Courses

This is an overview of ArtScience courses given this Academic Year, subject to the ‘ArtScience Courses of Choice’ stated in the curriculum. Some ; courses are mandatory for students of certain years, which is mentioned at the course description. All courses are open for students of the Bachelor as well as the Master programme, unless the course is full.

CASS Exchange Workshops are part of the exchange weeks (two weeks after the Autumn Break and two weeks after the Spring Break) between the Creative Departments of the Royal Conservatoire (Composition, Sonology and ArtScience), where all departments offer courses accessible to all of their students.

MasterPrimers are courses on a higher theoretical level. They are focused on our Master students. Bachelor students can attend, though they should realise the level. In cases of a limited allowed number of students to a Master Primer course, Masters will have priority over Bachelors.

KABK IST Courses mentioned here are those courses of the KABK IST programme that are organised by ArtScience.

Addressing the ‘Self’ beyond the ‘Self-Interest’ — Willem van Weelden
Ars Electronica — Cocky Eek, Arthur Elsenaar, Kasper van der Horst, Robert Pravda, Taconis Stolk, Marion Tränkle & MediaTechnology teachers
Auditory Scenes — Benny Nilsen
BioFUNK! — Michiel Pijpe & guests
Catching the Light — Marion Tränkle
Circle No.1 — Cocky Eek, Kasper van der Horst
European Affairs: Haye Haye — Kasper van der Horst, Robert Pravda
Exploring Production Issues — Marisa Manck
Feelers #01 — Renske Maria van Dam, Cocky Eek
From Aesthetics to Neuro-Aesthetics — Renske Maria van Dam
From App to Artwork — Esther Polak
How to Write for Everything — Ine Poppe
Introduction to ArtScience — Taconis Stolk
Introduction to Electronics —Lex van den Broek
Introduction to Optics — Leandros Ntolas
Introduction to Programming — Jeroen Meijer
Introduction to Studio Techniques — Robert Pravda
Int(r)o Projection — Kasper van der Horst
Lighting for / as Performance — Katinka Marač
malie.veld — Joan Heemskerk
MAX/MSP — Johan van Kreij
MetaMedia — Taconis Stolk
New Arts & Music Theory — David Dramm, Eric Kluitenberg, Gabriel Paiuk & guests
‘Pataphysics — Matthijs van Boxsel
Patterns of Ebb and Flow #2 — Cocky Eek, Rachel Schuit
Presentation as Performance — Hilt De Vos
Pro Projection — Kasper van der Horst
Quick & Dirty — Cocky Eek
RecPlay (Sem1) / RecPlay (Sem2) — Kasper van der Horst, Robert Pravda
Redeconstruct Media – Kasper van der Horst, Nenad Popov
Research-Creation — Renske Maria van Dam
Sensors, Actuators & Microcontrollers — Lex van den Broek, Johan van Kreij
SoundWorlds — Robert Pravda, Milica Ilić
SoundWorlds2 — Robert Pravda
SpaceTime II: The Architectural Body — Renske Maria van Dam, Cocky Eek
Studium Generale — Erica Sprey & guests
The City as Performative Object, Part 2 — Esther Polak
The Game Engine as a Medium — Jan Robert Leegte
The ‘Other’ Senses — Caro Verbeek
Writing as / in Research — Maya Rasker
xtrm — Eric Kluitenberg

MORE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS TO FOLLOW



Addressing the ‘Self’ beyond the ‘Self-Interest’
Willem van Weelden
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: MasterPrimer Course

Notes about ‘self-design’, patterns of discrimination, infra – structures of address, and the politics of dividualism.

Kafka’s small tale ‘An Imperial Message’ is a narration of a message that can never be delivered. The story represents the direct link between an ultimate Authority (the Emperor) and society, seen in the story as a humble, pathetic subject, an ‘insignificant shadow’ (in the story referred to as ‘you’). The analysis of this little prose gem can go in various directions and can focus on a lot of the implicit deductions that can be attributed to the choices made by Kafka, and the accents that he draws. Yet, in the context of this course the story could be a pointer to the impossibility, or at least the difficulty of ‘address’. Considered in our current information society populated by a massive horde of ‘insignificant shadows’, one can question the addressability of any message being send. In this infra-structure of communication in which transmitted messages are translated by each other, identities can no longer be fixed. To whom is the ‘imperial message’ send? And apart from its dreamt destination, what does both the act of sending and its mysterious content seeks to address? What remains after reading the tiny tale is the deep confusion of the ‘you’ to whom the story is addressed. Aren’t we all, this lawless mass of people, the ‘insignificant shadows’, the ‘you’ that the Emperor wants to send his message to? Maybe, the ‘self’ is the last vestige of the critical link between the ultimate symbol of authority (authorship) of ourselves and the power of authority of the habitable world. Or should we commit to the notion that in our neo-liberal times the ‘self’ of the individual subject of interest no longer should be considered an autonomous agent of calculated choice? But, rather understand that, in the dissociative dimensions of the dividual (the split individual), absorbed in its conflicting relation to itself, has become the formative ground of ‘a doing done through’ it. In this infra-zone of indistinction between contrasting states, who or what decides? For the act of choice seems to be the only political ground left to address a ‘self’ beyond ‘self-interest’.

Lectures :
The course consists of 8 lectures (of approx. 90 minutes) in the mornings and workshop sessions in the afternoons.
Various aspects of ‘self-design’ and (technological) individuation (Gilbert Simondon) will be dealt with in the context of the interpenetration of machine intelligence (Artifical Intelligence, Machine Learning, Pattern Recognition, Quantative Analysis, Algorithmic Identity Politics, Biometrics, etc.) in communication. A fundamental re-evaluation of the relation between the biological, the technical and the theory of information will be used to address the ‘self’ in a transindividual fashion in order to forge a new space for artistic potential.

Franz Kafka, ‘An Imperial Message’, http://www.kafka-online.info/an-imperial-message.html

Credits: 4 ECTS
No. of classes: 8 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To develop knowledge about the ‘self’ in a contemporary philosophical and political context.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



Ars Electronica
Cocky Eek, Arthur Elsenaar, Kasper van der Horst, Robert Pravda, Taconis Stolk, Marion Tränkle & MediaTechnology teachers
Mandatory for: B1, M1
Type: Excursion

Excursion to the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria: one of the most prominent festivals of new media art in the world.

