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