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Event – Inaugural adress – Sebastian Olma and Michel van Dartel


Dear colleagues and friends,

On Friday 18 November 2016, Dr. Michel van Dartel and Dr. Sebastian Olma will deliver their inaugural lectures at Avans University of Applied Sciences. Professors Van Dartel and Olma both joined the university in 2015. They respectively lead research groups in Human-Centred Creation and Autonomous Creation, both focusing on art and design practice. Each has developed a specific research programme and recruited fellow instructors and students to participate in the work of the Avans Expertise Centre for Art and Design.

Aesthetics in the Wild: Art and Design Practices and Pedagogies after the Situated Turn – Dr. Michel van Dartel
Now that technological advances have made the relationship between people and their environments unprecedentedly complex, as Professor Van Dartel will argue in this lecture, there exists a greater need than ever for artists and designers to help us understand our relationship to our surroundings. If they are to respond to this exigency, however, artists and designers cannot limit themselves to creation in studio spaces and presentation in museums or galleries. To enable them to move beyond such confinement, we must consider aesthetics “in the wild”, and doing so will have important consequences for art and design practice and education.

Autonomy and Weltbezug: Toward an Aesthetic of Performative Defiance – Dr. Sebastian Olma
In this lecture, Professor Olma will explore the possibility of reformulating a notion of aesthetic autonomy for our time. A cursory look at the history of aesthetics reveals that the question of artistic autonomy has always been related to that of Weltbezug, i.e., art’s relationship to the world. By linking current debates around art and aesthetic practice to the ideas of important thinkers of the aesthetic revolution at the turn of the 19th century, Professor Olma will search for the contours of a timely configuration of the relationship between autonomy and Weltbezug. He will find them in what he calls an “aesthetic of performative defiance”. This aesthetic is performative in the sense of going along with the movement of the world while defiantly rejecting the temptations of linearity and predictability.

2.30 pm – Arrival of guests
3 pm – Welcome by Diederik Zijderveld, member of Executive Board, Avans University of Applied Sciences
3.10 pm – Inaugural lecture: “Aesthetics in the Wild”, Dr. Michel van Dartel
4 pm – Coffee and tea break
4.15 pm – Inaugural lecture: “Autonomy and Weltbezug”, Dr. Sebastian Olma
5 pm – Inaugural ceremony
5.15 pm – Reception and drinks
6 pm – End

Sign up
To attend, please register directly via this linkarrow.

If you are unable to come but would like to receive the text of either or both lectures, please use the same online form.

AKV|St.Joost (Avans University)
Beukenlaan 1
4834 CR Breda
the Netherlands

We hope to see you on 18 November.


Femke den Boer
Chair of Steering Committee, EKV, Expertise Centre for Art and Design

‘People are the product of their relationships with their environment. It’s important to understand how technological developments influence these relationships.’

Michel van Dartel is Research Professor Situated Art and Design at the Avans Centre of Applied Research for Art, Design and Technology (Caradt) and Director of V2_Lab for the Unstable Media.

Michel van Dartel arrow

‘Our research group investigates the role artists, designers and cultural producers in general can play in developing the aesthetics and poetics of a desirable future.’

Sebastian Olma is professor Cultural and Creative Industries. He works for the Expertise Centre Art, Design and Technology.

Sebastian Olma arrow

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