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A C E R TA I N M A - N E S S
O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A - N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF UNDER PRESSURE U T E M E TA B A U E R I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P… ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS POSING SINGUL ARIT Y JAN VERWOERT ROOM FOR THOUGHT SIMON SHEIKH U N C E R TA I N M A - N E S S MICK WILSON A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL
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JOURNAL OF ARTISTIC RESE ARCH SUMMER 2008
EDI TOR I AL
Too many conferences currently being organized by art academies draw attention to the recent development of
PhD’s in art trajectories. Yet an even more important issue
3 – 4 EDITORIAL
A C E R TA I N M A - N E S S
5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A - N E S S
WILLEM DE GREEF
today pertains to the speciﬁcity of MA Fine Art programs of art academies. After all, it is the master’s program, focused on research, that prepares artists for a possible PhD trajectory; it is the master’s program that offers artists various perspectives on their professional careers; and it is the master’s program and its strong emphasis on the speciﬁcities of its curriculum that force the bachelor’s program to reﬂect on the particular structure of its own curriculum. Moreover, in spite of the obligation to implement the Bologna rules by 2010, many European countries interpret the concrete establishment of the master’s program in various ways. In some countries, a one-year program is offered, while other countries concentrate on a two-year program. Some countries have had master’s programs in Fine Art for many years, whereas others hardly adhere to the deadline for the implementation of a master’s program. These clear-cut urgencies indicate a deﬁnite need for an international symposium addressing the issue of the speciﬁcity of the MA Fine Art programs. In order to explore these questions further the Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design ( MaHKU ) started a longterm collaboration project with the Brussels Sint Lukas Academie, an academy which, similar to MaHKU, offers a one-year MA program in Fine Art. A series of meetings last year between lecturers from the Sint Lukas Academy and the MaHKU generated a number of additional questions. It turned out that a variety of issues could be categorized in three sub-categories: the student perspective or the question of competencies; the lecturer’s perspective or the question of speciﬁc didactic strategies; and last but not least, the perspective of the institutional environment where the interaction between lecturer and student takes place. Precisely these three perspectives – addressing the same issue from different points of view – are departure points for the symposium A Certain Ma-ness ( Amsterdam, Spring 2008 ) organized by both academies in collaboration with VCH De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam. During the ﬁrst two presentations ( Jan Verwoert, Clementine Deliss ) the perspective of MA-competencies is the starting point. The issue pertains to whether it is possible to map the various skills required for the MAprogram particularly with regard to a reﬂective and critical attitude, and a conception of both knowledge production and research. How can we assess these competencies? Could it be that speciﬁc, rhetorical qualities are decisive? What will happen to traditional skills such as mastery of technique? Is the artist unskilled despite having followed the graduate program or are traditional skills reformulated during the course of the program and its critical studies? What do critical and contextualizing skills mean for the situation of the academy as such? Is the graduate art academy eventually nothing more than a bastion of the neo-liberal art system as is often the case with prominent American MFA program’s,
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U T E M E TA B A U E R
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48 C O LO FON
or is the academy still clearly deﬁned as an outpost for a culturecritical awareness? During the next two presentations ( Simon Sheikh, Mick Wilson ) the perspective shifts to didactic strategies. Can one determine how a MA curriculum is characterized? What are adequate didactic strategies and educational models, and how do they differ from a BA program? What are the differences and similarities between the various European MA Fine Art programs? How does the Bologna-ruled, curriculum-based program and its seminars, lectures, and various methods and bodies of knowledge relate to the still dominant studiobased paradigm with its rituals of tutorials and studio visits? How do we prevent a more topical discourse based on critical studies and artistic research becoming canonized into a novel form of academia? Finally, how do the current educational strategies and models relate to the research practice of lecturers? In other words, how could the lecturer’s own artistic research be strategically deployed in the curriculum? The question of the position of one’s own artistic research leads us also to the theme of the research environment. Is it the task of the academy to develop a speciﬁc artistic research environment? How should such an experimental research environment be facilitated? How does such a research environment relate to the artistic ﬁeld mostly determined by the free market system? Is it the potential of the experimental environment as one of the last asylums for deviant forms of knowledge production ( or thinking ) that made a great number of curators decide in recent years to proclaim the academy as the starting point for their exhibition projects? Investigating the issue of the academy as ﬁeld of possibilities from the perspective of the Graduate School appears urgent. In other words, in what way – political, facilitative, infrastructural – could the Graduate School contribute to the development of a research climate in art education? These questions are approached during A Certain Ma-Ness in two ways. First, artists Tiong Ang and Aglaia Konrad developed a presentation in the exhibition space of VCH De Brakke Grond parallel to the themes of the symposium. The exhibition shows the interaction between the research of the lecturer ( Tiong Ang, MaHKU and Aglaia Konrad, Sint Lukas ) and of the student ( Filip Gilissen, Sint Lukas, Joris Lindhout, MaHKU ) as a didactic tool for creating a dynamic research environment within the current educational system ( The visual material printed in MaHKUzine 5 is a series of impressions of this parallel exhibition ) . Secondly, Bart Verschaffel’s talk, Willem de Greef’s introduction, and the presentation of the Utrecht Consortium ( see Research Reports ) all elaborate further on the conditions and possibilities of an artistic research environment. It was Ute Meta Bauer at the Vienna School of Art who was one of the ﬁrst people in the art academy ﬁeld to address these questions and issues in the context of institutional preconditions. Therefore, she opens the symposium A Certain Ma-ness with a keynote statement. ( HS )É
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3 – 4 EDITORIAL
A C E R TA I N M A - N E S S
5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A - N E S S
WILLEM DE GREEF
7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E
U T E M E TA B A U E R
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48 C O LO FON
Fact number two: arts education is a regular part of the Flemish educational system. Is there really a need for this? And if so. there are some peculiarities in the way the Flemish government has implemented the Bologna Declaration. meaning the Flemish and French groups in Belgium. education has not been a national matter. Nevertheless. the 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . while academic bachelor’s and master’s degrees are provided by universities and by the “hogescholen. art education became a full part of the higher educational system. including reform of the Bachelor-Master degree structure.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . universities and non-universities alike. Let me give you some facts on the educational system in Belgium. By this we mean that higherlevel art institutes.A C E R TA I N M A . and probably as a consequence of this. Which means that only since then were its structure and its qualiﬁcations aligned with the rest of the system.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 5 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . are being transformed into “academically oriented” Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.N E S S W I L L EM D E G R EEF To make it very clear from the outset. Contrary to the Netherlands. At present. higher arts education has undergone and is still undergoing several reforms. and only in Flanders. In other words. Especially the academization of higher arts education. It has not always been so. Like all the other higher education programs and courses.” Another important aspect is that there is only one kind of Master’s degree in Flanders. this symposium tries to deal with what we call in Belgium. or at least in Flanders. provided by both universities and “hogescholen”.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . Since then the Ministry of Education for the Flemish Community is responsible for higher education in Flanders. Instead there has been a complete devolution of competencies for education to the different linguistic communities. Only in 1994. First and foremost. those provided by what we call the “hogescholen” ( higher educational institutes ). what could it probably mean? This is what this symposium is about. Art students have to become academics or develop some basic competencies in research. or for artists. will necessarily have to present or develop curricula for students which are clearly “embedded in research”. if they want to provide Master’s degrees. professional bachelor’s degrees are only provided by the “hogescholen”. just one decade ago.N E S S O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . and no exception was made for higher arts education. for instance. Fact number one: since 1989. As adopted by the Flemish Parliament in the 2003 Act on the structure of higher education in Flanders. the subject of this symposium is not PhD’s or doctorates in the arts. the Flemish government started to implement the Bologna declaration some years ago. are generally transformed into what are called “professionally oriented” Bachelor’s degrees. Other programs or courses. the largest part of the non-university higher education programs and courses. be they practicebased or not. and believe me even in Dutch it sounds also quite weird: “academizing”.
the Hogeschool Sint-Lukas Brussel. they will necessarily have to reset their targets and to rethink the curriculum. I believe this symposium offers us a wonderful opportunity for discussing these issuesÉ . One of the major consequences of this choice is that all Master’s degree programs have to be “embedded in research”. All this undoubtedly poses many questions. All Master’s degrees in Flanders are supposed to be academic. all over Europe. or is there still a need for more professionally oriented programs? Or. are looking for the best way to deliver excellent art education within an outstanding academic context. if higher arts institutes want to transform their traditional programs into academic programs. My own institute. what type of research should they develop? Importantly.Flemish government has chosen not to introduce a “professionally oriented” degree at the Master’s level. scientiﬁc domain.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . Is there really a need for this ? Do all students in the arts really need to follow this academic track. Moreover. All these issues are not unique to Flanders.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON Or are their artistic or professional qualities more important? Does it mean that higher arts institutes have to develop their own research programs? If so. how can one evaluate the quality of the research done by higher arts institutes or departments? Fourthly. is the identity as such of higher arts education not at stake here? Thirdly. Firstly. how do we make a clear link. for instance. that in the near future all staff members of art schools should hold doctorates or a PhD? 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A .N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 6 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . does the difference sharply evident in Flanders between professionally oriented and academic course programs make any sense in higher arts education? Secondly. does all of this not demand a change in the structure of higher arts education itself? For instance. today nearly all courses in higher arts education in Flanders are supposed to be leading to a Master’s degree. each of the “hogescholen” has been afﬁliated with a university. should higher arts institutes become fully embedded in the universities and evolve into a full faculty department at the university? Do universities have enough experience with performing arts? At least in Flanders it is no secret that artistic research is an underdeveloped. for most of the Flemish politicians it is widely accepted that the “hogescholen” cannot possibly meet this requirement for “academization” without a helping hand from the universities. if not undeveloped. Many arts institutes. Some have called it the academic drift of the arts institutes or departments. Even the Flemish minister of education himself stated recently that the helping hand of the universities in the process of academization cannot be more than a small ﬁnger. is associated with the Catholic University of Leuven. How would an academic curriculum look which still made sense for higher arts education and for art students? What are the academic competencies they are supposed to develop? More profoundly. Let me just point out some of them. Therefore. if we want to. to put it differently. between arts education and research? Does it mean.
This is not only for programs in the United States. you want to know what the pay-off might be. This might be the case in London as well. The strong market has made art education red hot. and “creating” successful artists has become a standard promise on the mission statements of and calls for applications to MA programs.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 7 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . On the one hand. to critical studies. one wonders where will all these students go when they leave the institution with their degrees in their pockets? If you invest so much into your education. Art academies invent new programs ranging from MAs in public art. In order to serve these expectations.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . MA courses have expanded both in the ﬁeld of artistic education and curatorial studies to serve an ever-growing market. the desired and demanded accessibility to this “ ﬁeld of distinction” for a larger number of people has ﬁnally become a reality. What might be more speciﬁc within the US American setting is the very short path from the art school to the gallery into a collection. with its annual top of the pops and one-hit wonders. the chance of grabbing a seat on the art carousel has sharply increased. and so forth. more art institutions opening their doors and more museums for contemporary art being established than ever before. More private collections. The art schools and universities – previously more free and open zones for experiments – gradually became incorporated into a suspiciously commodiﬁed system. even ten years ago. there is a certain pressure on the art schools to connect early with the art market and to generate a smooth entry into the system while the future artist is still in school. But was this what we meant when we asked for more visibility as young art students twenty ﬁve years ago? Weirdly enough. in more countries. Art students have more knowledge of the art market than ever before. critical curatorial studies. producers of video clips.UNDER PRESSURE U T E M E TA B AU ER The art system. Then the debate centered around what the majority of art students would do who never entered the golden triangle of the academy–gallery–museum. and so on? But with the expansion of the market through a new generation of collectors and the globalization of the market itself including the biennial boom. This is a major shift as compared to. are opening their doors to the public. which is a indeed a welcome specialization disrupting the dominance of hundreds of years of European “master schools” established in order to select and form “the best. and has become an increasingly. 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . say. especially the art market today has become part of the educational system.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . Although I appreciate that today almost everyone can be a producer of some kind. Culture and art are signiﬁcant economic factors leaving their mark on how art education is shaped. Would they instead become more creative web designers. Today there are more exhibitions taking place. I am not sure this is a positive development. being a critical scholar myself. The exorbitant tuition fees in the US put a certain pressure to “succeed” on both the institution and the student. it feels as if the art market has replaced the music industry. attractive ﬁeld within education.” Nevertheless.
some are amicable. today India. young curators. as Guy Debord presents in his text and ﬁlm.The art market is growing rapidly. no outside to the art market and vice versa.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 8 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . These are not ﬁxed conﬁgurations and an institution today does not represent the same thing it did twenty years ago. tomorrow there is an art fair as well. Additionally. To me there is no outside to the institution.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT 44 – 46 UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON _ S I N G L E .N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . A S P ? B AC K = 1& F = 119 8 . and in which direction we move. 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . some reading of ΩFRIEZE. art has become a huge globally operating machine in need of skilled labor. Yesterday it was China. a growing industry producing scores of new job opportunities. Myriad strategies are incorporated to serve the system. galleries and so on. H T T P :// W W W . however. some more antagonistic. This brings us back to the art schools. Yet now the art schools seem pretty much part of the canon. I don’t necessarily agree with that argument as grounds to support an opinion and debate. as I still believe in artistic practice as a necessary critical contribution to the formation of societies. Therefore. Art is now a lifestyle. as stated above. some knowledge of system theory. B A LT I C B A B EL . But what will be left after the glory days have faded? A recent debate on New Institutionalism in “Bureaux de Change” by Alex FarquharsonΩ referred to a number of us freelance curators joining the “safe haven” of the institutions for higher artistic education. Solid educational foundations were provided by a ”master” when a school’s focus and reputation rested more upon skills and techniques. each new spot popping up on the global map. is rife everywhere. where each “actor” decides where we position ourselves. new host sites for biennials. “Off” spaces nowadays are not necessarily more political than a museum. as this depends on how and by whom a space or institution is run. Are they still places to discuss the meaning of artistic production within the larger ﬁeld of culture? Do they negotiate the role art plays in contemporary society? Previously. and are we not in need of art schools too at all these newly emerging locations? Again I am of two minds. it is a system of interconnected relations. The critical ﬁeld deﬁnes itself as distinct from the commercial sector. and tomorrow Dubai and the Gulf. I support the improved access to discourse and modes of production in many places of the world. The art world is and has always been a complex system. To assume the same clear divisions exist as did maybe twenty-ﬁve years ago would be overly simplifying. There is a huge demand for fresh artists. a black-and-white understanding of this complex system. Art and its different manifestations have become a powerful economical factor. art academies and art schools were pre-market. the academy provided a somewhat sheltered “biotope” encouraging experience and wild growth. a kind of playground and creative laboratory when the academy was more innovative. through current exhibitions and their various formats? What is their content and for whom are they being staged? The society of spectacle. Where there is a biennial today. The market embraces all too quickly. The questions we need to address are: What is communicated through this new art. a ﬁeld of constellations and interrelations. C O M / F E AT U R E I S S U E 101 I S S U E 101 . However. as today no one can afford such naiveté. F R I E Z E . The market is part of the discursive ﬁeld.
