The Professorship @ ELIA Academy 2023

I am very happy to share that my proposal for a presentation and workshop for the upcoming ELIA Academy, happening 10-12 May in Évora, Portugal, is accepted! The Academy will be hosted by the School of Arts, University of Évora. The topic of the three-day gathering is situatedness. From the call on the ELIA website:

ELIA Academy 2023 invites you to situate yourself in the city of Évora. Explore the situatedness of this culture, heritage and place. Experience Portugal’s Alentejo plain as a confluence of complex interwoven histories and artistic sensibilities. Bring your own perspectives and engage with this celebrated UNESCO World Heritage site as arts educators, students, practitioners and professionals. Reflect on how art is created now and how it is defining its value for the future. Take a moment to consider your place in time and space, and share what situatedness means to you.

ELIA Academy host, University of Évora, School of the Arts beckons you towards this unique hinterland which calls for contemplation, specific interpretations and responses. Here, you will adjust to a particular form of slow living. Allow yourself to decelerate and experience the landscape as education. Together, let us aim to explore new learnings that will inform our work environments, teaching practices, research and artistic investigations. Take this opportunity at ELIA Academy 2023 to reflect on the past and present as we forge new futures together.

Exploring connectivity through artistic research residencies: A Situated Perspective.

Idea: To bring artistic connectivity more to the international table, to bring it into the international discourse. To continue building an international network for the concept.

The core idea of my proposal is to take the concept of our professorship, Artistic Connective Practices, and look at it through the notion of situatedness, with artistic research residencies as practice cases. I have outlined the idea of artistic research residencies earlier in my inaugural lecture (for the publication see here, p. 33), and we are now working on developing this form further.

Here’s the original text of my proposal:

Artists have always related to what happens around them, both on local and global levels. This relation to society manifests itself in many forms of artistic practices in public spaces and spheres. The professorship ‘Artistic Connective Practices’ at Fontys Fine and Performing Arts in Tilburg, The Netherlands, addresses the notion of artistic connectivity as a lens towards artistic research in relation to society and the socio-economic and ecological issues of our time, through a number of core values, such as: connecting through spending time together; mutual respect and endless curiosity; reciprocity, affinity, integrity and kinship.

One of the central approaches of the professorship is the form of artistic research residencies: Artist researchers engage in the context at hand, from a socially engaged perspective and through the lens of artistic connectivity. The overarching question is what artistic research, rather than the arts exclusively, can offer to specific communal or societal contexts. In the residencies it is essential to be(come) “capable of hearing and taking seriously” (Stengers 2018, 10) what the people and contexts we work with have to offer. We choose for an entirely situated approach, “creating work in situ so as to directly intervene in real-world situations” (Dartel 2017, 2124). We work from the very context we find ourselves in, and consciously leave space for the residencies, their forms and purposes to emerge from the ground up, from scratch and through situated practice.

Participants during the theatre residency of artist researcher Juriaan Achthoven, exploring unique performance locations.
Participants during the theatre residency of artist researcher Juriaan Achthoven, exploring unique performance locations.

At the Academy I aim to share the notion of artistic connectivity and the approach of artistic research residencies, and think together through the approach of situated residencies towards communities and social contexts. With this as point of departure, we will continue to explore together how such situated approaches can contribute to higher arts education, and how they might be inspiring approaches towards teaching and learning in the arts. The central point of the session is to achieve a situation of thinking and sketching together.

The first part of the session will cover introduction, contextualisation, framing of the key terms (especially artistic connectivity and our concept of artistic research residencies) and a brief report of the residencies that have already taken place. Framings of the key terms will also be physically present on sheets of paper, for further annotations during the session. In the second part we will collectively think and sketch together how both artistic connectivity and the idea of artistic research residencies can contribute to higher arts education, and might be inspiring approaches towards teaching and learning in the arts.

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