Credits: 1 ECTS
No. of classes: Excursion of approx. 4 days
Objective: To get a first contact with the context of the ArtScience realm and to get to know your fellow students.
Examination: Attendance



Auditory Scenes
Benny Nilsen
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: Standard Course

This workshop will give an introduction to field recording for beginners and students with intermediary knowledge.

The workshop takes soundscapes as a starting point. A soundscape is the acoustic environment – a sound or combination of sounds that forms or arises from an immersive environment – as perceived by humans, in context. In the workshop, we will explore its main components: geophony, biophony, and anthropophony.

Through the means of field recording, we will discover these layers in and around the city. Together we will expand on them, analyse them and give them a voice through recordings and compositions, which will result in individual short sound pieces for a final presentation on the last day of the workshop.

Following an introductory session outlining basic principles, the workshop will include active listening sessions, excursions and practical exercises, and the exploration of changing soundscapes through walking and listening. I will give advice on recording techniques (from monophonic to ambisonic, to contact, hydrophonic and EMF recording techniques), sound manipulation and composition.

Credits: 4 ECTS
No. of classes: 8 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To develop artistic skills in field recording and specific recording techniques.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



BioFUNK!
Michiel Pijpe & guests
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: Project

The next revolution – the only one that really matters – will be in the field of biology. Forget physics and chemistry; they are only tools to probe living matter. Computers? Merely simulators and modelers for life. The cell is King!
– the RiboFunk manifesto, P. DiFillipo –

Ever since the provocative KABK/xFac speculative project “Genetisch Ontwerpen” (Genetic Design*) in 2003, much has changed in the field of biology. A whole set of issues has arisen from new biological discoveries and revolutionary medical techniques as well as from a new understanding of the fundamental processes of life. Once more, we are witnessing a shift in the attitude towards the use and application of biotechnology and biological engineering. This critical moment urges us to rethink the ethic, aesthetic and socio- economic implications of this, sometimes, dubious research field. One might think this project is about pondering anthropos-centered catastrophes, but we do not intend to focus solely on the potential danger of ecological crises and other dystopias. Our interest is in using the ideas to consider the possibilities of biology, whether they are a bit noir, bizarre, or of a more optimistic nature.
In the first stage of the project, introductions to- and examples of scientific research are presented and discussed to improve our scientific literacy. These examples provide basic knowledge and create common ground for us to discuss various topics, but they will mainly serve as probes, allowing for real-world examples to trigger speculative (art)works. Because we do not only locate our investigations in a semantic space defined by science, but also in a philosophical and cultural discourse. Considering the unsettling potential of art and literature in regards to biological engineering, we will explore the cultural output shaping the discourse on biology. We will reflect on preceding projects, such as the xFac’s Genetic Design-project, Eduardo Kac’s glow-in-the-dark bunny ‘Alba’ and other cultural negotiations of genetic splicing, as well as nod towards speculative fiction and other literary forms. These projects provide context and allows for its ideas and practices to be reinvented and adapted to contemporary varieties. Simple, yet compelling stories that will be developed in the 2nd stage.
If you are interested in natural science, the study of living organisms and the basic unit of life, want to discuss old & new ideas on legal and ethical issues surrounding bioengineering, and if you are into storytelling, speculation and narration of (un)likely biological scenarios, this might very well be a pretty cool project to participate in.
As much as it is an investigation into the consequences of biological engineering or biotechnology, DIY biology or into the bio-hacker scene, it is an open invitation to take an interest and ask fundamental questions on how the
world works. Listen to your mitochondria!

With: Jeroen Pijpe PhD (geneticist, evolutionary biologist) Like Fokkens PhD (evolutionary biologist, bio-informatics and plant pathology), Taconis Stolk (metamodernist and initiator of the Xfac Genetic Design project), Dr Gerard Oostermeijer (ecologist), Louis van den Brink (artist) and Dr Ellen ter Gast (biologist and bio-art expert)

Stage I Scientific introductions, bio-art histories & research narratives – 1st semester: October 7th to 18th, 2019
Stage II Research, narrative techniques & creative writing – 2nd semester: April 20th to 24th, 2020

Recommended activities
– November 4th & 5th, 2019, BraveNewWorld, Symposium. Leiden Naturalis Biodiversity Center
https://www.bravenewworld.nl/
– October 31st, 2019, Crossing BorderXBorder Sessions; Nature
https://www.crossingborder.nl/program/crossing-borderxborder-sessions-an-exploration-of-nature-literature-and-art/?lang=en

* “Genetisch Ontwerpen” was conceived and initiated by Taconis Stolk/WLFR and the xFac in 2003.
The xFac (the ExtraFaculty) was an extra curricular program that was offered on KABK from 2000—2005.

Literature: To be announced in class.

Credits: 6 ECTS
No. of classes: 13 classes of 6 hours
Objective: Collectively publish a series of short (multimedia) stories in which artistic positions towards biology or biological phenomena are explored.
Examination: Assignments, presentations and attendance



Catching the Light
Marion Tränkle
Mandatory for: B1
Type: Introductory Course
Experimentation – observation – documentation. In this workshop we will cycle through a process of making work, starting from fiddling and free-flow experimentation to razor sharp selection and decision making. Taking the medium of light as our field of experimentation, we will discover how ideas can take shape and how observation and documentation can inform further actions and the sharpening of those ideas.
The workshop claims fiddling as an important tool for art making, and looks for ways to draw constructive consequences from it. Therefore, documentation and recording of this process will be an important aspect of the workshop. Please bring your cameras and sketchbooks.

Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: 4 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To gain basic skills concering the creative process in the widest sense.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



Circle No.1
Cocky Eek, Kasper van der Horst
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: Standard Course (on location)

In this course on the beach you will compose the openings performance for the new artscience academic year.

The opening will take place beyond the academy walls, to underline that artscience is situated in much broader, more complex and deeply entangled worlds and to encourage students to reach out beyond the Royal Conservatoire, the KABK, the Hague, or even Human Societies.

The opening ceremony for the whole department will take place at Almere beach, a pioneering place that didn’t form naturally, but also isn’t fully human defined. It’s an in-between place where we’ll compose the opening ceremony. How can the movements of wind, water and sand shape the opening performance to the new academic year?

NOTE: This course has a maximum of 12 students attending.

Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: 3 days of working on location
Objective: To create an openings ceremony in-situ.
Examination: Attendance, artistic engagement



European Affairs: Haye Haye
Kasper van der Horst, Robert Pravda
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: Standard Course
Last Academic Year during the course European Affairs: Caen Caen, a group of ArtScience students went on excursion to the École Supérieure d’Arts
& Médias de Caen/Cherbourg in Caen, Normandy, France, where they developed artistic projects in collaboration with the local students. This year, the students from Caen will come on a return visit to The Hague (La Haye in French). We will cooperate with them in making new works, reflecting on last year’s visit and on our ‘own’ city of The Hague.
Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: 4 classes of 6 hours
Objective: The cooperate with students from another university, to reflect on past works and to make works on location.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



Exploring Production Issues
Marisa Manck
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: Standard Course

In this course we will explore different ways of working in a project team or production team. We will look at the qualities you already possess and the qualities you can further develop as an organizer.
We will look at how to set up different kind of projects and develop practical skills like how to organize production and writing production scripts.
This course is for students that do not have a lot of experience in production and organization.

Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: 4 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To develop productional skills.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



Feelers #01
Renske Maria van Dam, Cocky Eek
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: Standard Course

What forms of relations with non-human agents can we grow and share? Beyond a ‘becoming-animal’, how can we extend our sensitive and cognitive capacities by means of synthesizing with (feeling- into) the environment? What kind of know-how can emerge?
The ubiquity of change and movement in contemporary urban landscape both overwhelms and expands present cognitive and sensitive abilities of our species. Supported by, but not only attributed to technological innovation, our sensitivity and cognition for that ‘what used to be imperceptible’ expands. Based on a listening to, breathing with and moving with various environments, not to become but to share perspective with, we will question and modulate our own modes of existence. We will explore how these artistic research methods can provide us with different ways of knowing and sharing. In this course you will train different ways of attuning to the environment and in so doing grow your feelers.
This course will be followed by Feelers #02 Art¬is: a project that will run in the academic year 2020/2021 in collaboration with the Amsterdam Zoo Artis, FoAM and Zone2Source.

Inspiration:
The Jane (Goodall, Jacobs and Bennet) approach by Pia Ednie Brown: http://onomatopoeia.com.au/what-is-the-jane-approach
Among the many revolutionary changes of this century, perhaps those which go deepest are the changes in the mental methods we can use for probing the world. I do not mean new mechanical brains, but methods of analysis and discovery that have gotten into human brains: new strategies for thinking’
— Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Vintage, 1992, p428.
Credits: 4 ECTS
No. of classes: 8 classes of 6 hours
Objective: Expanding forms of gaining (different forms of) knowledges. General sensitivity training.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



From Aesthetics to Neuro-Aesthetics
Renske Maria van Dam
Mandatory for: B1
Type: Introductory Course

In this course you are introduced to the basics of art(science) and philosophy. Theory in this course is considered to be a creative practice in its own right. By means of close-reading, collective dialogues and small assignments you are introduced to the field of aesthetics. Through speed-dating with different philosophical concepts, such as ‘beauty’, ‘sublime’, ‘symbol’, ‘sign’, ‘representation’, ‘4EA’, ‘intercorporeal resonance’, etc., we discuss the cognition for and emergence of artistic meaning. We start with a reflection on philosophy, art and science as distinguished and interfering disciplines. From there we move on to the early aesthetics (Kant, Nietzsche, Benjamin, Heidegger etc.) to finally end up with contemporary developments in neuro-aesthetics.

Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: 4 classes of 6 hours
Objective: Introduction into art and philosophy.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



From App to Artwork
Esther Polak
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: Standard Course

During this course, you are challenged to make a work of (media) art that uses an existing mobile phone app as its starting point. You can pick an existing app, or you can even imagine one.

Essential is that the app chosen resonates with your artistic passion. So if your passion is “interaction,” this determines your choice. If you are fascinated by “data collection,” this decides your choice. If you are obsessed with some notably kind of animal, that determines your choice. You have to be able to articulate your choice and its relation to your passion. The method, style, or logic behind your reasoning is open. You will be expected to present this on Monday at the end of the day or Tuesday morning.

On Friday afternoon, your exploration of the app has resulted in either a finished work or a presentable concept. During your process and as part of the final presentation on Friday afternoon, you are expected to contextualize your work with -at least one- art-historical reference. To give an example: if you use a dating app as your starting point (because your passion is interaction), you are expected to relate your work method or the work itself to an artistic reference. This reference could be for example a film of François Truffaut (not very obvious), or to the online net-art project http://www.face-to-facebook.net/ (more obvious) Both would have been ok, as long as you can express the reason how this reference has been relevant to you.

Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: 4 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To develop skills and insight in how to make artworks in digital media.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



How to Write for Everything
Ine Poppe
Mandatory for: B3
Type: Standard Course

As the Professional Practice Preparation course of ArtScience, this week offers specific training in writing, focusing on how to write clearly about your work for grant applications, catalogues and to sponsors and press.

Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: 4 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To learn practical professional writing skills.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



Introduction to ArtScience
Taconis Stolk
Mandatory for: B1, M1
Type: Introductory Course

This course is an introduction to important developments through the history of the arts that are important to the ArtScience domain. Five approaches to interrelate selected art works will be presented in class. The presented works range from realized and unrealized artworks to concepts. The five approaches are chosen in such a way as to trigger discussion and reflection both on existing works and your own work.

Credits: 1 ECTS
No. of classes: 2 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To gain insight in the artistic realm of ArtScience and to distinguish different creation methodologies.
Examination: Attendance



Introduction to Electronics
Lex van den Broek
Mandatory for: B1
Type: Introductory Course

This is a general introduction to working with electronics. It consists of three introductory classes. After those you are expected to finish your first electronic patch in individual appointments with Lex van den Broek.

Credits: 1 ECTS
No. of classes: 3 classes of 2.5 hours plus individual appointments
Objective: To gain fundamental skills in how to build electronic circuits for artistic purposes.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



Introduction to Optics
Leandros Ntolas
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: CASS Exchange Course

During this course you will be introduced to a very fundamental, but very complex thing: light. Through the study of optics and through hands-on experimentation, the main properties of light will be explored and analysed, along with the basic tools involved when dealing with it. Also, the basics of visual perception and the human visual system will be presented.

