Page 1


This publication sets out to offer an insight into the diverse collaborations with the first four AIRs, to reveal what they have yielded for the artists, and to explore the benefits for educational practices and our vision of the prospects for art research at the Amsterdam School of the Arts. The question also arises as to whether consideration of similar initiatives can hone the ability to make choices. Should we use our AIR programme to position ourselves within a particular area of development, or are we perhaps employing a strategy so susceptible to influence by trends that the tendency is to apply it in a rather pragmatic fashion? What matters? What would make a difference?


Let’s suppose

the Academy is a place for artists ... >> 3

Let’s suppose...

Notes on AIR, the Amsterdam School of the Arts’ artist in residence programme. 1. The initiation of a new artist in residence programme was fundamental to the research group Art Practice and Development at the Amsterdam School of the Arts when it was established at the end of 2003. The AIR programme enables each of the four creative faculties (the Netherlands Film and Television Academy, the Amsterdam Conservatory, the Academy of Architecture and the Theatre School) to annually invite an artist as Guest Professor. A strong notion existed as to why the AHK wished to involve artists from the diverse disciplines directly in art education and research, but the form this involvement was to take was undefined. What was clear, in any case, was that it should respond to the dynamic of art practice itself. The research group can now look back on the first generation of AIRs (Peter Delpeut, Joël Bons, Luc Deleu and Emio Greco|PC) and specific experiences can be placed in a broader context: the tradition and long-term development of artist in residence programmes on the one hand, and on the other the explosive growth in the number of opportunities for artists to work outside their usual environment or to become attached to academies and universities as researchers. Tourist or commentator?

2. Artist in residence programmes are a growth market in national and international art practice. The Dutch-based network Trans Artists, which advises artists on residency programmes worldwide, presently has more than 700 options on its books: from Germany to India, from visual arts to interactive media and from the seclusion of an island to the pandemonium of a metropolis. Cultural exchange should perhaps be viewed as a vital strategy for survival in our globalising society, and the increasing number of artist in residence programmes is a positive consequence of the advancing internationalisation of the art circuit. Nonetheless, there are reasons to keep a critical eye on this ‘contemporary phenomenon’. 1) If proof were needed that the motives behind the various artist in residence programmes are widely diverse, then the pool of Dutch initia1) Dominiek Ruyters, ‘Commentator of toerist? De artist in residence als hedendaags verschijnsel’ (Commentator or tourist? The artist in residence as contemporary phenomenon), Metropolis M, #3.2005


Let’s suppose...


tives alone – entirely financed by the government – provides it: there are residencies that serve no other purpose than the personal development or inspiration of the artist himself (in addition to the many ateliers it manages abroad, the BKVB Fund recently created just such a position in Drenthe, the Netherlands); there are artists’ initiatives and art centres that work primarily on a per-project basis (often characterised by a lack of transparency regarding the available facilities); and a growing number of institutions and enterprises expect an artist in residence to contribute to the organisation’s culture. The AHK is, perhaps, an example of these last mentioned, as are the Yo! Opera Festival and the IDFA, which also include their guests’ names in their external communications. More recently, innovative programmes have been initiated that require resident artists to address issues relating to their own citizenship: the Stedelijk Museum supports BijlmAIR in the Bijlmer district of Amsterdam; Beyond, the art event A gateway to the international art circuit? in the new suburb of Leidsche Rijn, includes a residency; and SKOR takes care of the Fifth Season artist in residence programme at the Willem Arntzhoeve Psychiatric Clinic. This wave of programmes is contributing to a contemporary movement whereby individual artists are wresting themselves free of selfimposed studio-bound isolation and becoming increasingly nomadic and flexible. 2) But this also places artists in a vulnerable position and – as evidenced by the variety of approaches to the application of artists – all too easily allows them to become instrumentalised, unless they make clear choices about the reasons for, and the nature of, their involvement. The career of an artist as artist in residence is not a new phenomenon. Once the societal status of the artist surpassed that of the craftsman, a foreign sojourn or a placement outside the established work environment became an indispensable component of artistic development; the name of one of the most prestigious Dutch art prizes, the Prix de Rome, refers to the seventeenth-century tradition of artists being invited by the Académie de France to stay in the sheltered setting of the Villa Medici. Here they were systematically encouraged to break free from national limitations and were all but compelled to ally themselves with ancient culture. Although crucial aspects of this exclusive scholarship have been superseded (the 2) Janneke Wesseling, ‘Het atelier is overal’ (The studio is everywhere), NRC Handelsblad, 19.03.2006

Let’s suppose...

