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updated by bart van den eynde -- Thu 26 Apr 2012 - 14:42

Block 3

September - November 2011

* Anette Baldauf, Vincent Dunoyer, Vladimir Miller and Pierre Rubio are dedicated mentors. At set times at the beginning and at the end of this block they discuss the evolution of the individual research proposals with the participants.  
* Together with two other workshops of your choice, the obligatory modules, Opening Week, Half-Way-Days and Closing Week, form the base of your curricilum of a block.
* For the Tallinn-Project, Summer- and Winter School the subscription date is 15 August.
* In the beginning of this block participants Abhilash Ningappa and Michiel Reynaerts will present the end communication of their research.
* The dates of the workshops are subject to change. Always use the google calendar as a latest reference for dates.    

05 - 09/09 – deSingel (Antwerp)
The participants already in the program are the hosts of a meet & greet for the new participants, with introduction to the principles of the research environment, the program, tools (calender, library, budget, website...) and presentation of all research proposals.

DON’T KNOW! Conference on Artistic Research
15 – 17/09 - De Bottelarij (Brussels)
Don’t Know! is not a gathering with the sole aim of exchanging knowledge on artistic research practices. In the course of three days we rather aim to create a frame in which research is put into practice and shared with the audience. In other words: we will organize a conference which provides different working situations, allowing an in-depth experience of research formats, relations and situations, and the specific ‘knowledges’ these produce.
Following the suggested attitude in our conference-title - Don’t Know! - we would like to frame these formats through four fields of questions:
Don’t Know! the politics of knowledge production
The production of knowledge has always been highly charged by institutional, political, commercial, identity-constructing and aesthetic power. We could claim that the arts embody knowledge in ways that potentially challenge the power structures behind the societal accepted systems of knowledge production. The question remains how effective art is and what position the arts can still (or again) claim towards this challenge. In recent years a lot of the discourse around artistic research has been coloured by a re-definition of the arts as knowledge production units whose data have to be archived in usable, practical and representable formats. With this conference we would like to scrutinize this position and re-imagine the arts’ critical power. In which way the artistic understanding of knowledge differs from the one in other fields? What are the political implications of such a difference (if any at all)? How could we redistribute the power of knowledge production throughout the arts? And finally: is this at all a valid question? Should the arts avoid the political recuperation of its terrain and abstain from the tight link to knowledge production practices? Or: is it possible to maintain an alternative position for the arts in their way of dealing with knowledge (production)? Or if not, can the arts still claim their (political) capacity for change?
Don’t Know! knowing today:
In the last twenty years we have been experiencing major shifts in the paradigms of knowledge: their production, accessibility and aesthetics, as well as their economic and political use. The internet, the endless choice in news channels, social networks, hyperlinking etc... make our relation to knowledge more personal and provide us with an endless stream of seemingly non-hierarchical but highly formatted information. The processing of knowledge and its appearances has become one of the most important sources for the aesthetic practice turning political. Within a society that has turned the commodification of knowledge into one of its main economic drives, the critical discourse on these production formats the arts create  has been the basis for a lot of (historical) research practices. Therefore we would like to ask ourselves how artistic practices today can be a viable motor for thinking about our economic, technical and political realities. How can the arts reflect upon, but maybe even more, how can they influence future developments?
Don’t Know! from knowledge production to knowledge processing
The shift in vocabulary in the arts (see above) not only changed the role of the artist in today's society, it also pushed the arts (and 'artistic research' in particular) into the realm of economically viable, 'useful' and productive societal gestures. For many artists practicing ‘research’ became tightly linked to the copying of scientific formats and organizational strategies: categorizing, formatting, making available. But at the same time, the copying of scientific formats in the arts is fairly subversive: artistic research practices often seem to simultaneously propose an ‘order of things’ and create the acute experience of the impossibility of these kinds of ‘scientific’ formats to produce readily readable data. Very often the categorizations used in the arts reveal their own limitations rather than open up clearly defined fields of knowledge.
In that sense we might argue that art (and artistic research) does not in the first instance produce knowledge, but that the arts keep on opening up the cracks in our systems of understanding: mislaying the knowledge, escaping the gridlocked pre-defined contexts that can be understood only according to the conventions of the discourses (be they political, aesthetical, psychological, …) that define knowledge. Would it then not seem more appropriate to talk about ‘knowledge processing’ than about the production of knowledge? Art as a game of misplacing information rather than one that tries to reinforce meaning on the world? And does this in a lot of ways not echo a contemporary understanding of research in general?
Don’t Know! the environment:
Artistic research - and specific modes of dealing with knowledge (production) - is nowadays placed before the challenge that it has to operate within certain disciplinary frameworks and protocols. The actual combat in the arts now is to see where the disciplining and institutionalisation of its intrinsic researching gesture can be turned productive again.The question is: what kind of environments and institutions does art need today in order to react on the changing ontologies of knowledge and to develop different approaches of working and thinking?

