Report and video of the BOZAR-CREW Edition on virtual reality

Please find the report and video of the BOZAR-CREW Edition on virtual reality at our Events-page together with reports, pictures and video’s of all previous editions. We also created a Youtube channel for you to see video’s of previous editions. If you have an interesting video you would like to share on this channel please let us know. We are currently applying for new grants to organise future Editions and will keep you updated on future initiatives.


We are extremely happy to host the next Edition of Otlet Salons at BOZAR, Brussels on Friday 25th of November 2016, from 7PM to 10:30PM. Keynote is Eric Joris, internationally recognized as one of the pioneers in the field of virtual reality and mediated performances. CREW and Eric Joris participate in European and international academic and technological research programmes . A result of these international collaborations will be part of this Otlet Salons Edition! We start this Edition by visiting the installation Collateral Rooms.

The subject: ‘Virtual Reality’ appears to be transformational by nature: instead of looking at an image, one feels to be a part of it. This embodiment is enhanced by physical movement, touch, sound, etc… Inside VR the distinction between live and mediated reality blurs. It is this shifting moment in between the perceived and the embodied world, the ‘transitional zone’ that became ‘the stage’ of CREW’s live performances and research.

Interacting with tools changes the way we think and perceive – This echoes Marshall McLuhan’s famous line “we shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us”. [McLuhan, 64]. This evening we discuss this ‘transformational’ aspect and the major implications of it.

Registration is free but compulsory at: Please note that registration closes Fri November 18, 2016 and is limited to 40 people, so we can optimally accommodate all guests. This invitation is strictly personal, but if you know other potentially interested and interesting people, please let us know, so we can invite them too! More information regarding panel members and the program will follow shortly.

Looking forward to welcome you!

Report on the K. Vanmechelen Edition

The fourth Edition of Otlet Salons takes place in the Open University of Diversity, nerve centre to the diverse activities of internationally renowned artist Koen Vanmechelen ( Vanmechelen, best know for his Cosmopolitan Chicken Project, entertains and lectures his audience on the necessity of both a mental and physical space where people can share ideas. Prof. Dr. Caroline Pauwels (VUB) and Prof. Dr. Luc De Schepper (UHasselt, the rectors of two Flemish universities reflect on diversity, crossbreeding and the future of their institutions. Fusing arts and science is the way to go according to artist and panel members. They agree that within universities there needs to be a balance between real freedom and being productive at the same time and making sure there’s a return to society. The lively interaction between keynote, panel and audience that Otlet Salons so cherishes, touches on many subjects, concluding that interdisciplinarity and exchange pose some challenges, but mainly holds great (societal) advantages.

Read the summary-koen-vanmechelen-edition for more information about this edition with quotes from the panel members and highlights of the evening. Video fragments will follow soon.
More on this and previous editions.

Otlet Salons and the Annual Fulbright Panel Discussion & Reception for Departing Grantees

On Wednesday, June 15, recently selected Fulbright Belgium, Luxembourg and Schuman grantees took part in a pre-departure ceremony and other programs in preparation for their 2016-2017 scholarship terms.

At the pre-departure orientation at the U.S. Embassy to Belgium held early afternoon, Executive Director Erica Lutes welcomed Fulbright grantees who are going to study, teach or conduct research in the United States in the upcoming fall. The orientation started with an informative presentation by the Fulbright staff on practical details about studying in the U.S., from academic programs, financial matters to visa-related information. Two Fulbright alumni, Jasper Bossuyt and Paulien Detailleur, contributed to the discussion, sharing their past experiences studying and working abroad, and responding to questions and concerns from the newly minted scholarship recipients.

Following the orientation, grantees convened at the residence of United States Ambassador Bauer for a reception and panel discussion, the latter co-organised with the Otlet Salons and entitled “Navigating Intellectual Property Rights, Nanotechnology, and Art.” The guest speakers, two of them Fulbright alumni, each shared their views on the importance of property rights and their implications on various fields, from art to material science. The event also presented the opportunity for Fulbrighters from all generations (with 1958 being oldest class year present) to connect and continue to develop a supportive Fulbright community.

More photos of this event can be found on the Flickr page.


9th June Koen Vanmechelen Edition

Thursday the 9th of June 2016 we are invited in a unique venue: The Open University of Diversity in Hasselt. This is the atelier of artist Koen Vanmechelen. We are extremely happy to be able to present a very high level of interaction, with internationally renowned artist Koen Vanmechelen and the newly elected rectors of two universities. We would like to welcome you in Hasselt at 7PM, starting with a complimentary visit to explore the Open University of Diversity, after which the presentation and discussion take place. After the event, you are also invited to a reception with snacks to network and discuss more. We invite you to take part in the public discussion and we hope you find new ideas and new contacts during this network event that aims to foster new cooperation across the borders of disciplines, institutions and society.

Registration is free but compulsory at: Please note that registration closes Fri 3th of June, 2016 and is limited to 40 people, so we can optimally accommodate all guests.

Open call Ashoka social initiatives

Dear invitees to the Otlet Salons,
please find a link to call for action by Ashoka Belgium:
We cannot think of a better way to bring social initiatives and social entrepreneurs to the next level!
Selected fellows will receive 3 months of free support, including training seminars and individual coaching, to help them with their respective business plan. This will enable them to help structure a sustainable business model in order to enhance their impact. 
Ashoka is a worldwide organization, helping social initiatives and social entrepreneurs across the globe. Their moto: everyone can be a changemaker.
Deadline is approaching fast: March 18th, 2016, and decisions are made by March 24th.
Good luck and keep us posted!

Report on the Jeremy Denk Edition

For their third Edition, Otlet Salons invited US pianist Jeremy Denk for a musical soiree centered around Bach’s Goldberg Variations: one of the most famous and difficult pieces for piano ever written and a challenge for both pianist and audience. A high-ceiling apartment and an eclectic mix of chairs and listeners forms the intimate setting wherein Denk proves his skills as performer by wittily illustrating the skeleton of the piece while playing excerpts ‘that go directly to the soul’.
A three-men panel (physicist, mathematician, artist) interacts with the musician and the diverse, involved audience on the subject of the seeming paradox between the soul and the mathematical foundation of the piece and the tension between art and science in general. The freely flowing discussion leads to the broader notion that science in its core seeks to describe an external reality; art and music are more about dealing with the world from the human perspective.

Read the full report for more information about this edition with quotes from the panel members and highlights of the evening.
More on this and previous editions.

Jeremy Denk Edition register now

We are pleased to inform you on the Jeremy Denk Edition of the Otlet Salons. This edition will take place in Antwerp on Friday the 5th of February 2016. We are happy to welcome Jeremy Denk as our keynote. He is one of the most expressive musicians of the USA. Jeremy will join us to share his reflections on Bach’s Goldberg variations. We will move from his playing and insights towards a broader reflection on music, arts and mathematics inspired by the ideas reflected on in the iconic (and Pulitzer prize winning) book “Gödel, Escher, Bach” by Douglas Hofstadter.More details on the subject, timing and program of this Edition will follow shortly here. If you want to participate please subscribe via and for future events subscribe to our blog.