is an extensive transdisciplinary theory programme that addresses students and faculty at all departments of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie Amsterdam. It regularly opens up to broader audiences. Studium Generale wants to show how art and design are linked with other domains (from the personal to the political, from the vernacular to the academic), how our ‘now’ is linked with past and future, our ‘here’ with ‘elsewhere’. This portal website informs about recent activities and refers to archived material from previous editions.
“Just as the sea is an open and ever flowing reality, so should our oceanic identity transcend all forms of insularity, to become one that is openly searching, inventive, and welcoming.”
― Epeli Hau’ofa (We Are the Ocean: Selected Works)
“As watery, we experience ourselves less as isolated entities, and more as oceanic eddies: I am a singular, dynamic whorl dissolving in a complex, fluid circulation.”
― Astrida Neimanis (Hydrofeminism. Or, On Becoming a Body of Water?)
In 2021-2022 Studium Generale Rietveld Academie takes a deep dive into the ocean. Through the reflective surface and from our own liquid bodies, we imagine the ocean as a sensorium that feels, perceives, registers and creates.
Most of what happens in the ocean, we cannot perceive with our own senses. Yet we are doing enormous damage to it. The ocean should therefore also be considered a ‘critical zone’ threatened by human activities and greedy extractive economies.
If we take the ocean as a discontinuous and asynchronous time-space, this critical zone also includes histories of exploitation, fear and death: from transatlantic slave trade to contemporary boat refugees and coastal and islanders displaced by sea-level rise.
What is an ocean in terms of ideology? What kind of power relations are at work and how can we create a new sensitivity and awareness of what is outside our own sensory or biased system?
From another perspective, the ocean can also be experienced as a transformative and immersive space: a space of affect and metamorphosis in which bodies and identities become fluid, and in which human and non-human entities meet.
How can we liquefy our ways of being? How can we think from and with the ocean?
With talks, workshops, reading groups, a walking club, screenings, publications, an exhibition (Rietveld Uncut) and a multi-day conference festival in Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Oceanic Imaginaries will explore our relationships with the ocean from different angles and disciplines and from different scales.
Dates and times:
Monthly keynote gatherings at the GYM, from 14—16:00:
27 October (launch and opening talk!), 24 November, 8 December, 19 January, 16 February, 16 March.
Weekly workshops, writing group, reading groups, walking club and video screenings with Jay Tan, CPR, Nikos Doulos, Jo-Lene Ong, Taka Taka and others, from 17—19:00: 27 October, 3 November, 10 November, 17 November, 24 November, 1 December, 15 December, 19 January, 2 February, 9 February, 16 February, 2 March, 9 March, 16 March.
Reader in collaboration with the Rietveld Library and Lexicon by CPR:
Conference-festival and Rietveld Uncut at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam:
“The claim of equality is not only spoken or written, but is made precisely when bodies appear together or, rather, when, through their action, they bring the space of appearance into being.” — Judith Butler
This year's Studium Generale Rietveld Academie is about different experiences and manifestations of the body, and about (dis)embodiments in art and life. We have become hyper aware of our bodies and those of others: Through Covid-19, the quarantines and guidelines for physical distancing, we are not only dealing with (our) viral bodies, vulnerable bodies and lonely bodies; in attempts to continue life, we manifest ourselves nonstop behind our screens as virtual bodies and data bodies. This creates new life forms, but also more techniques to be controlled, excluded and manipulated. For much longer we have been dealing with social and political differentiations that are made between bodies that matter and those that would matter less. All over the world, protest is embodied by people assembling and allying in resistance.
What are experimental and emancipating strategies and practices for fluid embodiments? How can we form resistant collective bodies without losing our own subjectivity and fleshy "matter"? How can we think about this from art practice and theory?
“It is precisely because our bodies are the new enclaves of biopower and because our apartments are the new cells of biovigilance that it is more urgent than ever to invent new strategies of cognitive emancipation and resistance.” — Paul B. Preciado
Preliminary Programme at Rietveld (and online)
September 23; October 21, 28; November 4, 11, 18, 25; December 2, 9; January 6, 13, 20; February 3, 10, 17; March 3, 10, 17
Conference-festival and Rietveld Uncut at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam:
March 24, 25, 26, 27
The Art of Critique
The artistic movement of Institutional Critique feels particularly urgent today, as we are witnessing an intense moment of “institutional critique” in society at large. Fueled by social media, the critique of institutions – think of phenomena like #MeToo, Brexit and the large scale climate protests – is practiced everywhere with an intensity and at a scale that seems unmatched.
At the same time, one can question whether it still makes sense to treat the art world as a separate institutional field now that art institutions align themselves more and more with profit-oriented thinking and impulses generated within the art field are quickly swallowed up by a larger creative industry.
Taking into account these developments, The Art of Critique asks what constitutes a practice of Institutional Critique today.
