Symposium 2011

Degrees of Freedom. Art Programs at Universities

16. - 18. November 2011

Universitäten sind Orte der Forschung und Lehre. Und manchmal sind sie auch Orte künstlerischer Praxis. Das Symposium "Degrees of Freedom. Art Programs at Universities" erforscht, welche Rolle und welches Potenzial Kunstprogramme an Universitäten sowohl für Künstler als auch für die Universitäten selbst haben.

Experten aus verschiedenen Bereichen und Kontexten diskutierten Beispiele bereits existierender Programme und die Erfahrungen, die daraus in den verschiedenen Ländern gewonnen werden konnten. Ein besonderer Fokus lag dabei auf den unterschiedlichen Weisen, mit denen die künstlerische Praxis in universitäre Strukturen integriert ist. Das Symposium fragte, wie Universitäten künstlerische Arbeit fördern und wie Künstler vom universitären Umfeld profitieren können. Außerdem wurde diskutiert die Teilnehmer, welche Rolle künstlerische Praxis in den Universitäten einnimmt, und erforschten das Potenzial, das für Forschungs- und Lehreinrichtungen in der Kunst liegt. 

Das Symposium "Degrees of Freedom" war der Startschuss für das Leuphana Arts Program. 


 Ablaufplan und Abstracts als PDF

Andreas Broeckmann

Andreas Broeckmann is an art historian and curator who lives in Berlin and Lüneburg. He is Director of the new Leuphana Arts Program at Leuphana Universität Lüneburg. He was the Founding Director of the Dortmunder U - Centre for Art and Creativity (2009-2011) and has curated exhibitions and festivals in major European venues, incl. transmediale and ISEA2010 RUHR. He holds a PhD in Art History from the University of East Anglia, Norwich/UK, and lectures internationally about the history of modern art, media theory, machine aesthetics, and digital culture.

Introducing the concept of the new Leuphana Arts Program, Broeckmann speaks about different models of integrating artistic practice into universities – from dedicated Art & Science institutes, through corporate Artist in Residence programs, to diverse arts event and exhibition programming. The works of several artists are briefly introduced in order to point to different models of interfacing of artistic and scientific research, and their respective epistemological frameworks.

Pierre Guillet de Monthoux

Pierre Guillet de Monthoux is a professor of Management Philosophy and head of the Department for Management, Politics and Philosophy at Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. He is also working in Switzerland, Germany, Finland, Sweden and Italy and does research in the area of integrating Art and Management education and practice. He currently works on bridging humanities and liberal arts into business education by exploring aesthetic philosophies and practices. Pierre has double French and Swedish citizenships and lives in Denmark and France.

After a theoretical and empirical research into art management overlaps, I embarked on the adventure of a Nomadic University. This project came out the debates in the European Cultural Parliament and has explored places where art, economy and management meet. each year Nomads have been visiting three Oasis and in between experienced several Mirages. We have listed spaces in Cities, Foundations and Studios where learning and experimenting can tap the sources of aesthetics. Now we use the experience to fuel our research and education at CBS in Denmark. Let's look a bit at our road movie...

Jens Hauser

Jens Hauser is a Paris-based curator, author and arts and culture critic. With a background in Media Studies and Science Journalism, he focuses on the interactions between art and technology, as well as on trans-genre and contextual aesthetics. He has curated exhibitions such as L’Art Biotech (Nantes, 2003), Still, Living (Perth, 2007), sk-interfaces (Liverpool, 2008/Luxembourg, 2009), the Article Biennale (Stavanger, 2008), Transbiotics (Riga 2010), Fingerprints... (Berlin, 2011) and Synth-ethic (Wien, 2011). Hauser organizes interdisciplinary conferences and guest lectures at universities and international art academies. In his current research at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, he investigates the biomediality and wetware paradigms. Hauser is also a founding collaborator of the European culture channel ARTE and has produced numerous radio features.