but I want to express – and this I share with a number of my colleagues – a strong feeling of unease about the economic and political pressures that those who run museums increasingly have to face today. I do not want to criticize my colleagues in art institutions and do not want to sound all too negative. From my perspective. Art schools seem to offer a kind of temporary refuge for those with a desire to sustain a more critical and discursive practice. from what the art ﬁeld represents. Instead of complaining. although a very open and liberal one. We were students of the visual arts. called “Stille Helden” – were not completely opposed to art institutions.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . Therefore. and some independence.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . A second reason is that today’s director of a museum or a “Kunsthalle” is more involved in management and fundraising activities than in working on shows or directly with artists as was the case in the past. speciﬁcally those who previously held highproﬁle curatorial positions.. did often not address what mattered to us or was not linked to our discussions about art. one should not underestimate the potential and pleasure of working with students. In my case. and the option of getting away from the sheer pragmatism of running the day-to-day business of a museum. at least in the Western hemisphere.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 9 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . affected my desire to understand not only art theory. The motivation actually causing my shift from working as an artist and organizer to curator and educator seems outdated. ﬁlm.over’ of the. It was not until later that I understood that art history is not made 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . universities etc.Bourdieu. Furthermore. but also the social topography of the art world at large. one reason is the increasing commodiﬁcation and instrumentalization of the position of the curator for all sorts of agendas and desires. a European male-dominated art school setting. but there was no space for us available and what we saw exhibited. The wish to renegotiate the role of art through an expanded notion of artistic education allows a certain degree of distance. Today this all seems so far away. But what I currently see happening is the `take . and poetry. music. performance and theater. I have been studying art myself. at least so far. more distant locations by the market and its protagonists – and the pressure attached to the market is already felt. The exclusion of a younger generation of artists. we simply created our own formats and spaces and generated our own audiences. We – as an artists’ group. speciﬁcally women. To return to Farquharson’s mention of freelance “curators [re-] entering or ﬂirting with educational art institutions”: today’s conference topic does indeed raise the question of why curators in recent times have been accepting leading positions at art schools. extended by post-graduate studies in art theory. I am quite aware of the inﬂuence of teachers and the impact of innovative institutional leadership in higher artistic education upon students. To be mainly involved with satisfying trustees and/or local politicians rather than investing time researching ﬁelds that might be not that popular – this is not everyone’s cup of tea. Rorty and Luhmann never hurts in becoming aware of our very own entanglements. from mainstream art institutions in those days. was a catalyst for me and some artist friends to generate something else. the inspiration to be found in other related research ﬁelds.
to discover. the Venice and Whitney biennials. Inform. But are there any shared intentions to do so at present? In that respect. there is a deﬁnite advantage to “duck and cover” within an educational structure for a while. shown. and Entertain” as a healthy mix and a valid model. and an inﬂation of temporary exhibition formats such as the exploding number of biennials on the other. and to analyze. but not least. To come back to teaching. One should also not forget that a number of conceptual artists. this was my interest.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . I can only hope that at one point the necessity to interfere becomes strong enough to enter the history-producing apparatus. So. what the idea behind such participation is.. As the 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . Even today I seek to ﬁnd “company” to explore. When I studied art in the early 1980s as part of the group of young artists called “Stille Helden”. More and more. We have to demand a review and a correction of public collections and force a change in outdated focus points. such as Hans Haacke at Cooper Union and Michael Asher at CalArts could only sustain their practice during previous high art markets due to their teaching positions. the market dictates what art is produced and. I feel the relation between art and exhibitions offers the option to test situations and combinations.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . I see teaching in art schools as a practice in line with my curatorial work. they have the budget. in order to be able to implement a correction through a multitude of voices whenever necessary. The exploration of thoughts and work is a necessary focus in art education. both formats produce a communicative space through artistic and intellectual means. the infrastructure. And last. the authority on the art historical cannon is to a certain extent still in the hands of the major museums and based on their collections. and the Carnegie International. Facing today’s powerful art market with huge cash ﬂow on one hand. or within opinion-creating blockbusters such as Documenta. and also the media power to “correct” and re-write art history. so nothing is wrong with involving students in exhibitions. I keep in mind the BBC’s founding mandate: “Educate. being unpredictable prevented us from being co-opted. thus. For obvious reasons they should take place as well within an apparatus of representation such as an art museum. One should not forget. I must have internalized this attitude. and this made me sensitive towards being identiﬁed with an institution rather than with a distinct practice. though.in the garage. though. those “institutions” are indeed highly interesting. I still see certain gaps arising within the dominance of the market. offering them some independence. An exhibition is equal to a seminar for me. Yet teaching is also about the possibility and responsibility of transmitting a speciﬁc understanding and notion of a critical artistic and cultural practice to a younger generation of art students. it is not to create a showcase for students entering the market. Being part of an artist group allowed us not to get pigeonholed. in those days as young artists we were far removed from having a master plan to develop and to manage a career. within art history that mattered to my generation – such as the already mentioned lack of female positions etc. to share what I perceive. there is a need for crucial debates within universities and other societal institutions focusing on those issues. It must be made clear. to reﬂect.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 10 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A .
its perception. as an entity sharing and debating experiences.” I consider myself always to be the primary audience for my projects. C A M B R I D G E . and the communication about it generates what we consider art. That keeps one alive and very sensitive to cultural developments. Power positions are not static or written in stone. art takes part in the economical and political reconﬁgurations on this planet as much as everything else. Surely one should not fall into the trap of considering art. although the market is strong today. J O S EP H : A R T A F T ER P H I LO S O P H Y A N D A F T ER C O L L E C T E D W R I T I N G S 19 6 6 -19 9 0 . Before that. i. These notions are in constant ﬂux. For me. to be committed for a certain time span and then to move on to new territories.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . museums. Later. while working as a curator for large-scale exhibitions such as Documenta11 or the 3rd Berlin Biennial. we should maintain a laboratory-type situation in the academies. This understanding of generating an audience to develop a space of communication. – 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . to subordinate or to serve a system. work not so easily absorbed. I recall that in the 1990s it was the curators who were considered the strong players in the ﬁeld. But free of what? That question reminds me of Antonio Gramsci and his notion of the artist as organic intellectual whose role is not to act. while they should really be “free” thinkers. a public space sphere within an institution for education.an audience separate from the participants does not exist. For example. M A S S AC H U S E T T S / LO N D O N . you have to participate to produce a discourse and to understand an art work. I view both art and curating as ephemeral and process-oriented work. Such understanding has been continued by a number of recent political philosophers such as Toni Negri.. Michael Lingner claimed that only the combination of a work of art. gender. Therefore.. and art schools as ﬁxed entities. possibly caused to a certain degree by curators entering the ﬁeld. it remains essential to enter institutional spaces and at the same time not to become too comfortable within them. Today. artists. postcolonial. but to be a critical and independent voice negotiating civil society. During the years I directed an artists-run space in StuttgartΩ. I realize that the art schools are too involved in the markets.. and the speed of the transformational process has been increased alongside the development of high consumption in general. E N G L A N D : T H E M I T P R E S S . is still crucial and important to me. As an audience. but is more difﬁcult to achieve. these issues are addressed to pressure artists into being “do-gooders”.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 11 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? Ω K Ü N S T L ER H AU S S T U T TG A R T F R O M 19 9 0 -19 9 4 CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . I developed a view of the audience as informal participants over time. I regret that the awareness of colonial. In other words.e. One of my teachers in art theory at the Academy in Hamburg. Since raising theoretical questions through both artistic and curatorial practice is one of my driving forces.conceptual artist Joseph KosuthΩonce stated so clearly: “. curators. At the same time. 19 91 . and class debates that once appeared in the curricula of art education disappear almost immediately through the back door now that they have a whiff of “PC ” about them. to be challenged. you have to engage in what you perceive.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT 44 – 46 UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . As long as we are able to address that in our educational positions. and communicate that Ω KO S U T H . the institutions were the opinion makers. Globalization as such does not stop when it comes to art. Today. my self-understanding of my position as a curator did not differ much from my self-understanding and way of working as a practicing artist right after ﬁnishing art academy.
An exhibition has to clarify the questions raised and share this process with the audience. we had to go to the places of origin or of relevance for each of the platform topics. O F D O C U M E N TA 11 . Platform_1 was focused on a series of talks. Those questions indicated that antagonism was already on the rise. a place with an everyday experience of this fairly recent academic discourse. But since the Documenta11 curatorial team understood this exceptional exhibition format as a form of knowledge production. The so-called professionals have to re-encounter art each time they experience new works.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . That is immensely important in order to establish a serious kind of back-and-forth debate and to delve deeper into a topic. a space one has to produce. H A D A R O U N D 650. Once. too. it is not a given. In other words. next to each other. we are still doing ﬁne. In order to focus on the speciﬁcs of these discourses. art dealers. and what do we generate by what is then written about it? When it comes to research I consider curatorial practice well-situated within an art school context. artistic views. Some of them wondered how debates on democracy related to the agenda of an art school. and why not view it as an expanded series of seminars? Platform_1 .constellations are constantly shifting. it feels quite normal. museums were the places for serious historical research. rather than educate them from the position of those “in the know. Today they are forced to take part in a tourist industry and have started to become fundraising machines in order to survive. Such topics triggered some highly sensitive reactions amongst my colleagues on the faculty at the Vienna academy.0 0 0 48 C O LO FON .N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT 44 – 46 UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 20 02 .N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 12 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . Lucia.4 correlated with the discourses artists invited to Documenta11 were currently exploring. Let’s return to the topic of curators connected to art schools. An exhibition of that scale reaches many peopleΩ. but if you debate it in St. to debate creolité in Kassel does not make much sense. So Documenta11 was criticized mostly for resembling a seminar for higher cultural education. and art collectors asked why such an important exhibition as Documenta11 was launched in an art school context and on a topic unrelated to art. Sarat Maharaj. This meant there were eighteen months before the initial scheduled opening date of Documenta11 in June 2002 ( then called Platform_5 ). on “Democracy Unrealized”. Mark Nash. The opening of Documenta11 took place in March 2001 at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna with Platform_1. Octavio Zaya. workshops etc. and last but not least Susanne Ghez – was the view that Documenta is a knowledge production machine. Several art critics. One needs a “critical mass” to interact with you if you raise such questions. What do we generate as curators when we put art works.” Such a “zone of activity” marks the effort one makes to create discursive art – through a curatorial decision. why not launch Documenta11 at an art academy. also because museums are withdrawing more and more from curatorial obligation. many for the ﬁrst time encountering contemporary art. For example. What I shared with Okwui Enwezor and my colleagues from Documenta11 – Carlos Basualdo. Curators are under pressure to Ω P L AT F O R M 5 V I S I TO R S . Automatically one is confronted with criticism of people who share the experience and have deep convictions on the topic. we considered Documenta as an educational tool. T H E E X H I B I T I O N I N K A S S EL I N 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . I see an exhibition as a zone of activity.
N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT 44 – 46 UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON .continuously produce art shows that create media attention and attract large audiences. Aren’t those the exhibitions that stick around the longest?É 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . troubled. a space for discourse that challenges the way we think and the way we perceive the world. Exhibitions are not being created to simply satisfy us. An exhibition should be able to create a space for critical reﬂection. That leaves them with less time for research. stimulated.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 13 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A .N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . No wonder some curators migrate to educational institutions in order to do research. A “good” exhibition leaves one irritated.