For the ‘output’ part of this course, you will be asked to actively engage in the observation of light in your environment for the days that the course lasts, and to attempt to utilise what you learned and observed into creating something interesting using some property(-ies) of light; be it a sketch for an artwork, a simple light experiment, or something completely different.

There is the possibility that one of the days of the course–if the weather conditions allow it–we will move the course outdoors, and go for a small field-trip. First stop will be the work ‘Celestial Vault’ at Kijkduin, by the American artist James Turrell, and second stop will be the beach of the Hague (possibly at Zandmotor), where we will delve into the fascinating world of atmospheric optics ( aka light interacting with the atmospheric elements of nature).

Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: 5 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To gain fundamental skills in the workings of optical physics.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



Introduction to Programming
Jeroen Meijer
Mandatory for: B1
Type: Introductory Course

This is an introductory course into computer programming, using the Python language. After following this course, students will have a basic insight into computer programming and will know where to start creating digital prototypes for future projects that involve interaction, image, sound, video, networks and electronics.

Credits: 4 ECTS
No. of classes: 8 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To learn the basics of computer coding for artistic use.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



Introduction to Studio Techniques
Robert Pravda
Mandatory for: B1, M1
Type: Introductory Course

Practicum in usage of the ArtScience studios. The aim of this practicum is that all participants get familiar with the studio environment.

An introduction to basic use of the studios hardware and software such as:
– booking the studios
– mixing desk
– amplifiers, speakers, necessary cables
– recording
– microphone sorts and use: XY, AB, MS, Binaural
– audio interfaces and editing software
– studio ethics

All the students attending the course are expected to accomplish the exercises and be able to use and operate the studio facilities and techniques.

Credits: 1 ECTS
No. of classes: 2 classes of 1.5 hours (for 4 different groups)
Objective: Being able to work in the ArtScience studios.
Examination: X



Int(r)o Projection
Kasper van der Horst
Mandatory for: B1
Type: Introductory Course

The intention of this course is to experiment in a playful way with projection in relation to your work. Besides displaying computer- and video images, projection is often used to define a space or, for example, to enhance the meaning of an object in a space. Also shadow and coloured light can be interpreted as projection.
As an assignment, you will be asked to make a projection design that connects with your own work and/or ideas.
keywords: •projecting on objects •surfaces •live playing •how to use audio signals •no-source •feedback video •minimal projection •ganzfeld projection •we’ll also briefly look into how tv’s, videorecorders and analog video mixers work.
For students who followed an earlier projection course, there will be some new topics to look into, such as video mapping, high quality projection and the use of the more advanced digital video mixers that combine analog and digital image sources.
Due to the available amount of equipment, there’s a limited number of students that can enrol.

Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: 4 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To learn the basics of projection for artistic experiments.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



Lighting for / as Performance
Katinka Marač
Mandatory for: B1
Type: Introductory Course

The goal of this course is to give an introduction to the theory and practice of lighting design and handling basic stage equipment. We will explore how meaning can be created using the exceptional possibilities of the medium light and how lighting design can be deployed in / as performance. During the course we’ll trace back the origins of lighting design in contemporary performance, by looking into the work and compositional methods of renowned American artists from the sixties and seventies and some of their contemporary predecessors as Xavier le Roi. In the seventies artists as Robert Rauschenberg and members of the New York based Judson group shared a keen interest in working at the intersection of (dance) performance, visual art and art & technology. They drastically changed (theatrical) performance, and the role of set and lighting design, freeing it from its former supportive role and incorporating them as equal elements in, or as starting points for performances. The course is set up as a creative lab. We’ll start with a short introduction in the various elements of a lighting design, including types of light, angles and colour and an introduction to technical aspects such as patch board, dimmers and the lighting board. We’ll research how lighting design can be used to create, structure and alter content, space and time and will work on lighting design as performance.

Credits: 4 ECTS
No. of classes: 8 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To master theory and practice of basic lighting design for artistic purposes.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



malie.veld
Joan Heemskerk
Mandatory for: free chice
Type: Standard Course

Once upon a time… there where trees… then there where dunes… then there was rain… then there was grass…
A place to play a game (of malie_ jeu de mail )
A place to have mass demonstrations
A place to do concerts, fairs, events
A place to fly a kite, have a walk, park your car
On a horizontal scale we dive from the sky to a field of grass to a parking lot
If you look at the map there is an “empty” digital green canvas

I invite you! environmentalists gamers performers data-trackers experimentalists conceptualists researchers scientists artists …

https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malieveld
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malie_(spel)
https://www.anderetijden.nl/artikel/6667/Massaal-protesteren-op-het-Malieveld

For the workshop you must bring :
• laptop
• mini SD-card
• Raspberry Pi ( rental optional )

The last day of the workshop your project will be exhibited on your local malie.veld hotspot and website ( made with a Raspberry Pi )

Credits: 4 ECTS
No. of classes: 8 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To develop digital artworks for the public space.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



MAX/MSP
Johan van Kreij
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: Standard Course

An introductory course to MAX/MSP(/Jitter). MAX, MSP and Jitter form a graphic programming environment specifically developed for artistic use.

Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: 4 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To learn the basics of MAX/MSP.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



MetaMedia
Taconis Stolk
Mandatory for: B1
Type: Introductory Course

A work of art does not confine itself to an object, a picture or a sound composition. Especially not in the 21st century, where all kinds of communication technologies and strategies can be used to compose the context of art, or even to create works in disciplines and using methods that were never explored by artists before. In this course, students are given a theoretical and practical framework on how to compose concepts and context. Approaching contemporary art as a conceptual communication model opens possibilities for unusual works of art and a critical attitude towards traditional artistic paradigms, but it also creates a framework for students to develop new and effective strategies for a professional creative position in a media world. Students will create their own metamedial works during the course.

Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: 4 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To develop a more abstract view on possibilities of artistic expression using media that are not normally used in an artistic manner.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



New Arts & Music Theory
David Dramm, Eric Kluitenberg, Gabriel Paiuk & guests
Mandatory for: B1 (together with KC: Son B1 & COM B1)
Type: Introductory Course

This course is offered to all first-year students of ArtScience, Composition and Sonology. It provides a cross-disciplinary exploration of recent ideas, practices and techniques in music and related arts: verbal, visual, theatrical, and much else. New forms of creative practice and new platforms for its presentation are investigated, ranging from the conventional concert hall to the alternative spaces of galleries, installations, site-specific composition, the internet, etc. The relationship and the “fit” between new forms of thought and new forms of presentation will be a recurring topic throughout the course, as will the challenge of writing about such new media in the face of an evolving and still-developing critical language that attempts to avoid irrelevant criteria from past art forms.

