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  • The NWO funded research project ‘Bridging art, design and technology through Critical Making’ aims to interrogate Critical Making by experimentally applying it to a broad range of artistic practices. The project will investigate to what extent Critical Making can serve as a comprehensive concept for design, technology, education and activism intersecting with critical contemporary art practices and artistic research.

  • 27 February 2019

    Making Matters Symposium 9+10 May 2019

    Making Matters
    Bridging Art, Design and Technology through Critical Making

    Register here

    The partners and researchers of the Critical Making consortium are excited to announce the two-day symposium Making Matters. The symposium takes place from 9-10th of May at West Den Haag, Lange Voorhout 102 in The Hague.

    Making Matters invites makers, artists, students, activists, theorists, designers, humans and non-humans to think about making practices and their critical potential. By offering opportunity for exchange across disciplines, the symposium attempts to shift the discourse of making from maker culture to a wider set of creative practices, thereby proposing alternatives to the solutionism of contemporary techno-creative industries.

    The project ‘Bridging Art, Design and Technology through Critical Making’ investigates how Critical Making — a notion originally developed in the context of social research, design and technology — can be adopted and developed in relation to artistic research and (post)critical theory.

    Program

    Thursday 9 May 2019

    9.30 Welcome (coffee & tea)
    10.00 Introduction Critical Making Consortium: Klaas Kuitenbrouwer (Het Nieuwe Instituut), Janneke Wesseling, Lucas Evers (Waag)
    10.30 Presentation: Liesbeth Bik followed by a dialogue with Florian Cramer
    11.15 Coffee break
    11.30 Presentations: Dyne.org, Constant (Femke Snelting) followed by a discussion
    12.45 Lunch break
    13.45 Presentations: Shailoh Phillips, Pia Louwerens
    14.45 Presentation: Dani Ploeger followed by a dialogue with Janneke Wesseling
    15.45 Coffee break
    16.00 Public discussion: ‘Challenges and Consequences of Critical Making Now’
    17.00 Drinks

    Friday 10 May 2019

    9.30 Welcome (coffee & tea)
    10.00 Introduction on Critical Making: Lucas Evers (Waag), Klaas Kuitenbrouwer (Het Nieuwe Instituut), Marie-José Sondeijker (West)
    10.30 Presentations: Frans-Willem Korsten & ginger coons
    11.30 Coffee break
    11.45 Presentation: Ramon Amaro
    12.15 Presentation: Anja Groten
    12.45 Lunch break
    13.45 Book presentation: Letizia Chiappini, Loes Bogers: The Critical Making Reader
    14.00 Workshops:

    • Hackers & Designers with dianaband
    • Ramon Amaro
    • Thalia Hoffman
    • Pia Louwerens

    16.00 Public discussion & wrap up
    17.00 Drinks

    Confirmed speakers include:

    Ramon Amaro, Liesbeth Bik, Constant (Femke Snelting), ginger coons, Florian Cramer, Dyne.org, Anja Groten, Thalia Hoffman, Frans-Willem Korsten, Pia Louwerens, Shailoh Phillips, Dani Ploeger, Janneke Wesseling

    Partners:

    PhDArts / ACPA
    Willem de Kooning Academy
    Waag Society
    West Den Haag
    Het Nieuwe Instituut

    Registration

  • 7 November 2018

    Call for Contributions: INC Critical Makers Reader

    Recently, a Call for Contributions for The Critical Makers Reader, a forthcoming publication in the INC Readers series, was launched. The reader will be edited by Loes Bogers and Letizia Chiappini and published by the Institute of Network Cultures in September/October of 2019. With this call, the Makers Lab and the Institute of Network Cultures aim to bring together a wide variety of contributions on interdisciplinary, collaborative making practices with a socially engaged and critical perspective. The goal of the publication is to illuminate the current state of theory, best practices and case studies of critically engaged making in higher education and informal learning contexts, to make them accessible for students as well as educators, and to foster critical debate in the maker community at large. The Call is aimed at authors coming from a variety of cultural backgrounds and disciplines such as: visual culture, design and media, science and technology studies, sociologists, economists, intersectional feminist and software scholars, commons researchers, educators, critical makers, artists, hackers, activists, designers, lab managers and technicians, cultural producers, engineers, open-source advocates and others. Both academic and non-academic articles are welcomed: interviews, dialogues, essays and articles, local and translocal case studies, images (b/w), email exchanges, manifestos, or other, with a maximum of 5,000 words, but preferably shorter. Proposals (500 words max.) should be addressed to Loes Bogers and Letizia Chiappini at productioninc@networkcultures.org and must be received by December 14, 2018.

    You can read the Call for Contributions here.

    Courtesy of Makers Lab and Institute of Network Cultures

  • 27 March 2019

    Visiting Artist Scholar Lecture Michigan State University

    Project researcher involved: Anja Groten

    March 27, 2019
    6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

    Location: 326 Natural Science, Natural Science Building, 288 Farm Ln, East Lansing, MI 48823

    Visiting Artist Scholar Lecture Series:
    https://calendar.cal.msu.edu/art.msu.edu/

  • 28 June 2018

    Workshop: Control the Controller

    Project researchers involved: Anja Groten

    Location: Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam (NL)

    https://educatie.hetnieuweinstituut.nl/workshops/anja-groten-heerko-van-der-kooij-control-controller

    During this hands-on workshop Anja Groten and Heerko van der Kooij (Hackers & Designers) will introduce ways to deconstruct and reassemble remote controllers in unintended ways.

    Intuitively we scroll, swipe, use our voice and gestures to control our devices, – to activate, trigger, cause, provoke the computer to react, return, act and deploy. The question we will investigate through making is: Who is exactly controlling who and how? By saving redundant controllers from becoming e-waste we will hack our way into the mechanics of human computer interaction. At the same time we will learn about electronics all the while critically reflecting on the notion of control.

    Photo: Anja Groten

  • 17 May 2018

    Critical by Design Conference

    Project researchers involved: Anja GrotenJanneke Wesseling

    Location: Academy of Art and Design FHNW, Basel (CH)

    Anja Groten and Janneke Wesseling give a presentation at the conference ‘Critical By Design?‘ at the Academy of Art and Design FHNW in Basel.
    This two-day international research conference on the capacity of design as a mode of critique offers a unique platform for the interdisciplinary discussion of critical theories and practices from a design perspective. Renowned experts from design theory, history and practice, the philosophy of technology, the art, cultural and media studies as well as the field of human-computer interaction come together to reconsider historical trajectories, advance contemporary understandings and propose future developments of design as a materialized form of critique.

  • 8 June 2018

    Long paper presentation at [MAKE]: 2018 AIGA Design Educators Conference

    Project researcher involved: Anja Groten

    Location: Herron School of Art and Design, Indianapolis (US), June7 – 9 2018

    www.aigadecconference.org

    Friction by Design

    Can oppositional forces and encounters of resistance in the context of design and engineering processes be productive, and if so, what could be a possible outcome? Could the results of friction be used strategically, and be considered design? From the perspective of design practice–more specifically the practice of Amsterdam-based collective Hackers & Designers–this paper proposes hands-on modes of learning and unlearning about technology, calling into question tech-optimist notions such as innovation. Strategies of critical making  are put forward as means to force quit and reevaluate accelerated technological processes. Practicing critically can hereby be seen as practicing in a state of suspicion and alertness , a condition of not-yet knowing. Situations of collaborative making turn into sites for exercising positions: opposing, contradicting and confronting. Could design–through initiating and cultivating oppositional forces during making processes–move toward a breaking of habits and practicing critically?

  • 11 April 2018

    Workshop at 9th SAR International Conference on Artistic Research

    Project researcher involved: Anja Groten
    University of Plymouth, April 11-13, 2018

    https://sarconference2018.org/

    Ctrl + c – Force quitting persuasive algorithmic search processes

    The workshop takes the Feminist Search Tool as a starting point. The Feminist Search Tool is a digital interface that invites users to explore different ways of engaging with a library catalog (putting forth the question: Why are the books I read so white so male so Eurocentric?). The collective Hackers & Designer was invited by the collective Read-in to develop a working prototype last year and will develop the tool further this year. Groten uses the occasion of the SAR workshop to collectively explore the tool and discuss pressing questions such as “Who/what is responsible for a search result? And who/what decides eventually which book we read?

  • 23 February 2019

    Workshop at OBA: Feminist search tools

    Project researcher involved: Anja Groten
    Location: Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam, OBA Oosterdok (central) Maakplaats 021
    February 23 2019, 11:00-16:00

    In the context of the ongoing project The Feminist Search Tool Hackers & Designers and Read-in invite to a workshop looking into the possibilities and limitations of web API’s (Application Programming Interfaces).

    The Feminist Search Tool (FST) refers to an early prototype of a digital interface, which has been developed in the context of the project “Unlearning My Library. Bookshelf_Research” of the Zero Footprint Campus (2016-2017). The digital interface invites users to critically engage with a library system, putting forth the question: Why are the authors of the books I read so white, so male, so Eurocentric? In collaboration with OBA, Atria and IHLIA Read-in and H&D aim to develop a tool that enters into dialogue with the user about the open secrets of hierarchies of knowledges that inhabit our bookshelves, reading practices and search movements in a digital library environment. The Feminist Search Tool is both envisioned as an artistic research project, as well as an actual tool to critically and creatively assess information. As such, it functions as an awareness-raising tool that helps to contextualize online research in library catalogues and that addresses power structures that library search engines reproduce. The current prototype utilizes different API’s, which we intend to explore and critically examine by means of this workshop.

    Find more information on: https://hackersanddesigners.nl/s/Activities/p/Feminist_Search_API_Workshop

  • 23 March 2019

    Workshop at 10th SAR International Conference on Artistic Research

    Project researcher involved: Shailoh Phillips
    Location: Zurich University of the Arts, March 21-23, 2019
    Saturday March 23
    Session block IV, 11.15am
    Aktionsraum, 5th floor, 5.K06

    (Dis)connectology: can artefacts be critical?