prestige of the oldest academy, the allure of Italian influences, and the concept of a single artistic centre), the original intent of the institution has persisted in many variations: it appears that even then, such genCan the AIR bring ‘friends’ along? erosity was not unconditional. Former Dutch State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science Rick van der Ploeg set up an artist in residence programme for his ministry as a component of a hospitable cultural policy. 3) Those involved were in fundamental disagreement as early as the interim evaluation in 2001: should the primary criteria for successful residency be ‘the wishes and ambitions of the artist rather than possible benefits for our country’? 4) Or should the programme distance itself from the idea of classical Xenia and require that ‘in their turn, these prominent foreign cultural figures give something back in the form of their reflections on the state of the arts in the Netherlands, and in this way enter into a critical dialogue with the Dutch arts and culture sector’? 5) The DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) a programme in Germany, by contrast, has for 40 years been recognised as a ‘forum for an artistic dialogue that goes beyond culturalregional and, more specifically, political borders’. 6) This organisation evidently has fewer qualms regarding the producttive combination of residencies and international cultural politics, and is willing to invest on a large scale to obviate the threat of cultural isolation. The generous gesture made by DAAD to effect this ‘international representation of contemporary art in Berlin’ 7) illustrates that sanctuary and autonomy need not conflict with an appeal for public accessibility and social engagement. Nowadays, as in the past, an artist in residence programme reflects the changing cultural position of the artist, and thus, implicitly, the expectations that we as hosts or members of society or audience have of him. Is the artist a commentator or tourist, pioneer or proselytiser, consultant or ambassador? No matter for what reason or with how much sensitivity an artist in residence is placed, the institutional host must reflect upon the extent to which he is interested in the specific expertise of the practising artist and whether he values that particular artist’s way of seeing: ‘I show you what I see and how I, somebody, though apparently me, see it. And so too now, in Rome, which is as imaginary as any city, because one sees alone. 8)

3) For a recent critical analysis of Dutch international cultural policy and for an understanding of the necessity for a more explicit participation in the international cultural arena, see All That Dutch, Amsterdam, 2006 4) Letter from the culture council, W. Zorgdrager, 19.12.2001 5) May 2002, letter from the State Secretary of Culture 6) ‘Forum des künstlerischen Dialoges, der die kulturregionalen und allemal die politischen Grenzen überschreitet’, press release, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, March 2001



3. Other models, however, also impact on the research group that aspires to invite artists as researchers into an academy. An international debate has blossomed over the last ten years about ‘whether a phenomenon such as research in the arts exists – an endeavour in which the production of art is itself a fundamental part of the research process, and whereby art is partly the result of research’. 9) Encouraged by the reform of universities in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia at the beginning of the 1990s, artists there have for some time been able to attain an academic degree – masters or doctorate – through their work, and practice-based research is now widely How can we know if he is welcome? accepted in art courses. Furthermore, despite the continuing division between Science Education (WO) and Higher Professional Education (HBO) in the Netherlands, the nature of artistic research is also being debated here. Grudgingly, the educational establishment is granting space to the artist-researcher by introducing research departments, increasing the level of cooperation between HBO and WO, incorporating the research task of the HBO system in legislation, and so on. Abroad, artists are already appointed to universities and academies as Research Fellows or Research Associates. This tradition, rooted in the Anglo-Saxon model of scientific research, is interpreted particularly broadly in relation to artists. A salient example is the interdisciplinary ResCen (Centre for Research into Creation in the Performing Arts) attached to Middlesex University in North London, where, over a number of years, artists can develop and practice methods based on research drawn from their own proposals. ‘ResCen exists to further the understanding of how artists research and develop new processes and forms, by working with professional artists and others.’10)Within the normative framework of this university, creative knowledge – that rather fashionable term for the tacit and sensory cognition embodied in art – is not placed in opposition to scientific or intellectual knowledge, but has apparently been emancipated and can consequently facilitate the production of an other, equally valuable, form of knowledge. These institutional changes, and the public debate about them, would be unthinkable if reflection and research had not already become inseparably bound up in contemporary art practice. Institutions and artists alike increasingly describe their activities as research, or, as 7) Ibid., ‘Internationale Repräsentanz der zeitgenössischen Kunst in Berlin’ 8) ‘Ich zeige Dir das, was ich sehe und wie ich, irgendwer, eben ich, das sehe. Und jetzt, in Rom, das ebenso imaginär ist wie jede Stadt, denn man sieht einzeln.’ German writer Rolf Dieter Brinkmann, during his stay in the Villa Massimo in Rome, 1972–1973 9) Henk Borgdorff, ‘Het debat over onderzoek in de kunsten’ (The debate on research in the arts), Theater Topics II, De theatermaker als onderzoeker, 2006 10) ResCen, research aims, www.mdx.ac.uk/rescen

