The University of the Arts (Royal Academy of Art and Royal Conservatoire) holds artistic research in high esteem. The collaboration between the University of the Arts and Leiden University is unique in The Netherlands (see Academy of Creative and Performing Arts and PhDArts).
The collaboration is realized on different educational levels. On the MA-level the University of the Arts offers a research trajectory in artistic research. PhDArts doctoral candidates teach courses for BA students in which research in relation to artistic practice takes center stage (see Art Research Programme). Two of the University’s lectorates are dedicated to artistic research: the lectorate of Henk Borgdorff (Royal Conservatoire) and the lectorate of Janneke Wesseling (Royal Academy of Art).
In artistic research, or research in and through art, practical action (the making) and theoretical reflection (the thinking) go hand in hand. The one cannot exist without the other; in the same way that making and thinking are inextricably linked in artistic practice. This intertwinement of practice and theory distinguishes artistic research from research about the arts (such as art history, music, theater and film studies, cultural studies, performance studies). Research has always been a part of artists’ and designers’ practices. In the past decades, however, the research aspect of art and design has increasingly gained importance. Contemporary artists and designers frequently position themselves as researchers, both in the social sphere and in the field of the arts. In some cases the research has become the work itself: matter and medium function in these cases as instruments for the research or ‘thinking process’.
At the Royal Academy of Art The Hague, artistic research plays a central role. This means that much attention is paid to the role of thinking in the creative process, to the student’s reflection on his/her own actions and to the development of a (theoretical) positioning of the student’s work in the cultural and social field. The educational system is aimed at equipping the student with an investigative attitude and with the appropriate academic skills.
Former research trajectories