SUMMERSCHOOL – Jacob Wren & Antonio Araújo
19 - 23/09 – Campo (Ghent)
in collaboration with RITS
Jacob Wren: How to Stage Discussions about Arts and Politics?
Jacob Wren is a Canadian writer and maker of theatre on the edge of critical discourse and performance. His books include Unrehearsed Beauty, Families Are Formed Through Copulation and Revenge Fantasies of the Politically Dispossessed. As co-artistic director of the Montreal-based interdisciplinary group PME-ART he has co-created among much more the ongoing HOSPITALITY series.
Jacob’s workshop is based on the technique of the relay-interview, a simple game for having unexpected conversations. It involves asking and answering spontaneous questions that are loosely based around on or oseveral themes chosen before the game starts. It is an attempt to have genuine, surprising exchanges within a performance situation. And to find out what we think about it and what we most want to know.
Check his blog:   
Antonio Araújo: How to Artistically Intervene in the Urban Space of the City of Ghent?
Brazilian artist and researcher Antonio Araújo is currently combining his teaching activities at the university of Sao Paulo with his work as the artistic director of the Teatro da Vertigem in Sao Paulo, a company that sees their projects as interventions in the city as well as theatre pieces. The company usually stages its performances in site-specific locations such as (abandoned) churches, prisons and hospitals.
The idea of Antonio’s workshop is to experience different points of departure in working with site and urban interventions. While working in a collaborative way in the city of Ghent, we will experiment the power of mobilization that theatre provides. Through intervening in the urban space, theatre recovers its public art dimension - which has always been there, but was sometimes blurry or forgotten.    

DON’T KNOW. Congress on Artistic Research - Nicolas y Galeazzi
26 - 30/09 – deSingel (Antwerp)
Nicolas Y Galeazzi focuses on developing and questioning social discourses through artistic research, which is materialised in concepts, installations, performances as well as printed matter. Galeazzi sets up performative research frameworks for experiments with political and social conditions and is working thereby on a concept of 'Mise-en-Discourses'. He currently is tutor at Flutgraben Workspace in Berlin and together with Joël Verwimp forms the Performative Publishers VerlegtVerlag.
Nicolas will work further on the principles that have been developed during the conference more thoroughly with the participants. Central are the 4 questions that have been guiding the preparation of the conference.

03 - 07/10 – DeSingel (Antwerp)
The development in the 16th century of the controlled space of the theatre isolated within the urban context made it possible to manipulate the gaze in an absolute way. The development of the theatre building reflects societal organization in a crystallized form where watching and being watched is organized following strict rules. In the second half of 20th century the theatre is brought back as a reference in the critical reflection on and discussion of the visual organization of the public space.    
In these reading sessions we invitearchitects, theorists and artists who work and reflect on the gaze in architecture. Texts (or other influences) that have been essential in their development as an artist or theoretician are the starting point of a discussion on the organization of the gaze in an architectural context. Koen Van Singhel, Terenja Van Dijk, Wesley Meuris and Bart Verschaffel are our guests. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 2. Magic Realism - Pierre Rubio
10 - 12/10 - deSingel (Antwerp) & 17 -23/10 - Zsenne (Brussels)
Pierre Rubio (Brussels) is researcher, performer, choreographer and dramaturgical adviser. For many years he has been active in the field of performance and choreography and he has been collaborating with a large number of artists and institutions. His current project, Artificial Intelligence, born out an extensive artistic research project around the notion of ‘reality’, focuses on the production and observation of pre-political spaces originated in the contemporary fabrication of subjectivities.