the curator and culture theorist Sarat Maharaj puts it, ‘Most of us feel we’ve been doing artistic research for years, without quite calling it that.’ 11) Influenced by contemporary trends among artists – or in the art market – artist in residence programmes all over the world have shifted Should we offer to house a roving, mobile artist? focus from production and presentation to research and development. As a consequence Dutch post-academic institutes such as the Jan van Eyck Academy and the Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten (National Academy for the Visual Arts) now label their activities ‘research’ and their residential participants ‘researchers’. However, the art critic Domeniek Ruyters warns that artist in residence programmes with this focus unwittingly contribute to the ‘increasing invisibility of art’ 12) because their policies serve the process rather than any material result. Ultimately, the central issue for the research group Art Practice and Development is not the hotly debated subject of the academisation of art education and research, and the word development was chosen for a specific reason: to describe the research activities of artists and to place them in the context of tangible practices.The AHK’s AIR programme must also reflect upon whether criteria can be formulated to distinguish art practice from art practice as research, and discover to what extent its residents contribute to the artistic agendas of the faculties. 4. This publication traces the four remarkably divergent paths taken by filmmaker Peter Delpeut, architect Luc Deleu, composer-artistic director Joël Bons and dance company Emio Greco|PC during their year in the AIR programme. The expectation was that they would not isolate themselves entirely from the academic institution concerned to operate exclusively according to their own conditions and ideas. But on the other hand our AIR programme has no blueprint and so each faculty entered into discussion and made its own arrangements with its resident artist. Luc Deleu made use of an existing educational format at the Academy of Architecture. Emio Greco|PC and Joël Bons developed entirely new projects at the Theatre School and the Amsterdam Conservatory respectively, and Peter Delpeut operated outside the direct educational framework of the Netherlands Film and Television Academy, becoming an interlocutor for management, directors of studies, and tutors. Their approach also varied with 11) Sarat Maharaj, ‘Unfinishable sketch of “An unknown object in 4D”: scenes of artistic research’, Artistic Research, published by A. Balkema and H. Slager, Amsterdam/New York 2004. 12) Dominiek Ruyters, ‘Commentator or tourist, the artist in residence as contemporary phenomenon’, Metropolis M, #3.2005



regard to content: from a clearly defined assignment to cast a critical eye on certain aspects of one Academy’s curriculum, to an artistic exchange with an authentic practice considered especially enriching by the faculty concerned, and to novel investigative queries closely connected with recent production and the AIR’s own interest in education and knowledge transfer. The AIRs we were fortunate enough to welcome during the 2004-2005 academic year knew only too well that they were not being offered a retreat that lent itself to seclusion. Their host fully appreciated each person’s unique knowledge, vision, inspiration and enterprising nature on their own terms, and it looks back with joy and respect on the contributions they were willing to make to the educational practice of each faculty.

What next?/ Crucial questions remain unanswered, of course, and after the first four AIRs (and the five since) nothing has been solved and the identity of the programme is still very much under development. What kinds of places do the faculties offer? What is the difference between What would we miss if we dispensed with the AIR programme? a visit and a residency? Does the AHK even have a view on the role of artists in education? What does the artist want from the art school, and what does he bring to it? What artistic issues within contemporary practice are relevant? What risks is one willing to take? And, most particularly, how do we acknowledge the ‘otherness’ of the resident artist and avoid any chance that the guest must adapt to the host’s excessive hospitality, and thereby become assimilated by a dominant institutional culture? 13) Finally, I wonder if those artists engaged in the setting up of residencies can provide solutions to this complex puzzle. The British choreographer Wayne McGregor, for example, has taken the initiative of creating a ‘place of rest’ for close colleagues. Every year, he invites about fifteen people to stay for a few weeks on the grounds of his immense villa on the Kenyan coast. Perhaps because of his worldwide success and extraordinarily busy schedule, he refuses to contrive any goal or mission for others. He simply offers his guests a sabbatical: ‘Visual artists, neurologists, architects, anthropologists, fashion designers: they don’t have to do anything. If they want to work on an idea, that’s fine. But it’s not a requirement. No pressure to produce. Just go.’ 14) 13) The hazard of the guest being ‘rendered harmless’ by excessive hospitality is the central theme of Jacques Derrida’s essay ‘Over gastvrijheid’ (Of Hospitality, Cultural Memory of the Present), Amsterdam, 1998

Are we then to return to the most altruistic form of an artist in resi- 10 dence programme? The challenge for the research group Art Practice and Development remains to actively seek out that field of tension between autonomy and engagement and thereby place the current relevance of our own intentions under continual scrutiny – here and What are the implicit expectations? now, and together with the artists we will welcome in the future. Marijke Hoogenboom / May 2006 www.ahk.nl www.transartists.nl www.daad-berlin.de www.mdx.ac.uk/rescen/ www.villamedici.it

14) Annette Embrechts, ‘Dansen vanuit je hoofd’ (Dancing from your mind), De Volkskrant, 27.04.2006


Coproductions, special activities, guest professor / The research group Art Practice and Development initiates and coproduces projects that make an investigative contribution to the future of the arts. These projects form part of new artistic developments, stimulate artistic and educational crossovers, and boost the flow of international artists to the AHK. >>

What is the difference between a visit and a residency? Na(ar) het Theater / After Theatre? / non-institutional learning situations that keep changing location, time and conAn international conference on posttext. In 2005 and 2006, An Academy was dramatic theatre with Hans-Thies hosted by the Holland Festival and invitLehmann, Professor of Theatre Studies ed ten makers from different disciplines at the Johann-Wolfgang Goethe to investigate the festival as a learning University, Frankfurt. Supported by the zone. Theatre School, the University Theatre in Amsterdam, DasArts, Theater Gasthuis and Maatschappij Discordia.