Relating (to) Colour
Wednesday, January 15, 22; February 5, 12, 26; March 4, 11, 18, Rietveld Academie; Conference-festival & Rietveld Uncut: March 25-28, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
“Colour... is new each time” — Roland Barthes
Studium Generale Rietveld 2019—2020 focuses on histories, politics, and perceptions of colour in the creation and understanding aesthetic forms, social structures, and embodied experiences. Colour structures our daily life and our actions, our relationships with others and the spaces in which we live. Within different historical and cultural contexts, however, colours have very different symbolic, psychological, material, and socio-political meanings. Relating (to) Colour wants to see colour in art, science, technology, and life beyond the purely symbolic and aesthetic and not as self-evident or universal, but as a physical, material, cultural, and political phenomenon. We try to understand colour not only as visual, sensual, or textual but especially as a lived experience and relational concept that creates affect and agency.
With: David Batchelor, Taka Taka, Imara Limon, Nancy Jouwe, Sekai Makoni, Erik Viskil, Wieteke van Zeil, Adam Broomberg, Sara Blokland, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Patricia Pisters, Isabel Cordeiro, Joke Robaard, Melanie Bühler, Jay Tan, Ioanna Gerakidi, Ola Hassanain & Casco Art Institute, Stefano Harney, Rietveld Uncut, Fumi Okiji, Ronald Rose-Antoinette, Eddie George, Dhanveer Singh Brar, Nisrine Chaer, Pieter Paul Pothoven, Danielle Dean, Simone Zeefuik, Ying Que, Egbert Alejandro Martina, Nina F. Bell, Nermin Elsherif, Quinsy Gario, MamaKil, and many others.
“(...) It matters what stories tell stories. It matters what thoughts think thoughts. It matters what worlds make worlds (...)” — Donna Haraway
Studium Generale Rietveld Academie invites you to think of “fabulation”. As a means of “fabricating the real”, world-making or “speculative fiction”. As an artistic, social and political capacity, welcoming alternative histories and other regimes of wanting, being and becoming. Practices of fabulation may enable saying things that are not used in order to distinguish truth from lies but to effectively say things better, to unsettle and to include. Come and take a walk on the wild side with us!
With: Mieke Bal, Wayne Modest, Geo Wyeth, Patricia Kaersenhout, Charl Landvreugd, Simon(e) van Saarloos, Alison Sperling, Sher Doruff, Sven Lütticken, Kunstverein, Hypatia Vourloumis, Nwando Ebizie, Gayatri Gopinath, Monsur Mansoor, Amber Jamilla Musser, Shaowen Bardzell, Sarah Sharma, Sandra Ruiz, Jackie Wang, Daniela K. Rosner, Tavia Nyong’o, Tina Campt, Jayna Brown, Alice Chauchat, Rosalind Nashashibi, Isabel Lewis, Luke Willis Thompson, Naima Ramos Chapman, Tiona Nekkia McCLodden, and many others.
Singing the Blues and Coming up for Air: Not Just Overcoming but Embracing the Odds; The Act of Listening; Wildness; Quadrant, situational performance, 50:00.
With: Aminata Cairo, Nagaré Willemsen and Rosanne Jonkhout, Unsettling Rietveld Sandberg, Taka Taka, Joy Mariama Smith, Yolande van der Heide.
Touch is of vital importance to our emotional and neurobiological development. So how do we feel and more specifically touch in our technologically mediated dematerialized digital cultures? Do we solely stroke and swipe our screens? How is the body and its feel involved? Are we in fact cultivating different tactilities in relation to the world and others? Further, how can we trace the ways in which touch informs and reforms the body with respect to violence, gender, sexuality, democracy, and identity? If art and design have privileged sight and sound, should touch – and all the senses – be addressed and activated in order to help us stay ‘in touch’ with our bodies and the material world?
With: Karen Archey, Army of Love, boychild, Karen Barad, Rizvana Bradley, Sarah Browne, Staci Bu Shea, Fiona Candlin, Holly Childs, Yvonne Dröge Wendel, João Florêncio, Ioanna Gerakidi, Ine Gevers, Amelia Groom, Jack Halberstam, Jort van der Laan, Erin Manning, Laura U. Marks, Marianna Maruyama, Mark Paterson, Paul Preciado, Joke Robaard, Charlotte Rooijackers, Eloise Sweetman, Wu Tsang, Hypatia Vourloumis, Eyal Weizman, and many others.
“The brain is not ahistorical, fixed, or atemporal. (…) the brain is always situated in a body and self, and thus in social relations, in family, community, in culture and the economy, in the local and the global, in history.” (From Victoria Pitts-Taylor’s NeuroCultures Manifesto, 2012)
Culture and brain form complex systems of influence, control, and resistance. The present brain seems to have been invaded by technology: machines increasingly perform the previously human tasks of language, memory, and imagination. Our learning processes are taken up by automated and algorithmic procedures. What are the philosophical, social and political implications of this cognitive automation for our brains and bodies? What is happening to our subjectivity, identity, and free will? What about the artist’s brain?
With: Stephan Schleim, Patricia Pisters, Antonia Majaca, Fiona Kearney, Marcos Lutyens, Franco Berardi Bifo, Tony D. