Prepositions in Artistic Research

On 14 and 15 December 2017 the Arts Platform Brussels and ARTO will organise the PhD symposium ‘Prepositions in Artistic Research’ on the topic of artistic research in the Arts. ARTO is the VUB research group for artistic research and the Arts Platform Brussels is the common research environment of the VUB and the School of Arts of the Erasmus University College Brussels,- the RITCS and the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

Starting from specific examples of research in the arts, this two-day symposium aims to create a breeding ground for dialogue and reflection around frequent questions and problems related to artistic research.

Keynote speakers and PhD students deal with the paradoxical relationship between research ‘of’ the arts – a traditional field of inquiry within academia – and research ‘in’ the arts – artists’ research practices with artistic means and ends.

A number of questions arise in this context. What does an artistic researcher want to know, what does he know already from her/his artistic experience, how does this researcher try to objectify and to communicate his behavior towards her/his sources of knowledge? Is there a single paradigm or is there a plurality of methodological approaches to conduct successful research ‘in’ the arts, and how can those methods be distinguished from their neighboring tools in ‘traditional’ academic discourses? 

The four keynote speakers will comment on these issues on different levels of abstraction. Jean Paul Van Bendegem starts from a wordplay on the hyphenation of verbs, denoting research attitudes, to ask questions about the relationship between different forms of ‘presence’ of science in the arts, and of arts in science.

In her keynote, Kathleen Coessens will situate artistic research in an ‘ecology of practices’, borrowing Isabelle Stengers’ term referring to the specificity of contextualization of scientific and artistic practices.

Clive Brown situates the methodological idiosyncrasy of artistic research, in questions of historically informed musical performance, in a historical context.

Karel Vanhaesebrouck points out that in the field of ‘theatre’ – performance on stage and audiovisual representation – the previously strict distinction between fiction and reality becomes more and more troubled, resulting in ‘ontological theatrical doubt’ (the term of Carol Martin).

Starting from this reflection, the PhD student can find and explore new lines of approach to guide his research. Participation in this symposium is an essential aspect of the PhD trajectory. 


On the 14th of December the symposium will be held at the VUB (U-Residence) and on the 15th of December at the Royal Conservatory Brussels (Petit Sablon 5, room 070).

Entry is free, but subscription is obligatory.

Detailed planning

Day 1 VUB (U-residence)

10.00 inleiding Jan Michiels
10.15 keynote Jean Paul Van Bendegem
10.50 Tomasz Konieczny
11.10 Maria Boto
11.30 short coffee break
11.50 Koen Dries
12.10 Chrissy Dimitriou
12.30 discussion

14;00: keynote Clive Brown
14.30: Richard Sutcliffe
14.50 Jan De Winne
15.10: Jean-François Madeuf
15.30 Jeroen Billiet
15.50 Korneel Le Compte
16.10 short coffee break
16.30 Yiannis Efsthatopoulos
16.50: Peter Van Heyghen
17.10 Kurt Bertels
17.30 discussie


Day 2 Royal Conservatory Brussels 


10.00 keynote Karel Vanhaesebrouck
10.30 Jeroen Boomgaard
10.50 Jan Geers
11.10 short coffee break
11.30 Tim De Keersmaecker
11.50 Ellen Vermeulen
12.10 discussion

14.00 keynote Kathleen Coessens
14.30 Stephane Ginsburgh
14.50 Sarah Defrise
15.10 Nuno Cernadas
15.30 short coffee break
15.50 Christian Klinkenberg
16.10 Carolien Van Nerom
16.30 Philippe Lamouris
16.50 Korneel Le Compte (CODA)
17.00 discussion