Credits: 3 ECTS
No. of classes: 24 classes of 2 hours
Objective: To gain knowledge on recent theories and ideas in music and related arts and sciences.
Examination: Attendance, assignments



‘Pataphysics
Matthijs van Boxsel
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: Standard Course

Morosophers are people with an evidently absurd theory about existence. Unlike the mediocre theories of New Age gurus, astrologers, ufologists and so on, morosophical studies are so queer that they cannot help acquiring a literary quality. The most important criterion of morosophy is originality: the less predecessors and followers, the greater the chance of being included in my book. The word morosophy [fool-osophy] means: foolish wisdom or wise foolishness. Morosophs operate at the crossroads of science, religion, art and madness. Is the earth flat? Was Dutch spoken in paradise? Are atoms spaceships? Is Delft Delphi? Can the floor plan of the pyramid of Cheops be found in the street plan of ‘s-Hertogenbosch? Is the world entering the Lilac phase? Did abstract thought commence when the clitoris evolved from the inside to the outside?
As a rule, a morosopher is somebody whose world has been destroyed by a shocking event. With the help of his theory he managed to reconstruct a new universe from the wreckage, for the sake not of a higher truth, but of an endurable existence. Morosophers are not dreamers; they are healthy thanks to a phantasm within which they are lord and master. To the extent that they bother to follow scientific insights, this is to stimulate their fantasy. Unimpeded by any scientific knowledge, their imagination enables them to force their way through to the world of science and technology. From there they design a parallel universe in which the limits of the possible are sought out and transgressed; they enter the area of the wondrous and the monstrous, and discover a world that, like the world of the comic and the fairy-tale, is out of the reach of the physicists. Morosophy is science in wonderland.
Matthijs van Boxsel will be giving lectures and a workshop on ’Pataphysics, the Science of Imaginary Solutions. ’Pataphysics feeds on metaphysical subjects, scientific discoveries, art and cabaret. The French writer Alfred Jarry (1873–1907), who developped the science of sciences, conceived a brain-washing machine, Perpetual Motion Food, and computed the surface of God.
’Pataphysics was at the root of futurism, dadaïsm and surrealism, but has since developped in the Oupeinpo (Ouvroir de peinture potentielle): it analyses the pre-existing constraints, and investigates new forms of potential creations within the arts.
On the one hand we will develop imaginary islands, languages, calenders etc.
On the other we will be looking for the pataphysical dimension of everday life by means of simple interventions: ’Pataphysics being the science of the exception.

Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: 4 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To learn to think and act ‘pataphysically.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



Patterns of Ebb and Flow #2
Cocky Eek, Rachel Schuit
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: CASS Exchange Course
This week is an opportunity to experience to work with the natural elements, while being part of the process and to sense that everything is in continual movement. Can the “wild” elements like wind, water and sand be composed into a work?
We’ll reside on a relatively young sandy strip of Almere Beach, along the IJ-Lake where we will specific zoom in on its natural elements and patterns – movements of sand, wind, waves, reflections – and directly translate them into compositions. The interventions look for an immediacy of relating action to their natural sources, which encourages diligent observation and accidental discovery.
Test setups and prototypes are based on hands-on means of enquiry in the field and fully exposed to the elements. The closing Friday afternoon your works will be presented to a small audience.
This exchange week is a 24/7 residence on site in Almere Beach, and needs your full-dedicated participation. We are there all the time, including sleeping, eating, your own leisure time

Your own costs will include; meals (which we aim to make as cheap and tasty as possible);
Your travel costs: basically a two-way travel from The Hague to Almere, and the material costs you want to invest in this project.

Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: 5 days of working on location
Objective: To create artistic projects in the context of tidal movements in nature.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



Presentation as Performance
Hilt De Vos
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: Standard Course

In this workshop you will learn how to use your body and voice as communication tools for performance and presentation. How does an audience perceive you as a human being on stage. What role does your body play in communication. What tone of voice will work best in a given context and.. how to overcome anxiety and a possible nervous breakdown.
To reach these goals we will do exercises to effectively use your body and voice, while remaining yourself on stage.
The format is a masterclass which means the focus is on the individual but is also a collective learning experience.
PLEASE NOTE: however called ‘masterclass’, this course (like other courses) is available for Bachelor as well as Master students.

Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: 4 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To gain insight and develop skills in physical presence in presentations.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



Pro Projection
Kasper van der Horst
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: Standard Course

The Pro Projection course is aimed at students who are planning to use some form of projection in their work.
Besides displaying computer- and video images, projection is often used to define a space or, for example, to enhance the meaning of an object in a space. In this very hands-on and practical course we’ll explore these aspects considering the projects or ideas that the students bring in individually.
We ‘ll explore how different technical resources are best put to use and what impact that could have on the experience of the work. This might result in some radical alternatives to the original plan! We‘ll try out and test a lot so that a high level of precision can be reached.
Hopefully in this way we’ll put the original ideas into an enriched perspective.

Credits: 4 ECTS
No. of classes: 8 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To gain advanced knowledge and skills in artistic possibilities of projection.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



Quick & Dirty
Cocky Eek
Mandatory for: B1
Type: introductory Course

In this course you will be dipped in a method of the making process. The making process by its own nature, offers many surprising, irrational, accidental possibilities that the mind simply cannot predict or imagine.
The class will explore this creative process as a dialogue between maker and matter in diverse mediated forms, in which matter can be interpreted broadly, but which is always the available reality that is transformed in the making process. We’ll do quick hands-on experiments and dirty prototyping, with the aim to train our skills of perception, to learn to recognize when/where things get interesting, and to tap in the enormous potential that comes by working open-ended.
You will work on an individual base as well in a group process and documentation/recording can be helpful tool in the making process.
No Matter – Try Again – Fail Again – Fail Better, Samuel Beckett

Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: 4 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To learn how to master quick artistic sketching methodologies.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



RecPlay (Sem1)
RecPlay (Sem2)
Kasper van der Horst, Robert Pravda
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: Improvisation Collective

Since 2001, RecPlay is the ArtScience improvisation ensemble. Some of the research topics that are adressed in the RecPlay are multi-player interfaces, improvisation structures, noise art, feedback in image and sound, realtime composition systems, spatial compositions and interaction with architectural elements. Its practical focus will be on developing improvisations and compositions and on developing ensemble playing using unconventionall instruments.
For a number of years, students have participated in this live electronica and mechanica improvisation group initiated by Robert Pravda. It has had regular performances in various well- known as well as obscure venues, for instance in places like Vooruit, Gent, Zeebelt, Den Haag, Worm, Rotterdam, TodaysArt festival and EXIS, Den Haag, RADIO West, STRP festival Eindhoven, Korzo, Den Haag, Transmediale, Berlin and many more.

