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