Future Academy has effectively spanned ﬁve continents in its attempt to discern the context for independent research in art in times to come. However.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 14 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . . Future Academy students have acted as the diagnosticians of their own art education. or became so fully involved in it that their ownership of it is unrelenting. and community. I published Backwards Translation based on the ex-curricula of students.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A .Ω Over the last ﬁve years. P. I transited around Scandinavia for eighteen months. and ﬁnally Biella. This has involved generating work with artists and writers through the independent organ Metronome and led to a backstage approach to curating for which the art college has proved to be the most efﬁcient and responsive institutional setting. This research deepened until we decided to make voice recordings in a studio in Oslo and develop another Metronome ΩIT Ω“ T H E N OT I O N O F 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . a curated research initiative set up in 2003 that has been driven primarily by voluntary and non-paying cells of postgraduate students. Edinburgh.Ω In 1999. 20 0 4 . Future Academy does not provide an MA or MFA and. building up an analysis of the use of rhetoric and the voice in art practice with a voluntary posse of postgraduate students who were studying at the various art colleges. what it has provided for students studying at both large-scale institutions as well as smaller protozoan organisations is a recursive and transitional model for learning how to conduct focused research as artists. production. Supported by host institutions from Europe. ? CL ÉM EN T I N E D EL I S S Is it possible to map the various skills required for the MA ..I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P . A N E X P R E S S I O N D O E S N OT FI N D I T S P L AC E I N T H E S Y S T EM O F V I S I B L E C O O R D I N AT E S W H ER E I T A P P E A R S . As a self-reﬂexive investigation that relies on the free will and engagement of students from different institutions and faculties it is necessarily heterological: it appears to disturb the existing coordinates of ﬁne art education by tracing paths across geopolitical locations that throw up earlier colonial cartographies and question current afﬁliations of power and knowledge that are in the process of being re-negotiated. setting up a situation of parallel research and co-production between the Städelschule in Frankfurt ( where I was a guest professor) and the art academies in Vienna. I N T ER V I E W W I T H G A B R I EL R O C K H I L L . a process. Interestingly. students who take on Future Academy either leave quickly because they do not understand its apparent lack of course structure. 71 ‘ H E T ER O LO GY ’ R EF ER S TO T H E WAY I N W H I C H T H E M E A N I N G F U L I S D EB ATA B L E W H E T H ER T H E D E V ELO P M E N T O F M E T R O N O M E W O U L D H AV E B EE N AC H I E V E D I N T H E M I D TO L AT E N I N E T I E S I F I H A D W O R K E D W I T H I N M U S EU M S W H ER E T H E EM P H A S I S O N P U B L I C V I S I B I L I T Y A N D AC C E S S M AY H AV E R U N C O N T R A R Y TO T H E F O C U S O N ‘ C O N C EP T UA L I N T I M AC Y ’ T H AT I C H O S E TO WORK WITH. in fact. C O N T I N U U M . economic models. Future Academy characterises my activity as a curator over the last ten years. Africa. with Michelangelo Pistoletto who was setting up the Cittadellarte and University of Ideas. and responses to ﬁeldwork in foreign locations. has no formal legitimacy in terms of ofﬁcial diplomas or exam qualiﬁcations.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT 44 – 46 UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON FA B R I C O F T H E S E N S I B L E I S D I S T U R B E D : A S P E C TAC L E D O E S N OT FI T W I T H I N T H E S E N S I B L E F R A M E W O R K D EFI N E D BY A N E T W O R K O F M E A N I N G S . Bordeaux.program particularly with regard to a reﬂective and critical attitude. As a procedure that involves the elaboration of new proposals and their execution. T H E P O L I T I C S O F A E S T H E T I C S . which can only be successful if they view their current condition as closely aligned to that of a future environment for research. India.” J AC Q U E S R A N C I ÈR E . whilst simultaneously coming to grips with survival. Japan.. In 2001. Currently part of Edinburgh College of Art. and a conception of both knowledge production and research? My contribution to this discussion is based on ‘Future Academy’. and Australia. USA .
N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 15 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . Malmö. PAU L R A B I N O W . the polymathic academic and cyberneticist who made seminal advances in the translation of systems of knowing and communicating. E TC . ﬁrst between the London Institute ( now University of the Arts). and later Edinburgh College of Art. T H ER E I S A H O R I ZO N O N T H E K I N D O F AU TO N O M Y P O S S I B L E I N T H I S S I T UAT I O N . A R T I S T A N D C O L L A B O R ATO R I N F U T U R E AC A D EM Y. Tate Britain. P LU S T H E B U R G EO N I N G P O S I T I O N . A N D F O R A N A R T I S T I C P R AC T I C E W H ER E T H E P R I M A R Y I S S U E I S H O W TO G E T BY. I published the last two editions of Metronome for documenta 12. for example.C R I T I C A L A N A LY S I S O F T H E C L I F F O R D G EER T Z . and the primary focus on translation as a key trope in advanced art practice. building a form of “ecological epistemology”. Australia. C O L L A B O R AT I O N S O F C U LT U R A L S T U D I E S R E N D ER E D P R O B L EM AT I C T H E O N G O I N G A R T I C U L AT I O N O F S O C I A L A N T H R O P O LO GY A S A N A P P R O P R I AT E M E T H O D O LO GY F O R A N 8 0 S ’ U N D ER S TA N D I N G O F G LO B A L I S AT I O N . Bateson’s concept of the “metalogue” is relevant here. I’ve come back to Gregory Bateson. a publication and 12hour event held in the unconverted Millbank building. C O M 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . which I studied alongside contemporary art. Once again I set up informal research units. T H E S T R U C T U R E O F A L A R G E I N S T I T U T I O N R EQ U I R E S C O L L A B O R AT I O N W I T H P EO P L E W I T H W H O M YO U M I G H T N OT H AV E A N Y R E A L A F FI N I T Y. and was able to knit together institutional support.publication called The Bastard. R AC E A N D D I F F ER E N C E . Copenhagen. M I C H A EL B U T H E . and Glasgow School of Art. T H I S I S A R E A L O B S TAC L E . in 2006 and 2007. I developed Future Academy. M Y S U B S EQ U E N T W O R K W I T H ( S EE J A M E S C L I F F O R D . “A metalogue is a conversation about some problematic subject. B U T O F F ER E D A S EL F . S E C O N D . Bateson refers to recursiveness as meaning that repeatedly loops back onto itself in a reﬂexive dialogue with its representational boundaries. At that point. In 2002.Ω However. nine expostgraduates and I set up base for ten months in the derelict.11 “I WA N T TO A D D R E S S W H AT I S EE A S A N I N H ER EN T Ω H AV I N G S T U D I E D S O C I A L A N T H R O P O LO GY I N T H E E A R LY 19 8 0 S . EM P H A S I S E S T H E P R O B L EM O F T H E A R B I T R A R Y C O M M U N I T Y S O O F T E N F O U N D I N AC A D EM I C S T R U C T U R E S : L I M I T TO T H E AC A D EM Y A S A PA R A D I G M F O R E X P ER I M E N TA L W O R K . W I T H A R T I S T S I N S E V ER A L A F R I C A N C O U N T R I E S . I WA S I M M ER S E D I N A S T R A I N O F “S EM A N T I C A N T H R O P O LO GY ” W H I C H N OT O N LY R EF L E C T E D R EF ER E N C E S I H A D I D E N T I FI E D E A R L I ER A S A N A R T S T U D E N T I N T H E W O R K O F J O S EP H KO S U T H . but then denied an afﬁliation to throughout the 1990s. only this time in the US.Ω I want to revisit the maverick methodologies of twentieth century anthropologists from Margaret Mead through to Michel Leiris and more recently. Navigating through this vast. LOT H A R D I S C I P L I N E ’ S N A R R AT I V E T R O P E S B AU M G A R T E N A N D OT H ER S . ﬁeldwork studies. Using a relational methodology to understand perception. P R OTAG O N I S T S F R O M T H E B L AC K A R T S M O V EM E N T I N LO N D O N . and their subsequent interpretation. regulated art publishing and academic norms. This conversation should be such that not only do the participants discuss ΩOSCAR Ω S EE M E T R O N O M EP R E S S . the nurturing of self-appointed communities of artists and researchers who engage in a joint investigation and debate modes of survival. a thought-structure that is naturally interdependent and interactive with other disciplines. M A R C U S A N D C U S H M A N . Clifford Geertz. Metronome is neither vanity publishing nor self-publishing. S U S A N H I L L ER . and Japan. co-funded by art academies in Oslo. yet high-security Royal Army Medical College that had just been acquired by Chelsea College of Art and Design. In particular.). turning back onto itself the environment in which I had been given so much conceptual freedom and means of production. Bergen.” M E T R O N O M E N O . collating materials from Future Academy ﬁeldwork and developing a further constellation of backing and ﬁnance.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . the one convergence I would like to turn to now is the inﬂuence of early ethnographic experiments in research.Ω Future Academy and Metronome clearly have many points in common including their unofﬁcial status – you may well ask how Metronome ﬁts into the UK’s Research Assessment Exercise when most productions are without ISBN and Future Academy student cells are not academically accredited? Several convergences exist. W I T H I N A N AC A D EM I C S E T T I N G M O S T O F T H E F U N DA M E N TA L Q U E S T I O N S O F S U R V I VA L H AV E B EE N A D D R E S S E D A N D TA K E N C A R E O F BY T H E I N S T I T U T I O N . and Stockholm. sinister site next to Tate Britain with guest artists while imagining its past and future led to The Stunt and The Queel.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT 44 – 46 UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON T UA ZO N . Bateson writes. the process of moving and working in different cities and involving local histories and organisations in the project as it evolves. Chelsea College of Art and Design. FI R S T . Finally. I am interested in looking back at the controversial discipline of social anthropology. but the carrier and medium through which I have transported this research in motion that tends to lie somewhat to the side of recognised curatorial models.
” One might say the same distinction applies to the art academy in relation to the museum as a site of new production: art academies necessarily should be places where art is engaged with and expanded in a manner that cannot be achieved in museums and galleries. However. rather than becoming reduced to mere providers or teachers? This brings me to the blurred deﬁnitional framework of what we call the art academy. places and people. Only some of the conversations achieve this double format. “S T EP S TO A C E R TA I N M A . collaborators. The work of the students has a bearing on what I produce. and there are no results.the problem.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . following Jacques Rancière’s notion of the “aesthetic regime of the arts”. Its artist-members are able to deploy the transformational moment in their research of aesthetic practices in a way that is not possible in any other institution today. and yet. To develop Future Academy as a Batesonian metalogical investigation means pitching it ﬁrst to students. but the structure of the conversation as a whole is also revealed to the same subject. On an elementary level. at the same time. the art academy necessarily embodies 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL ΩGREGORY A N E C O LO GY O F M I N D ”. For the art academy specialises in and nurtures the lead-up time to production through a particular approach to the relation between ideas and things. has been to ascertain whether the art academy remains a location in which its faculty can experience the ﬂexibility to undertake the prelusive or unknown that deﬁnes independent research and the work associated with it. and highlighters together. reactivated again and again over the last ten years. I would argue that the academy is the site of prelusive knowledge.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . 1971 . to become interlocutors. an art academy. encouraging us to determine hypotheses together and form the representation of our ﬁndings gradually as they are being pursued.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 16 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . So my personal question. As well as providing a more or less thorough training ground for artistic positions. like any institution. “Art academies should be places where research is done that actually cannot be done in universities because universities have other limits that art academies do not need to have.”Ω This perpetual mirroring exempliﬁes the liminal dimension located between researching something and producing a representation of this process. just as it evokes the distinctions and concordances between academic discourses of knowledge production and the eccentric vagaries of art practice. a fuzzy logic that is perhaps this institution’s saving grace and ongoing claim to heterodoxy. or is the current conception of competence and accreditation in art education unnecessarily driving both parties towards conformism? Underlying my interests in the art academy environment is the presupposition that it offers an exceptionally individualist. each of us has the authority to retain a sense of individual development. is the organic result of a groups’ desire to work together and formalise certain experiences and resolutions. B AT E S O N . As Martin Prinzhorn stated in a conversation at the start of Future Academy. and heterogeneous location for visioning the future and forming agents in this process. deregulated. where I travel to. and whether I survive professionally. and then involving them from day one when nothing is known. One question emerges here: can both art students and faculty recognise the plurality and therefore the instability of methodological procedures as part of their research activities.
It is from this perspective that it is possible to raise the question of the relationship between the ‘ordinariness’ of work and artistic ‘exceptionality’. here I’d like to focus on the art academy as the tool of cultural expansion. and the Cultural Industries. a powerful. heritage art academy and combined it with more self-destruct. a shared abode. and an unhealthy reliance on the fees of foreign.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 17 As the name Future Academy indicates. vocational training. It begs the question as to whether the European MFA is actually a neocolonial device ultimately being developed to be implemented beyond Ω S EE 44 – 46 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . The geopolitical incentives of this formulation rise and fall according to demand. Today’s corporate rather than imperial model of schooling and human resource development places emphasis on structures we are all too familiar with. that results from the sedimentation of a certain number of intertwined acts. A more innovative analogy might be the one raised recently by Georg Schöllhammer at documenta 12. From the 19th century mercantile marriage of Empire Education. why not use these academies. and by extension internationalist policy. concordant accreditation systems. “The idea of the documenta magazines project is to come back to a form of mobility that is also a form of academy. and on notions of adherence. Life-long learning. entry is based on convocation rituals. He writes. namely the editorial group. artists’ collectives whose scale is necessarily small and mutable in contrast to the elephantine magnitude of the major art educational establishments that most of us work within. “A ‘common’ world is never simply an ethos. organised and deregulated knowledge. and more could be developed on this relationship. non EU students. For example. However. We thought.”Ω ΩIBID. It has a long tradition in independent media and involves a group of people working over a long period of time on issues which they ﬁnd interesting to translate from one place to another or to present. Here the academy is understood as an editorial group. these editorial groups and bring them into discussion with one another?”Ω Schöllhammer’s proposition combines the method of an organ such as Metronome with that of a collective research project like Future Academy. global market in postgraduate education. Learning. It is always a polemical distribution of modes of being and ‘occupations’ in a space of possibilities. which functions to reinterpret the past and reinscribe as well as redistribute values of competence. W H AT I S TO B E D O N E ?.an antagonism. and Trade. formal and informal. because they have the distinct feeling that they need to speak about these in an audible and visible manner. 20 07 . and are permanently revised and reactivated to reﬂect changing concepts of national and cultural heritage. a very stable form. on strictly maintained interpersonal networks.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . we shift seamlessly into today’s neo-liberal threesome of Globalisation. Highly ritualised in contrast to more bohemian academies. deﬁnitions usually lead at one point to a certain tension between inclusion and exclusion. TO K YO . However one chooses to deﬁne the academy per se. Schöllhammer states. virtual learning environments.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON M E T R O N O M E N O . run by an elite orthodoxy with a structure which necessitates it to be non-accessible and non-populist. PAG E 42 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . I’ve opted for the heavy connotations of the historically bound. 11 . Presenting this notion at the Metronome Think Tank in Tokyo. one might focus on the academy as a protection lodge.