    Everything is interconnected – but how exactly? Starting with the rope, I have been collecting a growing, yet incomplete material library of different kinds of connectors: zip lines, wrapping paper, handcuffs, string, rubber bands, paper clips, staples. You can connect things by folding them, and then in the field of origami, there are different kinds of folds, connecting separate pieces of paper in chains, or connecting corners by bends. Things can interlock with sewing, weaving, zipping, by hooking, buttoning. And then there are, clasps, snaps, velcro – which is quite interesting as a type of connection, a dense tangle of flimsy loops and hooks that can so easily be done and undone, silent when connecting and loud when pulled apart. Some connectors or things on their own, some things connect by virtue of their formal qualities. Sticky things connect: stickers, goo, icing, peanut butter, glue, tape. The mechanical realm of cogs and wheels, of springs, joints, braids, hinges, pullys. There are so many kinds of tape: magnetic tape, transparant tape, double-sized tape, masking tape, which not only connects but protects. And there are adhesive substances such as cement, paint, metal coating, shrinkwrap. And then the vast realm of digital connectivity, which does not replace, but supplements the physical realm. Social networks, network cables, USB ports, downloading, streaming, hubs and routers. Then there is the entire field of social bonds of kinship, marriage, friendship, rivalry – what are the material operations that connect, physically, and symbolically?

    When we look at the world through the lens of connections, such connective constructions are everywhere, and they are all different in their qualities, their (ir)reversibility, and how they respond to forces of pressure. In my practice, I do not collect in order to own, to tame, to classify and quantify, rather to understand the critical turning points where connections shift. Working with inflatable sculptures and building patented green technologies, there is a critical point where the surface is punctured and the form deflated, where things break down or collapse. What then is the agency of such an artefact? I entertain the proposition of elasticity, buoyancy, thrust, collapse, decay, flipping and switching as critical modes. In my research on connectology, I look specifically at the critical turning points where connections shift, by joining, separating or transforming. To what extent can these material operations be seen as a form of critique?

  • 14 March 2019

    Exhibition ‘Open Labs’ Science Gallery Dublin

    Project researcher involved: Anja Groten
    In collaboration with Hackers & Designers, Science Gallery Dublin, Office of Life + Art, Art Science Bangalore, Bioart Society, Public Lab

    Exhibition and research residency

    Hackers & Designers is part of Science Gallery Dublin’s OPEN LABS: part exhibition, part experiment – showcasing DIY culture across design, research, technology and activism.

    OPEN LABS is a Science Gallery Dublin first, a group exhibition curated by the Office of Life + Art, featuring work from Art Science Bangalore (IN), Bioart Society (FI), Hackers & Designers (NL) and Public Lab (US), as well as Science Gallery Dublin’s OPENSHOP (IRE). These labs celebrate collective curiosity and challenge the expectations of what a lab can do and why it should exist.

    This exhibition showcases surprising projects and experiments from around the world that can help us imagine the many directions independent creative research can take in the future. Artists and designers are accessing and hacking emerging technologies, or co-creating technologies that are inspired by their political convictions, personal obsessions or just a sense of fun and wonder.

    This is not a finished product, it is a starting point. It is looking at how the tools we have can be used in new and different ways to potentially improve or unearth new truths about the world we live in. We are in Beta-mode, experimenting, showing and telling, with a goal of creating new ideas and new solutions. Be a part of the process, probe and provoke with us, get in to give out at our one-stop OPENSHOP for Thinkshops, Workshops & Talkshops. We’re open, are you?

    Find more informations on Science Gallery Dublin’s website!

  • 5 April 2019

    Workshop: Walking Signals WiFi Zines

    Project researcher involved: Anja Groten

    In collaboration with dianaband and Hackers & Designers
    Location: NDSM-Plein 127,1033 WC Amsterdam
    April 5, 11:00-17:00

    During this workshop H&D hosts dianaband an art/design/hacker duo from Seoul. Dianaband proposes to utilise mobile WiFi modules modules for publishing zine content. We will be building small web publications on top of Hot spot login in screens. Content could be audio, texts, images with a limit of 2mb. Other possibilities is to attach sensors to the module … Come and explore the possibilities of hotspot publishing with us, conceptually as well as technically!

    More information on: https://hackersanddesigners.nl/s/Events/p/Walking_Signals_Wifi_Zine_Workshop

  • 28 March 2019

    Critical Making evening #1 at Waag in Amsterdam

    How can creative skills – art, design and technological culture – develop independently over an industrial and techno-optimistic logic? This evening is an introduction to Critical Making with presentations by Florian Cramer, Letizia Chiappini, Shailoh Phillips. Moderation by Lucas Evers.The first Critical Making evening forms an introduction to the research into Critical Making as proposed in the project Bridging Art, Design and Technology through Critical Making.

    Learning from the economy of unmaking and failed experiment

    Location: Waag, Nieuwmarkt 4,1012 CR Amsterdam

    Programme Introduction by Florian Cramer, specialized in the change of artistic disciplines in the 21st century. Globalization and the influence of new media fundamentally cast doubt on the systems of ‘art’ and ‘design’ in Western culture of the 19th and 20th century: for example through new forms of visual culture and the elimination of traditional frameworks of ownership and authorship. The focus of his research is on the transformation of autonomous art practices and of publishing in the post-digital era. Letizia Chiappini of the University of Amsterdam and the University of Milan will present her research on urban change as a result of contemporary form of capitalism and the so-called sharing economy in relation to the meaning of so-called maker culture. In it she will address the question: ‘What is the economy of Critical Making?’. Shailoh Phillips, one of the researchers of the project, invites the audience to a session of ‘unmaking’, ‘dismantling’, disassembling, breaking up, deconstructing things, to create a different understanding about it. A session that is related to a motto derived from the Maker Manifesto: ‘If you can not open it, you do not own it’. An activity that questions the provenance, ownership and manufacturing process of utensils. The evening is moderated by Lucas Evers of Waag. What the project aims at is introduced by Florian Cramer. Cramer also looks ahead to the programme of the first symposium that the project organizes and that will take place on May 8 and 9 at West Den Haag, in the former American Embassy. The focus of the first symposium will be on the concept of ‘Making’ and the questions surrounding it, where the next symposium will focus much more on questions about the concept ‘Critical’ and criticality. Bridging Art, Design and Technology through Critical Making is a program supported by NWO and a collaboration between Leiden University (Janneke Wesseling), Hogeschool Rotterdam (Florian Cramer), Het Nieuwe Instituut (Klaas Kuitenbrouwer), Waag – Technology & Society (Lucas Evers), West The Hague (Marie-José Sondijker) and with researchers Anja Groten, Shailoh Phillips, Pia Louwerens and Dani Ploeger.

    Purchase tickets via: https://waag.org/en/event/critical-making-evening-1

  • Critical Making Position Paper

    As a result of globalization, social and technological developments, we increasingly witness practices that cross the disciplinary boundaries of art, design, engineering and technological making and (artistic) social intervention. Sometimes these practices unfold within established contexts of art spaces, design culture, technology labs and activist projects. [Explain the urgency of contemporary socio-/technological/cultural/political developments that makes artists/activists redefine their practice/leave the confines of their traditional disciplines.] Increasingly, however, they leave their respective boundaries; for example, when contemporary art spaces are used for political assemblies and Internet anonymization services, when social design and community art becomes neighborhood activism, when a media design grows into a technological development project for empowering contemporary artists. Often, the positioning of these projects as “art”, “design”,“technology”,“activism” is merely tactical (or even opportunistic), tailored to the now-existing institutions and discourses which are still acting within the categories of the Western 19th and 20th century arts.

    Position Paper Critical Making[1]

    Florian Cramer, Lucas Evers, Akiem Helmling, Klaas Kuitenbrouwer, Marie-José Sondeijker, Janneke Wesseling with comments by Roland van Dierendonck, Shailoh Phillips, Ana María Gómez López, Shirley Niemans, Loes Bogers, mthom057, Yuri Westplat

    1. Why “Critical Making[a]”?

    As a result of globalization, social and technological developments, we increasingly witness practices that cross the disciplinary boundaries of art, design, engineering and technological making[b][c] and (artistic) social intervention. Sometimes these practices unfold within established contexts of art spaces, design culture, technology labs and activist projects. [Explain the urgency of contemporary socio-/​technological/​cultural/​political developments that makes artists/activists redefine their practice/​​leave the confines of their traditional disciplines.] Increasingly, however, they leave their respective boundaries[d][e]; for example, when contemporary art spaces are used for political assemblies[f][g][2] and Internet anonymization services,[3] when social design and community art becomes neighborhood activism[h][i],[4] when a media design grows into a technological development project for empowering contemporary artists[j][k].[5] Often, the positioning of these projects as “art”, “design”, “technology”, “activism” is merely tactical (or even opportunistic), tailored to the now-existing institutions and discourses[l][m] [n]which are still acting within the categories of the Western 19th and 20th century arts. ‘Critical Making[o][p]‘ has the potential[q][r] of giving these practices a common name. [s]Originally coined in the context of design culture and do-it-yourself technology,[6] it gathers (a) practices that are defined by a common characteristic of criticality[t][u][v][w] rather than a common disciplinary and institutional context[7] and (b) work approaches and attitudes of thinking-through-practice.[8]

    Through the latter, Critical Making does not only cut through the disciplinary divides of art, design, activism and technology.[9] In Critical Making, there is no longer a divide between critical theory and artistic practice, but the practice itself is critical and philosophical.[x][y] In this regard, Critical Making corresponds with contemporary philosophies that question the divide between idea and matter[z][aa].[10] But where this thinking still manifests itself in the classical format of written theory, Critical Making negates the dichotomy between making and thinking[ab][ac].

    2. Where does Critical Making take place?

    To date, Critical Making – as coined by Matt Ratto and Garnet Hertz – refers to design practices that critically engage with technology.[ad][ae] Open Source cultural production therefore is a general characteristic of Critical Making. This may entail alternative forms of authorship and copyright, as well as a reconfiguration of traditional linear design workflows of conceptualization, construction and distribution. [af][ag]Distribution, in this context, includes multiplication and archiving. In networked Critical Making processes, all these efforts can take place simultaneously and anywhere[ah][ai].