Credits: 4 ECTS (first semester) + 4 ECTS (second semester). The first and second semester can be followed seperately or both.
No. of classes: approx 10 classes of 2.5 hours (first semester) plus presentations + approx 10 classes of 2.5 hours (second semester) plus presentations
Objective: To learn how to work in an audiovisual improvisation ensemble.
Examination: Attendance, performances



Redeconstruct Media
Kasper van der Horst, Nenad Popov
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: Standard Course

In a number of steps, we aim to look a bit into the phenomena of fragmented media.We will look into ways of deconstructing ideas into smaller fragments, or constructing larger structures out of smaller pieces all the while trying to keep the original knowledge(idea) present as long as possible.“Ecological thinking” – we look at the artwork as an ecosystem of ideas: we try to think and find out in which way the fragments interact with each other. During the course, we like to look at media in the broadest (metamedia) sense – for example text, literature, data, music scores, dna, wikipedia articles, pixels, artworks, social interaction, audio and video can all be your point of interest.

The course consists of a series of simple exercises, starting with the art of abbreviation, gently crossing the media boundaries and then getting into more or less speculative reconstruction methods of media.( veracious or manupilative : redeconstruct ) We also look into how the meaning mutates when the artwork passes through multiple minds. Our objective is to design individual systems, and because we can also design these systems in an artistic way, that is where we will focus on. Some participants will stay in the analogue domain, while others might find algorithmic solutions to work with. After the first steps of exploring we take our time to develop a very personal point of view for each individual student’s perspective. At the end of this two week’s course we ‘ll ask you to present your system in the format of a work or to present a conclusion of how your system works.

Credits: 4 ECTS
No. of classes: 8 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To learn how to handle the defragmentation of contemporary media in an artistic manner.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



Research-Creation
Renske Maria van Dam
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: Standard Course. Recommended for BSc3 and MSc1. BSc4 and MSc2 are more than welcome, but have to realize that the writing assignment for this course and the thesis are separate assignments.

In this course you will develop (personal) techniques for practice based research. You learn to organize and structure your research-creation process. You learn how to contextualize your research techniques and mirror, match and mesh them with research methodologies from other disciplines. You learn to capture, reflect and disseminate research-creation outcomes in an professional context. We discuss possibilities to present Non-Traditional Research Outputs (NTRO’s) and how to structure a paper that has the potential to be shared within an academic context.
In the first days of the course (14-18 October) we will collectively discuss the potentials and pitfalls of research-creation and make a start with the final assignment. For this assignment you are asked to write an essay of 2500-3500 words that documents and elaborates on (one of your own) techniques for practice based research. We will work with a peer-review system to develop the essay over the course of the semester. This means you have to take into account time to work on this assignment between October and January. It is recommended to look for open-calls of journals and conferences to submit your work.

Deadlines:
Thursday 18 October: ABSTRACT
Friday 1 November: DRAFT
Between 4 November and 22 November: INDIVIDUAL COACHING
Friday 22 November: SUBMISSION PEER REVIEWS
Monday 6 January: SUBMISSION FINAL VERSION

Literature:
[excerpts from] Thought in the Act. Passages in the ecology of experience. Erin Manning and Brian Massumi. Studies in Material Thinking. A Case of Poetic Measuring: Isopleth. Wim Goossens, Arnaud Hendrickx, Nel Janssens

Recommended activities in advance to the course:
4-6 October 2019: CA2RE. Conference for artistic and architectural Research. Ghent, BE. https://arch.kuleuven.be/ca2re-2019/about
10 – 11 October 2019: Is This Thing On? The Public Dimensions of Artistic Research. ACPA Conference, The Hague. NL. https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/events/2019/10/acpa-conference-is-this-thing-on-the-public-dimensions-of-artistic-research
Credits: 4 ECTS
No. of classes: 4 classes of 6 hours plus individual appointments
Objective: To develop skills for, and understanding of, practice based research.
Examination: Attendance, paper



Sensors, Actuators & Microcontrollers
Lex van den Broek, Johan van Kreij
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: Standard Course

This course is a continuation of the Introduction to Electronics that is given in the first year. It is open to other students who have at least some familiarity with the most basic concepts of electronics. In this course students learn how to understand and build simple setups consisting of a sensor, a controller and an actuator. The concepts behind controllers like the ipsonlab and the Arduino or Wiring board are introduced. The most common types of sensors are introduced and how to connect them and interpret the data they produce. Also the most common actuators will be introduced.

Credits: 4 ECTS
No. of classes: 8 classes of 4 hours
Objective: To gain more advanced insight in the creation of electronic circuits for artistic purposes.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



SoundWorlds
Robert Pravda, Milica Ilić
Mandatory for: B1
Type: Introductory Course

The goal of this course is to introduce the theory and practice of working with sound, to teach the handling of basic recording and studio equipment and to offer basic insight in general music theory. Also a short introduction will be given to the history of electro-acoustic music and basic concepts of composition.
The theoretical part will cover:
– Basic parameters of sound, such as the concepts of sound as change of pressure through the air, waveform and harmonic spectrum of the sound, wavelength, amplitude, frequency and perception of pitch and loudness. Also we will discuss the basics of analog sound, digital sound, synthesis basics (additive, subtractive synthesis, Frequency modulation) and MIDI.
– An introduction to the basics of musical dramaturgy, or “how to organise sound” – historical overview, explaining & exploring different musical tools and their practical use, demystification of the so called “classical music” world, with the goal of expanding the palette of means that can be used in artistic work which includes sound/music.
On the practical side an introduction will be given to basic studio hardware and software, such as the mixing desk, amplifiers, speakers, cables and types of microphones and their uses use: XY, AB, MS, Binaural. We will talk about recording, sampling, editing, sound effects and various software and plugins.
During the course we will listen to pieces from important composers and discuss them. We will discuss examples of noise music, musique concrète, soundscapes, electronic music, sound- plays and field-recordings, but also other types of music in order to see how musical systems work.
All the students attending the course are expected to finish a number of exercises in listening, recording and editing. At the end of the course each student is asked to produce a composition in sound.