J. where the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Dakar is actually a post-independence phenomenon initiated by the late president and poet Leopold Sedar Senghor in 1963. there were different institutional scales at work. latent cultural backgrounds. Likewise Future Academy would negotiate its way forward with its motherships in London and Scotland. such as CommandN. a weeklong Future Academy seminar generated a proposal by MFA students to set up a bank. A college with a large amount of international students is heterogeneous but not necessarily able to make use of this condition. but the alternative option of travelling intelligently through different institutional structures with their contrasting value systems. when Future Academy moved to Japan. With this modest endeavour. AIT. an NGO co-ﬁnanced by Norwegian state funding. for example. As a result of pitches I made to artists. in order to perform a deep transfer of knowledge that can reﬂect and compliment the newly international character of this student body. devised by social anthropologist Arjun Appadurai with US academic funding. and then in several cities in India.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . the student body increasingly mutates ﬂooding the once singular character of a nation’s art academy with an unstoppable ﬂow of new inﬂuences. I made the decision to curate this investigation away from a super-structure of European super-schools and to focus instead on the current ramiﬁcations of colonial art academies established in the 19th and 20th centuries. parallel institutional partnerships. I worked ﬁrst in Senegal. For example. Both NGOs could thereby circumvent entrenched bureaucratic problems within the older structures and enable students to develop new methods and productions external of the existing curricula. indicating a true mushrooming of short-term working systems. and confused expectations.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . and students on the hypotheses and modus operandi of this research. School of Art. In both locations. Within the ﬁrst six months of Future Academy. open to a wide range of ofﬁce workers and people whose education may not have included formal art studies. was working with the Ecole Nationale des Arts in Dakar and teaching new media to students. where art colleges were aligned historically with their British colonial counterparts. or Arts Initiative Tokyo ( AIT ). J. thereby questioning today’s renewed forays into educational expansion. this symbiotic relationship was conﬁrmed once more with the participation of small artists’ collectives in Tokyo that focus on educational formats. AIT has managed to remain ﬁnancially self-sufﬁcient and autonomous. the urban research group PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge and Research). In February 2003. and encourage students from the different departments or schools to take ownership of this research. Future Academy’s resolution to be voluntary and non-paying led to a deep interest on the part of the students in all locations in economic propositions. scholars. runs exceptional evening classes on curating and contemporary art. what I hope characterises today’s globalised art academy is not just the frenzy of standardisation. Later. and in Mumbai. m-lab. I was able to set up experimental student cells and with these. the Media Centre of Dakar. was producing documentary ﬁlms with students of Shri.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 18 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . Their claim 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . Nevertheless.the territorial parameters of the Bologna agreement? Meanwhile.
the focus on economics did not and it was in Dakar that the most coherent and topical economic model was developed.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . as any further development was voluntary. O R G S C A L E E N T R EP R E N EU R I A L I N I T I AT I V E S . Likewise. and the teacher or professor on the other. the Edinburgh cell also applied the Tontine system to their collective ﬁnances. so too did the concept of the individual who might operate it: the student on the one hand. from those that are regulated by religious and commercial interests in order to cover ﬁnancial difﬁculties or pay for pilgrimages to Mecca. women’s groups. O N E O F T H E I C O N S U S E D I N T H E P R . or the acquisition of health and educational infrastructures. However. which.was straightforward: independent thinking required independent economies. and constitutes part of the informal economic chain. the Tontine provided an experiment in alternative funding systems and actually paid for the Senegalese visas to India so that they could to take part in the Synchronisations forum set up by their Indian Future Academy colleagues. Tontines can even have clandestine membership arrangements such that although the savings will rotate from person to person these individuals remain unknown within the group.Ω “ We realise that there are eminent professors of economics in Senegal who often receive travel grants to go to Europe or the States in order to study during the holidays. S EE W W W . whilst apparently run by the Senegalese. In the future.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON S E N E G A L E S E M U S I C I A N A N D P R O D U C ER YO U S S O U N ’ D O U R TOOK PART IN THE FIRST FUTURE ACADEMY FORUM HELD IN DAKAR IN JANUARY 2003 . SENEGALESE MICROCREDIT ASSOCIATION CALLED BIRIMA TO SUP P OR T SM A L L C A M PA I G N I S T H E P O R T R A I T O F A S E N E G A L E S E H AW K ER . precisely because the nervous accountability of the host institution did not interfere with students’ conception of legitimate research. both deﬁned as agents in a transactional relationship. it was to be the hawker or itinerant salesman who offered the role model. and he or she travels worldwide. through to smaller cooperatives based on neighbourhood structures. Trust and social sanctions encourage a self-selection process with regard to the group’s membership. HE RECENTLY COLLABORATED WITH BENETTON AND ESTABLISHED A LOCAL. This hawker enters the economic system too. the scheme was activated in the recession of the 1980s as an alternative to the development banks. B I R I M A . were still closely tied to French ﬁnance. the students continued with their individual work and this institution’s involvement in Future Academy pretty much ended there. The fundamental issue with the Tontine is that it remains outside of the law. the role and value of the artist might lead to a type of international intelligence for which both a black market and a barter system might become operational. Key to the Tontine in Senegal has been the cultural and social dimension it employs to ensure that a rotating rhythm of contribution and spending is maintained by each of its members. They come back with theories. The model proposed by the Senegalese artists referred back to the Tontine. In contrast you have the hawker who has no formal education in economics and who has only attended traditional and Coranic schools. As research on this ﬁnancial. the organisation of events. Tontines can fall within several categories. In Dakar. the one that we call informal. a micro-credit scheme originally devised by the Neapolitan Lorenzo Tonti in 1653. AT THIS MEET ING YOUSSOU N’DOUR RAISED THE ISSUE OF THE GROWTH IN OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG PEO PLE AND THE FAST TRACK THAT THE YOUTH PERCEIVED IN BECOMING A MUSICIAN TODAY .N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 19 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . and managed to raise a considerable amount for their visit to India. What have these people done to become successful in the context of an international system? They receive ΩT H E 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . In the context of Future Academy. If the example of legally extraneous micro-credit associations had provided the framework. is not monitored by the police or the state. The senior management of the UK School in question immediately quashed the proposal and. communal structure developed.
the Future Academy team subsequently re-deﬁned this proposal into the ‘Permeable Academy’. peripheral academics. should we look at it in isolation or not? Instead of having one-day economies. Secondly. 20 05 . and deducing complex performative and presentational modalities from them. In this Permeable Academy. To resume the argument so far: competence in Future Academy is the ability for students to make a series of shifts.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R ΩD I S C U S S I O N B E T W EE N N A L L E AU R O . But if they could enter the future academy. M A N E . and which they are encouraged to qualify and take ownership of. loans and student debt towards alternative economic Ω U M A N G .no support from the government. Indeed. I do not think we should look at it in isolation. looking at all these phenomena in terms of aesthetic values and vectors. may fast track them into a professional context. Firstly. and individual contacts across the world.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . a tea shop outside the walls of the heritage academies. from prescribed learning structures to voluntary initiatives that do not feature in their academic assessment. analyses. and how it is that they still manage to survive (…). 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 20 05 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . we could ask them how their system functions without basic formal economic principles. emphasising their interconnectedness: “The informal sector is a little like a bazaar. from a sole dependency on grants. networks. The hawker is at the heart of our intellectual debates right now.”Ω In India. The formal and the informal do not only exist in economic terms. if anything. and the shifting of competence from illegal mini-cabbing to the acquisition of what in London taxi driver’s parlance is known as the ‘Knowledge’. can we ﬁnd a way to align the informal to the formal sector? This is the predominant economic paradigm that we are trying to work with or break out of. Moreover. A N D AWA D I O U F AT 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 20 F U T U R E AC A D EM Y ’ S ‘ S Y N C H R O N I S AT I O N S ’ E V E N T I N B A N G A LO R E . They exist in the artistic domain too and we should open up this debate in Future Academy. describing the mobile architecture of the itinerant salesman as that of a moving directory of comparative studies. Here we ﬁnd the transition from informal to formal. their ﬁnal conclusion was that at a certain point (postgraduate education) student and teacher need to reformulate the hierarchical relationship of knowledge transfer and enter into a ﬂat zone in which each party recognises the value of their respective input and can effectively pitch and barter their way forward. It is random. and illegal taxi drivers with their speed-driven race against death. If we look at the informal sector and how this ﬂuid state of the economy is run. and “ traders and crafts people would meet at the shack studio. If we want to analyse one-day economies or smaller more chaotic models where things are done in more ﬂuid ways. extensive debates took place between the students in Future Academy on the relationship between informal and formal economies. then I feel we need to take into account that this actually works and investigate its relationship to the predominant paradigm. You don’t enter a pyramid structure. <<<<<‘ S Y N C H R O N I S AT I O N S ’ 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . the stock exchange of second-hand clothing.”Ω Effectively the Senegalese Future Academy team spent lengthy periods in Dakar analysing informal systems such as the network of beggars. like a market. and that. You go out and ﬁnd your guy and he offers you a mixed bag of things.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON E V E N T I N B A N G A LO R E . But also in terms of media and communications. expertise would be handed over to informal economists.
I’d hesitate to call this the seeds of a micro-institutional development but increasingly I feel it may just be heading that way. a polymathic educational model.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . travel. the grammar of a sentence. The Roaming Faculty model offers selected artists and scholars the chance to develop new work through a chain of interconnected situations at four to ﬁve different art academies. research. Art students. contexts. the exercise of a particular sport as a model for analysing thought structures (e.g. It’s a consortium of sorts. Heterodox combinations of information and skill would inform art practice: for example. a future art academy would engage in a polymathic economy. to name just a few). the Roaming Faculty structure requires part investment of no more than 20 to 25% of a full professorial salary.. becomes embedded in a structure dedicated to mobile knowledge transfer and deep exchange. the patterned arrangement of leaves in a plant. The Tontine system that fuels this moving group of artists and 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 21 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . A N D OT H ER P R O P O S A L S F O R O N L I N E S A L E S AT T H I N G S FA L L D O W N . It would conﬁrm the value accorded by artists in transactions that introduce service environments into their work from the clinic through to purchases that can be made online.”Ω When we investigated future faculties of knowledge in the art academy. With the introduction of a ‘Roaming Faculty’. Huit Facettes in Senegal. production.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL ΩI B I D . daily survival and collective projects. for a participating institution. Senegalese wrestling as mental and physical dialectical engagement). the mystery of biological evolution. institutional structures and time frames. researched. the polymath. that provides for a parallel extension in the work of guest. C O M 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . or Pukar in India. and the contemporary crises in man’s relationship to his environment. just as they might be interested in hearing from economists or scholars whose research is founded in the cultural idioms and methodologies of non-Western societies. but it is led by the value attributed to an individual’s research. they argued. it was to both latent aesthetic processes. something that one could argue is taking place once again. In 1971 he states that “such matters as the bilateral symmetry of an animal. situating itself between different public audiences. the processes of courtship. given the global importance of social interventionism in art practice of the 1990s (from N55. RESEARCH REPORT 44 – 46 UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON .Ω Ω I ’M THINKING OF JOE S C A N L A N ’ S C O F FI N S . and the transnational group of students who work with him or her.approaches with regard to studying.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R I would like to end on a related issue that provides the basis for intellectual competence: the ﬁgure of the polymath and the concept ‘ of a roaming faculty. and practices that might be taught. peripatetic researcher. Open Circle. to the shaping of content and the nurturing of transcultural and transdiciplinary positions. could beneﬁt from a lawyer on immigration and identity issues. which stand outside of the course curricula. In this manner. Raks. which may be no wonder. and developed. in other words those subjects. It’s a non-prescriptive condition of empathic learning. and everyday relational activities that attention was directed. can only be understood in terms of such an ecology of ideas. to Superﬂex. the nature of play. Moreover. a polymathic faculty. Let’s go back to Gregory Bateson who deﬁnes his stance in opposition to what he sees in the 1970s as the increasingly materialist ecology of academic departments. like our hawker earlier on. the escalation of an armaments race. and ﬁnally a polymathic understanding of place.
So to conclude. rotates ownership between the participating institutions. and cultural contexts. and helps to broker decision-making. a lucid and production-based interest in economic and symbolic value. methodologies. analysing and evaluating their presence within the next generation of artists and practitioners.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A .N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . Our Roaming Faculty member is the itinerant hawker not only of ideas but also of ways of apprehending. understood here as the ﬂexible act of idiomatic transference between disciplines. To impart this critical approach to the student seems to be essential today. the predisposition to embark on voluntary non-course or examination-led investigations which enhance an understanding of different methodologies of research. which are shared. I’d like to propose three areas of articulation for ﬁne art students: ﬁrst.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 22 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . and thereby to dissolve the idea that following a course will make them into an artistÉ 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . secondly.scholars guarantees the on-going low-level costs. and ﬁnally a polymathic approach to knowledge production linked to an enhanced disposition towards translation. The value accorded to survival and self-organisation leads naturally to a further set of skills: the rhetorical and analytical wherewithal to stake a position as a student player in the revision of educational structures. and by extension the ability to engage with a form of research that is non-prescriptive from the outset.
