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Politics of Knowledge
research group Lectorate Art Theory and Practice at the KABK 2022/23

This Politics of Knowledge, is a new research group with Research Lectorate Art Theory and Practice headed by Prof. Dr. Anke Haarmann.

There is an urgency for critical thinking and making. Artistic research is well placed to address this need. Though creative practices are gradually becoming more accepted as producers of knowledge, they are still undervalued and underutilized in a broader disciplinary context. As main actors in artistic research, we, at KABK, need to ask questions regarding the connection between truth and power, politics and knowledge, exclusion and inclusion.

Research Group

KABK employers are part of an institution that is both unusual (artistic) and ordinary
(state). Politics of Knowledge will question and test alternative knowledge production and research approaches. Projects will be discussed and developed, texts will be read, speakers will be invited and public presentations will be made. We also plan to collaborate with various political and scientific institutions in The Hague.

Research Lector: Prof. Dr. Anke Haarmann (she/her)

Coordinator: Leon Lapa Pereira (he/him)

Website: www.lectoraatktp.nl

Email: lectoraatktp@kabk.nl

Available Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, BB.115

Member of the Research Group 22/23

Participants of the Research Group 22/23 were:

- Anastasia Loginova
- Elisabeth Rafstedt
- Eric Kluitenberg
- Ingrid Grünwald
- Johanna Ehde
- Maarten Cornel
- Sophie Allerding
- Wieneke Bremer
- Winnie Koekelbergh
- Zuzanna Zgierska

Research title: Role-play as an inquiry method and tool for knowledge production


How can role-play serve as an inquiry method and a knowledge production tool, providing access to embodied knowledge that may otherwise remain unrecognized within the constraints of our everyday personas? To what extent can knowledge generated through role-play be applied and integrated into one's real-life experiences?

My research evolves around the utilization of role-play as an inquiry method and a tool for knowledge production, particularly in accessing embodied knowledge that often remains concealed within our everyday personas. Additionally, I investigate the extent to which knowledge generated within the context of the fictional scenario of the role-play can be transferred to one's real-life experiences.

'The Last Submarine'
This role-play was cocreated with artist Jana Romanova in September 2023.

In my artistic practice, role-play has consistently been a method of engagement and production. During my Master’s thesis, I began experimenting with role-play as not only a method but also as an artistic outcome. These experiments led me to reflect upon my own research methods and prompted me to delve deeper into this area of research.

Map of the role-play 'The Last Submarine'
Map of the role-play 'The Last Submarine'

I approach my research through three distinct methods: Firstly, by participating in role-play games to observe and reflect on the knowledge produced both individually (inside myself) and within group dynamics. Secondly, by designing role-plays, often in collaboration with other artists, to explore the knowledge generated within the group concerning specific thematic contexts proposed by the designers. Lastly, by hosting a series of radio shows where I invite fellow artists who employ role-play in their artistic practice and research. These shows feature practical demonstrations, experiments, and interview conversations, making aspects of my research accessible to a broader audience. The radio shows are published on Radio Echo and available on Radio Echo's online archive.

Artist Bio:

Sophie Allerding (she/they) is a multi-media artist and designer driven by an interest in versatile modes of storytelling and creating immersive spaces for meaningful interactions and play. Sophie's work delves into power dynamics and relationships between humans and their environment, the art of constructing realities, and the exploration of magical realms through various visual, audio and participatory media. Sophie is active in the feminist collectives POSSY and Radio Echo Collective and currently based in The Netherlands and Germany.

Image Description: Photograph from the role-play 'The Last Submarine,' a climate fiction scenario depicting water scarcity in a speculative future where sea levels have risen. This role-play was cocreated with artist Jana Romanova in September 2023.


Rietlanden Women’s Office

Rietlanden Women’s Office (rietlanden.womensoffice.nl) teaches Typography in the Graphic Design Bachelor and are also visiting tutors in Book Design at the Master Artistic Research.

