composition of the program
APT's artistic-pedagogical process always begins with an international Call for Projects aimed at artists, theoreticians and writers, and which calls on all the partners in the APT network and in particular on educational institutions, on both a national and an international level. Respondents to this Call for Projects have to outline an artistic research project which ties in with their own artistic or theoretical background and which also underlines its relevance towards it. The training itself is split up in three blocks of roughly three months, each block being succeeded by an intermediary buffer month which will enable participants to redefine and redraw their research field and questions. The complete training thus covers a period of 12 months. The training will not stand in the way of artistic creations: participants can work on their own creations either during the training or in the concluding stages of the training, in so far as these creations are part of the participant's research project.
content of the curriculum and pedagogical organization
The APT programme will consist of three successive blocks lasting three months each. In between these, there will always be one month during which the participant can redefine and redirect his project. Each block will be prepared, followed up and filled in by two guest curators who will work with the artistic coordinator on the possible content of the 3-month work period as soon as the selected participants' projects are available. They will set up a curriculum which responds to these projects. At the start of each block, new participants can join the training, and this is something which will bring about a constant flow of new ideas and views and make it possible for participants to exchange insights which will depend on the (ongoing) evolution of their research. The intermediary buffer periods can be filled in collectively or individually: APT is planning a space in which both introspection and discussion are possible.
The concrete working timetable is drawn up based on the needs of the selected participants. The staff members of APT will include formats that encourage the creation of a 'common space' - both in a literal and figurative sense - in which to fit the different projects: work methods will be developed (lectures, workshops, public activities, etc.) in which the communality of the projects can be fitted and in which the potential can emerge for collaboration and discussion. This space forms the artistic and discursive backbone of the learning plan.
Practically this entails that all those involved, both APT staff members and participants, are responsible for setting up the programme and for the organization of the platform and the activities which take place therein. Working within APT implies negotiation and experimentation, whereby APT will do everything possible to develop this communality by building up, as it were, a 'meta-project' consisting of lectures, workshops and debates. That discourse should stimulate discussion among the participants, challenge their own certainties and push them to redefine and reposition their artistic standpoints.
In other words: the pedagogical-educational potential of APT is located on 3 levels:
first comes the learning-by-exchange process: participants develop their own research (for instance, the use of performative stereotyping of identities in Western and non-Western theatre) and are helped in this by the curators, the Artistic Board and the APT team. At fixed dates they will present the progress of their research to the other participants who will then function as critical sparring partners. This critical potential will be strengthened since participants are partly dependent on one another to develop an interesting curriculum for one another. Exchanging research (whether in the form of a discussion, the sharing of a text, a performance or a weblog) will thus lead to constant evaluation and questioning by and with other participants.
secondly, the participants' research will also be strengthened by the occasional contribution from specialists in the field. For instance: a political scientist or a sociologist can come in handy to sketch out the context of cultural stereotyping; workshops can be organized around puppet theatre, for instance, or around new media tools; a coaching project can be set up around the development of theatricality in public spaces, etc. This contribution can function at an individual level, at the group level or at the level of a wider audience. It is important that contributions from these 'specialists' be relevant for the research of a number of participants. At the request of participants, the artistic coordinator, the Artistic Board and the curators look for the right input of guest lecturers, workshop leaders, technical supporters, etc...
at a meta-level, APT will also be doing its own research into the communication of the research results developed during the training: how can a broader public be involved in the participants' research? How can we publicize the research results in a manageable way? APT wants a transparent system which, throughout the research process, attempts to find suitable means of publication and a suitable audience with which to share the research. This will be possible through the organization of performances and debates in art centres and workplaces, the development of an interactive website, the distribution of publications, etc.
Artistic and pedagogical 'toolkit'
The artistic 'tools' developed in the APT programme are aimed at acquiring and sharing knowledge according to the needs of each project, preferably in such a way that the ensuing results can also be relevant to other participants and to a wider audience with an interest in the activities of the platform. This can involve, among other things, debates, public talks and/or publications. Moreover, the willingness to share one's research (both one's methodology and results) with others is an essential component of APT philosophy, just as it is a relevant criterion in the evaluation of the participants' progress. Not only is the discursive and/or reflective process part of the communality, but so is the sharing of 'tools' in the artistic practice - in all possible forms, including the person as performer - part of the research culture which APT wants to bring about. The evaluation of the practices - do the 'tools' function? are the applied strategies relevant? did the group dynamics deliver anything? - will take place within this communal space, although the widening of the context - among other things, the valorization of research results in public activities - has to be evaluated.
Seeing that APT wants to concentrate on its core pedagogical tasks, the training is calling on motivated partners to house the training and to offer all opportunities for it to develop itself into a versatile workplace. In this respect the link with the international arts centre deSingel is highly important since this art centre not only offers a work space but also guarantees productional and technical support which ties in with the research phase.
APT wishes to facilitate the relocation of students into the sector by developing a network of interested partners who are willing to:
offer a work space for participants wishing to test their research in practice.
communicate the research to a wider audience, by means of performances, talks and debates which will be co-organized with APT.
If participants decide to move from their research to a production phase, APT can offer them a network of possible partners where they will be able to progress in their artistic work in circumstances which will be as professional as possible. These partners may be located in Belgium, but can also be part of an international network.
In this respect, APT is in contact with related art and research training centres abroad about the possibility of joining parts of research projects, which could be honoured by the different partners.