Linking artistic to academic research can produce epistemic art forms beyond mere aesthetic representation of scientific concepts. This may occur especially when artists interdisciplinarily employ or subvert techno-scientific apparatuses and experimental systems by pointing to the blind spots in knowledge production and to embedded cultural metaphors in research practices, therefore feeding back into manifold academic disciplines. As a case study, the artistic use of biomedia as means of expression provides fruitful examples of such interdisciplinary contamination. Such projects pave the way for seeing biotechnologies as media in a broader sense, deriving from the origin of this term in physics and biology and going beyond the digital age’s understanding of media functions of the transmitting, storing and processing of information or audiovisual data. Further on, they raise questions about the economy, ecology and sustainability, and help reveal historical lines such as illusionism or indexicality in unusual and fruitful ways. In such art, mediation and technologies are no longer employed merely to achieve an aesthetic effect, but rather are fully-integrated elements of the aesthetic idiom. Therefore, biomedia projects are good examples for trans-disciplinary challenges beyond a purely hermeneutic or image-based approach.

Irène Hediger

Irène Hediger is Co-Director of the Swiss artists-in-labs ( program at the Institute for Cultural Studies in the Arts (ICS) at the Zurich University of the Arts and curator of the travelling exhibition Think Art – Act Science ( After her studies in business administration, she received a degree in organizational development and group dynamics (DAGG) and a Master of Advanced Studies in Cultural Management at the University of Basel. She specializes in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary creative processes and practices and in the development of inclusive and participatory outreach concepts.

In her talk Irène Hediger gives a report about the Swiss Artists-in-Labs program.

Sarat Maharaj

Sarat Maharaj was born and educated in South Africa during the Apartheid years. He did his PHD in the UK on ‘The Dialectic of Modernism and Mass Culture: Studies in British Art’ (1985). He was Professor of Art History at Goldsmiths University of London since 1980 (now Visiting Research Professor). He is currently Professor of Visual Art & Knowledge Systems, Lund University & the Malmo Art Academies, Sweden. He was Rudolf Arnheim Professor, Philosophy Faculty, Humboldt University, Berlin (2001-02) and Research Fellow at the Jan Van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht (1999-2001). His specialist research and publications focus on Marcel Duchamp, James Joyce and Richard Hamilton, Monkeydoodle, Visual Art as Know-How and No-How, Textiles, Xeno-Sonics and Xeno- Epistemics, Cultural Translation. He is the chief curator of the Gothenburg Biennale: ‘Pandemonium: art in a time of creativity fever’ (2011).

Susanne Märtens

Susanne Märtens works as Academic Staff at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig (Academy of Fine Arts) in the Institute of Art History and Theory, as well as in the Institutes of Art Communication Design and Industrial Design. She worked as the head of Visitor Services at documenta 12, Quadriennale 2006 and at the Henri Matisse exhibition (2006) at K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen/Düsseldorf, and as an assistant to Berlin-based artist Adrian Piper. She taught at the art academies of Dresden and Braunschweig, and at Humboldt University. Studied Art History and Comparative Religious Studies at Free University Berlin and at the Courtauld Institute in London. Publications a.o. on caricature around 1800 and the aesthetics of the 18th century grotesque.

Braunschweig University of Art (HBK) will be celebrating its 50th year as an art academy in 2013. As a form of critical preparation of this event, philosopher Hannes Böhringer and I are organizing the conference "Careful! Risk. Art and Science / Art and the Production of Knowledge - Perspectives for Art Academies", 9-11 November 2011.
The conference has the task of stimulating a debate within the HBK about the objectives it is setting itself for the future. In view of the ongoing changes in study structures as a result of the Bologna Reform, it is fundamentally important to raise the issue of the dissolution of the borders between the arts, design and sciences. What possibilities and also what risks does the shaping of this constellation present for an art academy today?
My statement at the "Degrees of Freedom" symposium will summarize the results of the conference and will give an insight into the discussions inside our institution with regard to its status quo and future development.

