There are many master programmes available for students within artistic practices, but none (that we are aware of in the Netherlands) aimed specifically at fieldwork as an artistic practice. This provides an interesting gap in the curriculum that we as FoAM plan to explore with series of pilot sessions. We don't intend to create a course or programme, but rather test possibilities. With a mixed participant group of about a dozen people, half of which would be students. With a spread across ages and backgrounds, including at least some people that live locally.

This program is in collaboration with Strandlab Almere, ArtScience Interfaculty

key aspects:

  • a program with events and activities within the timeframe of 1 year
  • including several sessions (masterclasses) with a focus or 'theme'
  • 12 participants, consisting of 6 students, 6 others, based on opencall for participation
  • we speak, act differently in the presence of 'others'
  • working from not-knowing, based on listening (as a frame of mind), multisensorial, maximum exposure, open to experimentation, not focussed on end results
  • engaging with complexity, working in-situ, connected to local (non) humans

public design sessions

To develop the pilot we're hosting some exploratory design sessions focussing on three aspects:

  • 30th of July, meeting 1: what is the field? What would make great topics and questions to work with? fieldwork_notes_session1
  • 11th of August, meeting 2: what could fieldwork be? How would we explore methods, practices, diverse ways of knowing? fieldwork_notes_session2
  • 26th of August, meeting 3: documentation? How would this research be shared beyond the group, locally, and between different practices fieldwork_notes_session3

These sessions will be held at Strandlab Almere

potential programme portals:

  • Bever performances: Elias Tieleman & Johannes Sterk als twee bevers die op plekken opduiken en daar tijdelijk verblijven, actief zijn. Bijvoorbeeld een week op Almere Strand met hout in de weer, zittend met een biertje of anderszins..
  • Hardloop College, Sander Turnhout: “altijd leuk om te doen, welke afstand denken we aan? kan easy going & in etappes”



During Climate as Artefact, FoAM organised a session on the relevance of Fieldwork for artistic practice and posed the first tentative questions about its absence from both in artistic and scientific curricula (in the Netherlands). Jan de Graaf and Jeroen van Westen introduced the subject of fieldwork by asking: What is the Field? And what is the Work? We may all have differing interpretations, but it lead Theun to write down his motivation for using fieldwork as a research method:

Many of the most fundamental challenges to human cultures are at play in the hybrid landscapes that are emerging and disintegrating out there in the great out-doors. To engage with the full complexity of varying territories and the dynamics of environmental processes, fieldwork has become a vital ingredient to artistic practice. Fieldwork isn't just being outside - as stated by eminent landscape thinker Jan de Graaf. It is a method of enquiry that starts from radical exposure of the participants, their thoughts and their acts. Perceiving, being and working in full exposure to the complexities and subtleties of an area which is being navigated in collaboration with local guides, both human and non-human. Experts may range from artistic or scientific researchers to representatives of ancient cultures. Fieldwork teams are established to have a wide range of backgrounds and ways of knowing, that challenge or compliment each other. Fieldwork then is a multi-sensory exploration that is based on direct experience, open-ended experimentation and in-situ prototyping starting from local circumstances, complexities and relations. Enquiry as an embodied act that seeks - in the words of Jens Hauser - to be un-split from environmental processes, natural cycles, climatic conditions, seasons, (non)human cultures - which collectively may be captured by the term otherness.

  • pilot_fieldwork_master.txt
  • Last modified: 2020-10-08 15:31
  • by theunkarelse