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Steyn Bergs

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Personal profile

Personal information

Steyn Bergs, PhD candidate at the Arts & Culture Department, Faculty of the Humanities

I obtained my BA in Kunstwetenschappen ("art sciences") from the University of Ghendt in 2012. Subsequently, I pursued my interests further at VU Amsterdam in the MA programme Comparative Arts and Media Studies and the ResMA programme Visual Art, Media, and Architecture (now: Critical Studies in Art and Culture), which I graduated cum laude in 2015. After working for a year in the art field, I initiated my current PhD research project. This project, in which I examine the commodification of digital artworks, is a 4-year, full-time research position, fully funded by the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research’s PhDs in the Humanities funding programme.

Apart from my academic research, I publish various sorts of art critical texts (reviews, interviews, essays) with some regularity. From 2016 to 2018, together with Rosa te Velde, I was co-editor-in-chief of Kunstlicht, a journal for visual art, visual culture, and architecture. Currently, I am on the advisory board for Kunstlicht.


My PhD research is privisionally titled Control Copy: Commodification of the Digital Artwork. It is concerned with the interrelations between the reproducibility, commodity character, and value of digital artworks. It also looks into how these relations affect digital artworks’ distribution, circulation, and reception. The research project is supervised by Prof. Katja Kwastek and Sven Lütticken.

More generally speaking, my research interests - some of which are more closely connected to my PhD research than others - include, in no particular order: critical theory, media theory, political economy, the attention economy, aesthetics, art criticism, and (new) media art in the widest possible sense.

Some of the most important "outputs" (publications, paper presentations) of my research are listed on my profile here. For a more elaborate list, or for the full texts, please send me an e-mail.


During the second semester of the 2017-2018 academic year, I taught a seminar (with two sessions every week) on contemporary art from the 1960s to the present, for second year students of the MKDA (Media, Art, Design, and Architecture) BA programme at the VU.

In blocks 2 and 3 of the 2018-2019 academic year, I taught a seminar (with one session per week) called Media Art History, for students from various MA programmes at the Arts & Culture Department.


NWO PhD in the Humanities, full grant for a 4-year, full-time research project, 2016-2020.

Various smaller grants and travel bursaries for conferences.

Ancillary activities

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Ancillary activities are updated daily

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Steyn Bergs is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Font Arts & Humanities
Artwork Arts & Humanities
Art Criticism Arts & Humanities
Political Economy Arts & Humanities
Media Theory Arts & Humanities
Critical Theory Arts & Humanities
Commodification Arts & Humanities
Electronic Mail Arts & Humanities

Research Output 2016 2019

  • 6 Paper
  • 4 Article
  • 2 Online publication or Website

Home Economics: Real Abstraction in the Work of Vermeir & Heiremans

Bergs, S., 2019, In : open set | arts, humanities, culture.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Implied in the Contract: Occasional Reflections on Caveat

Bergs, S., 2019

Research output: Online publication or Non-textual formOnline publication or WebsiteAcademic

Institutional Transpositions: Two Music Exhibitions and the Politics of Attention

Bergs, S., 2019, In : ALL-OVER Magazin für Kunst & Ästhetik. 15, p. 56-66 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review