    Critical Making in this sense is not confined [aj][ak][al]to particular sites. While Critical Making, in Ratto’s and Hertz’ original perspective, had the Maker[am][an] movement and its Maker spaces (i.e. FabLabs, hacklabs[ao][ap] and other public workshop facilities for distributed, personal digital fabrication) as its points of departure, their concept has become highly inclusive and therefore emancipated itself from this specific context[aq][ar].

    In our project, we experimentally take the concept of Critical Making outside the Maker movement and Maker spaces into the larger, general field of contemporary art and design practices. The question is: Can Critical Making reinvigorate the concept of criticality[as][at] in art and design theory and practice, in a technologically informed cultural field? Can existing art and design practices conversely radicalize the criticality of Critical Making? And how can this be made constructive?[au][av][aw][ax]

    3. Why an arts perspective on Critical Making?

    The notion of Critical Making is not specific to art and design, but potentially encompasses any practice that combines making with criticality. This inclusivity – which many art and design movements fought for in the previous century[ay][az] – is without doubt an asset of Critical Making. Still, we think that a more specific arts perspective might not constrain, but will enrich the Critical Making discourse with two specific qualities: artistic research and criticality of discourse.

    The liaison between thinking and making characterizes Critical Making as well as artistic research as it was established as a new academic discipline at the end of the 20th century. Artistic research typically involves practices in which textual and artistic approaches are closely interrelated. In artistic research, the researcher produces writing that critically reflects on the making, while conversely the practice informs and feeds into the writing.[ba][bb] How artistic research may expand the vocabulary of Critical Making will be subject of further investigation.

    Traditionally, contemporary art has had an edge over design in regards to the rigor of its critical discourse. Drawing on critical theory, conceptual art and institutional critique have radically addressed issues of gender, class, ethnicity and even questioned art as such, in its aesthetics, ethics, economics and politics. There needs to be research on the extent to which this radicality can inform expanded notions of Critical Making.

    Conversely, the Open Source and DIY practices of Critical Making can be constructively used to question under-reflected and under-criticized modes of production and distribution in contemporary art: authorship, intellectual property, ownership, privileges of participation. [bc][bd]

    4. Where our project aims to make a difference

    In our research project, we will address the following new questions[be][bf]:

    • How can art, design and technology fulfill a critical and reflexive role in society[bg], including “the possibility of revealing and challenging power relations” (Mouffe, Agonistics, Thinking the World Politically, 2013, 81)?[bh]
    • How can aesthetics still play a role[bi][bj], other than as surface aesthetics of consumer culture and of commodification based on advertisement?
    • We observe that the 21st century creative industries[bk][bl] as a hybrid of art, design and technology have largely subsumed 20th century art and culture under economic terms. Critical Making offers an alternative logic of including creative disciplines into an overarching concept that is not economically, but socially and artistically driven. [bm][bn] Can Critical Making be truly critical by overcoming the industry logic[bo][bp] of techno-optimistic makeability?

    Concluding questions to be addressed, partly taken from visitor feedback:

    • How do we position making?
    • How do we understand criticality? (See related text in full project description)
    • Can Critical Making be a pedagogy?
    • To which degree are our points descriptive or prescriptive?
    • Who needs a new concept?
    • Which difference do we make to existing concepts of Critical Making?
    • How far can histories of Critical Making be extended into the past?

    • [1] http://pad.riseup.net/p/critical_making
    • [2] Jonas Staal, New World Summit (2012-2017), Occupy movement presence at Berlin Biennial 2014
    • [3] Trevor Paglen/Jacob Appelbaum, Autonomy Cube, 2014; !Mediengruppe Bitnik, Random Darknet Shopper (2014-2016)
    • [4] Jeanne van Heeswijk, Freehouse (1998-2017); Black Quantum Futurism, Community Futures Lab (2015-2017)
    • [5] Danja Vasiliev/Gottfried Haider/WORM, Hotglue & Superglue (2009-2017)
    • [6] Matt Ratto, DIY Citizenship, MIT Press, 2014
    • [7] Garnet Hertz, Critical Making zines (2012)
    • [8] Matt Ratto in We Make Things, documentary by Ryan Varga, 2011 (9:30-10:53). In a paper, he defines Critical Making as ”a mode of materially productive engagement that is intended to bridge the gap between creative physical and conceptual exploration” (Ratto, Matt, Critical Making: Conceptual and Material Studies in Technology and Social Life, in: The Information Society, vol. 27, issue 5, 2011, 252).
    • [9] But also through the divide between practice as the “base” and theory as the “superstructure” that has shaped Western thinking and culture from Platonism to Marxism
    • [10] including pragmatism, actor-network theory, object-oriented ontology and New Materialism
    • [a]Anon: How do we position ‘making’? What is motivating people to act critically?
      Genealogy of Critical Making.
      Moments of intersection between art and science, pre-net collectives, anonymous collectives.
    • [b]Roland van Dierendonck: No, SCIENCE. It’s more about CONTEXTUALISING  that what is MADE in terms of criticality/within feasibility, the scientific knowledge.
    • [c]legitimate concern, but outside the scope of our particular project. This question is, with a focus on technology, addressed in the original Critical Making research of Matt Ratto and Garnet Hertz.
    • [d]Shailoh Phillips: What’s the scope? What’s the problem?
    • [e]Explain the urgency of contemporary socio-/technological/cultural/political developments that makes artists/activists redefine their practice/leave the confines of their traditional disciplines.
    • [f]Ana María Gómez López:
      – Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths, Forex, for different takes on activism
      – Think Tania Bruguera, for ex. if you want other examples of working with immigrant communities in the United States and elsewhere
      – Again, for even earlier examples of artistic forms of activisim using technology and design, think of collective initiatives such as Peter Fend and others in Ocean Earth, or even Group Materialś actions around AIDS (including critiques of government funding and pharmaceutical industry.)
    • [g]Great examples, will be included in final version of the document. We will leave them out for now to keep the discource of the project more open for applicants to the researcher positions.
    • [h]Ana María Gómez López: Again, Group Material is an excellent example pre-Internet.
    • [i]Will be included in the final version.
    • [j]Roland van Dierendonck: You don’t mention the Critical Engineering Manifesto.
    • [k]Will be included in the final version.
    • [l]Shirley Niemans: This is quite problematic even when “critical making: in some form is part of the curriculum of – let’s say – a design school – hard to change the existing paradigm, and existing or ‘selected'(?) boundaries between disciplines (design vs. art, applied vs. autonomous).
    • [m]It is true that these boundaries exist and will not go away in the four years of our research project. However, the task of this research project is to look forward and develop radical visions that others may implement in curricula and institutions.
    • [n]Shailoh Phillips: This is the context, the launch point.
    • [o]Loes Bogers: The interpretation of “critical” isn’t specified, maybe clarify the tradition [of] Frankfurter Schule?
    • [p]Excellent remark. – We covered this in the original project description and may include this text here again. In the project description, we refer to Frankfurter Schule as well as to specific practices of critical art and design. The ambition of this research project is to treat both “criticality” and “making” as practices to be researched and potentially given new meanings.
    • [q]Shailoh Phillips: Why? What is the urgency?
    • [r]Will be answered above with the clarification of the social/political/technological developments that motivate Critical Making practices.
    • [s][Waag artist-in-residence]: If you are in the critical position you aim for.
    • [t]Ana María Gómez López: Against what? Take note of your own criticism towards creative industries.
    • [u]Indeed, this criticality chiefly marks an opposition towards creative industries and, by implication, neoliberalism at large. [We will add this in a later version of the paper.]
    • [v]Shailoh Phillips: Is criticality something that is conjunctive, connecting, umbrella? Also divisive!
    • [w]see remark above.
    • [x]mthom057: only?
    • [y]Not only, but this is an important observation to make.
    • [z]Shailoh Phillips: How does this relate to the rise of new materialism, imment philosophy (Barad, Deleuze, Haraway, Braidotti)?
    • [aa]Good point, these authors will be included as references.
    • [ab]Shailoh Phillips: Why was it installed in the first place? Why is it pervasive?
    • [ac]Complex question that concerns the whole history of Western thinking since Parmenidis (via Platon, the enlightenment etc.) Excellent question, we need to find a way of how to address it within the limited space of this paper.
    • [ad]Loes Bogers: For Ratto, it’s also a lot about learning, as a pedagogy of sorts. Is that a concern in the project?
    • [ae]Excellent question – learning processes are intrinsic to Critical Making processes (as we are experiencing right now in the open process of writing this paper). But since the focus of our research process is not on pedagogy, we cannot predict yet to which degree these learning processes will remain implicit or become more explicit (in the sense of a comprehensive meta reflection of the learning processes encountered in this project).
    • [af]Ana María Gómez López: There are examples of artistic production that offer new modes of intellectual production/authorship where artworks are made accessible by being instruction-based, circulate freely, and demystify artistic production. – Look at N55, a Danish group that exclusively produces manuals. – Also, it is worth noting that there is a DIY history already in the arts pre-maker culture which is diverse, be it in 60s conceptual art, activist subcultural zine production, (based on older technologies of Xerox reproduction), or even blue-chip recognition inititatives such as Hans Ulrich Obrist’s Do-It-Yourself Manual. (Applies also to page 1/bibliography in the beginning).
    • [ag]Excellent examples again that will be included in the footnotes and citation references of the final document. However, we do have discussions about the inclusion of Obrist as a Critical Maker (which for example concerns his method of text production where it is not clear to which degree a staff of editorial assistants is involved).
    • [ah]mthom057: What might a networked critical making process entail? i.e. in time, space, notions of community/public?
    • [ai]We will delete the sentence you refer to because it is too unspecific.
    • [aj]Shailoh Phillips: prescriptive? descriptive? Who needs a new concept?
    • [ak][needs longer thought process on our behalf.]
    • [al]There is a clear need for a new concept of criticality in contemporary art (if we just take the current Venice Biennial and Documenta as examples). The same is true for design and technology development.
    • [am]Shailoh Phillips: Overcoming schizophrenia: “makers” (Dutch, HBO) versus “thinkers” (university). Critical making as a way out of the pillarization of disciplines.
    • [an]Agreed. The position paper still needs to explicate the particular Dutch cultural context and connotation of making-vs-thinking.
    • [ao]Roland van Dierendonck: open bio labs
    • [ap](for us: included in the notion of the hacklabs)
    • [aq]Shailoh Phillips: By whom? How? Why?
    • [ar]Critical Making Zines by Garnet Hertz – will ad them as a footnote.
    • [as]Shailoh Phillips: What do you mean by criticality? [Irit] Rogoff?
    • [at]See the first question by Loes Bogers.
    • [au]mthom057: How does this differ from participatory art?
    • [av]Participatory art is neither critical by definition, nor in much of its practice.
    • [aw]Shirley Niemans: To what end?
    • [ax]”productive” has been replaced with “constructive” (following the suggestion of Shailoh Phillips)
    • [ay]Loes Bogers: Where are they in this paper? Should they be mentioned? (Situationism, Fluxus, [cyber]feminist art practices?) Which do you align with?
    • [az]Not included in this paper because it is meant to be a discussion paper, not a historically complete coverage of its subject. Related to the comments by Ana Maria.
    • [ba]Ana María Gómez López: This is the point where I would have the strongest criticism regarding the need to include more on art + science collaborative examples. Happy to share more if you find it relevant.
    • [bb]We refer to the specific concept of artistic research as an academic discipline (see the changed first sentence in the paragraph), not generally to research done by artists by themselves or in collaboration with scientists.
    • [bc]mthom057: Are there any thematic examples?
    • [bd]examples in footnotes (Situationist International, Telekommunisten, Assembly and others)
    • [be]Roland van Dierendonck: [Add bullet point] New history of art in context of ‘Critical Making’.
    • [bf]not the scope of this position paper.
    • [bg]Roland van Dierendonck: then also about how art is presented, for example outside of institutions altogether, check Norman White.
    • [bh]Shirley Niemans: “HOW can [….]?” – It seems a bit rhetorical. What is the kind of answer we/you want? Still a confirmation.
    • [bi]Shirley Niemans: Idem – “HOW can […]”?
    • [bj]agree
    • [bk]Shailoh Phillips: Creative industries is a neoliberal notion: one virtue – it doesn’t discriminate between disciplines. -> reclaiming CREATIVITY.
    • [bl]agree
    • [bm]mthom057: What activates members of society to engage in critical making?
    • [bn]Question is beyond the scope of this position paper.
    • [bo]Yuri Westplat: What if the answer is YES?
      (a) How do we take this further? Is it a METHOD we can LEARN and APPLY? And so change the industry?
      (b) How do “we” break out of the “art bubble” movement? [and into] -> business -> government -> science
    • [bp]Indeed this is not the right question with which to conclude this paper.
    • [bq]Ana María Gómez López: My main comment is first to offer praise to you for citing artworks bibliographically. – I find this to be quite positive. However, this is also where I would encourage you to look at much earlier examples of critical making in the arts, which would give this new concept deeper roots. Think of examples such as E.A.T. developed with Bell Labs (interestingly a corporate-sponsored program that encouraged collaboration between artists, scientists, and technology experts with no interest to prototype a product for the market, but only for unique art projects and events).
      I would also encourage other examples of artworks that make this bibliography more robust, which I have noted throughout this paper (in no particular order of importance and woefully incomplete).
      In general, contextualizing these project in braoder art-historical contexts that be broader than the artas of making you cite explicitly (Net Art, Land Art, Environmental Art, Bio Art).
    • [br]Roland van Dierendonck: Also add Paolo Cirio’s “Loophole 4 All” or Norman White.
  • What is Critical Making?

