The session on 31 October will take place in BB.203.


Winnie Koekelbergh and guest teachers

For whom

For 3rd year BA students of the KABK


10 Wednesday sessions, September – December 2018

Eline van der Ploeg, 'Living Systems'. Photo: Hans van der Poel and Lisa van Casand

About this course

All fourth year students at the KABK, both in the design and in the fine arts departments, are required to conduct a research project and write a thesis as part of their graduation. Many interesting and inspiring theses have seen the light of day, from Sander Uitdehaag’s It Has Begun (2010), a collection of 11 beginnings to the assignment of writing a thesis, inspired by the work of the French author Georges Perec, to Isabelle van Hemert’s Plat en Onbegaanbaar (2017), in which Van Hemert develops a personal, ‘photographic’ perspective on Imi Knoebel’s Raum 19, thus not only offering a new interpretation of this work, but also opening up new possibilities for herself to connect with the medium of photography.

As different as each of these theses may appear, they all share an engagement with theory through a parallel process of thinking, writing and making. They are examples of ‘art essays’: texts that articulate and communicate the kind of (embodied) thinking that occurs in artistic practice. In an art essay the writer develops ideas – often personal in nature and visually/materially informed – rooted in her or his artistic practice, using verbal and visual language. Here, content is inextricably bound up with form.

In this lab, students are invited to experiment with writing and reflecting. Starting point is a seminal theoretical text selected by the student for its relevance in relation to her or his artistic work. The essay that is the outcome of this course can take different forms, such as a paper, a multimedia presentation, a performance lecture, a video essay, or an artist publication.

For 3rd year BA students of the KABK.

Full attendance is obligatory in order to receive study points towards the Individual Study Trajectory (3 EC).

Max. 12 students will be selected for the course.
The course will be in English.

The course consists of 10 group meetings during the 1st semester on Wednesday mornings from 10.00-12.30 h (Gipsenzaal). Individual studio visits will take place between 13.00-15.00 h.

  • Wednesday 19 September 2018
  • Wednesday 26 September 2018
  • Wednesday 10 October 2018
  • Wednesday 17 October 2018
  • Wednesday 31 October 2018
  • Wednesday 7 November 2018
  • Wednesday 14 November 2018
  • Wednesday 21 November 2018
  • Wednesday 28 November 2018
  • Wednesday 12 December 2018

The lab consists of four tutorials, in which guest teachers will expand on a theme using examples from their own practice, and four meetings involving student presentations and moderated group discussion. Among the guest teachers are previous winners of the thesis award; artists involved in research, writing and (self-)publishing; book publishers and academic scholars. The topics of the meetings include: the artist as researcher as writer as artist, what is an ‘art essay’, how to engage in discourse, from thesis to artist’s book, and how to develop alternative strategies for the articulation and dissemination of ideas and thinking.

Two excursions to platforms dedicated to artistic research and artists’ publications will also be part of the programme. Peer feedback comprises an important aspect of all the meetings. In addition, individual studio visits/feedback sessions will be scheduled. In preparation for each meeting, students are expected to do the assigned readings and prepare short assignments. Moreover, they will be required to prepare a presentation about their research process. At the end of the course, students will present their own essay.

Participants will be selected on the basis of their motivated application. Apply before Monday 10 September 2018 23:59 h (CET) by registering for this course in Osiris. To complete your application, you will be required to upload a brief letter of motivation, in which you (a) explain why you would like to participate in the course, and (b) reflect on a theoretical text you have read recently (max. 500 words, in PDF). The result of the selection will be announced on Thursday 13 September 2018 at the latest. Incomplete or late submissions, or applications sent by email, will not be accepted.

For questions, please contact Winnie Koekelbergh at or Emily Huurdeman, coordinator of the lectorate, at

  1. The art essay (tutorial)
  2. Artistic practice and discourse (tutorial)
  3. Practice based research I (tutorial)
  4. Artist publications I (excursion)
  5. Practice based research II (tutorial)
  6. Artist publications II (excursion)
  7. Student presentations + peer feedback
  8. Student presentations + peer feedback
  9. Student presentations + peer feedback
  10. Evaluation

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Have acquainted themselves with and learned to critically reflect on key examples of artistic research practices and artistic, research-based publications;
  • Have experimented with different ways to explore, reflect on and relate to their research subject, using verbal and visual language;
  • Have acquired skills and built confidence in research and writing and developed ideas about formats for presentation, publication and distribution of their research.

ECTS credits will be awarded on the basis of the essay, the presentation and the performance in class. Students will be evaluated primarily with respect to their creative ability, capacity for critical reflection, and capacity for growth and innovation.

  • Gilda Williams, How to write about contemporary art, Thames and Hudson Ltd, 2014.
  • Jan Svenungsson, An Artist’s Text Book, Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, 2007.
  • And other articles distributed during the course.

This course is part of the Art Research Programme of the Lectorate Art Theory & Practice.