Graphic designers Elisabeth Rafstedt and Johanna Ehde form Rietlanden Women’s Office. Their practice is interested in current and historical issues connected to (reproductive) work and collaborative graphic design. The basis of their work is a printed publication series called MsHeresies — an inquiry into collaborative graphic design practices and the ornamental as a form of work critique.

The ornamental sits at the centre of their practice where they consider ornaments not simply as added decoration, but as traces of the specific conditions under which a work was made. They look at how traces of reproductive work such as lines of alteration and correction, clashing elements, improvised type — manifestations of urgency — become the ornaments which make social relations legible. They search for ornaments’ disruptive, devious, and aesthetic qualities, and sketch the ornamental as a point where aesthetics and politics intertwine.

The Dialogue as a Research Method

During the Academic Years of 2021/2022/2023, Maarten Cornel (teacher of Philosophy & Discourse) and Ingrid Grünwald (senior coordinator and facilitator intercultural communication) of the Graphic Design Department took the initiative to develop a series of dialogues within their department. This series was called “The Big Dialogue”. The reason for undertaking this initiative was due to the many social issues and changes taking place at the Academy and in general in society, as well as them being part of the Diversity and Inclusion group of this academy. The Big Dialogue was held multiple times, and was visited by quite some students, teachers and other staff. Each session started from a specific theme, a dilemma or a question and and all participants were asked to reflect and communicate without attention to their position or function within the Academy.

In February of 2021, Ingrid and Maarten participated in the ELIA program in Brussels, where they gave a workshop for European colleagues, and the response was such that they generated a new session with some directors, researchers and teachers from the Academies of Marseille, Brussels (le75) and Glasgow University. Many of the issues and challenges of European academies are similar, yet, settings and discourses do differ. This group materialised a plan for an experimental collective workshop for the ELIA- conference in Helsinki in November 2022: The Board Meeting.

In October 2022 Maarten and Ingrid visited Beaux Arts de Marseille to give a presentation of their experiences with the Big Dialogues and to facilitate a Big Dialogue in order to investigate what kind of responses and input they could get to further develop their initiative. In March they visited the Athens School of Fine Art in Mykonos, Greece to give a Big Dialogue workshop with iconography students and one tutor. Another session took place at Le 75 in Brussels at the photography department.

Big Dialogues are open for students and tutors.

On the GD-department third year class Philosophy Maarten has developed since 2018 an extra compartment of the program that deals with rhetoric, sociological questions and speech and since the development of the Big Dialogue in 2021 there has been a correlation between the themes of rhetoric and the development of communal awareness and participation.

Ingrid has started in 2018 her English classes about intercultural codes, etymology, the impact of language in relationship to intercultural awareness. The Big Dialogue is an off spin of these sessions and there is reciprocity still going on.

From October 2022 onwards, Ingrid and Maarten are part of the Artistic Research Group Politics of knowledge, where they are investigating the dialogue as a research method to create new knowledge. They were part of the KABK Artistic Research Symposium taking the Chairs of the Table; a performative session in which all participants explore dilemma’s collectively in the role of a dilettante.

Some results and ongoing explorations are:

  • Redefining the goals.
  • Adapting the dilemma’s for different aspects of the discourses at hand.
  • More awareness of our terminologies, and the impact they have on the participants.
  • Diversification of the methods within the dialogues.
  • International perspective/representation. What it means to understand diversity.
  • In Design Practice students were given the assignment to rethink the identity and merch of the Big Dialogue and offer a new perspective on it. We reflected together on what it would take to make it more communal.


Maarten Cornel

Maarten Cornel (1978, Amstelveen, The Netherlands). After studying for one year at the Montaigne Academy, Amsterdam (currently AMFI), I switched to study philosophy at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, where I obtained my master. At the VU, I specialised in aesthetics, ethics and antiquity/archaeology. I try to combine my lifelong passion for the arts, especially for painting and music, with cognitive investigations into (the mainly continental) philosophical discourses. Next to that, I have studied art history as a minor, and researched many sources on (historical) art materials and technologies.