Mini-conference / A series of workshops organised in collaboration with Dance Unlimited and the Springdance Festival dedicated to the shifting possible contexts for contemporary performance-making through a

Pierre Audi / Guest Professor 2004–2005 / Pierre Audi is the artistic director of the Netherlands Opera and the Holland Festival. During the academic year 2004–2005 he worked with eight young graduates and postgraduates of the

combination of practice and discussionbased formats. Guests were Blast

Amsterdam academies of theatre, dance, music, film and architecture on

Theory, Rimini Protokoll, Boris

an adaptation for film and other media of the opera Pelléas et Mélisande by Claude Debussy. The principal inspira-

Charmatz, Jeroen Peeters (2005) and Ibrahim Quaraishi and Evelina Domnitch and Dimitry Gelfand (2006). www.du.ahk.nl/asif/

tion for this project was Audi’s belief that there have been few successful adaptations of opera for film, while the

Collab Lab / An ongoing project for artists from the fields of dance/choreography and media

blending of these two relatively modern

art to explore interdisciplinary practice through collaboration, initiated by Dance Unlimited with the NFTA (interactive media), HKU, the Piet Zwart Institute and others. It was led by Scott deLahunta and Nik Haffner.

rytelling, one that encompasses musical as well as textual and visual elements. He was strongly motivated by his mis-


An Academy / Together with Theater Gasthuis, An Academy is a series of experimental,

artistic disciplines could contribute to the development of a unique form of sto-

givings following the failure of his first film scenario for Pelléas et Mélisande: ‘It is an enormous challenge to adapt opera and music theatre to film. Very few attempts have been truly successful. Those that have been, have taken great risks to achieve their goal. I realised in the process of trying to complete the



Pelléas script that I needed to search further in new territories to carry the story, the music and the characters. I wondered if such new territories could be found by opening up the problems to more people?’ Audi challenged the participants to clarify their own motivation for their involvement in this research project rather than referring to his original postulation. Audi was able to use the project to give new impetus to the fulfilment of an old dream: a film will shortly be made of Pelleas et Melisande, a joint production of the NPS and IdtV Arts & Documentaries. The music will be

ing up of new perspectives in both art practice and research. Artistic practice is combined with theoretical insights and departure points. The goal of the Artistic Research dual Master is to educate artists and scientists able to underpin art practice with theoretical knowledge and enrich scientific research with insights gained through art practice. The degree programme runs for one and a half years and is carried out by the University of Amsterdam. Part of the programme track is given in collaboration with art institutes, such as the theatre workshop ‘Theater Gasthuis’.

performed by the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest conducted by Ed Spanjaard.

The Master is supported and carried out by the ‘supplying’ institutes: profession-

al art training programmes at the Top down? Bottom up? Dual Master in Artistic Research / Amsterdam School of the Arts and the In art research, the artistic product or Rietveld Academy/Sandberg Institute, the creative process is not the sole academic programmes carried out at the objective: it is the subject of the investigation itself. Such research has, as yet,

schools of Art, Religion, and Cultural Studies at the Faculty of Humanities at

not been granted a place in Dutch high-

the Universiteit van Amsterdam, and a

er education. This form of research distinguishes itself from classical artistic

number of workshops.

disciplines by its intertwining of practice in theory. It provides an alternative to the traditional dichotomy in research (applied and practice-oriented on the one hand, and fundamental and theoretical on the other), and the sometimes artificial distinction made in the Dutch education system between artists and art theorists. Artistic Research is a dual Master focusing on the development and open-


Associate researchers / Professional artists carry out research or address issues pertaining to art education in the context of contemporary developments in the arts. >>



Rozalie Hirs /

and the expressive technical abilities of

OpenMusic / Computer-aided composition and innovative composing techniques / Amsterdam Conservatory / from 2005 The resarch project OpenMusic combines the introduction of contemporary composing techniques with a practiceoriented investigation into composition students’ creative processes. The subject of the creative process is one of the most mysterious for an artist. Can the OpenMusic software make this process manifest and can digital technologies lead to innovation in the creative process? This project forms part of the

students, or do contemporary creative strategies actually require a greater autonomy from the profession?

composing practicum organised at the Conservatory by JoĂŤl Bons and the

future; and most of all they say something about how cultural identities are

Nieuw Ensemble in cooperation with the

constructed in our society. Stories are

royal conservatories in The Hague and Hilversum.

always told by means of a body. Often, however, the body is forgotten. Carolien


Tom Frantzen / Back in shape! / Academy of


Carolien Hermans / Stories in cross-disciplinary theatre practice / Theatre School / from 2006 Carolien Hermans explores the way stories are told in contemporary and cross-disciplinary theatre practice. Stories are not just stories: they say something about the way we perceive ourselves; they say something about our capacity to connect the past to the