Embodiment goes necessarily beyond the academic discourse. I am not in the position to talk about clandestine knowledge in public. So I must ﬁnd other ways of sharing it. Those different principles imply that people who actually believe in art education will always have to ﬁght the logic of the institution and its continuous institutional ceremonies. In my view. there is fortunately always someone trying to keep doors wide open. to discovering whether there are new ways for art practitioners to embody provocative ideas and produce novel forms of communication. That is not something to be taken for granted. we do take works from the 1970s seriously and believe they have produced knowledge. Along those lines of thought. Yet it might simply be that we did not understand that conceptual art is about intellectual provocation and the disruption of thoughts. perhaps we should understand the intellectual even as something entirely different from the academic. 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . because institutions are innately about legitimation and evaluation. I would rather suggest working on a clandestine manual or instruction book listing all the tricks and all the ways of seduction required to enable art education within institutions not designed to facilitate anything remotely linked to that form of education. In fact.POSING SINGUL ARIT Y JA N V ER W O ER T In the continuous rituals of institutional politics and their related internal closed-door logic. though well-meaning and wellintentioned. The second issue that worries me is the current prominence of the notion of art as a form of knowledge production.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . since institutions tend to follow strictly the Kafkaesque dynamics of closing in on themselves. i. I do believe that education based on the notion of art as a form of knowledge production creates artists focused on skills such as self-administration and email production. while art education is about inspiration and creation. i.e. Perhaps we should reconsider the legacy of conceptual art and investment in producing intellectual bodies of art. while the intellectual is about the public embodiment of ideas and thoughts.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON .N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 23 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A .. the academic discourse is about evaluation and legitimation. Today. the libidinal and cerebral embodiment of an idea. thereby creating hermetic black boxes which destroy information and burn bridges with the outside world. but rather to the creation of new forms of embodiment. even if it depends on the academic discourse to realize its practice. That disruption is not necessarily connected to the production of knowledge. The question is how to talk about ﬁghting institutional rituals in public. ideas. We lose the spirit of conceptual art when we actually believe it has produced knowledge. This in turn brings to another important issue: the issue of the academy as institution.e. However. that notion is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what conceptual art practices meant. Benjamin Buchloh has argued that the past is the aesthetization of bureaucracy. the logic of institutions and the logic of art education are fundamentally at odds. since that ﬁght is a practice ﬁlled with clandestine techniques. After all. and words. If we want to maintain a critical discourse.
We sacriﬁce our very lives in that new economy. Many times. What do you do when there is more than one of the chosen on a panel or in a room? That is the ﬁrst experience you have when entering an art school. When you read Negri and Hardt’s Empire. teaching artistic subjectivities is teaching people how to put themselves at the mercy of the communication industry. This issue pervades art schools and is almost everywhere in highly individualized societies.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 24 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . Therefore. The second is the matter of temporality or the organization of time. since you have been accepted.we can never speak in the name of the institution even when we are speaking about the institution. Immediately. Currently. as we put our life skills at its disposal. we are producers in the new industry of communication. That is what you must do as an artist or an intellectual. One concerns the ethical-political question of the good life connected to the question of subjectivity or singularity. The issue of the chosen is part of a larger discourse in society. the singular ones. something implying a utopian principle. The last question concerns debt or indebtness. That perpetuates the false assumption that we are all just institutional people and that is the only reason we are entitled to speak on its behalf. How can we avoid becoming public commodities. contemporary discussions suddenly create an uncanny moment of closure when we speak of the institution in the name of the institution. docile bodies and willing contributors to a new form of immaterial labor? Negri and Hardt explore how we may regain control over our intellectual lives. the one hope we all share is that we are the chosen. the most pressing question is in what name or in whose name we want to talk about institutions. 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . the biggest growth industry is communication. I believe one of the most urgent questions facing the art academy is: How do we want to live together? How can we renegotiate the forms of communication that will determine the conditions of our life together? I would like to raise three issues related to that question. Let me start with the question of subjectivity. One of the major contradictions in a society dedicated to the production of subjectivities is the issue of singularity. In the new forms of immaterial labor.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . ofﬁcially you are the chosen. We are works in progress. but suddenly with horror you realize that you are surrounded by chosen ones. constantly producing subjectivity.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . Something pointing to the possibility of a different world. I would suggest that it might be necessary to speak about institutions in the name of the good life. Perhaps a utopian world is a world without any need for institutions. Reappropriating today’s means of production no longer implies invading the factories. the question of the good life is actually the most pressing issue they raise. As producers of artistic subjectivities. the means of social existence. There must be a way of speaking about the institution not in its name but in the name of something else. but essentially to wrest back the means of social communication. At heart this concerns resuming control over our social lives. They argue that today’s means of production are the means of communication. that puts us at odds with everybody else.
N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . allowing the sharing of solitude. together? In that context. I dream of a provocative community that might exist in an art school as an antagonistic community of provocateurs. are forms of conviviality not pointing to the need for another church or another constitution. I like to think that the academy is a good place to do just that. The second issue I mentioned above pertains to temporality or the organization of time. So the pressing question is whether we can really propose an alternative model to competition to realize that collective experience of singularity. the ﬁrst issue deals with the exercise of singularity within the different ethics of a community building. The chosen has to ﬁght within a constellation or competition among others to prove that there can only be one. assembling people together to eradicate differences among them. since he writes about the community of jealous lovers of solitude who have nothing to bring to the community save their love of solitude. with always staying on the beat. You learn to present singularity as a form of provocation. The antagonistic community of jealous lovers of solitude might prove provocative.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . in the loop. Those bonds. except violence.Books such as the Harry Potter series or ﬁlms such as the Matrix or the Lord of the Rings are all about the chosen. The art of posing as a form of provocation is one of the competencies you gain as an art student. Bad ways of posing are just imposing. There are bad and good ways of posing. without constitutions and manifestos. imposing your subjectivity on others. Good ways of posing are exposing. Often communities are about coexistence. A strange assembly of creatures ﬁnding a way to coexist that is impossible to explain. Derrida’s Politics of Friendship is fascinating. exposing yourself to provoke someone else into reacting to what you are saying. So. There is no other alternative. it becomes difﬁcult to imagine disrupting that regime of a particular temporality. you call upon somebody to articulate his or her position. One could consider the promise of singularity not to be a problem as it is a deeply existential experience. the actual problem is that competition is the sole mode or experience of the promise of singularity society offers today. When you always live in the present. That is a temporality of absolute presentism. However. I think we have an unique opportunity to do that in the art academy. union. How can we be singular. not convocative. One of my ideal models of an academy as a provocative community would be The Muppet Show. though? I think it should be provocative. but to the need for forms of antagonistic friendship. How do you effect the calling. In that sense. to realize that deeply existential feeling of singularity. Today.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 25 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . Usually the chosen becomes approved or legitimized through violence and competition. I would like to make the distinction between a community of provocation and a community of convocation. That is what you do as a student. but it is also what you do as a teacher. Let’s provoke a provocative community of poses. 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . In a literal sense you provoke. Temporality is related to the urgency to answer emails immediately. because the question of singularity is the most pressing issue every student experiences when entering art school. temporality is the regime determining institutional life and also the market.
and talking with students there. and futures exist in one building. Staying in the Muppet Show model.A.A. There are traditional academies. where people embody the present and erase any memory of the past. there is also a spiritual and a symbolic debt. where various generations meet. The goal should be to multiply and diversify the inherent temporalities of the academy. While teaching in L.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . This indicates things seriously have gone wrong. Very often. where people. That is a big challenge. presents. you could say that we should have many overlapping. I found that students left school with a debt to the community. as well as in academies in Britain and the United States. or in a multiple sense of temporalities. To generate the art of the future. In a Nietzschean sense. the art academy is a place where various pasts. I found of course that debt is market-related. artists must have ﬁnancially viable products ready and out in a gallery. while art students embody the promise of the future.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 26 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . completely antagonistic and incongruent temporalities. debt is at the heart of education. the better it is. with artists and texts brought in. and to produce a different form of co-existence and conviviality. since one never knows what the art of the future will be. I think the more temporalities an academy has. when one temporality starts dominating others. though at the same time conﬂictual. I was once in a place that was so presentish that the person running the print workshop was ﬁred because of his links to past knowledge. especially in market-driven societies. one can only wish and hope that all people will get enough money to pay their loans back. since they all speak different languages. Not surprisingly. students have to pay back what they were given. beyond material debt.Ideally. and with the oblique angles of talking and choosing the subject of teaching. where the past squashes all presences.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . you need some non-contemporary past potential. and practices embodying different forms of temporality may exist under one roof. But there are also high-performance academies. Thus. ideas. However. embodied by people who might never be able to properly talk to each other. People become involved in serious debt problems when ﬁnancing education. In a welfare 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . L. I realized that different institutional structures produce different forms of debt. Thus. because they have to pay back their student loans. That has to do with characters and generations. the academy is a place of many temporalities. I think students all become indebted to certain ideas and to certain principles through forms of education. People embodying the past also embody a particular form of potentiality. Finally. To redeem themselves from that debt they immediately start doing a socially engaged project in order to give back to the community and to do good. While teaching in academies in countries where the social welfare state still exists. we need to talk about the third issue mentioned: debt. The artist embodies both the experience of the past and performs the experience of the present. After three years in Sweden. Yet there should be a way for different temporalities to coexist in one building. the potential of the art academy lies in a radical non-contemporary quality. like Düsseldorf. On a basic material level.
Let’s go for another form of art. When the graduates go out into the world. while you cannot actually do that. because they have received afﬁrmation of the validity of producing art. by saying you should write for the ghost of Shakespeare’s sister. but will make a difference. That is a perfect example of shifting debt to dedication. Teachers are always tricksters because they bear witness to the fact that art is not just a product. So there is a mutual sense of indebtedness. they become indebted to the market. teachers feel enormously indebted to them.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 27 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . beyond the material? This leads to considerations of how one might go beyond the institution. they become indebted to the idea of the social or society. for the sake of her return to the future. to whom do we want to dedicate that practice? Then she refers to Virginia Woolf and that fantastic passage at the conclusion of Room of One’s Own where Woolf speaks to the feminist writers of the future. What other horizon could we open up? What would it mean to be indebted to the good life? There is a beautiful book by Gayatri Spivak called Death of a Discipline. you will remain completely indebted to people whose lives you would have to assure. All we can do is shift the debt into a mode of dedication by asking to what do we spiritually want to be indebted. Especially when teaching traditional skills. I would like to propose dedication as the principle to which we devote our practices of embodimentÉ 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A .N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . and perhaps we can never redeem or absolve ourselves completely from this debt.state. On that symbolic level. while art could equally be a highway straight to hell? As a teacher. in a market-driven environment. How could one ever make that guarantee. she asks to what spirit do we dedicate our teaching. teaching can make a difference in helping students to determine to whom or to what principles they chose to become indebted. That is a promise one can never guarantee.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . I believe we have to communicate that a certain indebtedness will always linger with both students and teachers at the end of the year. In the end. another form of embodiment. where she raises that question of debt and dedication.
so we are continuously involved in deskilling. and vice versa. and course plans? This question relates to didactic strategies and to what the discipline called teaching means today . evaluation.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . curators.and what its object of study entails. That is a historical shift compared to ﬁfty years ago.ROOM FOR THOUGHT SI M O N S H EIK H How could one use ideas from critical art practices within an educational model also connected with accreditation. as a reaction to academicism at art schools today. We speciﬁcally try to mix artists. Both theory and practice need a speciﬁc mode of address and a speciﬁc mode of representation. writers and theorists in one master’s program 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . and art. Yet the lack of an overall ideological goal in terms of utopias could also be blamed for that. In addition. in trying to let them unlearn what they have learned. One of the goals of art education could be to try and unravel the triad art world. in the postmodern and postcolonial era. writer ) within the art context. Even though the academy may have lost its aura and its disciplinary modus operandus. Disciplines once involved in utopian and revolutionary goals also ﬁnd themselves in a crisis. conﬁgure and reconﬁgure them. Currently we have a speciﬁc political horizon. In our view. We focus on available modes and how we can deconstruct and reconstruct. I am teaching in Malmö’s Critical Studies Program with students from all over the world. but also in terms of their socialization and cultural context in general. or is it art? These objects overlap and seem hopelessly entangled. artist.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 28 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . In that sense. So we can at least say with some certainty that art schools produce artists. Spivak talks about “unlearning”. the art academy has never been so successful as it is today. We consider artistic production as being outside the contradiction between theory and practice. Where knowledge could be inhibiting. Presently. the only way to become an artist is through the art school. artistic practice is always based on a theory. One might argue that the death of disciplines has been occasioned by interdisciplinarity. our program is interdisciplinary with a focus on what could be called the role of the cultural producer ( artist. it should also imply a certain lack of rigidity. which is both anti-utopian and antirevolutionary. They all have different preconceptions about art. as Spivak states in Death of the Discipline. not only in terms of their education. all major exhibitions in commercial shows and galleries demonstrate that exhibiting artists are products of art schools. but also in creating a space for thinking. curator. But what kind of system are we using? And what is the system we are educating people for? I believe that a MA curriculum should never be entirely predetermined. There is no hierarchical relationship between theory and practice. However. In spite of the problems with deﬁning the object of study. the artist. thinking could break down pre-determined knowledge. What then would be our object of study today? Is it the art world. disciplines are no longer ﬁxed.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . The curriculum should not only be involved in the production of knowledge.
i. Perhaps that is starting to permeate art education. One model 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . Fifty years ago. it usually means that someone stands for someone else. there is rarely a discussion about how art works are produced. So there is a profound shift in how to deﬁne a constituency. Today. most art institutions are part of the so-called entertainment industry.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . However. the education of the populace into a national. Even in curatorial programs. new counter-narratives and perhaps even new subjectivities? To and for whom does one speak as a cultural producer? What is the difference in conceptions and locations of various notions among institutions. so that there is a certain absence both spatial and temporal. we can create different kinds of understanding and disentanglement. constituencies. since art institutions ( museums ) have a problem with constituencies. we could state that in critical theory. I understand de-presentation as the disappearance of ideas and imaginations actively or passively de-presented from the world. presently. What happens if we try to transform audiences – as many artists currently try to do – into a constituency or a community? What does that mean? With regard to constituencies. What does that mean? What is that act of de-presentation? Those questions play an important role in understanding how any representation of the world has certain exclusions rendering things possible or impossible. In art history courses. An obvious example of de-presentation would be the so-called post-communist condition which is now impossible to discuss or imagine. Unlike theory courses at the university. as building blocks that can be used in the articulations of the exhibition.in order for them to develop a single vocabulary of representation. we see a move into the educational space of curators. in art we could argue that representation is an act whereby something comes to represent something else. and potentially? These discussions must revolve around various truths and methods of representation. how can we. we offer insight into how art is produced. but obviously there is a immense difference between production related to art institutions or production related to the audience.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . historically. In other words. In our program. Artworks still seem to come to us as almost readymade. Another question cropping up is what the relationship is between representation and depresentation. and communities? Sometimes these notions are considered synonymous. What is the public role of the artist. audiences. it was the nation-state. through various modes of address. you learn how art is received. In those days. There are certain historical models of the art academy that have been handed down to us that could easily be deconstructed.e. That was the goal of the museum. though.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 29 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . we also try to discuss how one as a cultural producer one would deﬁne work vis-à-vis the apparatus surrounding production and presentation. By mirroring those two conceptions. construct new narratives. the bourgeoisie. uniﬁed body. In the context of an expanded idea of the notion of representation. its constituency could be easily deﬁned based on the interests of the ruling classes. but you do not learn how ( contemporary ) art is produced. The current composition of the museum’s constituency is very difﬁcult to deﬁne.
