Symposium on art criticism

For more information about the programme and how to apply: www.rug.nl/let/symposium-kunstkritiek.


English paperback The Perfect Spectator out now

The Perfect Spectator. The experience of the art work and reception aesthetics.
By Janneke Wesseling
Published by Valiz, Vis-à-vis serie
Design: Sam de Groot

Following the publication of Wesseling’s De Volmaakte Beschouwer (Dutch e-book) in 2015, the English translation of the book is now available in paperback form.

What happens between a spectator and an art work? How do we experience ‘meaning’ in an art work? How can the process of interpretation be understood and articulated?

To address these questions, the author explores the field of reception aesthetics, with its central premise that the contemplation of art is a matter of interaction between the art work and the observer. The research is focused on unravelling and problematising the theoretical terminology of the interaction between art work and spectator, deriving from reception aesthetics as well as from hermeneutics and phenomenology, with the aim of building a new theoretical foundation for this terminology. Additionally, different concepts of spectatorship are extensively discussed.

”I believe it is more productive to research how the art work works or signifies than what it shows or might signify. This ‘how’ reveals itself mainly in the performative act of experiencing the work.”

This book addresses scholars and students in the fields of art history, aesthetics and visual and cultural studies, as well as artists and art students, and all those art spectators who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the experience of art.

English paperback: order now at Valiz
ISBN 978-90-808185-0-7
EUR 25,00


NWO grant for Critical Making project

On 1 March, a research consortium headed by Janneke Wesseling was awarded a 500.000 euros NWO grant for the project ‘Bridging art, design and technology through Critical Making’. The grant allows the applicants to realize a four year research trajectory which aims at furthering the discourse of Critical Making. Under the supervision of the senior researchers affiliated with the institutes involved, a PhD candidate and three junior researchers will work on four subprojects and will be stationed at one or several consortium partners. Artistic research is the methodological starting point. A call for proposals will be published in April 2017.

The grant is part of the research programme Smart Culture – Art and Culture, one of the research programmes within the topsector Creative Industries. The programme supports projects that make connections between concrete innovative art and cultural practices and more comprehensive academic and social issues.

The Critical Making NL consortium consists of Leiden University (Academy of Creative and Performing Arts), Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (Willem de Kooning Academy, Creating 010), Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, Waag Society in Amsterdam and West Den Haag. In 2016, the consortium has already been awarded a Creative Industries – KIEM grant for their project entitled ‘Critical Making as a model for art practice in the digital age’. In this context, several public events will be organized in the next few months. If you would like to stay informed about these developments and the programme, please send an email to info@phdarts.eu.


Symposium in Rome on interdisciplinarity

Janneke Wesseling will give a lecture entitled ‘Interdisciplinarity and artistic research: where is the “inter” located?’ as part of the international symposium ‘Practicing Interdisciplinarity? States of the Art’ on 10-11 October 2016 at the Swiss Institute in Rome.

The principal aim of the symposium is to take stock of recent developments in art-science collaborations, make explicit some of their intriguing paradoxes, and identify some of the key challenges for future work.

The symposium is public and free of charge. Language will be English and Italian, simultaneous translation will be provided. Here you can download the full programme.


Inaugural lecture Janneke Wesseling

As of 1 February 2016, Janneke Wesseling has been appointed Professor at Leiden University’s Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA), Faculty of Humanities, where she holds the chair in Practice and Theory of Research in the Visual Arts. On 19 September 2016, she will deliver her inaugural lecture, entitled 'Of sponge, stone and the intertwinement with the here and now. A methodology of artistic research.'

19 September 2016
16:00 hrs
Academy Building
Large Auditorium
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden

The Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA) is a collaboration between Leiden University and the University of the Arts The Hague. This partnership has created the possibility for visual artists, designers and musicians to obtain the doctoral degree at Leiden University, through the PhDArts (visual art and design) and docARTES (music) doctoral programmes.

The ceremony begins at 16:00 hrs sharp.
More information will follow in late August.


KIEM grant 'Critical Making'

Janneke Wesseling heads a research consortium consisting of Leiden University (Academy of Creative and Performing Arts), Hogeschool Rotterdam (Creating010), Het Nieuwe Instituut and Waag Society. On 7 July, the consortium received a KIEM grant of € 15.000 for their project 'Critical Making as a model for art practice in the digital age'. The Creative Industry - KIEM programme of NWO (Dutch research council) aims to encourage and facilitate public-private partnerships in the domain of the Creative Industries. Senior researchers can apply for funding via KIEM on behalf of consortia of companies and researchers. 

Project description
Currently, we are witnessing a major shift from art and culture to creative industries, implying a shift from a traditional paradigm of aesthetics (literally: perception) to a technology-oriented paradigm of making. New products are often developed out of a logic of makeability, with limited attention for critical reflection on their social consequences. We therefore need a new creative practice that combines the critical reflection that is central to artistic research with the technology-driven culture of making.

To this end, we propose to appropriate the concept of Critical Making. Coined by Canadian designer Matt Ratto in 2008 and laid out in a series of MIT Press books, this concept has so far been closely tied to FabLabs and artists' media labs, while articulating a more critical position within the overall Maker movement. In our project, Critical Making will be researched and developed further in the context of critical theory and the discourse of artistic research in order to address creative practices in which art, design and technology fundamentally and practically intersect.


Publication: Veranderend Kunstonderwijs II

Veranderend Kunstonderwijs II. Het samengaan van theorie en praktijk in het onderwijs.

- Ed. Onno Schilstra and Janneke Wesseling.
- A publication by the Lectorate Art Theory & Practice,
University of the Arts, The Hague, 2016.
- With texts by Annette Krauss, Marie van Leeuwen, Laura van Grinsven, Pawel Pokutycki, Onno Schilstra, Bart Verschaffel and Janneke Wesseling.
- Design Tomas Celizna i.c.w. Sebastian Ly Serena.
- ISBN 978-90-72600-39-4.

On 21 November 2014 the Tweede Landelijke Dag van de Theorie, an expert meeting for teachers in art education, took place at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague. First of all, the meeting focused on finding ways to further integrate the previously separated theory and practical education in the Bachelor-phase. On top of that, more general questions as to how to advance the connections between art education and recent developments within the field of art and design practice, how to deal with a changing student population and, last but not least, how to respond to neoliberal tendencies in modern education reforms were subject of discussion.

Following the publication ‘Veranderend kunstonderwijs. De plaats van theorie aan de kunstacademie’ (KABK, 2013) that was published on the occasion of the Eerste Landelijke Dag van de Theorie, now also the most significant contributions to the Tweede Landelijke Dag van de Theorie have been collected. The publication, titled ‘Veranderend kunstonderwijs II. Het samengaan van theorie en praktijk in het onderwijs’ (KABK, 2016), includes texts by keynote speakers Bart Verschaffel, Marie van Leeuwen & Laura van Grinsven, Pawel Pokutycki and Annette Krauss. Moreover, Onno Schilstra, theory tutor at the KABK, and Janneke Wesseling, professor in Art in Research at the KABK, wrote two new essays in which developments are further analyzed and placed in international context.

For the amount of 3,00 euro plus shipping costs we will gladly send you the publication. To order, please send an email to: lectoraatktp@kabk.nl including your name and contact information.