Credits: 4 ECTS
No. of classes: 8 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To gain fundamental insight in the workings of music and sound.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



SoundWorlds2
Robert Pravda
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: Standard Course

SoundWorlds 2 is a hands-on cursus. During the course the focus will be on developing individual performative or installation peaces. All participants are required to have a basic knowledge of working with sound and starting idea of a project or direction that they want to work on.

As much as we experience our environment visually, we also have an ability to sense our environment through listening. We sense the spatial attributes through hearing as something parallel to our visual perception. What we hear is a complex mixture of the surrounding sound with its reflections, dispersion, refraction and absorption, all determined by the specific (unique) acoustic character of the space. While listening, we react both to sound sources and to spatial acoustics.

In the two weeks of the course, we will build upon individual ideas, with emphasis on research in materials and techniques for development and hands-on experiments in; how to approach sound organisation for a multichannel sound reproduction, a live performance setup, or a sound installation based on individual artistic ideas of the participants.

Credits: 4 ECTS
No. of classes: 8 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To gain more advance knowledge in the workings of sound in its environment.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



SpaceTime II: The Architectural Body
Renske Maria van Dam, Cocky Eek
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: Standard Course

This is a follow-up from Movement Matters (SpaceTime I).

Development in contemporary sciences sparks a general willingness to re-entertain questions on perception, experience and even consciousness. What is particularly interesting in these new sciences is the enactive-embodied approach to cognition. This is a hands-on course to explore what this theoretical assumptions mean for the experience and design of spaces. We focus on the creation of procedures to activate and alternate our environment through minor interventions.
Inspired by the work of Arakawa and Gins this course is set up as a laboratory for daily research. Collectively we will explore the ‘Architectural Body’. The Architectural Body is a concept developed by artist-turned-architects Madeleine Gins and Shusaku Arakawa that refers to the crucial bodily dimension that gives way to the emergence of spatiotemporal meaning through social-environmental interaction. In two weeks you will develop a basic understanding of the architectural body and explore the influence and limitations you have when conditioning spatial experiences.

Literature:
[excerpts from] The Architectural Body. Arakawa and Gins.
Gins and Arakawa, or the passage to Materialism. Jean-Jaques Lecercle
The body’s architecture. Lecture at AG3 online. Shaun Gallagher.

Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: 4 classes of 6 hours
Objective: Introduction to creating spatiotemporal interventions
Examination: Attendance, assignment



Studium Generale
Erica Sprey & guests
Mandatory for: B2
Type: Lecture Series

The Studium Generale offers a nearly weekly programme of lectures of very different nature, based around a yearly central theme. Mandatory for second year Bachelors, but highly recommended for all other years of the Bachelors and Masters!

Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: approx 24 classes of 1.5 hours
Objective: To gain general contextual insight.
Examination: Attendance



The City as Performative Object, Part 2
Esther Polak
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: CASS Exchange workshop

During this workshop, we will explore the city as a space that is produced by its mobilities. Mobilities, in Esther and Ivar’s view, are culturally structured through categorizations like the pedestrian, the cyclist or car driver, to name the most obvious ones. One possible way to make this process tangible is to engage in hybrid (drag) forms of mobilities: is it possible to be a pedestrian but behave like automobilist or the other way around? If so, what kind of city space does that produce?

During the workshop, we will draw on the theory of performativity of gender categorizations by Judith Butler, and apply this to the performativity of mobilities in city-space. Departing from the mobilities-lexicon that Esther and Ivar proposed in this text [link to lexicon]we will leave the KABK to play with this theoretical framework and develop a series of practical experiments in the streets of Den Haag.

Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: 5 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To apply a theoretical framework as a starting point for artistic research. (this can be tackled in a playful or serious manner). Understanding of the meaning of the concept of “performativity” in various contexts. To grasp the difference between the concepts “performative” and “performance” on a theoretical level. To grasp ánd to experience the difference between the concepts “performative” and “performance” on an artistic-practice-based level (trough experiments in public space). The development of experiments in public space that can be interpreted as “performative” or “performance” (or as a hybrid between both).
Examination: Attendance, assignment



The Game Engine as a Medium
Jan Robert Leegte
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: KABK IST course

The video game industry dwarfs Hollywood and the music industry in net worth and has increasingly become a defining cultural influence the last decades. Technically, the digital game has been the pinnacle of personal computing, pushing the technology by always operating on the cutting edge of what is possible. It is a highly complex medium, dealing with simulation, AI, complex interaction, CGI, networks but also is the ultimate Gesamtkunstwerk, mixing all art forms.
Since the first home computers, and again after the arrival of the internet pushing cross platform accessibility and distribution, game design has entered the individual sphere, resulting in a flood of indie-game developers. The push has resulted in game elements to have entered all kinds of new fields. Serious games, gamification, game appropriation in art, art games, games as activism, games as design strategy, etc.
The lab aims to introduce the game engine as a medium of expression, research or design tool.

Credits: 6 ECTS
No. of classes: 12 classes of 6 hours
Objective: In this lab we will look into this fascinating and rapidly developing field. We will watch many examples of artists and designers using the technology, analyse the video game and deconstruct it. We will look into the ability to generate images and video, at it being a platform for virtual installations and performances, how it can be used as interactive medium and how to use it for websites and mobile / desktop apps. With the end goal not of making a game, but to look and take from it, so it works for you.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