    Critical Making is, according to its inventor Matt Ratto, ”a mode of materially productive engagement that is intended to bridge the gap between creative physical and conceptual exploration” (Ratto 2011: 252). It has its origins in North American design and is, to date, little known in European art, design and humanities. Critical Making generally aims to reintroduce the notion of criticality into creative practices that have been dominated by the industrial paradigm. Its more specific potential is to provide a new reflective discourse and way of working across art, design and technology.

    Critical Making was coined as a response to critical thinking and critical theory. The concept of critical theory was originally developed by the Frankfurt School. In the context of the arts, critical theory is intrinsically related to Adorno and Horkheimer’s general critique of applied artistic production (‘culture industry’). This had the side-effect of reinforcing the distinction between autonomous and applied practices, identifying them as critical and non-critical practices respectively. This made it difficult, in a continental European context, to productively use ‘criticality’ for creative practices outside fine art. With our research project ‘Bridging Art, Design and Technology through Critical Making’, we reject the preconceived dualism of applied and fine art. But we also acknowledge a greater experience and practice of radical critical thinking in contemporary art in consequence of the Frankfurt School. This experience has not yet been fully translated into design and technology.

    There are two notable exceptions: Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby’s concept of Critical Design, and Design Thinking. Dunne & Raby’s approach remains in the realm of speculative design, which concerns itself with desired and less-desired possible futures. It thus resides primarily in the symbolic realm and therefore does not directly relate to our specific research domain. Design Thinking has developed a multi-stakeholder, iterative approach and most recently focuses on so-called ‘wicked problems’. With its roots in problem-solving, it lacks the attention for critical problematization that is a crucial part of Critical Making.

    We are not satisfied yet with the existing concept of Critical Making as developed in North America, since it has mostly been limited to the (sub-)cultures of Maker and FabLab culture. Critical Making thinks of itself as chiefly a product design practice that combines conceptual with material thinking. We want to further research Critical Making and deepen it beyond product design. Criticality is the point of departure for this project. We research the existing critical perspective in North American Critical Making and augment it with the complex experience of criticality present in contemporary art, with the aim of creating a common discourse between art, design and technological making.

    Insights and methodological approaches gained from the (relatively) young academic discipline of artistic research will contribute to building this common discourse. Artistic research distinguishes itself by the pivotal role art practice has in the research. In artistic research, there is a unique relationship between the artist/designer, the research method and the outcome of the research. It is critically reflected research into and through the making practice of the researcher. Our project, a collaboration of academic scholars and practitioners in art and design, will bring artistic research into action in re-thinking the concept of Critical Making.

  • Project description

    The project ‘Bridging Art, Design and Technology through Critical Making’ aims to investigate (a) how the concept of Critical Making can be developed further within the context of critical theory and the discourse of artistic research and (b) how such a renewed notion of Critical Making can problematize and correct the narrow focus on systems and solutions in the contemporary techno-creative industries. Therefore, our main research question is:

    How can the concept of Critical Making be expanded into a general approach that ties the critical methodology of artistic research, and the established concepts of artistic autonomy, together with contemporary creative-technological development?

    Objectives
    (a) The concept of Critical Making, currently limited to Maker culture and product design, will be fundamentally and academically researched, deepened and applied to a wider set of creative disciplines;
    (b) The experience of criticality of contemporary art will be made available to design and technological making by introducing insights and methodological approaches from the academic discipline of artistic research;
    (c) Artistic Research will be brought into action in re-thinking the concept of Critical Making, which will enable the advancement of the discourse in both the field of art and in academia on design-issues relating to technological innovation and the impact of this discourse on society and on cultural values;
    (d) The project will propose a new theoretical and practical positioning of disciplinary codes in the field of art and design as well as in the field of academic research, to open up the discourses in visual art and design that are largely separated up until now;
    (e) In the context of Digital Humanities, this project will provide methodological insights for Digital Humanities scholars who feel stuck in traditional methodologies of computer-aided statistical analysis and visualization of data sets. The artistic research projects, symposia and workshops will use the competency of artists and designers to think up new ways of digital visual research;
    (f) In the context of practice-oriented polytechnical education (HBO), the project will introduce Critical Making as a reflective working method into Dutch art and design education and into the professional field of artists, designers and technological makers.

    A larger ambition of this project is to give humanities researchers insight into contemporary creative practices that transcend the classical disciplinary categorizations of fine art, design and technology, and often take place outside the established art system (i.e. outside contemporary art galleries, museums, biennials and art fairs). The publications to be created in this research project will therefore give hands-on insight into these new practices to art historians and cultural studies scholars. These traditional categorizations of the arts are also reflected in the current disciplinary divides within the humanities. Our research products will give researchers and policy makers concrete examples and discussion material for the disciplinary transformation of creative practices in the 21st century, and hence (by implication) for possible changes of humanities disciplines.

    The project will include four subprojects by a PhD researcher (Anja Groten), two junior researchers (Shailoh Phillips, TBA) and an embedded researcher (TBA). The researchers will contribute to different events and programmes of the consortium members from a combined practical and theoretical perspective. The consortium will organise a series of Critical Making workshops with art and design students and teachers in several Dutch art schools, including Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam and the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague. Furthermore, various public presentations, a national and an international symposium will be organized. At the end of the project, the project outcomes will be disseminated through a peer-reviewed, open access, hybrid paper and electronic book.

  • History of the project

    In 2017, the Critical Making consortium received a grant for the four-year project ‘Bridging Art, Design and Technology through Critical Making’ from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) as part of the research programme Smart Culture – Art and Culture. The project has its origin in a prolonged exchange between representatives of Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, Waag Society in Amsterdam, knowledge center Creating 010 at Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam and PhDArts / Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA) at Leiden University.

    In 2015, the private partners Het Nieuwe Instituut and Waag Society put the subject of Critical Making on the table and articulated a need to deepen and theoretically contextualize the subject and to connect practical research with academic research. Conversely, the academic researchers in this project recognized the urgency of overcoming the split between creative disciplines which they experience as increasingly problematic in their research, respectively art/design educational, practice. All partners agreed that today’s duality of an art and a creative industries system in The Netherlands has widened that gap instead of bridging it, thereby largely excluding fine art practices from creative industries. At the same time, the social impact of new technologies requires a new common discourse and language among practitioners in all disciplines.