Hermans reinserts the body in processes of signification and meaning-giving in a theatrical context. She also explores alternative ways of storytelling, focusing

Architecture / 2004–2005 Conceptual thought, which dominated

on a Deleuzian world in which narratives are essentially plural, fragmented,

the international architectural world in the 1990s, is no longer the sole paradigm exercising influence on the design

non-linear and nomadic. Carolien Hermans relates these research issues to her own artistic practice. This year

process. There is once again enormous interest in form and authentic artistic working methods.

she will commence a practice-based PhD research in collaboration with the Middlesex University in England.

Frantzen investigates past shifts in the Does the AIR have views or aspirations regarding education? study of form in architecture education and whether the contemporary nature and content of the field is in keeping with the post-conceptual climate. Is it desirable to boost the craftsmanship

Sonja van der Valk / Investigation into the foundation of an interdisciplinary centre of excellence for art criticism / from 2005 A recurrent and perturbing theme in the ongoing debate on art criticism is the gulf between the criteria employed for assessment and an art practice that long ago discarded the modernist canon. This investigation develops on the expertise gained through the successful pilot project, A new generation of cultural journalists. It seeks to gain an overview of the various positions taken and practices employed in contemporary art criticism. Wherever possible, and using foreign training centres as reference points, observations will be translated into practical proposals for a school of art criticism.

Testing contact microphones and defining their (musical) functionality should lead to a standardised approach: a library of scores and contact microphones will be compiled for all instruments (classical and jazz) taught as a main subject at the Amsterdam Conservatory (CvA), which will support the training of instrumentalists to work with live electronics. Students of all main subjects will be involved in the test programme. This research will lead up to the CvA’s relocation in the summer of 2008 to its new building, where a separate studio for live electronics is planned. http://www.visisonor.net/Marionette.html http://www.visisonor.net/audio.html http://www.xs4all.nl/~huygensf/zwaanenburg.html http://music.york.ac.uk/research/projects/improv_project_04/ http://web.inter.nl.net/users/BartonWorkshop/bartonframe.htm http://www.euroeducation.net/euro/obmedia.htm


from 2006 Live electronics is taking an increasingly

Edit Kaldor / To pieces: a structural and practical analysis of contemporary performance practices / Theatre School / from 2005 Kaldor’s investigation focuses on a hybrid theatre practice in which the

prominent place in Western music practice, especially now that accessibility has improved with increased affordabili-

borders between disciplines constantly shift. It is usually encountered within a close-knit network of international

ty. As a result, different live electronic solutions are developed for each player, piece and composer.

festivals and production houses, from Frankfurt to Beirut. Kaldor is a member of this innovative performance network.

Can such idiosyncrasy – specifically in the area of traditional instruments extended by live electronics – be combated? And can a satisfactory method be developed for describing the musical functionality of electronics?

From her perspective as a maker she investigates how the new generation of theatre students at the AHK can connect with these developments. The primary aim is to provide concrete casestudies by facilitating direct contact with artists and performances.

Jos Zwaanenburg / Contact microphones for traditional instruments / Amsterdam Conservatory /



Marion Tr채nkle /

Scott deLahunta /

Responsive environments: the relational stance of the physical body to the embodied space / Theatre School Amsterdam and Brunel University London / from 2006 The aim of the proposed research is to develop an artistic practice of interactive performance-installations and to conceptualise design methods for embedding technology that enables interaction in responsive environments. In order to construct such methods, Tr채nkle will explore associated performative, architectural and computational design practice. This approach is based

Digital interfaces as creative tools / Theatre School / from 2005 There are many fields of practice concerned with the recording, analysing, archiving, modelling, documenting, simulating and notating of human movement. These include choreography and dance, architecture, cognitive and computer science, film animation, visual anthropology, biomechanics, engineering and technology research. The research project Digital interfaces as creative tools speculates on the potential of a set of shared standards and procedures for movement research that

on a broad, multi-disciplinary perspective, but will focus on a substantial simi-

emphasises the value of choreography and dance in relation to other fields of

larity between the disciplines mentioned

practice. Contributions include the

by framing both performance and architecture as relational practices dealing

notation research project by Bertha Bermudez from the company EG|PC.

with space and body. The relationship


between the human body and its technologically charged environment is thus What artistic issues within contemporary practice are relevant? placed at the centre of the proposed research. This project leads into a practice-based PhD at Brunel University, Faculty of Contemporary Drama and Performance Studies, in cooperation with the Amsterdam School of the Arts. www.interact-in-space.net

‘Arts faculty’ needs emancipation/ It is high time that professionally oriented higher education received the financial means for research. And it should also be possible to obtain a doctorate in art, contends Henk Borgdorff. >> .