That is an inherently hierarchical and masculine subject position. One should then try and maintain the open-space freedom of the laboratory. one should not uncritically adopt the university structure. teaching. it is important to shift the notion of knowledge production into what we at the Malmö art school call room for thought. we must ask what kinds of subjects. the new model of examination.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 30 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . One model I have been interested in is based 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . since the results of institutional critique. Therefore. as places through which subjectivity has been formed. Artists are a sort of social avant garde. The cultural producers we try to create in the Malmö program can also be seen as a counter shift towards these developments within art administration and politics. and what kind of knowledge.e. and how they fail to be equipped for dealing with the current situation of lifelong education and re-education.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . However. I believe. loose their effectiveness in terms of transforming the art environment.e. one should examine the implementation of its productive features. That very model lies behind the implementation of the Bologna process and its type of top-down political dictating on how all art education should be structured. now that artists engage with the world.pertains to the idea of the masterclass. That model would merely substitute the system of discipline for the system of control. this is of course a pre-democratic model. As producers of knowledge. This is why. as happens with knowledge in the knowledge industry. but now moving to a curatorial practice. and its administrative model. Thought has boundaries different entirely from knowledge. and not just with themselves. potentially hidden in the academy model. i. Rather one should learn from them as spheres of experience. a nondialogical model of address. a phenomenon. In terms of mode of address. The critique and the transformation from managerialism. That has very little to do with institutional critique as such. For this reason. Hopefully it is too difﬁcult to transform thinking into a commodity. The subjects are all listening to their master’s voice. it is a critique of how institutions work. replicators rather than producers of knowledge. However. i. there have also been didactic historical models that could prove inspirational. That is the very issue of a certain ma-ness. we must question the relevance of this model and perhaps look more closely at the university model now replacing the masterclass. based on the sovereign reigning over the subject. are being produced. and as discursive spaces. students. one professor talking to multiple students and deciding just what art education is. while omitting a certain notion of unproductive time and space.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . on the forefront of our current society and its notion of immaterial laborers. To paraphrase Spivak. I believe it would be unrealistic to think that the implementation of the Bologna model or system would solve the problems most of us have – I hope – with the historical master classes. Simultaneously. “If the art school is a teaching machine. modules and internalization can only be seen as part of a society of control. have been much more profound. how they are inadequately historical. universities are often teaching machines. Rather. originally an artistic practice. Where traditional educational systems were part of a disciplinary society.” That is an urgent issue.
Already in the mid 1990s. of course. Rather than seeing knowledge as something uncontested. On the one hand. the real socialization. Secondly. Another inspiration for teaching theory I discovered was on a more pedagogical level in Veyne’s work. the artist.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 31 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . and probably several people engaged in teaching have had the experience that even second-year students are already showing in private galleries and selling work. I always give students the most difﬁcult text ﬁrst as an introduction to theory. If one cannot offer that form of socialization.e. In Academy.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . 14-21 ). Why would you ever need a master’s degree 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . and on the other hand we are studying critically. You could have a Bachelor’s in Fine Art and then a Master in Biology.on Paul Veyne’s ideas. In terms of adequate. Currently we are seeing a wild expansion of the market. she claims. one could argue that teaching Critical Studies has a dual function. this was one of the ﬁrst re-evaluations of the critical artistic potentials of education while considering the educational space as an artistic space. In principle. One could say. In this model. However. within that socialization it is hard not to see that students socialized for the art world are inﬂuenced by the market – as Ute Meta Bauer argued. while giving equal value to the experiences and preconceived notions of the student and the teacher. i.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . there is an interesting text by Andrea Fraser. we are studying a genealogy of critique. didactic strategies and educational models. as something transmitted solely from the authority of the teachers to the students. One way to do this is to have a group of participants in a course with very different background. and the production of knowledge. One can talk about the program’s content. who states that she is not capable of writing a text on teaching. about different parts of the world and different languages. So. a book published by Stephan Dillemuth was called Academy ( cf. I am also talking about location and culture. what exactly is the MAlevel? There is an idea that one could study anything all over Europe connected to mobility – which is something completely different from ﬂuidity – a notion popping up in the Bologna process. So why do they still need an art institution? Even though the institution gives a degree similar to the university system. an introduction into basic skills and disciplines. socialization seems to be the most important way art schools produce their subject of knowledge. So he would replace the children’s books with complicated books which then immediately initiated a sphere of production. the room for thought. Veyne tried to begin from spaces of experience. what else is there to offer? Fraser’s interesting statement alludes to a possible scenario one must be aware of in a Master’s program. all students will be forced to immediately translate what they view as their knowledge of both themselves and the world. an introduction into the art market. it is actually a degree worthless in the real world. MaHKUzine 2. All one can offer are contacts with gallery owners and the art world – perhaps that is the real teaching. In that sense. He found that teaching adults using children’s books caused them to learn very simple things they could not move past. I am not only talking about disciplines. but that only seems to result in an unprotected title. a bachelor course is a foundation.
and curating. At our school.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . who come from a variety of backgrounds such as theory.in art if you are already an artist with your bachelor’s degree? Why should you spend two more years in school? You could want to go for a PhD. This means that we need a certain ﬂuidity and looseness in our course descriptions and certain keywords which can actually change the program’s content. Of course. is pedagogy part of the artistic and theoretical practice? Or are these separate things? How could pedagogy inﬂuence your work and your thinking? Could one actually analyze artistic or theoretical work in the light of teaching at a speciﬁc institution? Does one’s work have an institutional color?É 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . but – the other way around – is the teaching also reﬂected in the practice of the lecturers? In other words. of art’s placement in the world in addition to its place in the art world. That is more inspirational and interesting then listening to an analysis of Foucault’s Order of Things one more time.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 32 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . it has to provide some kind of critical understanding of what art means. Finally. that would be the only reason to get a master’s degree. At the Malmö school we ask seminar leaders. I would like to explore the topic of the relationship between educational strategies and the research practices of the lecturers. art production. research and the practice of the lecturers are reﬂected in the teaching. I am over dramatizing the situation in order to point out what could become the problem with master’s degrees vis-à-vis the market. to present their research rather than work toward fulﬁllment of a curriculum. and vis-à-vis the marketing of education. If the MA program does not provide socialization.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . That is also how art schools can differ from university humanities departments such as art history or philosophy. in fact.
universities defend the rhetorics of the 19th century. ‘The Bologna Conference’ is such an attempt to achieve a common. we are facing problems not signiﬁcantly different from the ones our colleagues in literary criticism. – can apply their knowledge and understanding. and formulate judgements with incomplete or limited information. to specialist and non-specialist audiences clearly and unambiguously. However. I will turn to the question of how the academy has emerged as a paradigm and a recurrent theme within the ﬁeld of contemporary art practice. This is what the Dublin Descriptors state. in ﬁne art and in the contemporary art practice. That third question is connected with the conditions of the university at large. reassess. we are all forced to review. Our common problem is that the demands of a technocratic discourse have become the norm. independent deﬁnition.N E S S´ 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . – have the learning skills to allow them to continue to study in a manner that may be largely self-directed or autonomous. At present. philosophy. often within a research context. Next. but that include reﬂecting on social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of their knowledge and judgements. – have the ability to integrate knowledge and handle complexity. For decades. we have to invent new ways to speak the university. So. All the other discourses face its effect and consequence. and problem-solving abilities in new or unfamiliar environments within broader ( or multidisciplinary ) contexts related to their ﬁeld of study. rethink. A series of distinctions is 44 – 46 WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A .N E S S MICK WILSON 33 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . since it has failed to withstand a neo-liberal paradigm. – can communicate their conclusions. Master’s degrees are awarded to students who: – have demonstrated knowledge and understanding that is founded upon and extends and/or enhances that which is typically associated with Bachelor’s levels and that provides a basis or opportunity for originality in developing and/or applying ideas. through various instruments.U N C E R TA I N M I CK W I L S O N `M A . and rediscover what it is that we believe we are doing. So. and the knowledge and rational underpinning these. The related Dublin Descriptors are actually the core statements from the European Union as to what constitutes the speciﬁc Bologna outcomes. Within the Dublin Descriptors is the core of the competencies and outcomes required of an MA graduate. In fact. I just want to begin by noting that the ‘Master’s’ degree – across all subjects – has always been one of the least understood and least deﬁned academic degrees. and sociology have. that rhetoric is exhausted.N E S S Is it possible to determine how a MA art curriculum is characterized? What are its appropriate didactic strategies and educational models? I am going to respond to these two questions by working through the general problem of the MA in art education and how the issue occurs within the Bologna process. there have been calls from different positions to try to achieve some equality about what it is exactly what the Master’s entails as distinct from a degree at a doctoral level.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A .
under the heading Making Judgements: Bachelor’s level: [involves] gathering and interpreting relevant data. For example. Then one must ask whether it is possible to determine how a Master’s curriculum for contemporary art practice is characterized.made between Bachelor.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . we are required to differentiate our educational products and compete in the new market place of higher education. there are other risks within the ‘learning outcomes’ ( or competencies ) model. The students appear to be constructed as pre-autonomous actors – they are in search of an agency. Doctorate level: [requires being] capable of critical analysis. then. In the competencies. But wouldn’t we also expect that from a third-year undergraduate student? A primary issue. The introduction of the Anglo-American system of Bachelor and Master degree programs into the European art school system ( as part of the so-called Bologna 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . and a researchoriented Master’s. which on the surface may appear welcome and beneﬁcial. More dangers may be identiﬁed. Do we not already address some of the generic MA level descriptors in the ﬁrst two to three years of undergraduate study? For example.N E S S MICK WILSON 34 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . Master’s level: [demonstrates] the ability to integrate knowledge and handle complexity. The advocates of Bologna propose that: – curricula can retain their diversity. – between one or two-year Master’s programs. There are other more important risks at stake here. they do not begin with an agency. The support for curriculum diversity. however. Even accepting that ‘Bologna’ does not prescribe curriculum content. also correlates to marketization. The educators within the descriptors appear as secondary ‘resources’ for the realization of the outcomes. So ’Bologna’ is consistent with making distinctions of ‘kind’ at the same Master’s level. not on the curriculum.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . – the Master’s award can be described without reference to one speciﬁc discipline. This is an important component related to our fear of overspecialization in the outcomes or competencies model. – between discipline-speciﬁc or multi-disciplinary or even interdisciplinary Master’s. is the question of how the generic descriptors match what we already do within contemporary art education. evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas. Master and Doctorate. We can make distinctions – between a ‘professional’ and employment – focused Master’s. – between structured or unstructured Master’s. the transformative and critical potential within pedagogy is underrepresented or even absent within the descriptors. This move to establish the market economy everywhere is of course the primary agenda of neo-liberal dispensation. There are other risks in the ‘learning outcomes’ model. Is it possible to determine how a Master’s curriculum is characterized? Within the ‘Bologna process’ the focus has been on outcomes. – between specialist or generalist Master’s. and formulate judgements with incomplete data. a Master student [demonstrates] the ability to integrate knowledge and handle complexity.