    Therefore, the partners decided to initiate a research collaboration with an aim to further investigate Critical Making as an existing concept in the design and new media field with regards to its potential to provide this common language and practice. In June 2016, a one-year KIEM subsidy by NWO/Topsector Creatieve Industrie was granted for preliminary research and for a first position paper on this subject. The research proposal for the current project ‘Bridging Art, Design and Technology through Critical Making’ was developed as part of this KIEM project. The contemporary art institute West Den Haag joined the consortium in July 2016 because it was interested, too, in researching new critical practices spanning art, design and technology. For the other consortium members, it was an important addition to involve a partner from the field of contemporary fine art.

  • Consortium

    In the project ‘Bridging Art, Design and Technology through Critical Making’, main applicant Prof. Dr. Janneke Wesseling (Leiden University) and co-applicant Dr. Florian Cramer (Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences) have joined forces with Klaas Kuitenbrouwer (Het Nieuwe Instituut), Lucas Evers (Waag Society) and Marie-José Sondeijker (West Den Haag). In November 2017, designer, researcher and Hackers & Designers co-founder Anja Groten and media artist, researcher and educator Shailoh Phillips joined the team as PhD candidate and junior researcher respectively. Candidates for the final two available positions have been recruited in early 2018. Selected researchers will start in September 2018 and January 2019 respectively.

    — Leiden University (with PhDArts) brings in its expertise on the area of artistic research and art and design theory. For Leiden University, Critical Making– with its implied convergence of art, design and technology – is a new field for which no humanities theory exists yet.
    — Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (with Creating 010 and Willem de Kooning Academy) brings in its expertise on practice-oriented research on new media, art and design. It provides the link between Critical Making and art/design education, with the ultimate objective of introducing and structurally integrating Critical Making into the art and design curriculum.
    — Het Nieuwe Instituut brings in its expertise on critical design practice that transgresses the traditional disciplines of design, architecture, new media and digital technology, and its network of Critical Making practitioners. It wishes to gain a stronger theoretical framework for Critical Making.
    — Waag Society brings in its expertise as the institute that first brought Critical Making to The Netherlands. Waag Society operates from a cross-disciplinary vision on design and technology, with a focus on bio art and bio design. It wants to gain new insights from university research and art and design education.
    — West Den Haag brings in collaborations with international experts in a range of different cultural backgrounds and disciplines, and an expertise in the discourse on the presentation of art and on the role of art in society. West wants to expand its collaborations in the field of artistic research.

  • Lucas Evers

    Lucas Evers joined Waag in April 2007 and is currently leading Waag’s Wetlab. He is actively involved in several projects that concern the interactions between the arts and sciences, arts and ethics and the arts in a contemporary makers culture. The Wetlab is a laboratory where arts, design, sciences, engineering and the public meet to research biotechnologies and their impact on society and ecology.

    Lucas Evers is trained in fine arts and teaching at Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design and he studied politics at the University of Amsterdam. He worked De Balie Center for Culture and Politics and Melkweg in Amsterdam, programming cinema, new media and politics.

    He organized a retrospective of French cinematographer Chris Marker was involved in projects such as ‘net.congestion – international festival of streaming media’, Next 5 Minutes, e-culture fair, an Archeology of Imaginary Media and a number of programs related to the societal debate about the life sciences.

    From 2010 until 2013 he was advisor at DasArts, second phase theatre and performance education, mentoring students. He has been commission member at Mondriaan Foundation and is currently commission member at Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.

    At Waag he worked and works on projects such as Trust me I’m an Artist (ethics of art and science collaboration), Future Emerging Art and Technologies, Hack the Brain, Do It Not Yourself Biology, Critical Making and initiated Designers and Artists for Genomics Award (now Bio Art & Design Award).

    His interests lie in the way we can learn from the interactions, the differences and similarities, between artistic, scientific and other cultures of research.

     

  • Pia Louwerens

    Artistic researcher | performance artist
    Junior embedded artistic researcher in the Critical Making project.

    Pia Louwerens’s research methodology consists of texts, spoken-word performances and events in which she complicates the artistic subject: the “I” who speaks, writes, and makes. She does this by experimenting with the (re)writing of her own script as Pia Louwerens. Her texts are based on the institutional context they are or will be presented in. The institutional situation at hand informs the script, mimicking the weird entangled state of performance: the situation and the performance make each other, like the artist and the performance make each other, like the artist and the institution make each other.

    In order to think through these constructed and conditional aspects Louwerens uses the methodology of writing scripts. Like her performances are embedded in their context, also her scripts take place on the same level as that which they script: when she speaks about the event it is during the event, and when she speaks about parasitising she does so by stealing the words of others. This synchronisation of action and script, begin both in this moment and about this moment, is essential to her practice.

    Louwerens her scripts are filled with weird storytelling techniques. These are weird in the sense that they function as sliding mechanisms between planes or registers. Some examples are: the use of intertextual references and elaborate self-quotations as a means to time-travel, shifting between meta-narratives and first narratives, complicating (through splitting, analysing or doubling) the identity of the narrator, mimicking or copying a context, parasitising and/or sliding between registers of speech with different levels of intimacy.

    Through these contextual, conditional, situated, hyper-personal, embedded and messy works, Louwerens considers the fluidity of concepts like the event, the performance, the “I who speaks” and the institution. Some of her main questions are: How to make something which is (a)live? What strangenesses are there in proximity and the intimate? How to see difference without distance?

    In 2012 Louwerens earned her bachelor diploma fine arts at the KABK in The Hague. From 2017 – 2019 she was a participant in the post-master programme of the experimental artistic research institution a.pass (advanced performance and scenography studies) in Brussels. Next to her artistic practice she writes art reviews, for which she won the basisprijs Prijs voor de Jonge Kunstkritiek in 2018. Pia Louwerens works in Rotterdam and The Hague, and works and lives in Brussels.

  • Dani Ploeger

    More info coming soon.

  • Florian Cramer

    Florian Cramer is a reader (Dutch: lector) in 21st Century Visual Culture/Autonomous Practices at Willem de Kooning Academy and Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands.

    work

    • since 2008: Reader/research professor Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam University of Applied Science
    • 2011-2015: Director Research Center Creating 010, Rotterdam University of Applied Science
    • 2011-2015: public program developer at WORM, cultural venue in Rotterdam (part-time)
    • 2010-2011: Director Piet Zwart Institute
    • 2006-2010: Course Director of the Masters program Media Design and Communication, Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam University of Applied Science
    • 2005: Research fellow Piet Zwart Institute
    • 1999-2004 lecturer/junior faculty Comparative Literature, Peter Szondi Institut für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft, Freie Universität Berlin

    education

    • 2006 Dr. phil. Comparative Literature, Freie Universität Berlin, thesis: Exe.cut[up]able Statements: Poetische Kalküle und Phantasmen des selbstausführenden Texts, 2011, Wilhelm Fink, München
    • 1998 M.A. Comparative Literature, Art History and German Philology, Freie Universität Berlin
    • 1989-1998 studied Comparative Literature, Art History, German Philology and Philosophy at Freie Universität Berlin, Universität Konstanz and University of Massachusetts at Amherst

    publications

    For a list of selected publications relevant to this research project, see here.

    advisory boards

    awards

    • 2017 HBOAward for achievements in Open Access publishing, Stichting SURF, Netherlands
    • 2007 media.art.research.award Ludwig Boltzmann-Institut & ars electronica, Austria
    • 2005 Junggesellenpreis für Netzliteratur, Literaturhaus Stuttgart, Germany
    • 2002 with Sebastian Luetgert: honorary mention software award transmediale.02, Berlin, Germany
    • 1998 Pegasus electronic literature award, IBM/Die Zeit/Radio Bremen, Germany
  • Shailoh Phillips

    Polymash media artist | researcher | activist | educator
    Junior researcher in the Critical Making project
    PhD candidate at PhDArts, Leiden University
    www.studiobabel.nl

    Originally trained in Anthropology, Philosophy and Cultural Analysis (University of Amsterdam, Humboldt University), Phillips has spent the past decade working in the field of digital media and design education, as well as cultivating a collaborative studio practice of cross-media projects and tinkering with electronics. She works along the interstices between digital/analogue, making/thinking, art/engineering, theory/practice, building interdisciplinary bridges. Her practice revolves around fostering playful forms of resistance and seeking out pressure points to act in the face of social inequalities and unfolding ecological disasters. In 2017, Phillips graduated from the MA Education in Arts and Design (Piet Zwart Institute). She currently teaches Hacking and Digital Crafts at Willem de Kooning Academy, and in the Design, Curating and Writing Master at the Design Academy Eindhoven. In the context of the Critical Making project, she investigates the limits and potential of criticality through pedagogical experiments in the Fabulous School of Octopy.

    Previous jobs (selection)

    • 2016-2017: embedded researcher and trainer at Bouwkeet Makerspace (Rotterdam)
    • 2012-2014: coordinator of the Media Lab, Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam)
    • 2011-2012: manager game development at Vrede van Utrecht, with Fourcelabs)
    • 2010-2012: project manager new media and innovation at Kunstgebouw
    • 2008-present: digital media, research and education Studio Babel (Amsterdam)
    • 2004-2010: researcher, game designer and screenwriter, VPRO (Hilversum) and Submarine Channel (Amsterdam)

    Education

    • 2015-2017: Master of Education in Arts and Design (cum laude), Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy (Rotterdam). Thesis: Some Troubles with Making | Tentacular Pedagogy in the Age of Entanglement.
    • 2008-present :workshops in creative coding, electronics and instrument building (STEIM, Freakdays oF platform Amsterdam, Mediamatic, WORM, Media Technology Leiden)
    • 2008-present: PhD Theory Seminars Media and Performance Studies (Utrecht University); LUCAS Theory Seminars (Leiden University); Data Drive Research Seminars (University of Amsterdam)
    • 2001-2009: studied Philosophy, Cultural Analysis, Conflict Studies, Arabic Language and Culture (minor), Gender Studies, Physics, New Media at University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Humboldt Universität and
    • Freie Universität Berlin
    • 2004-2005: Media Academy VPRO Jong Talent training in Cross-Media production (Hilversum)
    • 2001: Conflict Mediation Masterclass, SCI Peace Corps, Baku, Azerbaijan
    • 2000-2004: BA Cultural Anthropology and Sociology of Non-Western societies (cum laude), University of Amsterdam