The ‘Other’ Senses
Caro Verbeek
Mandatory for: B1
Type: Introductory Course

The senses of smell, taste, touch and proprioception are powerful tools for engaging an audience in an intimate and often interactive way. They require little knowledge and they are strong inducers of vivid memories.
Whereas sound and vision always gained a lot of academic attention, the so called ‘lower’ senses only recently (re-)entered the artistic debate. The ArtScience Interfaculty, formerly known as the Institute for Image and Sound, underlines the importance of those other senses that go beyond our traditional occularcentric approach.
This course is about creating awareness and understanding of the role of the ‘other’ senses – smell, touch and taste – in (history of) art, education and science.
For they are not as divided as we assume, the correlation between the senses will also be addressed (synaesthesia).
Due to their animalistic nature important thinkers like Plato, and later on Kant and Hegel excluded the lower senses from the aesthetic debate. As a counter-reaction famous artists like Marinetti and Duchamp and composers such as Scriabin incorporated olfactory and tactile dimensions to their work. Unfortunately this quite volatile heritage was partially lost due to its fleeting nature and the impossibility of registering and preserving smells, tastes and tactile experiences. Museums and other institutes that address vision, have always been primed to collect and conserve. That is why many tactile and olfactory works of art never made it into written history. Anthropologists, art historians and other academics are now working on a reconstruction.
During classes students will encounter sensory art historical reconstructions to stimulate debate on the senses and as an inspiration to create small olfactory and tactile compositions. A colour-smell synaesthesia test will be executed on the first and the last day of the course.
Furthermore there will be a linguistic translation of a Futurist tactile poem, and an olfactory-musical recital composed by Scriabin.

Credits: 2 ECTS
No. of classes: 4 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To develop knowledge about artistic practices for other human senses than the usual sight and hearing.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



Writing as / in Research
Maya Rasker
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: MasterPrimer Course

To write, means to allow ideas, notions, knowledge, nonsense to come into being, which is a good reason why so many fear the act of writing: once written, your thoughts become a reality of their own. During the workshop Writing as / in Research we will investigate what writing means – as an act of unravelling and discovering, rather than to fix embryonal thinking (that often should not see the light of day – yet).
Point of departure is you – a creative creature that oscillates between who you are, what you do, and where you are heading. Through a sytematic analysis of the creative process you will discover how different writing techniques support and enhance your personal search for artistic growth, no matter your medium or main artistic interest. We will work with prose, poetry, letter writing, essayism, and other genres.
Language is our material, which means you will do a lot of hand writing, reading out, listening and taking notes. An extensive take-home writing assignment is part of the course.
The use of pen, or pencil, and paper (notebook) is obligatory. No laptops allowed in the classroom.

Credits: 4 ECTS
No. of classes: 8 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To develop writing skills as an artistic discipline, and/or as a tool to develop artistic research.
Examination: Attendance, assignment



xtrm
Eric Kluitenberg
Mandatory for: free choice
Type: MasterPrimer Course

Extremity today has become vernacular. How did this happen? What does it mean?

The extreme has been entirely commodified: extreme sports, extreme tourism, extreme sex (via countless online and on-demand portals), extreme drugs, extreme violence and extremist ideology (brought to you a.o. by IslamicState.com and gleefully channeled through any available ‘social’ media platform), extreme behaviours (the Kardassians), extreme political discourse (dominating elections across the planet) fuelling extreme political foolishness (Brexit) – maybe worst of all politicians with extreme (blond) hair-do’s. The extreme has simply become a life-style choice for the well-off middle class.

Extremity (the condition of being extreme), in short, has moved entirely mainstream. With this comes a curious reversal – the extreme is no longer an outside(r) position. It has shifted to the centre and has become part of society’s positive normativity.

The fact that the extreme no longer designates an ‘outside’ position and instead is judged as a societal positive, raises a whole range of experiential and political problems:

What does this reversal do to our experience of life / the world when Extremity™ has become part of the practices of everyday life? How to define an outside position if even the most extreme position has already been internalised a-priori in the social system? As click bait extremity has long become a core component of current extractivist economics, operated by the most powerful contemporary global businesses in existence on the planet. Where is the critical position if the ‘extremists’ have become part of the contemporary normative fabric? Guy Debord’s critique of the spectacle society in retrospect looks more like a joke, compared to the gravity of the contemporary condition.

If ‘the extreme’ has indeed become vernacular, its obvious counter-strategy should be to deny extremity altogether – something akin to the movement of unspectacular art in early post-soviet Russia. However, decades of experimentation with negative dialectics and the aesthetics of denial have rendered contemporary arts entirely ineffectual towards the contemporary embrace of barbarity – a high added value speciality good in marketing terms aimed at the above middle class well to do, and a safe investment haven for advanced global money laundering schemes that have exploded the art market (the e-flux maelstrom), lubricated by impotent (‘decolonial’) social pseudo-critiques.

Ecological collapse might offer a way out of the malaise of the current ‘début de siècle’, but at what terrible costs, not just to humans but to all living and non-living systems on the planet? Perhaps a beginning might be obtained from earlier attempts at constructing a reverse-economics of surplus expenditure (Bataille), as opposed to the economics of efficiency, and the foregrounding of the sovereign experience – life beyond utility. But these are only mere starting points. When everything is represented (even barbaric practices of beheadings and immolation) it becomes all the more urgent to find ways for the unpresentable / unrepresentable to manifest and tear the tissue of over-representation. This not a denial. This is an attack. First and foremost on the system of commodification itself.

There is another route, though not a clear nor a singular one – it meanders around the affective energies of potlatch, the economy of friendship, the care of self, the commons – in particular the climate commons, the sovereign and the economics of surplus, the un(re)presentable, the pirate utopias of the Temporary Autonomous Zones, the aesthetics of rupture and the secret, the politics of difference, or the experience of the existential sublime. Furthermore, in the climate-rebellion we might see the first germ of a new (global) social relation that might be able to by-pass the rise of divisive politics without denying ineradicable difference.

None of these is ultimately conclusive, but they demarcate an existential territory that can potentially escape the current extractivist logics of global attention economies. The aim of this course is to understand extremity as an existential condition and question its compromised position today. Building on that understanding the course attempts to map the old and new existential territories that might be able to escape this compromised condition, and in doing so regain a glimpse of what constitutes value, autonomy, aesthetics, and the sovereign experience – something we used to call ‘art’.

Topics explored:
• Potlatch and the economies of surplus
• The aesthetics of cruelty and its failure
• Extractivism and anti-social media
• Collateral global mind-fucks
• The different and the un(re)presentable
• The un(re)presentable and the aesthetics of denial, rupture, and the secret
• Pirate utopias and the Temporary Autonomous Zone
• The care of self
• The commons and the care of/for others

Credits: 4 ECTS
No. of classes: 8 classes of 6 hours
Objective: To gain insight in old and new ideas around the extreme and to use them in an artistic sense.
Examination: Attendance, assignment