13-14/10 - DeSingel (Antwerp)
In the middle of the block we meet for two days to consider the state of affairs. The information already gathered and the experiences of the block so far are the starting point for this shared moment on the evolution of the research projects and the broader a.pass research environment.  

24 - 28/10  - deSingel (Antwerp)
Stef Stessel is a scenographer light designer and photographer and is a member of the theatre collective de Roovers. He also works as a scenographer for other theatre companies: De Onderneming, Transparant, KVS, DASTHEATER, De Tijd, Ibycus, Rataplan vzw, HETPALEIS.
Stef Stessels always has used the camera as a tool to create his personal database and archive. Recently he has begun to integrate his interest of photography directly into his scenographic work and light design. First of all he started to document the performances of de Roovers- and his sets -   and the company uses his photos for its communication. More fundamentally his camera became an instrument in his research for light & set design where he integrated the photos from this research process in the actual performances. In this artistic workshop with he will investigate with the participants the possible relations between photography, scenography and lightdesign integrating more technical aspects in concrete artistic exercises.      

31/10 - 02/11 - deSingel (Antwerp)
Picking up on the many forms in which objects have appeared in the participant’s projects in the last months, we take a quick tour down memory lane, presenting different theories on the object in a 3-day crash course for beginners: Kant, Michael Fried, Paul Gillroy, Jane Bennett etc. We work around the ‘resisting object’ and ‘thingliness’ as political qualities of the object, around the object/subject dichotomy as driving force in (late)modernism, about objects charged by desire that turn violent, etc. This workshop mainly circles around close reading of texts.

ON HOSPITALITY AND ESTRANGEMENT - Ong Keng Sen and Elke Van Campenhout
03 - 13/11 Tallinn
This workshop is part of a festival organized in a gigantic old Russian hotel in Tallinn. During ten days we will be working on two levels:
1. Together with curator and theatre maker Ong Keng Sen we work around ‘the stranger’: the one that doesn’t belong, the one that disturbs the ‘common space’, the one that by his presence changes the perception of the space etc. Both on a theoretical and a practical level, we will interfere in the hotel life, working around hospitality (Derrida), extimacy / intimacy (Zizek), invisible theatre, etc.
2. On a second level, you are invited to come with a project of your own, placed in one of the hotel rooms, and work further on these themes out of your personal interest. There is also the possibility to work on the corridor (as a scenographic concept), elevators, … Ong Keng Sen will also mentor these projects.
The festival will open its doors at certain times for visitors.

GHOSTS AND HOSTS - Robert Steijn
14-18/11 - deSingel (Antwerp)
Robert Steijn worked as a dance critic for seven years, and then also as a curator for dance and experimental theatre in Amsterdam for seven years. Now he tries to bring the magic back in life and in the theatre. In that sense he considers himself more and more a magician. His helper is a deer, who appears in a lot of his texts and dances. His belief is that everyone can become a home made contemporary shaman. His path towards becoming such a magician has been described in his three solo’s: the first solo was his call in guiding the death of his father, the second one, his ego death in the loss of everything by the breaking of the heart and now in his third solo: the birth of a person who can cross the thin line between reality and imagination, between life and death.
In this workshop Robert Steijn will work with the participants on principles like presence and absence, ghosts, energetic transformations, schizophrenic bodies belonging to different times and spaces at the same time, etc...