    Affiliations

    • Co-founder and secretary of Stichting Studio Yalla, Amsterdam
    • Member of the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis (NICA) and Research School for Media Studies (RMeS)
    • Member of Kostgewonnen autonomous collective
    • Book club coordinator at Feminist Club Amsterdam (FCA)
    • Working group sexual orientation and gender diversity, COC Amsterdam
    • Tools for Action: civil disobedience interventions with inflatable objects (Berlin)

    Awards and nominations

    • 2017: nominated for the Willem de Kooning Research Award for Graduation Project ‘Some Troubles with Making’
    • 2011: ‘Collapsus’ (Submarine Channel/VPRO) Dutch Spin award, Interactive Award (SWSX), nominated for Digital Emmy ‘Best Digital Fiction’

    Activities (selection)

    • 2017-2018: Open Set (St. Joost, Netherlands, moderator, workshop)
    • 2017: Radical pedagogy in technology education, HackOn (ADM, Amsterdam)
    • 2017: keynote lecture : Onderwijsspecial FabCity, Rotterdam
    • 2017: Shared Senses for Haptic Commons, with Lancel/Maat (CASCO, Utrecht)
    • 2017: Decolonizing the museum workshop at (MuseumNext, Rotterdam) with Imara Limon and Lina Issa
    • 2017: Impact workshops for community theater production ‘Eerst Zien, dan geloven’ (Nationaal Theater, Den Haag)
    • 2017: Rest In War – photography and the afterlife of images of war (workshop and moderator (Nacht van de Filosofie, Den Haag)
    • 2017: Some Troubles with Making: Critical Tools for Futurecrafting in the Age of Entanglement, Act Otherwise Graduation presentation (MEiA, V2, Rotterdam)
    • 2017: Symposium Agents in the Anthropocene (Netherlands, moderator)
    • 2016-2017: Het Vijfde Seizoen, art workshops for psychiatric professionals
    • 2014-2016: Hacking Healthcare co-teaching (UvA, Rietveld Academy)
    • 2014-2015: Amsterdam Coordinator of 3D printing curriculum at schools, ZB45 Makerspace
    • 2013 Research Project Augmenting Masterpieces. Rijksmuseum, CIRCA (Creative Industries Research Centre Amsterdam), ASCA (Institute for Cultural Analysis). With Johanna Barnbeck (embedded researcher) & Jan
    • Hein Hoogstad (ass. Prof Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis)
    • 2013: Presentation Rijksstudio and Media Lab – Open collection and the creative commons (with Linda Volkers), Automne Numérique, French Ministry of Culture and Communication (Paris)
    • 2013-2014 Waanzien MOTI museum (Breda), war photography and image manipulation. Group exhibition.
    • 2010-2013: Interactive educational projects for Kunstgebouw, including SoundSpheres, MonsterMedia, Splatsj, Codex KIT, Hartslag (3D video mapping), Met andere ogen (UAR app).
    • 2011-2012: Cross-Media and Film workshops, Rio Content Market (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
    • Survival Kit Film and Philosophy (Arminius, Rotterdam)
    • 2009-2017: Q&A’s, IDFA, Movies that Matter Festival
    • 2009-2013: Go van Gogh, web-platform and symposium with Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam)
    • 2009: ‘Freezeframe’: video installation with live Studio 1826 soundtrack at Damoclash Festival and Helmsdale/Glasgow, with Chris Dooks.
    • 2008 – 2010 Troublemakers.nl, online platform and series of workshops and debates on feminism and art
    • 2008-2010: Writer, translator for Chronicles, Crossing Border Festival (Den Haag)
    • 2008-2009: Film, media and technology reviews, Radio Nederland Wereldomroep (Hilversum)
    • 2007: Ervaring en Armoede: Walter Benjamin kritisch herlezen (Perdu, Amsterdam)
    • 2007: Filosofie in Tijden van Oorlog, with Joost de Bloois and Tammy Castelein. (Drift Festival, Amsterdam)
    • 2004 – 2010: VPRO, Hilversum: Tegenlicht ‘Energy Risk’ (2010), ‘Wraak! ‘(2009), Tegenlicht ‘Insjallah’ (2008), ‘Het geluk van Nederland’ (2005), ‘De Kunst van Niemand’ (radio play, 17 min 2004).

    Publications

    • Phillips, Shailoh “Tools and Technology for Museum Learning” pp. 223-242. King, Brad, and Barry Lord, eds. The Manual of Museum Learning. Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.
    • Phillips, Shailoh “Cyberkurds and Cyberkinetics: Pilgrimage in the Age of Virtual Mobility” In: Etnofoor. Vol. 20, No.1, Pilgramage pp. 7-29, 2007
    • Phillips, Shailoh “Overal Vincent: Van Gogh en massareproductie”, p.196-200, “Echt nep: 8 historische schandalen uit de oorlogsfotografie” p. 76-82. DUF Jongerentijdschrift, ‘Waanwijs’
    • Phillips, Shailoh “Nieuwe richtingen voor nieuwe media” p. 16-17, Kunstgebouw magazine oktober #1Nieuwe Media,2011
  • Marie-José Sondeijker

    Co-founder and artistic director West Den Haag

    West presents contemporary art in the historic environment of a city palace in the heart of The Hague museum district and in a seventeenth century townhouse. The art centre focuses on the most relevant international developments in the field of visual arts. West offers artists space and opportunities to develop new work, and places it through a broad dialogue, in a social context. West is researching new critical practices spanning design and technology from within the arts.

    Projects/productions (selection)

    2017

    • Gustav Metzger: Ethics Into Aesthetics
    • Feedback #1: Marshall Mcluhan and The Arts

    2016

    • Ulf Aminde: The School Of No Return
    • Douglas Park: Post-Terminal & Ex-Ultimate
    • Without Firm Ground: Vilém Flusser And The Arts

    2015

    • Patrick Bernatchez: Lost In Time
    • Encounters
    • Et Al.: For The Common Good

    2014

    • Autonomy Exchange Archive: Paul Branca and Lisa Hayes Williams,
    • This is not Africa
    • This is Us

    2013

    • Volkspaleis
    • Reynold Reynolds
    • Club Null
    • Volkspaleis: Julian Rosenfeldt
    • Public Access & Let Us Keep Our Own Noon: David Horvitz
    • Sound Spill 2011 Let’s Make Sense: Arin Rungjang 2010 Uitburgeren
    • Baby!: Simona Denicolai & Ivo Provoost.
  • Klaas Kuitenbrouwer

    Researcher and program maker in digital culture at Het Nieuwe Instituut.

    • Since 2012 Researcher and program manager at Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam.
    • Since 2006 Teacher Media and interaction theory at DOGTime department Gerrit Rietveld Academy.
    • 2011 – 2012 Headmaster Games and Interaction Design, HKU, Utrecht.
    • 2009 – 2012 Program manager at Virtueel Platform
    • 1999 – 2008 Manager workshop program Mediamatic
    • 1989 – 1999 Art practice in radio, interactive media, -games, -performance, development of independent cultural projects and programs

    Education

    • 1984 – 1989 Study Contemporary History, University of Utrecht

    Advisory boards

    • Since 2017 member editorial board of ROBOT LOVE
    • Since 2014 board member Stichting PIPs:Lab, Amsterdam
    • Since 2013 board member Stichting Kulter, Amsterdam
    • 2004 – 2008 board member Bodies Anonymous
    • Various jury memberships

    Selection of recent projects

    • Garden of Machines
    • Fellowship program at Het Nieuwe Instituut
    • 51 Sprints
    • DATAstudio Eindhoven
    • Bot Club and other Thursday Night Live series at Het Nieuwe Instituut

    Publications

    • Felix Hess, Witteveen & Bos publicatie
    • E-volver on Driessen & Verstappen
    • Social RFID, Open!
    • Open Culture and various other Virtueel Platform publications
    • Architecture of Interaction, with Yvonne Dröger, Lino Hellings
    • SDFWP with Tabo Goudzwaard, André Schaminee
  • Janneke Wesseling

    Prof. Dr. Art historian, art theorist, art critic. Main applicant of Critical Making Project, chair of consortium. Main task: supervision of two Critical Making PhD projects.

    Work

    • 2016 – present: Professor in Practice and Theory of Research in the Visual Arts, Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University, The Netherlands
    • 2008 – present: Director of PhDArts, international doctorate programme in visual art and design, Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University, The Netherlands
    • 2007 – present: Reader and Head of the Lectorate Art Theory & Practice at the University of the Arts, The Hague, The Netherlands
    • 1982 – present: Art critic at the Dutch daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad

    Education

    • 2013 Dr.Phil in Art History, Leiden University, Leiden.
    • 1982 M.A. in Art History, Leiden University, Leiden
    • 1973-1982 studied Art History, Free University Amsterdam (B.A. 1977) and Leiden University, Leiden

    Recent Publications (selection)

    • The Perfect Spectator. The experience of the art work and reception-aesthetics. Thesis: 2017, Valiz, Amsterdam
    • Of Sponge, Stone and the Intertwinement with the Here and Now. Inaugural Lecture. 2016, Valiz, Amsterdam
    • See it Again, Say it Again. The Artist as Researcher. Ed. Janneke Wesseling. 2011, Valiz, Amsterdam.

    Recent lectures (selection)

    • Inaugural Lecture ‘Of sponge, stone and the intertwinement with the here and now. A methodology of artistic research.’ 19 September 2016, Leiden University
    • ‘Interdisciplinarity and artistic research: where is the “inter” located?’. At international expert meeting ‘Practising interdisciplinarity? States of the Art’, Swiss Institute. Rome, 10 and 1 ocotber 2016
    • ‘Art criticisim and reception esthetics’, in lecture series Art Now, Witte de With, Rotterdam 11 november 2015, De Appel, Amsterdam, 12 november 2015
    • 2012 – ‘Artistic Research: Research and Performativity’, lecture in “Real World” session of Artquest, Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, October 18.
    • 2012 – ‘The Artist as Researcher’, Ruby Tuesday Lecture in Schunck, Heerlen, January 17
    • 2011 – ‘The artist as researcher’, International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York, November 5
    • 2011 – ‘Towards a reception aesthetics of contemporary art’, Dutch Association of Aesthetics Annual Conference, Ghent, Belgium, May 27/28
    • 2011 – ‘How do artists think?’ , at the conference Beauty and Science, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, March 11
  • Anja Groten

    Designer and PhD researcher.