I started working since 2008 at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, where I have created courses in philosophy and the academy wide program of Research & Discourse. This program consists of a cycle of theoretical lectures as well as research groups. Next to the activities on the academy, I have organised multiple Socratic talks on various social topics.

Ingrid Grunwald:

Royal Academy of Art, University of the Arts the Hague – Senior Coordinator Graphic Design BA

Ingrid Grunwald has studied English Language and Literature at the Free University in Amsterdam and wrote her final Thesis about Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Always interested in minorities and language she tried to incorporate this passion within her work in art education from the start, among others in recruiting students with different cultural backgrounds. This brought her one year in places where talented youngsters are taught art in unconventional places in the East of Amsterdam. She worked as a professional at the Amsterdam School of the Arts (BA-Fine Arts in Education) and as a tutor Communication & Organisation in secondary vocational education at “Het Mediacollege Amsterdam” (MA). She is still an external reviewer for MA and an international reviewer at EQ-Arts. She helps international students in their first year with the English language and intercultural communication. Together with Maarten Cornel she initiated the Big Dialogue about a variety of (social) issues art education is struggling with.

Telestreet: The Italian Media Jacking Movement. Director: And_, Producer: And_ / Tim Parish, 2005

Telestreet: The Italian Media Jacking Movement. Director: And_, Producer: And_ / Tim Parish, 2005

Eric Kluitenberg presents for the Joint Research Day A Different Sense of Time, a visual essay in the form of a digital video. It is based on a presentation originally given for the Automedias conference Automedias - A Media Revolution, June 22 - 24, 2022 at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Paris-Nord and an essay by the same title to be published at the Automedias online platform.

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The text explores the complicated relationship of activist and experimental / artistic practices around digital and online media to the problem of time. Both activist and experimental artistic / cultural practices seem to be deeply preoccupied with the immediacy of the present. In the case of activist practices the urgency of the issue at stake demands a continuous attention to what is happening ‘on the ground’. Experimental arts and associated cultural practices are rather more preoccupied with producing ‘the new’, conducting experiments (hence why we call them ‘experimental’) and responding to the immediate outcome, jumping from one experiment to the next in pursuit of this elusive ‘newness’. The connection between activist and experimental cultural practices seems to lie in a shared temporality of immediacy.

My argument in the essay is that this entrapment in the immediacy of an ‘eternal now’ impedes a deeper critical discussion and understanding of these activist and experimental practices. The question of time in relation to what I refer to as ‘Tactical Media’ practices (Garcia & Lovink, 1997), referencing the fusion of artistic, activist and media practices, becomes particularly problematic in view of the curious inversion of the tactical and the strategic in media politics that has been playing out more or less globally over the last seven years.

The visual essay traces the arguments proposed in this talk and text-essay through historical footage originating from the video archives of the Tactical Media Files online documentation resource of Tactical Media, and the infamous Next 5 Minutes series of festivals of Tactical Media (1993-2003), which are physically located at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam.


One of the three dye garden boxes @ KAKB courtyard, by Wieneke Bremer

One of the three dye garden boxes @ KAKB courtyard, by Wieneke Bremer

Wieneke Bremer is an artist who specialises in natural dying. In the context of the Politics of Knowledge Research Group and in collaboration with the KABK Green Office (GINKGO), she has started a pigment garden in the courtyard of the KABK.

For the Joint Research Day, Wieneke will do a 15 min. live performance in which she extracts colours from the plants from the garden and explains her research methods.

In an art academy, it is important to understand where colours come from and what stories and cultural background plants have. This project aims to create awareness on the origin of our beloved colours to form a closer relation with the materials we use: to start living with the plants, nature, and earth instead of using them. Knowing how time-consuming it is to grow pigments and dyes can change our behavior towards them. The color that is given is more than a color: it tells us the story of a relationship with one another.