Sally Jane Norman

Born in Aotearoa/ New Zealand, holder of dual French citizenship, Sally Jane Norman has been Director of the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts and Professor of Performance Technologies at the University of Sussex in Brighton/UK since January 2010, after serving as Founding Director of Culture Lab at Newcastle University (from 2004) and Director General of the Ecole supérieure de l'image (Angoulême/ Poitiers, from 2001). Holder of a Doctorat de 3ème cycle and Doctorat d'état from the Institut d'études théâtrales, Paris III, Sally Jane's publications deal with art and technology, and interdisciplinary research. She has worked for organisations including the International Institute of Puppetry (Charleville-Mézières), Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (Karlsruhe), and Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music (Amsterdam), where she was Artistic Co-Director from 1998-2000.

A core concern for inter- or transdisciplinary endeavour of any kind is the need to reconcile sometimes radically contrasting stakeholder values. These may be deeply embedded in discursive systems and methodologies, and imply very different perceptions of time frames, interactions, and objectives. For this discussion on art programmes at universities, I propose to reference some of the environments in which I've been engaged in research involving the arts alongside other domains, focusing more specifically on how diverse conceptions of values influence their traffic.

Martin Warnke

Martin Warnke was born in 1955, studied in Berlin and Hamburg, acquired his PhD in theoretical physics in 1984, and then began his affiliation with the University of Lüneburg, where he was head of the computing and media center for many years. He finished his Habilitation at the University of Lüneburg in 2008, becoming an associate professor for digital media/cultural computer science, and is currently the university’s Director of the Institute for Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media at the Faculty Culture. He is also a visiting professor in Vienna, Klagenfurt, and Basel and works in the fields of history, digital media, and the digital documentation of complex works of art. He heads the Meta-Image research project, and works with the IFIP and the Gesellschaft für Informatik, as counsellor to the Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft. Publications include: "Theorien des Internet zur Einführung." Hamburg: Junius Verlag 2011; "God is in the Details. or: the Filing Box Answers." In: Imagery in the 21th Century, Cambridge/London: MIT Press 2011; (with Carmen Wedemeyer): "Documenting Artistic Networks. Anna Oppermann's Ensembles Are Complex Networks." In: Leonardo, Volume 44, 3/2011; (ed.) "HyperKult II – Zur Ortsbestimmung analoger und digitaler Medien." Bielefeld: transcript 2005.

Artists like Anna Oppermann or scholars like Donald Preziosi used and thought of images that directly responded to images, and built up image chains of visual thinking. This procedure once was forbidden for scholarly work, since the realm of pictorial similarity, not of logical argument, was, secondo Foucault, since the beginning of the seventeenth century “no longer the form of knowledge but rather the occasion of error, the danger to which one exposes oneself when one does not examine the obscure region of confusions.”
But since Wittgenstein introduced a term like "Familienähnlichkeit" into philosophy as an analytical term, things seem to change. How to work in an exact manner with images as arguments? What could technology and what could artistical research could achieve in a university like Leuphana? The talk gives hints to recent work.

Ulf Wuggenig

Ulf Wuggenig is a sociologist and cultural theorist working at Leuphana University Lüneburg. He is the director of the University's art space Kunstraum which he co-founded, together with Beatrice von Bismarck and Diethelm Stoller, in 1993. Co-organiser of several EU Culture 2000 projects ("republic art", "transform", "translate"). His research includes empirical studies on the art world in different cities. Wuggenig studied Sociology, Philosophy and Political Studies at Vienna University from where he also holds a PhD. Habilitation at the University Erlangen-Nürnberg. He has taught Art and Visual Culture, Cultural Theory and Intercultural Studies at different universities, incl. Zurich University of the Arts and University of Applied Arts Vienna. 

In his talk Ulf Wuggenig gives a report about the work of the Kunstraum art space.