    Investigating the possibilities of frictional encounters as part of design practice, Anja Groten designs collective moments of critical making, aimed at discussion, confrontation and contingency. Her design practice evolves around the cross-section of digital and physical media, design and art education and community organization. Groten works on (self-)commissions and besides tutors at the Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam, and the Design Academy Eindhoven. In 2013 she co-founded the initiative Hackers & Designers, attempting to break down the barriers between the two fields by enforcing a common vocabulary through education, hacks and collaboration.

    anjagroten.com
    hackersanddesigners.nl

    Work

    • since 2016: Tutor, Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam, Master of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie
    • 2017-2018: Tutor, Design Academy Eindhoven
    • 2013-2017: Tutor, Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam
    • since 2013: Founding member of Hackers & Designers

    Education

    • since 2017: Doctoral studies, PhDArts, Leiden University Academy of Creative and Performing Arts and the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague
    • 2011: MDes, Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam, Master of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie
    • 2008: Diplom Kommunikationsdesign, Niederrhein University of Applied Science, Krefeld

    Workshops (selection)

    • 2017: “Emoji Babble. Coding with Emojis,” Hunan Normal University Changsha and CAFA Beijing (China)
    • 2017: “We/Me,” MAKE!, Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam (Netherlands)
    • 2016: “The Momentary Zine,” FORMS Festival, Toronto (Canada)
    • 2016: “Encounters & Publishing,” cross-disciplinary workshop, Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam, De Punt, Amsterdam (Netherlands)
    • 2016: “Publish & Destroy,” Sandberg Instituut, De Punt, Amsterdam (Netherlands)
    • 2015: “The Momentary Zine,” Libre Graphics Meeting, University of Westminster, London (UK)
    • 2013: “Our Autonomous Life?,” with Casco Office for Art Design and Theory, City of Women Festival, Ljubljana (Slovenia)

    Scholarships & residencies

    • 2018: if then / what now? Interdisciplinary artist in Residence. Lava Lab,  Twins Ink, Amsterdam
    • 2017: Visiting artist, FREE. Design educators conference, Otis College of Arts and Design, Los Angeles
    • 2016: Travel scholarship, Traveling Dialogue, Creative Industries Funds NL
    • 2013: Artist in residence, MilesKm, Rood Noot, Utrecht
    • 2010: Designer in residence, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles
    • 2010-2011: DAAD Stipendium, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst
  • Who am I and how do I do?

    Researcher: Pia Louwerens

    In my research project called Who am I and how do I do I will explicitly inhabit my position as junior embedded artistic researcher within the institutional framework of the project itself. The performances and narrative that will be generated from that position will serve as a methodology towards the development of a fundamental institutional critique of proximity.

    The ontology from which I work is the agential realist theory of philosopher and theoretical physicist Karen Barad. She writes about apparatuses, which she describes as “material-discursive practices through which (ontic and semantic) boundaries are constituted”. According to Barad, distinctions or boundaries like human/nonhuman, object/subject are never already in place but constantly created and affirmed by these boundary-producing practices, which include habit and power. I think this (re)installment of boundaries could be described by the term “institutionalisation”, in the sense that institutions are shaped by repetition, habit and power. Barad emphasises that boundaries are never permanent, and always negotiable. I see the “renegotiation” of boundaries as a description for critique. I want to look into how Barad’s notion of apparatus and boundaries can be applied towards a contemporary institutional critique. The words critical and making together propose forms of critique which aren’t rooted in notions of inside/outside, and depart from proximity rather than distance. What is a position of criticality in relation to codependency, conditionality, institutions, politics and life?

    The philosophy of Barad is full of weird and uncanny phenomena: indeterminacy, entanglement, things constantly enfolding back into themselves, weird topologies and the flexible nature of causal relations. I have used terms like the weird and the uncanny, to describe the temporary destabilisation of frameworks that my performances produce. The weird performative strategies I use have a lot in common with the way that Barad describes the world. They draw lines through dichotomies like fiction/reality, now/history and object/subject, which creates weird effects.

    I am interested in the entanglement between the inside and the outside, not through rejection of these categories but by turning them inside out, inhabiting the zone where they become indistinguishable. It is in this uncertainty of boundaries where the weird or uncanny is situated. “It is the between which is tainted with strangeness.” – Hélène Cixous in her essay on das Unheimliche. While institutions are places where boundaries are being produced (a convergence of art-apparatuses), artworks have the possibility to undo them. As Thomas Schestag describes poets in his essay Poiein: “They undo their bonds with language, undoing language, the language of men, language in general. They don’t belong, neither to mankind nor to themselves. Poets are not poets. And a poem never coincides with what is called a poem.” I wonder how notions of the weird and the uncanny can help in defining the critical potential of both the artwork and the artistic position in my practice.

  • Distributing Criticality: The School of Octopy

    Researcher: Shailoh Phillips

    What are the limits and potential of ‘criticality’ in the context of Critical Making? My research aims to generate an updated notion of the ‘critical’ in Critical Making.

    What could ‘critique’ entail if it includes non-verbal and non-human modes of operation — can an object form an argument and embody critique? I investigate this using inflatable sculptures, as part of the Tools for Action collective. How can inflatable objects express and perform critically in the context of social protest movements? If a ‘critical’ object is copied, is criticality also reproduced with it? Can critique be formalized in an algorithm and repeated, that is, can a computer program perform critique? The questions regarding reproducibility are explored by building copying machines that perform automatic text analysis and critique.

    Exploring and analyzing the implications of ‘postcriticality’ (Felski), contemporary debates on entanglement in feminist new materialism (Barad) and Actor-Network Theory (Latour) this discussion addresses how critical objects remain radically complicit, stuck inside the systems that are being critiqued. Throughout this, I am approaching criticality as a form of cultural capital that is unequally distributed.

    This research trajectory materializes under the banner of the School of Octopy, identifying and testing the practical implications for critical pedagogies in arts and design education. Collaborative modes of working are developed within, between, and alongside a network of institutions, materializing as a tentacular nomadic school. Each workshop attaches to a specific context, while staying connected a dynamic interconnected field of ecological, political and social issues.

    The activities in this school include stress tests with materials, interspecies pedagogy, developing and testing critical tools, circuit hacking, curriculum bending, power mapping, rapidly melting prototyping, and (inflatable) interactive public interventions.

    Ideas for collaboration and participation in Critical Making sessions with the Fabulous School of Octopy are most welcome. Contact: shailoh@studiobabel.nl.

  • The (Im)possibilities of Friction

    Researcher: Anja Groten

    The starting point of the (sub-)project ‘The (Im)possibilities of Friction’ is the question: can oppositional forces and encounters of resistance in the context of design and engineering processes be productive, and if so, what could be a possible outcome? Could the results of friction be used strategically, and be considered design?

    This research problematizes frictional co-creative processes by drawing parallels with cultural, philosophical and political theories of agonism, dissidence and disobedience. By means of hands-on cross-disciplinary workshops and by producing and highlighting frictional experiences – by breaking open and appropriating software, hardware, and networks, i.e. through actual encounters with the technologies proposed – this inquiry aims to reframe the discourse about what is often described by tech-optimists as innovation.

  • The basics about Critical Making

    Getting started on this website might seem a little overwhelming. If you are new to the discussions on Critical Making, this would be a good place to start.

    About this Critical Making Consortium

    In 2016, a group of people from a university, an art school, a cultural platform, arts and technology lab, and modern art gallery in the Netherlands (see partners) applied for funding for this project, because they are interested in how the field of arts and technology is shifting and wondering what to do about it. Together, this group of partners seeks to help bridge the gaps between arts, technology and design in the context of the Netherlands. This research project questions some of the current developments and offers a context for practice-based researchers to keep on developing and investigating the potenial of Critical Making.

    1. What is Critical Making?

    Critical in the sense of figuring out what is going on, analyzing beyond face value and challenging oppressive power structures (taken from “Critical Theory”). And making as in building things, especially using new technology (coming from DIY Maker Culture). Critical thinking + Making =  Critical Making.

    2. Why “Critical Making”?

    The rise of the Internet and digital network technology has changed so much — and not only for people working with technology, also for artists and designers. There used to be ‘disciplines’ like painting, sculupture, photography, animation, etc. But nowadays, the entire field of arts, crafts, design and technology is impacted by the availability of digital tools, such as computers, 3D printers and cameras. Now there are artists making all kinds of work that just doesn’t seem to fit into boxes.

    Image result for is it a bird is it a plane superman

     

    We can think of a bunch of artists that don’t necessarily fit into the boxes of traditional disciplines (or fit many of them at the same time).

    Check out these examples:

    Jonas Staal: When you build a parliament for non-state parliament in the Kurdish region of Rojava, Is it ‘real’ politics or is it just an artistic performance? (hint: the answer is both).

    Paglen / Appelbaum: A Tor server in a gallery: is it art or is it technology? (hint: the answer is both)

    Jeanne van Heeswijk: neighbourhood studios in Rotterdam: is it art or activism? (hint: the answer is both)

    Image result for Jeanne van Heeswijk

    Hotglue: DIY web publishing: is it a tool or a design? (hint: the answer is both)

    Image result for hotglue web design

    Is it Art? Is it Design? Is it Technology?

    Overall, none of these projects exactly fits the categories of ‘art’ design’ or ‘technology’, so what are they, ‘both’, ‘neither’ or something in-between? None of the above, and some of each at the same time? These are just a couple of examples, but if you look around, the boundaries between disciplines are blurry for a lot of artists, designers, researchers and engineers. Nevertheless, the field is still full of ‘old’ institutions and labels, which simply doesn’t match the interdisciplinary nature of many projects that are a kind of hybrid. What they actually do is mix and match from different disciplines. The situation might seem quite confusing, because it marks a shift from old ways of operating and we don’t really have better ways of describing it yet. But it is also exciting, as it also means that there are many new combinations of media and powerful tools that can be used in different ways.