Natural dyeing are dyes or colourants from plants, invertebrates of minerals. Colours can be extracted from roots, berries, bark, leaves, wood and fungi. The plants in the following list are chosen according to their ability to grow in Dutch climate. Most of them are grand teints meaning that the colour is able to stay visible for a long period of time. The chosen plants have a maximum ratio of four times plant material for one time textile material. The maximum amount is then 400 gram of plants for 100 gram of textiles. Ink can also be extracted from the plants by using less water and thinkening liquid with binders like agar agar or Arabic gum.

Photos below: plants used by Wieneke Bremer, from the 'Handbook of the Artist Garden'

Goals of the Research

One of the goals of the research was to create a actual garden in the courtyard. This has been a success. Bremer also wanted to teach students in natural dyeing, and this has been made possible with the support of the KABK textile workshop. The next goal is to teach students the background or cultural stories and expressions of plants, for example: where does the expression Blue Monday come from? Also the trade history of famous dye plants like indigo, madder, blue and red wood and woad is interesting to teach to art students. There is some much to say about the origin of colours that has not yet been explained. Bremer believes the academy is the right place to spread these stories.

In October 2022, Louise O. Fresco wrote that “two years ago, the Gonçalvez Commission recommended the unconditional return of looted colonial art. (...) It is striking that there is hardly any discussion about the biological colonial treasures and how they were collected.” During the Joint Research Day, Zuzanna Zgierska will host a panel discussion on the restitution of geological matter, including outer-space objects.

The results of Zuzanna’s ongoing project “Out of Focus” (co-directed with Louis Braddock Clarke) will provide prompts for conversation. “Out of Focus” is a case study of Innaanganeq Meteorite fragments extracted from Inugguit Nunaat by Danish colonisers and 19th-century North Pole explorers. In this project, shaping mineral magnetism became a strategy for the restitution of geo-matter and the return of indigenous stories. Through a series of fire rituals in Inugguit Nunaat and art-scientific experiments at the Paleomagnetic Laboratory in Utrecht, the samples of Innaanganeq Meteorite have been remagnetised. By rewriting their magnetic histories, new narratives emerge.

Besides discussing the lack of discourse on the return of looted natural matter and speculating on alternative modes of restitution, the conversation will touch upon the ownership of outer space matter.


With a blowtorch, a 9.8 g sample of ‘Arnakitsoq’ (Innaanganeq Meteorite) has been heated up above its Curie temperature. The process was performed by the Inugguaq hunter and rock ‘n’ roll musician, Aleqatsiaq Peary, whose great-great-grandfather extracted the meteorite in 1897, taking it to New York. Through this gesture, Aleqatsiaq Peary erased the stone’s magnetic history. On an alchemical level, the colonial weight is lifted, triggering a new opening.

Produced with Olennguaq Kristensen (left) and Aleqatsiaq Peary (right) at the ‘Arnakitsoq’ meteorite crater.

Film still, 6K © 2021 Clarke/Zgierska.


A 17.5 g sample of ‘Agpalilik’ (Innaanganeq Meteorite) has been remagnetised to the geomagnetic value obtained from the ‘Arnakitsoq’ fragment that had previously undergone Rewriting (see above). In this experiment, the induction coil of a thermal demagnetiser continuously applies 58.650nT as the iron stone is procedurally heated to 1000°C.
Produced with Dr. Lennart V. de Groot, Assoc. Prof. Paleomagnetic Laboratory, Utrecht University.

Film still, 6K © 2022 Clarke/Zgierska.


0.1 g sample of ‘Agpalilik’ (Innaanganeq Meteorite) has been dissolved in 6M HCl. The yellow plasma solution is used for scientific measuring. As a side effect of such investigation, the meteorite vanishes into thin air, re-entering the atmosphere.

Produced with Prof. Martin Bizzarro, Director StarPlan (Centre for Star and Planet Formation).

Film still, 6K © 2021 Clarke/Zgierska.

Photo credit: Winnie Koekelbergh

In the context of the Politics of Knowledge Research Group, Winnie Koekelbergh, academic activist, presents the first phase of her research into how artistic interventions, conversations and meditations can offer an alternative to question contemporary approaches to dismount colonial monuments.

The presentation will consist of a writerly performance.