Pumping Intuition



Imagine a farmer looses his favourite cow. In search for it he sees his cow from the road in a field that isn’t his. Upon return to his farm he tells his son to fetch the cow. However, when the son goes into the field he only sees a black and white flag at the location his father gave him. Luckily, much further away and invisible from the road, he does find the missing cow lying in a ditch.

The question is: did the farmer know the cow was in the field?


In the ongoing research project “Pumping Intuition” a selection of thought-experiments from the fields of philosophy, ethics and science are being investigated. Throughout a series of reenactments and interviews with experts, the thought-experiments themselves are being put to the test.

The case above is called a Gettier-problem and exposes fundamental problems with the classical view on what knowledge is.


The project was originally started during a residency at Kunsthuis SYB, Beetsterzwaag (NL)




Suppose, Therefore, If Locked in a Room

Full HD Video, 8:44



Imagine a person locked in a room,  that neither reads nor writes a word of Chinese.  There are two lids, one in which the person receives Chinese  marks on paper, the other in which the person, after writing a reply according to a reference book, will send a piece of paper. The outsiders will believe the person in the room speaks Chinese, the replies are accurate and consistent. The question remains however, even after repeating this process for many years, maybe even being able to reply without the reference book, does the person in the room 'know' Chinese?

In Suppose Therefore, If locked in a Room this famous thought experiment postulated by John Searle is actualized. In working together with a Mime Actress (Eva Kijlstra) a variety of scenarios like boredom, insanity and creative expression are being investigated.  Furthermore the film makes use of an Artificial Intelligence Engine to produce an animation on the other side of the wall.



Woman:  Eva Kijlstra

AI Animation: Tim van Oosterhout

Camera and Sound: Ruben Binnendijk, Tom Kok