    3. The Creative Industry, Critical Making and Artistic Research

    At the moment in the Nethterlands, much funding for digital and cross-media art forms is being transferred to funding the ‘Creative Industry’. The only problem with this is that it ends up being more about profit and less about critical challenges to power structures. Without some critical adjustments, valuable kinds of research and collaborative art and design projects will be forced to enter the ‘industry’ logic (buying and selling as the main driver) instead of caring about social or artistic values. It might make more sense to think of a better name. Our current favourite is ‘Critical Making’. Matt Ratto and Garnet Hertz (both from Canada) made up this term, combining two kinds of activities that are often separated: making and thinking.

    Can Critical Making provide a viable alternative to the Creative Industry, providing a new umbrella term for cross-disciplinary artistic research? At the same time, a new field is being emerging called Artistic Research, where artists are accepted to masters and PhD programs to do practice-based work at a doctorate level, also combining making with critical reflection and analysis. Can the new trends of ‘artistic research’ and ‘critical making’ work together to generate alternative ways of making and sharing projects? So not only do we get a mix of artists, designers, activism, technology (and more), we also get rid of the strange idea that thinking and making were separate in the first place. We can do both at the same time. Who ever thought that it was a good idea to keep all the good ideas separate from the skills to build things anyhow? A lot of people are actually trying to bridge this gap, and this project would like to help figure out how to do that in the context of Dutch arts, technology and education institutions.

    4. Where does Critical Making take place?

    The term ‘Critical Making’ was invented by Matt Ratto and further developed by Garnet Hertz. Both of them are Canadian. For Matt Ratto, the term comes from media literacy, combining hands-on tinkering as a tool for deeper understanding. For Garnet Hertz, the term also is useful for furthering the field of interdisciplinary arts and design, while also challenging major issues in society. For both of them it refers to  design practices that critically engage with technology. This includes Open Source, and different ways of working and owning the rights to your work. Rethinking authorship and ownership are not limited to the Maker Movement, and can quite well travel to other domains beyond Makerspaces.

    For this project, we are taking Critical Making to the context of contemporary arts and design. Here we see that technology is seeping into practices and there is a need for more ‘critical’ approaches. On the other hand, there is an existing wealth of critical resources critical to tap into, especially in the arts field that would be especially relevant for Critical Making. Why reinvent the wheel from scratch, when the parts are already available to continue bulding with?

    5. Why an arts perspective on Critical Making?

    Critical Making might just be the answer to a problem that’s been around for a while. Specifically, we come from the perspective of artistic research, where there is also a combination of thinking and making, of theory and practice. What can happen when we try and bridge artistic research and critical making, that is, working between arts, design and engineering in the context of the Netherlands? What does this mean for how institutions operate, how we teach, how we apply for funding, what the critical potential is for the field? Some people think that art is more critical than design. So can we update the “critique” in Critical Making by connecting it to fine arts? And what can the field of arts learn from Critical Making, such as working with Open Source software?

    6. Where our project aims to make a difference

    • Can Critical Making become more critical, that is, actually challenge and reshape power structures?
    • What is the role of aesthetics (how we perceive things) in Critical Making?
    • Can Critical Making escape the dangers of the Creative Industry?

    Shailoh Phillips – Paraphrase of the Critical Making Position Paper, 2018

    Co-edited with …

     

    Context of this version:

    In january 2018 Shailoh Phillips taught a course for 1st and 2nd year students at WdKA on Critical Tools. Reading the Critical Making Position Paper on this website with the group, she realised that it is full of jargon and practically illegible to them. The above text is an informal paraphrase of the Position Paper (link), not only putting the general gist into words that can be understood at an undergraduate level in art schools, but also relating the topics and issues to their frame of reference. Hopefully this simplified version will also be useful to make this project more accessible to people who hear of it for the first time, coming from many different backgrounds.

    Please contact us if you have questions at <contact info>

  • Key literature references

    — Abel, Bas van, Lucas Evers et al., Open Design Now. Why design cannot remain exclusive, Amsterdam: BIS Publishers, 2011.
    — Barness, Jessica, and Amy Papaelias, ‘Critical Making: Design and the Digital Humanities’. In Visible Language 49.3 (2015), 5.
    — Biggs, Michael, and Henrik Karlsson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Research in the Arts, London [etc.]: Routledge, 2011.
    — Biggs, Michael, ‘Learning from Experience: approaches to the experiential component of practice-based research’. In Enquist, Henrik L. U., and Henrik Mark Karlsson (eds.), Forskning, Reflektion, Utveckling, Stockholm: Vetenskapsrådet, 2004, 6-21.
    — Bippus, Elke (ed.), Kunst des Forschens: Praxis eines ästhetischen Denkens, Berlin: Diaphanes, 2009.
    — Boler, Megan, and Matt Ratto, DIY Citizenship: Critical Making and Social Media, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2014.
    — Borgdorff, Henk, The Conflict of the Faculties. Perspectives on Artistic Research and Academia, Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2012.
    — –Carter, Paul, Material Thinking: The Theory and Practice of Creative Research, Melbourne: Melbourne University Publishings, 2005.
    — Cramer, Florian, Anti-Media: Ephemera on Speculative Arts, Rotterdam: NAi010, 2013.
    — Da Costa, Beatriz, and Kavita Philip, Tactical biopolitics: art, activism, and technoscience, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2010.
    — Dormer, Peter, The Art of the Maker. Skill and its Meaning in Art, Craft and Design, London: Thames & Hudson, 1994.
    — Dorst, Kees, Frame Innovation. Create New Thinking by Design, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2015.
    — Drucker, Johanna, Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013.
    — Dunne, Anthony, and Fiona Raby, Speculative Everything. Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013.
    — Frayling, Christopher, ‘Research in Art and Design’. In Royal College of Art Research Papers 1.1 (1993/4), 1-5.
    — Hertz, Garnet, Critical Making, United States: Telharmonium, 2012.
    — Ratto, Matt, Kirk Jalbert, and Sara Wylie (eds.), Critical Making Special Forum Issue 30.2 (March 2014).
    — Ratto, Matt, ‘Critical Making: Conceptual and Material Studies in Technology and Social Life’. In The Information Society 27.4 (2011), 252-260.
    — Schatzki, Theodor R., Karin Knorr Cetina, and Eike von Savigny (eds.), The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory, London [etc.]: Routledge, 2001.
    — Schön, Donald, The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action, New York: Basic Books, 1983.
    — Somerson, Rosanne, and Ma. Alessandra L. Hermano, The Art of Critical Making: Rhode Island School of Design on Creative Practice, Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2013.
    — Wesseling, Janneke, Of Sponge, Stone and the Intertwinement with the Here and Now. A Methodology of Artistic Research, Amsterdam: Valiz, 2016.
    — Wesseling, Janneke, See it Again, Say it Again. The Artist as Researcher, Amsterdam: Valiz, 2014.
    — Zijlmans, Kitty, Robert Zwijnenberg, and Krien Clevis (eds.), CO-OPs. Exploring New Territories in Art and Science, Amsterdam: De Buitenkant, 2007.

  • Links

  • PhDArts / ACPA

    PhDArts, international doctorate programme in visual art and design at Leiden University, is a collaboration between Leiden University Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA) and the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague. PhDArts offers a high-level research environment and supervision for artists and designers who are in the vanguard of their field and who aim at obtaining the doctoral degree in artistic research. PhDArts, and the aforementioned collaboration, are unique in The Netherlands. PhDArts has gained wide international recognition for the high level of its research and of the training programme that it offers to artists and designers.

  • Willem de Kooning Academy

    Willem de Kooning Academy Hogeschool Rotterdam (WdKA) is one of the Netherlands’ largest art schools, with Bachelor programmes in art, design and education and Master programmes at Piet Zwart Institute. Its curriculum and research programmes are oriented towards autonomous, social and commercial practices that transcend the traditional art and design disciplines, bringing together students, teachers and practitioners from different fields of practice and knowledge.

    Art and design have a long history of research through visual studies, prototyping, design processes, experimentation with materials, and conversing with other disciplinary frameworks. WdKA operates from the perspective that art and design research produces new forms of knowledge and practices, and is a catalyst for innovation and social transformation. WdKA’s transdisciplinary research is conducted in collaboration with Erasmus University Rotterdam and CodArts Rotterdam in the Rotterdam Arts & Sciences Lab (RASL).

  • Waag Society

    For over twenty years, Waag Society has operated at the intersection of science, technology and the arts. Waag’s work focuses on emergent technologies as instruments of social change, and is guided by the values of fairness, openness and inclusivity. Waag’s dedicated team of sixty thinkers and makers empowers people to become active citizens through technology. Waag is a middle-ground organisation composed of research groups that work with both grassroots initiatives and institutional partners across Europe. The collective has a shared attitude of public concern and civic activism, which is manifested in our public research agenda. Working with emergent technologies, Waag conducts research in both imaginative and practical terms, addressing its fellow citizens from a position of equality and collaboration.

  • West Den Haag

    Art centre West Den Haag presents contemporary art in the historic environment of a city palace in the heart of The Hague museum district and in a seventeenth century townhouse. The art centre focuses on the most relevant international developments in the field of visual arts. West offers artists space and opportunities to develop new work, and places it – through a broad dialogue – in a social context. West is researching new critical practices spanning design and technology from within the arts. Recent projects include exhibitions and symposia on artists such as Gustav Metzger and Gary Hill, and the Kunstgeschenk 2018 Please Touch by Christiaan Weijts.

  • Het Nieuwe Instituut

    Het Nieuwe Instituut consists of three pillars: a museum for architecture, design and digital culture; an expertise center for creative industries; and the national archive for architecture. Through its activities Het Nieuwe Instituut aims to increase the appreciation of the cultural and social significance of architecture, design and digital culture and to strengthen the interaction between these disciplines. In a period characterised by radical change, Het Nieuwe Instituut wants to moderate, stimulate and facilitate debate about architecture, design and digital culture through research and a public programme. The broadening and deepening of the public’s appreciation is a fundamental starting point.