NRC Handelsblad / 29.09.2005


In the Netherlands, art education – at theatre and film schools, conservatories, and art and architecture academies – is categorised as higher professional education, or HBO. This is exceptional in international terms because elsewhere art is generally taught at university level. There is also no counterpart to art education in universities, because although art history, musicology and theatre sciences are concerned with the arts, there are no university equivalents to HBO arts courses, as there are for the technical, agrarian or managerial courses, for example. After attaining a Masters degree, there is no third phase available to art students, whether at university or in the HBO system. For this reason, in the Netherlands there is no research conducted into the arts that involves art both as means and end. This flaw has a negative impact on the level of knowledge in the field and on public debate on art and art practice. In 1798 Immanuel Kant published the manifesto Der Streit der Facultäten, in which he stated the case for the ‘lower faculties’ in relation to the ‘higher faculties’. The lower faculties included the natural sciences, the humanities and philosophy, which at the time could only be studied up to Masters level. The higher faculties – theology, law and medicine – led to doctorates. The higher faculties were accountable to church or state, and still today these institutions supervise religious practice, the administering of justice, and healthcare – and they protect the related professions. At the end of the eighteenth century, the state attempted to interfere with the content of Kant’s philosophical text Die Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der blossen Vernunft (Religion within the limits of mere reason, 1794). This provoked Kant to once again take a stand, and he made a forceful argument for freedom to study in those lower faculties that were not primarily professionally oriented, but advocated pure scientific investigation. His statements contributed to the intellectual climate that enabled the establishment of the Friedrich Wilhelm (later, Humboldt) University in Berlin in 1809. Here the connection between education and research was forged and, what is more, students of the lower faculties gained the right to study to doctorate level.

NRC Handelsblad / 29.09.2005

Following in this tradition, the time has come to state the case for the emancipation of the lower faculties of the modern age: the arts. In the Dutch scientific world the implicit hierarchy between fundamental and applied research was dispensed with some time ago, as evidenced by the Netherlands Organisation for Fundamental Scientific Research (ZWO) being renamed the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Research in the arts in educational context must now be granted similar opportunities. And so the time is ripe for the Royal Academy of Sciences (KNAW) to restore its original name: the Royal Netherlands Institute for Science, Literature and the Fine Arts. This would endorse the idea that sciences and the arts, although dissimilar in nature, make equally valuable contributions to our culture. In concrete terms, this means that in this context both direct and indirect government funding would be made available to the arts. At present, the structural financing of research in art education is provided for, to a very limited extent, in the funds for associate professors. This would bring the funds available to a level equivalent to that found elsewhere in higher education, make those involved in art education eligible to compete for NWO resources and subsidies, and allow for research placements for trainee research assistants to be created and assessment committees to be established. Furthermore, as well as funding practice-based training to Masters level, it must surely be possible for the lowest faculty to establish courses leading to arts Doctorates. There is no hierarchy of values between the faculties of the human mind, and the institutional faculties within which these abilities are addressed and utilised should be treated equally. Henk Borgdorff

is Professor of Art Theory and Research at the Amsterdam School of the Arts



Artistic agenda / Extracts from ‘Application for the research group Art Practice and Development, Amsterdam School of the Arts’, November 2002



From maestro to specialist teammember / Academy of Architecture

Breaking down traditional barriers / Amsterdam Conservatory

Architecture in particular and urban planning in general have their own artistic order. They are also under constant public scrutiny. Changes in legislation and regulations, in commissions and financing, and in approaches to housing, work and communication, continually force the designer to critically re-evaluate his proposed assignment. Practical examples of this include the transition from tight scheduling to more open scenarios; the growth of legislation, regulation and public agreements towards a compelling datascape; the increasing

The diversity of international music practice at the beginning of the twentyfirst century is unprecedented. Higher musical education is set the exceptional task of doing justice to a multiplicity of styles, genres, idioms, practices, combinations, audiences, stages, professions and skills. One can no longer reliably navigate by referring to traditional classifications: recreational and serious, contemporary and historical, jazz and classical, descriptive and abstract, mono-disciplinary and interdisciplinary, functional and artistic, creative and per-

density in a particular cultural landscape, with the consequence that many

formative, etc. Given the enormous variety of spe-

assignments entail re-design; and the

cialisms, the Amsterdam Conservatory

changing role of the designer – from has decided to break down traditional What specific expertise do artists have? maestro to specialist team-member. barriers between the departments, subject groups and major subjects to gain a This has brought about fundamental changes in the design process and in

perspective on the most important issue: the quality and integrity of the

the role of the designer. The artists in

music or musician, regardless of form.

residence will be deployed to channel the practice of these new developments

The practice of productive eclecticism and dedicated specialisation must be

into the educational sphere. It is a longstanding practice of the Academy of Architecture to invite guest tutors work-

transposed into the educational arena. Whether it involves enhancing historically informed performance practice, the

ing in the field. The research group provides an opportunity to place a selected theme in an educational context for a

relationship between cognitive analysis and expressive synthesis, music for theatre or film, orchestral performance,

longer period. In this way, not only are new themes examined on the level of the individual assignment, they also contribute to a wider debate among the tutors and staff responsible for the development of the curriculum.

live electronics, music technology, chamber music or big band swing, the challenge is to achieve best practice and to develop new practices. The artists in residence will be selected on the basis of their anticipated contribution in this context.

