The Academy Strikes Back

EARN Conference 2010

The Academy Strikes Back is the concluding presentation of a two-year project aimed at the current academicization of art education. The project takes place within the context of the European Artistic Research Network and was developed by Jan Cools (Sint-Lukas, Brussels) and Henk Slager (maHKU, Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design).

The project’s starting point is the importance of artistic research for formulating competencies, learning outcomes and didactic strategies in art education. Previous events were A Certain Ma-Ness, (Amsterdam, March 2008) with a.o. Simon Sheikh, Jan Verwoert, Clementine Deliss, Mick Wilson, Bart Verschaffel, and Becoming Bologna, (IUAV, Venice, June 2009) with a keynote by Daniel Birnbaum, that took place within the framework of the 53rd Venice Biennale.

During The Academy Strikes Back the specificity of the Academy as a research environment is at the forefront of our enquiry and debate. How can artistic (doctoral) research contribute to the overall research environment at the Academy? To investigate this, three doctoral researchers (Jeremiah Day, Clodagh Emoe, Paul Landon) have been invited to do workshops, based on their own research projects, for the Brussels master students. Documentation about the various ways that (doctoral) research can be embedded in the structure of the Graduate School is on display in the Sint-Lukas Gallery (June 5 – 20, 2010).

As a consequence of the institutionalization of the artistic research environment, it is inevitable that the debate about the specificity of the Academy is being brought back into the Academy where it most urgently belongs. The symposium will elaborate on this by asking four specialists the following sub-questions:

- Can the academicized Art Academy still offer a viable space and platform for the experimental development of a critical art practice?
- Is there an affirmative relationship between institutionalized artistic research and the art scene?
- How transparent is ‘peer reviewing’ in the art world and what role can it play in academicized art education?
- How can the outcomes of artistic research be disseminated?

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