a student, a tutor, or a lecturer. I believe we have an obligation towards our students to address the relevant topics of our time through our teaching, and to do so with vigor and in uncompromising manner. Similarly, we may expect our students to engage with these topics by contributing their view and interpretation, and I feel very strongly about constructing my courses and project assignments in such a way that they allow the student to do exactly that.

As of July 2016, in addition to the qualifications listed above, Walter completed a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) in Higher Education Learning & Teaching at Victoria University of Wellington, rounding of his studies with a special topic on Learning and Teaching with Digital Technology, further establishing his interest in and critical stance towards online/digital learning analytics and the algorithmic futures of education.