We all participate in the reputation-based economy in the form of e-ﬂux. the advertising pages in Art Forum. When and why we give awards. It is not necessarily the case that the art market appears on the doorstep. we are suddenly required to disclose what it is that we do as art educators. of course! But the really important question relates to purpose. Within our working practice. there is even a third type of ‘market’ beginning to emerge: the reputation-based economy of art education. Is it then possible to determine how a Master’s curriculum is characterized? Yes. The question is whether the transformation from a place of creative freedom to marketplace is good for the quality of the art academy. and so on. the open academy will offer more space for risking new and unwarranted forms of art production and more space for thought. we had a labor market governed by reputation. Part of the problem here is that this move is effectively shuttering the openness we have come to understand as being the potential – not always delivered – of the art academy model. but driven by the discursive community around the extended ﬁeld of contemporary practice. it is merely that the student imagines the possibility and already starts playing a different game. and how we do our jobs within the scenario of handing out awards. The essential germ of the open academy model is that in an educational setting. within the network of fellow competitors for reputational standing. Confronting this view. the reputation-based economy of art education has been displaced by the emergence of managerialism. So we have two kinds of market threats: i Higher education as such has become a more intensely marketized system in general.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . Now the criteria for recruitment and promotion are no longer primarily based on reputation. Similar to all other areas of cultural policy. However. the cultural capital and the ascription of reputational standing was something endemic to a community of discourse.N E S S MICK WILSON 35 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . What is our purpose? What do we need to disclose? What is it that we do? To what end and with what purpose are we 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . where the work of the student-artists is unhooked from the immediate productive demands of the market. a certain bureaucratic disclosure moves in. we have the sense that the market is making inroads into education. I believe that the open academy rhetoric is somewhat problematic. artist-teachers as ’chosen ones’ jostling for status.process ) seems to point towards the creation of open academies with an unstable sense of identity rather than towards the consolidation of art schools as educational institutions with regimented schedules. since the annual student presentations and the graduate shows have become hunting grounds for gallerists and curators who are tripping over each other in their insatiable craving for talent. A labor market is partly regulated by the guild process of artist-teachers themselves. Today. People got together and spoke about art.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . The reputation-based economy within art education also blurs into its larger counterpart within the contemporary art world. Until recently. We have institutional reputations. program reputations. constructing one’s curriculum vitae. ii The art market colonizes the imagination and orientation of the student-artist within the academy. So.
and autonomous agencies. How do you work within institutional structures. but which in some way enable. Here the question of art practice and the notion of autonomy come together.’ The ‘academy’ projects and debates too often fail to address the general state of higher education in favor of a narrow focus on the speciﬁcity of art education. Possibly the best articulation we have of our aspiration as teachers is not to dictate. Cyprus and unitednationsplaza theme. and the art education conversation leapfrogged over it. and practices. Everywhere in the journals.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . not to determine. to questions of ‘autonomy’ and ‘agency’. 2 The ‘academy’ debates are troubled by the possibility of the educator’s ‘bad faith.N E S S MICK WILSON 36 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON The meditations on and experiments in alternative academies consistently return to the quandary of ‘emancipatory practice’. Frieze’s ‘Art schools then and now’. 1 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . ‘Pedagogy’ was one of the three leitmotifs of documenta12. to enable the ﬂow of other discourses. – that we are doing it because there is some impulse to regiment and shutter the openness. 3 . hierarchies. but rather to facilitate. but they really recur strongly throughout all these different experiments.describing and [discursively] constructing the Master’s program or indeed any program? The possibilities are: – that we are doing it simply to mimic an alien system. ‘We’ art educators. the fairs. We want to create structures which do not themselves exhaustively prespecify what will happen. Cork Caucus. It is also being answered and tested in many different ways . – that we are trying to bring an offering to the market place. the biennials. and Frieze Art Fair’s recent round-table discussion on art education ( October 2007 ). not to describe. The tension that might be painted as a showdown between Ranciere’s ignorant schoolmaster and Bourdieu’s sociologist king. – that we wish to provide a robust and critical learning environment. different dispensations of power? How do you work within this and still address questions of emancipation? These are standard. – that we are trying to establish credibility with our funders. What is it that our work does? What is it for? It is as if the curator conversation died. ArteContexto’s recent dossier on ‘teaching visual arts’. I want to expand a bit on what I believe is signiﬁcant. The future model of the art school is clearly something engaging the imagination and energies of the international contemporary art scene. There are three observations I would like to make in light of these developments in the larger ﬁeld. in the academies themselves. I would suggest.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . These are three generally recurrent features. The quandary of ‘emancipatory practice’ – how to enable ‘autonomy’ and ‘agency’. not to control. ‘protoacademy’. the question of art education is being asked and rehashed again and again. troubling questions of education in general. Manifesta’s Notes for an Art School. Then part of what that structure must be able to do is to entirely dismantle and change.but not so visibly.
and why ( we believe ) we do it. the pure ﬂow of uninterrupted. The American cultural studies practitioner George Lipsitz says. but by what goes unspoken. we’ll just sit back. how we ( believe we ) do it. especially for intellectuals and artists employed in academic institutions. Authority is not in and of itself ‘bad’. Of course. the brackish ground upon which our agency is based. Consider Bourdieu’s early lesson on the cultural indoctrination of students not by what is spoken. and say go on. dialogical exchange. why do we think we can do it with our students? Teachers. They say. The other part is listening to others when they suggest to us that we might be mistaken –that we mis-recognize ourselves as the ‘subject presumed to know (themselves ). with 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . even artist teachers should perhaps not seek purity and an attempted disavowal or refusal of authority. What we need to do is to revisit the possibility of resisting this.’ This is why we might be a little bit cautious of our claims to realize moments of pure conviviality. If we cannot do it with our colleagues. and.But we should still be troubled by this. as long as you do it within this framework. Let ‘us’ not disavow authority. It is authority not subject to challenge and critique – when it is not answerable to others – which is most troubling. I am worried when people seek pure positions. the mucky – the muddy wet ground. The problem with this particular mode of accountability we are being asked to adopt is precisely the technocratic mode which is determined at a central governmental and European level.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . someone who says they have shed their authority is not so easily challenged for their exercise of that authority. un-interrogated in the ‘disciplinary’ conversation. Accountability to each other – to our peer networks and our colleagues less fully embedded in the art academies – or those who are not there at all. to militant posturing and internecine battles with one another that ultimately have more to do with individual subjectivities and self-images than with disciplined collective struggle for resources and power. Part of that accountability is mutual disclosure: what we ( believe we) do. of another type of accountability. Think about what the national governments are doing in the domain of higher education. the inability to speak honestly and openly about contradictory consciousness can lead to a destructive desire for “pure” political positions. undisclosed. Consider the classic power struggles of academics for their tiny territories. you know what you’re doing.’ Part of this is to reﬂect upon our desire to be loved by our students and to be respected by our peers. ‘Living with contradictions is difﬁcult. We should perhaps rather seek to cope with -and reﬂect upon this ‘coping with’ – the impure. The disavowal of authority is a classic strategy of authority. Let us accept our authority and our considerable agency and open it to accountability. with conﬂict and competition for resources. This will bring us not to pure positions but to messy human situations with complex agendas.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . Consider the petty cruelties and rivalries of teachers for the affections of their students. The ﬁrst thing you learn as a student in the academic environment is the ﬂow of inﬂuences in the room when teachers and students meet. Consider also the desire for ‘pure’ conviviality.N E S S MICK WILSON 37 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . you’re the experts.
I would suggest. secondary. So these institutions were founded on instrumental logics.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF The ‘academy’ debates are troubled by the possibility of the educator’s ‘bad faith. It is the market that emerged 48 C O LO FON . in a nutshell. cultural. Jan Verwoert said that ‘we’ promise ‘it makes sense to make art’. are ( a ) the universities got much larger. 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . ‘we’ have recognized a need for a new way to speak of the university which can challenge the un-challenged authority of the neo-liberal speciﬁcation of the university as factor of industry and nothing more. They generated spaces of experimentation and openness AFTER the market outside had enabled a non-statemandated private/public-cultural sphere. Remember the general suspicion of art school teachers: Those who can. and social reproduction attuned to the ﬂows of global capital. Calhoun says about these challenges. In the face of these instrumental and technocratic imperatives. Why is it that the art world – the market. do. The question of ‘bad faith’ is.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . [. the inevitable corollary of seeking ‘pure’ positions for ourselves. Those who cannot teach. tertiary etc.N E S S MICK WILSON 38 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT 44 – 46 UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 3 The ‘academy’ projects and debates too often fail to address the general condition of higher education in favor of a narrow focus on the speciﬁcity of art education.. They will ﬁnd some other means. but it is a promise that we may not fully be able to redeem or honor. the magazines. (c ) that the higher education sector got much larger.’ Consider Luis Camnitzer’s ‘Fraud and Education’ in the recent issue of ArteContexto. “The [. what we have here is a pyramid scheme.. The issues. The latest of these transformations is the reconditioning of the university as a fully and explicitly instrumentalized space of economic. Those who cannot.] Basically. For some time now. – have undergone a series of profound transformations in the last two centuries. The independent art academies have a different history.” ( Calhoun 2006:3 ). mercantilist and other vested interest arguments. and ( d ) that partly as a consequence. The serious elite will no longer look to the university as the primary space to construct and to reproduce their elite status.” Camnitzer presents an extreme position on this question of ‘bad faith’ – that we already know that what we actually do as artist educators is not what we say we do.] mistake is promising by implication that a degree in art will lead to economic survival after graduation..troubled workplaces where institutionalized behaviors already cause many ‘closures’ of dialogue. teach. it is unlikely that some of the other changes would have taken place. The ‘university’ and the entire ﬁeld of ‘higher education’ – post. on means-ends rationale. It will not work. There are some general points to adduce ﬁrst. the rhetoric of the university – the ‘idea’ of the university – simply fails to be persuasive.. ( b ) that more or less full-time scientiﬁc and engineering research components of universities got much larger. nationalist. Those academies arising outside the university setting came into being because of imperial. The question of ‘bad faith’ was referenced earlier in the discussion. This is perhaps the trickiest issue to tackle. ‘Without a dramatic change in institutional and sectoral size. the festivals– opened the question of the academy? Were ‘we’ a little reluctant to do so? 2 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . write criticism. the relationship of higher education to elite formation changed.
I suggest. post-minimalist era – has the characteristic of wishing – or at least appearing to be willing – to thematize everything given in experience. I would say “Welcome to ‘our’ uncertain world – the world of art educators. My presentation may seem far too generalized to be of any real value in helping to frame a particular MA program or deal with ‘urgencies’. let us to see it. profession and occupation as grist for our mill. though. That is where it originated.or ﬁnd a better.my [institutional] horizon is not yours. materials. I think here is a lot more. show it to us. and so on. not within the academies.. So not Bologna. For these academies. and areas of action: a standing reserve of metaphors. and PHD. the rhetoric of the ‘open’ – just as the universities’ rhetoric of the ‘idea’ – has now exhausted itself.. The answer.. maybe not. I would argue.maybe change it a little. we should not be incensed simply by the fact that there is a bureaucratic imperative to adhere to a framework of BA . We need some new rhetorics of becoming to negotiate and challenge the dominance of the technocratic way of speaking in the world. not 2010.. We could not possibly be comprehended – even partially – within someone else’s discourse of means-ends or ‘learning outcomes’ or `the sociology of professions or ‘knowledge’. Where is this rhetoric to be found? Contemporary art practice – as it has emerged in the post-conceptual. post-pop. It’s a little bit yours now if you want to join. I think this is a very urgent matter for us. and still retain some unsquandered potential. All aspects of the life-world are taken as its legitimate concerns. What I have presented is precisely the kind of presentation that I would make to MA students in the ﬁrst few weeks of their studies. If we are really asking today whether we can we make a clear distinction in the education of artists among these levels.. How it has been left to the policy-makers and ceded to practitioners on the margins of the academy or outside the academy altogether.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . to actually bring that into the public domain. It would be unfortunate for us under these circumstances to then shout hands off while we take every other discipline.on the fringes of entrepreneurial capitalism that generated the spaces for avant-garde experiments which later became the paradigm for the open academies. But ‘we’ are always negotiating some kind of balance between the requirements of ‘regulatory’ ‘instruments’ and the embedded human situation of our contingent practicesÉ . is a conditional ‘yes’. and discourses. We seem to have come along way off track on our question of the MA curriculum and appropriate teaching practices.N E S S MICK WILSON 39 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON came to this. that we were not already in a position to be the bearers of the public disclosure of what art educators do.”. we’re different. We should examine how it is that we 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . focus.. MA .. more interesting problem or pre-occupation and tell us about it. We’re pure. How we were not the bearers of that conversation into the public domain. but what we are already doing..N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . You can’t include us in your conversation about BA’s and MA’s and PHDS.
pp. P r inc iples of Refor m i n Deg ree St r uc t u res i n t he Un ited St ates. ) Cultural Stu di e s / Polit i c al T h e or y. ER IC D igest Wash in g ton: ER IC C lea r i n g house on Hig her Educ at ion Spu r r. Ja n ( 200 6 ) L essons in Mod es t y: T h e O pe n A c a d emy as Mod e l. Jud it h S. 4 . JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . ( 1988 ) T h e Mas t er’s D e g re e. Stephen H.15-20. 80 . A C E R TA I N M A .. Ga rber. N . Berkeley : Ca r neg ie Fou nd at ion for Adva ncement of Teac h i n g. L ipsit z.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . in Jod i Dea n ( ed . Lu is ( 200 7 ) Frau d an d E du c at i on. A r teConte x to16 Mad r id: A r tehoy.REFERENCES 3 – 4 EDITORIAL Ca m n it zer. pp. in Met ropol is M: E x pa nd i n g Ac ademy. 94. ( 1970 ) A c a d emi c D e g re e Str u c ture s: Inn o vat ive Approa ch e s .94 .N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y Glazer. 44 – 46 UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . pp.96. P r i nceton NJ : P r inceton Un iversit y P ress.N E S S MICK WILSON 40 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT Ver woer t . George( 2000 ) “Ac adem ic Pol it ics a nd Soc ia l C ha n ge”. It hac a: Cor nel l Un iversit y P ress. Ma r jor ie ( 2001 ) A c a d emi c Ins t in c ts.