WINTERSCHOOL - Baroque bodies in Brussels and Amsterdam
21 - 25/11 – Beursschouwburg  (Brussels)
in collaboration with RITS
The RITS Winter School is part of a research project on baroque corporality taking the work of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, a 17th-century poet, pornographer, libertine and satirist as its starting point. The work of Rochester will serve as a starting point for a dive into contemporary baroque visual culture. Can we understand our times of postmodern confusion as a genuinely baroque period? How does this idea of baroque challenge pre-conceived notions such as corporality, performance and (post-)colonial hybridization? How would a baroque body look like and what is its performative potential? Are we approaching a true baroque era of crisis as the distinctions between man and machine, between human and non-human life are slowly dissolving and man is entering a new phase in the history of colonization, conquering space?
The RITS Winter School consists of two periods. In November 2011 the Brussels-based arts centre Beursschouwburg will host three workshops for artists, activists, art students and academics. During these workshops the participants will find themselves immersed in the baroque universe of one out of three experienced artistic researchers. During a second period, in January 2012, you will get the opportunity to develop your own artistic response to your experience in one of the three workshops in Brussels. This individual research phase will be hosted by De Brakke Grond in Amsterdam. You will collaborate with other artists and with students from different art schools and you will be coached by different teachers from the participating art schools. The results of this workshop will be included in the program on a festival on baroque theatricality (February 1-3, Brakke Grond)
Brussels workshops
Workshop 1: Guillermo Gómez-Peña (USA/Mexico)
Guillermo Gómez-Peña was born in Mexico City and moved to the United States in 1978, where he works as a performance artist writer, activist and educator. Together with his troupe La Pocha Nostra he focuses on border issues, cross-cultural identity and intercultural relations. In his search for new alternatives, Gómez-Peña makes extensive use of multiple media, such as journalism, performance, radio art, video and installation art.
This workshop aims at creating a temporary community of rebel artists from different disciplines, ages, ethnic backgrounds, gender persuasions, and nationalities, in which difference and experimentation are not only accepted but encouraged. Participants are given the opportunity to develop new modes of relationships between artists and communities, mentor and apprentice, which are neither colonial nor condescending and to discover new ways of relating to their own bodies. By decolonizing and then re-politicizing bodies, they can become sites for activism and embodied theory, for memory and reinvention, for pleasure and penance. Why do we do what we do? Which borders do we wish to cross and why? What is the relationship between performance, activism, pedagogy and our everyday lives? What about the relationship between the physical body and the social body?
More information on
Workshop 2:  Angelo Vermeulen (Belgium)
Angelo Vermeulen is a visual artist, filmmaker, biologist, and author. His research in ecology, environmental pollution and teratology informs his art, which includes bio installations, experimental setups incorporating living organisms and science fiction references. Next to developing ‘Corrupted C#n#m#’, an experimental cinema project that explores the physicality of digital media, he currently also collaborates with the MELiSSA life support division of the European Space Agency. He co-authored the book Baudelaire in Cyberspace: Dialogues on Art, Science and Digital Culture with philosopher Antoon Van den Braembussche. He is Advisor at Sint-Lucas Visual Arts in Ghent, Belgium, Adjunct Professor at the University of the Philippines Open University, and a TED Fellow.
In Vermeulen's workshop, entitled 'BODYREACTOR. Human monstrification in outer space', the participants will explore the notion of potential monstrification of the human body in outer space. This workshop reroutes the theme of the ‘space alien’ to man himself. How to work with an ongoing mutating and modifying body? How to physically deal with an unknown and ultimately body-transforming environment? How to relate to a space where biological evolution never took us in the first place? These will be some of the questions addressed in the workshop. ‘REACTOR’ refers to the experimental, open format of the workshop, to the condition of man in outer space (living in a craft or vessel), and to the fact that the group is locked up in one single space for one week. It also refers to the concept of monstrification in a more 'Gothic' sense.
More information on
Workshop 3: David Bade (Curaçao)
“More is more” would seem to be the motto of David Bade, born in 1970 in Curaçao. A mixed-media artist who lives and works in his birthplace as well as in the Netherlands, Bade won the Prix de Rome shortly after completing his studies at de Ateliers in Amsterdam in 1993. He presented solo exhibitions in Auckland, New Zealand (1997), the Museum of Modern Art in Nice (1999) and De Hallen in Haarlem (2003). His work deals with questions such as sustainability, recycling, collaboration and community building. Since the nineties Bade has been organizing workshops and interventions in public space with different social groups. He is one of the founders of the Institu Buena Bista in Willemstad (Curaçao), an organization for contemporary art that offers an orientation course for young talents whom are selected through scouting and then guided and supported towards a future in the creative field. During this workshop, Bade and the participants will create a site-specific environment taking the shifting world of early modern baroque as a starting point. Instability, excess, changeability will function is key concepts.
The workshop will also investigate different modes of collaboration.
More information:
Evening program:
Each day of the Brussels Winter School will be concluded by an evening program consisting of lectures and artist presentations. Please check for updates.