New book ‘The Landscape of Affordances’ and forthcoming publication in Philosophical Studies

Ronald Rietveld and I are proud to launch our book The Landscape of Affordances. The limited edition is already sold out! An extended 2021 edition will appear soon.

What happens when visual art, experimental architecture and academic philosophy join forces? In their book Erik Rietveld and Ronald Rietveld zoom in on their philosophy of radical embodied cognitive science, the process of making, and the materiality of RAAAF’s site-specific artworks. By placing them under the microscope, ten (!) new works were created; meticulously constructed out of 800 super high resolution photos.

Published by Black Paper Press. Graphic design by Ricky Rijkenberg. Printed by Robstolk Amsterdam. Book launch was at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).

If you are interested in the 2021 edition send an email to

Link to our article in Phil Studies.

There is more great news from our ERC-project: The journal Philosophical Studies has accepted a paper by Jasper van den Herik and myself that is titled ‘Reflective Situated Normativity‘. It is a follow up of my 2008 Mind paper, which discusses the concept of situated normativity primarily in the context of skilled unreflective action. Situated normativity is the ability of skilled individuals to distinguish better from worse, adequate from inadequate, appropriate from inappropriate, or correct from incorrect in the context of a particular situation (Rietveld, 2008). In the new forthcoming article, we aim to explore and sketch the role of the concept of situated normativity in characterising more reflective forms of normativity. The goal of the paper is two-fold: first, by showing more reflective forms of normativity to be continuous with unreflective situated normativity, we bring these reflective forms of normativity into the reach of embodied accounts of cognition; and second, by extending the concept of situated normativity, new light is thrown on questions regarding reflective forms of cognition.

Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences visits RAAAF

The Society of Arts of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences organized a RAAAF road trip for its members. Our artwork Deltawerk // questions the ambition to build an indestructible Holland in times of climate change. Related to this the work is also an experiment in creating new ruins.

Deltawerk // by RAAAF | Atelier de Lyon (photo: Juliana Gomez)
Deltawerk // by RAAAF | Atelier de Lyon (photo: Jan Kempenaers)

A Rich Landscape of Affordances is now the most cited article in Ecological Psychology!

According to the website of Ecological Psychology our article A Rich Landscape of Affordances (Rietveld & Kiverstein 2014) is not the most cited article in that journal. It is available open access here.

A follow up paper is recommended reading for those of you interested in the brain situated in this real-life context of the landscape of affordances. It is titled: What’s Inside Your Head Once You’ve Figured Out What Your Head’s Inside Of?

Co-authored with Jelle Bruineberg & open access as well.

The making of Still Life

RAAAF made a large new art installation for Het Hem. This former bullet factory becomes a new space for experimental art and contemporary culture in Amsterdam. Our artwork Still Life questions the abandoned war factory and creates a link between the present, past and future of this historically burdened heritage. Below you will find our short film on the process of making it. Please watch it full screen and with sound on.

Volkskrant visual art section: “Youthful art makes old bullet factory sizzle with energy”

Dutch national newspapers NRC and Volkskrant published on our new art installation Still Life, which was tailor made for the large new art space Het Hem.

Translation: “Spectacular art space Het Hem… ‘Still-Life’, the moving installation RAAAF made for Het Hem.
Translation: “VISUAL ART: Youghtful art makes old bullet factory sizzle with energy. New art space Het Hem in Zaandam opens.”

Inaugural Lecture as Socrates Professor

I really enjoyed working on my inaugural lecture for the Socrates Chair on Making Humane Technologies. I presented it on April 18th 2019 and you can now read it here online. Title: The Affordances of Art for Making Technologies.

I will be working on this for a day a week at the University of Twente. My ERC/VIDI team remains based at the University of Amsterdam the rest of the week. Thanks to all those who came to celebrate this special occasion with me, it was a beautiful day!

Rietveld, E. (2019) The Affordances of Art for Making Technologies. Inaugural lecture at the University of Twente, Socrates Chair, April 18 2019.

New publication in Trends in Cognitive Sciences (TiCS)

TiCS published our latest paper on Deep Brain Stimulation and Self-Confidence. Work done in collaboration with Julian Kiverstein, Heleen Slager and Damiaan Denys. Reed it open access here:

Kiverstein, J., Rietveld, E., Slagter, H. A., & Denys, D. (2019). Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Pathology of Self-Confidence? Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

Situated Anticipation

Proud that Synthese has published our article ‘Situated Anticipation’. It is based on ethnographic observations by Ludger van Dijk as part of my ERC-project ‘Affords-Higher’.The process of making of RAAAF’s art installation Breaking Habits was observed on site for over 9 months. It shows the potential of using RAAAF as a living lab for investigating so-called ‘higher cognition’ in practice.

We introduce the concept of ‘large-scale affordances’ for possibilities like the making of an art installation that take many months to be enacted. We have also visualised the relation between smaller- and larger-scale inviting affordances. The aricle is available open access here.

Enacring the affordance of making an art installation over the course of many months

Anticipating Affordances

March 12, 2018: A Great Leap Forward for the field and our NWO VIDI-project ‘The Landscape of Affordances: Situating the Embodied Mind’! After four years of hard work Jelle Bruineberg, the PhD-student on that project, succesfully defended his impressive PhD-thesis ‘Anticipating Affordances: Intentionality in self-organizing brain-body-environment systems’. Well done Jelle!

Art installation for a time of climate change: Deltawerk //

On September 27th 2018, the largest artwork of RAAAF | Atelier de Lyon so far openend: Deltawerk //.

A huge wave basin in the National Monument Waterloopbos served as a test location for the Delta Works. With the aim of creating an indestructible delta, engineers experimented with, among other things, meters high tsunami waves. We have excavated and sawed open this colossal 250-meter-long monument of the Dutch struggle against water.

Deltawerk // by RAAAF | Atelier de Lyon

Deltawerk // physically questions the famous Dutch pursuit of indestructibility. Just like our National Monument Bunker 599, which has been sawn through, it is a plea for a radically different approach to cultural heritage: Hardcore Heritage.

Read more about this in Frontiers in Psychology, Metropolis NYC, Volkskrant, etc.:

Dutch national newspaper Volkskrant announces cultural highlights of Fall 2018, including our new artwork Deltawerk //