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