the sense of possibility per se.e. and the image that captures life. problems. the two polarities of creativity and reﬂection need to be involved. Conversely. That form of reﬂection could be called reﬂection in the mode of an anthropological laboratory. I understand creativity as the pleasure of invention. it is interesting for most artworks to demonstrate the stages. Artists need to understand the artistic ﬁeld. the variations. independent. and how the ﬁnal form has been chosen. the metaphor. and description. I would like to distinguish between two different reﬂective practices. feedback. education and the research environment. art as a reﬂective research practice. and questions. thoughts. autonomous. In fact. reﬂection in the mode of an anthropological laboratory. In this mode. However.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . and the desire for the new as inherent components of art and artistic production. over the last ﬁfty years. From this perspective. similar to playing chess.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . is very much alive. the work. Clearly. i. In this context. Art as artistic research seems to be the major cultural value and the major relevance of art today. articulation. since isolating works of art is rather unproductive. Conversely. implying a continuous reservoir of metaphors. Stating criticism is the ﬁrst move. and then decide what is relevant to make. i. Let me elaborate on the concept of anthropological laboratory. then. The other form of reﬂection is connected with art working on meanings and images. assess the positions. reﬂection is now connected with curiosity and the sense of ﬁnding the gesture. In this sense.A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L AB O R ATOR Y B A R T V ER S C H A FFEL In thinking about art. connected with working on meanings and images capturing life. During the process of production. Art asks for a certain environment in which to establish an artistic production and to organize that production. Both the social function and the cultural function of art have been identiﬁed with being critical where being critical refers both to the institutional and the traditional. Rather than being merely critical. and also radically new. whereupon artists then evaluate what is needed to build on their position. the major accent has been on reﬂective art practice as criticism. The critical mode of reﬂection is different from reﬂection linked to formulation. the process is very important. is connected to the phenomenon of art as research and the project of transforming institutions of art education into research institutions. is crucial so that making art 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . a critical confrontation with other voices. reﬂection is a form of applied thought.. art should to be free. and images. art is working on all aspects of life.e. implying an overview of a range of positions while identifying conﬂicts. art as reﬂective criticism or art as an avant-garde logic of negativity has ended in a free-ﬂoating game. the statement.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL 41 RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . current art is relevant and important only because it is connected to the anthropological laboratory as a space for reﬂection. critical. since it is connected with meanings and images as phenomena guiding people to an understanding of what it means to be here and now. meanings. Reﬂection as criticism is a tool for discovering how one can make a move in an artistic or creative project. One is criticism. Reﬂection.
there are places that do not belong to academia and. we need an organization and an academic management of freedom. in a few minutes you can understand what the artist intends from a year of concentration and production. the universities worked with a 19th century cultural map. Fortunately. it is disturbing that this type of artistic research fails institutional frameworks. However. When art is research in the sense of working on meanings and images as a form of reﬂection in an anthropological laboratory. all the management positions and decisions involve people with an academic background rather than professional managers. that what we need is more preparation and more improvisation. makes reﬂection a goal of art education. The work of art has to be addressed somehow in the community of people working on meanings. Derrida once claimed during one of the famous Any Conferences on Architecture. belonging to the culture in an anthropological sense. universities are at least 90 percent self-governed. It is the responsibility of the academic staff to include more preparation and more improvisation while creating a managed freedom and liberated space for artistic research. there is interest in cultural production in commercial. private. therefore. Yet instead of developing into an institution where art could be deployed as an instrument to reﬂect upon culture. Currently. In Belgium.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . In fact. the need for a laboratory. Here art addresses both art production and an audience interested in working on meanings and images a society could adopt. The great gift of cultural production is that the entire process of creation is condensed in a transmittable form. but even more so in university education.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL 42 RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . communication is immensely important. thus. seem to be free of its constraints. Therefore. whereas the spectator can experience it in just a few minutes. Therefore. and ideological realms. That led to ignorance of ﬁlm and photography. However. As a criterium for this. the problem is that reﬂection in the mode of the anthropological laboratory seems to be hidden in the art world. What is the danger of introducing a research curriculum into art school environments? That danger is connected to the issue of 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . The need for reﬂection. Of course. Thus. The miracle of an art work is precisely that the artist spends a year creating it. In other words. The question arises as to how one could introduce the idea of reﬂection in the mode of an anthropological laboratory into art education. I indeed think we need more preparation and more improvisation not just in art education. there is what I would call the degree of condensation in the work of art.itself becomes part of a complex process. during the 20th century. Indeed. is shunted onto art education. be it visual or not. art is of course a public matter.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . academic research in the universities fails to transform and. That is the importance of topical art. the universities are transformed into industries of knowledge. universities are guilty of neglecting both cultural production at large and focusing on a living culture. the art world’s favorite discourse is about trends and the art market. since the discourse produced for the outside world and the image the art world creates of itself are not about reﬂection. so they do not assume the responsibility of organizing work on the visual culture. Thus.
since artistic research fails to connect with institutional frameworks. and discuss the end product and how to connect it to the academic discourse. a research program in an art institution – let’s say about Lacan’s gaze – will result in two interventions. artistic research could possibly have. In the academic realm.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . document. Those problems mainly emerge in the beginning and at the end of an artistic process considered research. content-wise. evaluate. art as reﬂection in the mode of the anthropological laboratory clearly necessitates new forms of collaboration with various disciplines and institutions outside the art world and outside art educationÉ 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . Thus.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . one should be able to manage a variety of issues. However. At the start of research trajectories. it is clearly understood how to articulate. the only topic for artistic research to work on is art itself. What will be the focus? What will be the subject of reﬂection? What is relevant? How does one deﬁne research programs? How does one formulate decision and evaluation procedures? What will be the goal of the outcome of the research process? In an academic structure. That is the only context. In addition.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL 43 RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 48 C O LO FON . and content. a statement and an exhibition called Lacan’s Gaze. research areas are deﬁned. Then what? The research might be a document to be sent out into the world.unresolved art-related research problems. But how many responses will there be? How many people really read that type of research report? I believe that continuity in artistic research is a problem.
In these international discussions. That expectation seems to relate to the most recent debate in the world of visual art. In order to deal adequately with this novel situation. However. the situation of art institutions is rapidly changing all over the world. Institutions participate in international discussions on the repositioning of academies and cultural institutions as started by the exhibition Academy in the Museum for Contemporary Art ( MuHKA ) in Antwerp and the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven. the paradigm of art education has been rooted in the artistic situation of the 1980s. That situation made the Utrecht Consortium ( a research collaboration as of January 2008 with MaHKU/Professorship Artistic Research and Utrecht art institutions ) decide to map out the current practical and theoretical issues and developments in further detail.RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM Today. however. a methodology manifesting itself in artists’ texts and exhibition forms focused on knowledge production. by Manifesta 5’s focus on the academy in 2006. Today. the exhibition models are still based on “alternative” ( non-museological) models from the 1980s. i. One of the signiﬁcant problems the Utrecht Consortium has found is that today artists are expected to be able to ( theoretically ) contextualize and present their work in addition to expanding their artistic profession. one talks in a rather abstract way about art as a form of knowledge production. Each artistic research project. such a model would be impossible to create.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 44 48 C O LO FON . In this debate. one argues. similar to that of scientiﬁc research. Yet the institutional consequences of this debate have been subject to extensive reﬂection. artistic knowledge production does not have a ready methodological model. the artistic practice is considered a researching activity whose outcome. requires its own methodology.. and by Documenta 12’s educational program in 2007. The establishment of the Utrecht Consortium is inspired by the 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . i. In principle.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . Conversely.e. in light of the emancipation of artistic research. today’s artistic research attitudes have brought reﬂection and theory to the center of attention. This was a period where reﬂection and theory did not play a major role in the world of visual art. This novel situation has immense consequences for how one approaches competencies in the profession of art. the Utrecht Consortium as a network of research activities mapping out the outcome of presentations based on the production of artistic knowledge. These two activities used to be considered part of professional domains such as art criticism and curating. the debate on artistic knowledge production mentioned above. Until now.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A .e. artists are expected to fulﬁll the role of art critic and curator themselves. What does it mean for an exhibition space in 2008 to develop a policy directed towards knowledge production? After all. in contrast to scientiﬁc knowledge production.. the Utrecht organizations intend to establish an enduring network comprising the art institutions and the Utrecht School of Art while focusing on dynamic exchanges of views and expertise in the context of knowledge production. is able to contribute to our knowledge about the world.
but still a structural collaboration exploring issues in the context of artistic knowledge production from the exhibition programs and their young artists at the art institutions. The professorship will also hopefully be able to contribute to an international debate about the speciﬁcity of artistic knowledge production and its relationship with more traditional forms in the academic distinction of alpha. regional. (More about that research will be reported in greater depth in MaHKUzine 6 ).N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . Thus. Those issues could easily be expanded to local. Another core issue of the Utrecht Consortium implies the issue of the signiﬁcance and position of an art academy in the context of the topical knowledge debate and its implications for didactic perspectives.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . Unique to the London Consortium is the establishment of a “virtual” organization depending on the knowledge and ( limited ) input of the Consortium partners. exploration of methods of presentation speciﬁc to today’s visual art as a form of knowledge production. a collaboration among four institutions for education and art – the University of London. At the core of the Utrecht Consortium is practice-based research. occurring in a location 44 – 46 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . The Consortium activities will offer them possibilities to develop reﬂective capacities ( competencies ) crucial for presenting their own practice. i. the Utrecht Consortium intends to expand its views on the strategy of artistic presentations and exchange of knowledge as such. Using the historical collection of the Utrecht University Museum. ICA . a platform has been created without the need for ofﬁces and staff with minimum overhead costs. That research will also focus on creating a more natural collaboration of the Utrecht School of Arts and various departments at Utrecht University.so-called London Consortium. Fine Art graduate students and young artists in the area will also be able to distill tools for critical reﬂection from the research and its results. models of presentation enabling both artists and exhibition spaces to adequately deal with topical situations regarding the position of visual art while clearly communicating with the audience. With that.e. the Science Museum. Through this ﬁrst case study. young artists will be able to enhance their communication with a variety of audiences. Additionally. the production of artistic knowledge is the theme of various programs and projects to be initiated in 2008 and 2009 through the . and the TATE – offering joint artistic research programs. The results of this research will be published as a series of “best practices”.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 45 48 C O LO FON alien to visual art. and gamma sciences. In addition to the Consortium partners and professionals in the ﬁeld. beta. the Utrecht Consortium intends to be ﬂexible. In developing adequate presentation models in the form of both exhibitions and texts. The professorship in Artistic Research seeks to employ the Utrecht Consortium project and its outcome to spark an urgently required discussion in the Netherlands on how art academies could prepare students for a knowledge-based practice. and international levels while sharing networks. Kopelman explores whether the University Museum might be presented as the optimum location for exchange of knowledge between art and science. An initial example of such collaboration is artist Irene Kopelman’s PhD research study within the context of the Utrecht Consortium.
Internationally known artists will give lectures in the context of the theme of Artistic Knowledge Production based on their own research-based practice. Topics will deal with reﬂective methodologies and presentation strategies.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A .N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH lecturers the day following the public lecture.unique collaboration of the Consortium partners. These models and their context of artistic knowledge production will be discussed in professional master classes and workshops producing a broad spectrum of knowledge and insight. Each invited speaker will also give a master class at the Utrecht School of Arts for MA Fine Art students and/or be involved in an expert meeting with 3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A . ( HS )É The Utrecht Consortium is also made possible by the ﬁnancial support of the Ministry of Education and Culture ( Sia-Raak ) 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . The survey of “best practices” and its relevant models of presentation will be realized and published.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT 44 – 46 UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 46 48 C O LO FON . The professorship Artistic Research will also organize a yearly cycle of Utrecht Research Lectures.
N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A .3 – 4 EDITORIAL A C E R TA I N M A .N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A .N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL RESEARCH REPORT 44 – 46 UTRECHT CONSORTIUM 47 48 C O LO FON .
ROTTERDAM MICK WILSON. TOGETHER WITH THE HELSINKI SCHOOL OF ART.BAKKERL A AN 50 23 – 27 P O S I N G S I N G U L A R I T Y JAN VERWOERT 28 – 3 2 R O O M F O R T H O U G H T SIMON SHEIKH 3 5 8 2 VA U T R E C HT THE NETHERL ANDS MAHKUZINE@MAHKU. SLADE SCHOOL OF ART.N E S S WILLEM DE GREEF M A H K U zi n e JOURNAL OF ARTISTIC RESEARCH H O S T E D B Y T H E U T R E C H T G R A D U AT E S C H O O L O F V I S U A L A R T A N D D E S I G N 7 – 13 U N D E R P R E S S U R E U T E M E TA B A U E R ( MaHKU ) I S S N : 18 8 2 . PROFESSOR PIET ZWART INSTITUTE. GRADCAM ( DUBLIN ). DUBLIN . EDINBURGH SIMON SHEIKH.N E S S 5 – 6 O P E N I N G : A C E R TA I N M A . DEAN GRADCAM.M A H K U zi n e 5 3 – 4 EDITORIAL JOURNAL OF ARTISTIC RESEARCH SUMMER 2008 A C E R TA I N M A .NL 3 3 – 4 0 U N C E R TA I N M A . BA LK EM A L ANGUAGE EDITING JENNIFER NOL AN T R A N S L AT I O N S GLOBAL VERNUNF T DESIGN CHRIS T I A A N VA N D OK K UM. UNIVERSITY GHENT JAN VERWOERT.N L RESEARCH REPORT 44 – 46 UTRECHT CONSORTIUM EDITORIAL BOARD HENK SL AGER (GENER AL EDITOR) 48 C O LO FON 48 A N NE T T E W. LECTURER CRITICAL STUDIES. M aHK U /M A EDI TORI A L DESIGN EARN MAHKU IS PART OF THE EUROPEAN ARTISTIC RESEARCH NETWORK . BRUSSELS CLEMENTINE DELISS. DIRECTOR FUTURE ACADEMY. PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPY. PA R T I C I PA N T S UTE META BAUER. MIT.N E S S MICK WILSON 41 – 4 3 A N T H R O P O L O G I C A L L A B O R AT O R Y BART VERSCHAFFEL WEBSITE W W W. LONDON AND VIENNA SCHOOL OF ART. DIRECTOR VISUAL ARTS PROGRAM.LUKAS ACADEMY.M A HKU. BA LK EM A ARJEN MULDER B I B I S T R A AT M A N FINAL EDITING A N NE T T E W. CAMBRIDGE MA WILLEM DE GREEF. MALMO SCHOOL OF ART.4 7 2 8 14 – 22 I S I T P O S S I B L E T O M A P … ? CLEMENTINE DELLIS C O N TA C T MAHKUZINE U T R E C H T G R A D U AT E S C H O O L O F V I S U A L A R T A N D D E S I G N INA BOUDIER . MALMO SCHOOL OF ART BART VERSCHAFFEL. DIRECTOR SINT.
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