Transdisciplinary practice and technological advances / Netherlands Film

Innovator and emancipator

unchanging subjects such as film music, the experience of space (relating to architecture) and visualisation (relating to the visual arts). Especially in these

design. The artists in residence stimu-

areas, the artists in residence programme will provide educational innova-

directors and tutors. The goal is to improve the quality of education in the

tion by stimulating practice-based

Theatre School. And it should not be

research and initiating and contributing to the development of a curriculum to be

merely reactive to the demands and designations of the familiar field concerned:

offered within the NFTA.

it can also act as an innovator and emancipator within it.

Theatre School and Television Academy When it comes to innovation, students Film is an inherently multidisciplinary are a driving force in the school: they are art form: the NFTA educates students in the performers and makers of the future. eight distinct disciplines that combine To be attentive to what new generations to create a single artwork – a film. There bring to the school is to constantly is plainly a connection between film on address issues such as the place of the the one hand and other art forms such performing arts in these times; the difas theatre, architecture and music on ference between professional and amathe other, but this relationship is curteur art practices; the synthesis of, or rently insufficiently explored within the difference between, Western and nonAcademy. Western forms of art expression; and The great technological advances of the position of Dutch theatre and Dutch recent years have altered the filmmaking dance within the context of international process and put great demands on one’s developments. Additionally, the Theatre What risks is one willing to take, and what does one want to discover? attention, leading to the neglect of School faces challenges in the areas of transdisciplinary and relatively music theatre, direction and theatre late artistic questions, artistic developments and renewal among those running the School: directors of study, artistic



‘What question contributes to your own evolving sense of knowledge?’ >> James Lee Byars, World Question Center, 1969

What is the resident artist’s mandate?

In Belgium in 1969 the American artist James Lee Byars made a performance that was presented as a live broadcast on national television. It was called The World Question Centre. Encircled by supporters Byars made telephone calls to about a hundred people he claimed were among the most brilliant personalities of the time. They included John Cage, Luciano Berio, Joseph Beuys, Hans Hollein, Cedric Price, Robert Jungk, Marcel Broodthaers, Simon Vinkenoog and Ritsaert ten Cate. Byars wanted to find out what questions these artists, thinkers and scientists asked themselves. Despite frequent faulty connections and scarcely intelligible mutterings, Byars pressed on tirelessly for many hours: ‘Can you pose a question that contributes to your own evolving sense of knowledge?’; ‘Would you mind telling me a question that you are asking yourself currently?’; I am looking for questions that are very important to individuals with regard to their own evolution, mentally – can you provide me with one?’ This performance resulted in a collection of answers it was impossible to make head or tail of. Each answer, and each question, offered another perspective on current ways of thinking, and engagement with topical issues. What was striking was that Byars had absolutely no qualms about placing his faith in a personal idea of knowledge – usable knowledge. Worse still, he was convinced that a synthesis of all thought could only consist of individual contributions, and that a truly important thought – about the future – must take the form of a question. The centuries-old strategy of questioning is thus transformed playfully into an artistic practice. With this fascinating performance, Byars not only put the content of knowledge up for discussion but also the manner in which new knowledge in the arts – and by extension, new art – can be produced. A ‘forum for artistic dialogue’?

This is a perfect departure point for the interfaculty research group Art Practice and Development, following in the footsteps of artists exploring the boundaries of their knowledge and subsequently abandoning themselves to the treacherous territory of what they do not know – what is still to come. Marijke Hoogenboom

Extract from ‘Lectoraat kunstpraktijk en artistieke ontwikkeling’ in Theater Topics II, De theatermaker als onderzoeker (in Theatre Topics II, The theatremaker as researcher), 2006


Artists in Residence

Artists in Residence / 2006, 2007, 2008 ... / The faculty’s Artist in Residence is Should we offer to house a roving, mobile artist? a guest professor with a germane, prominent position in the contemporary art practice of the discipline concerned: someone who can introduce best practices by acting as a source of inspiration, innovation and contemplation, and actuate artistic and educational processes and artistic research.’ >> Extract from ‘Application for the research group Art Practice and Development, Amsterdam School of the Arts’, November 2002

Artists in Residence

Maaike Bleeker / Limits to representation? / Theatre School (2005–2006) Maaike Bleeker is a scientist of theatre and dance studies and a dramaturg operating at the frontier between theatre and theory. Her research focuses, broadly speaking, on two questions: is theatre a form of thought, and how can theatre be deployed to take a critical standpoint with regard to contemporary visual culture? As AIR at the Theatre School she uses the connecting theme Limits to representation? to explore issues such as whether the Prophet Muhammad may be depicted; whether it is possible to make theatre about the Holocaust; in what

roots in practical and meaningful ways – beyond historical footnotes. Students are rarely equipped with the tools to approach music from a black cultural perspective or incorporate essential qualities key to the black musical aesthetic. The central goal of the residency is to assist participants in defining, identifying and performing musical elements in jazz that emanate from African-American roots. As an intensive ‘music-centred’ project, Exploring the black roots of jazz fuses performances, lectures, and discussions to explore the multi-faceted nature of jazz in particular, and ultimately black music in general. www.johnclaytonjazz.com

ways the events in Srebrenica have been taken up in theatre and film; how implicit and explicit forms of propaganda func-

Krisztina de Châtel / Body/Space / Academy of Architecture

tion; and whether there should be legal restrictions on what can be portrayed – and, if so, who should impose them.

(2006–2007) Krisztina de Châtel’s choreographies always explore the body in relation to

Makers, thinkers and the Theatre

its surroundings. She is fascinated by

School’s artistic leaders will form a workgroup and participate in this

everyday surroundings and their dynamics: the built space, the street,


John Clayton / Exploring the black roots of jazz (in collaboration with Ray Briggs) / Amsterdam Conservatory

the landscape we move in. This project explores the relationships between architecture, space, body and choreography. Body/Space forces architects to stop drawing and to experience space, to define it by using their bodies

(2005–2006) Although jazz education has become commonplace at many music institutions throughout the world, few programmes have placed an emphasis on connecting jazz to its African American

and the bodies of dancers. It requires them to reflect on the archetypes of choreography and architecture: the ritual, the masses, the individual, movement, power, beauty, decay... It questions the ordinary, the habitual,


Artists in Residence


the safe haven. But in the end, choreographers, dancers and architects will meet in space.

Paul Shepheard /

Horst Rickels / The dialectic of the moving image, sound and music / Netherlands Film and Television Academy (2006–2007) Horst Rickels’ research focuses on the hierarchical relationship between music, sound and film. In the context of filmmaking, music and sound are generally considered ‘added value’ rather than being fully integrated in the artistic concept on equal terms.

How to like everything / Academy of Architecture (2005–2006) ‘Trying to make sense of the confusion caused by such plenty as this could stop anyone getting old. But still, I don’t just want to make sense of it, I want to like it all, to overcome the nightmare world of perpetual judgement. I want to like Mark Quinn’s bloody head just because it does challenge its valuation with its vulnerability. I want to like Carl Andre’s bricks for being the everyday conclusive bits of stuff that the words in his concrete poetry can’t be. I want to like Tracy Emin’s bed for howling at the

‘In the interaction between film, sound and music a speechless zone seems to

moon. But it has also occurred to me that these things may not be pieces of

manifest itself: a black hole that sucks

art at all, but pieces of criticism. They

up all the energy and is a source of frustration for filmmakers – especially

may be criticism because the stories are bigger than the work.’

during production. On the other hand,

The residency includes a public lecture

this zone is also where there is space for the imagination to operate –

series, a drawing class, the winter-term workshop, a seminar as well as research

especially because it is not occupied by

and writing for Paul’s upcoming book.


set notions and rigid formalism.’ The goal of this investigation is to stimulate and develop a language that enables communication between the medium and its makers. Selected students and tutors from the various disciplines will carry out and record a structured investigation into this language-development process.


Is the AIR an insider or an outsider?


The AIR programme at the Amsterdam School of the


Arts is an initiative of the research group Art Practice

Marijke Hoogenboom

and Development in collaboration with the Academy

Pol Eggermont

of Architecture, the Netherlands Film and Television

Nienke Rooijakkers

Academy, the Amsterdam Conservatory and the Theatre School.

translation and English copy-editing Steve Green

graphic design Esther Noyons

printing SSP Amsterdam

publisher Amsterdam School of the Arts, Art Practice and Development PO Box 15079 1001 MB Amsterdam The Netherlands +31(0)20 527 78 04 www.ahk.nl

with thanks to The Artists in Residence, Board of Governors, faculty boards, directors of studies, tutors, guest tutors, students and to Jennifer Kanary and everyone else who helped set up this programme




Let's suppose the Academy is a place for artists... / 03 Coproductions, special activities, guest professor / 11 Associate researchers / 14 Arts faculty needs emancipation / 18 Artistic agenda / 22 Artists in Residence 2006, 2007, 2008 ... / 27 32

Parasite or Consultant?

Profile for Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten

Air #0. Let's suppose the academy is a place for artists.  

AIR# tracks the first generation of Artists In Residence: Luc Deleu, Peter Delpeut, Joël Bons and the dance company EG | PC. It offers insig...

Air #0. Let's suppose the academy is a place for artists.  

AIR# tracks the first generation of Artists In Residence: Luc Deleu, Peter Delpeut, Joël Bons and the dance company EG | PC. It offers insig...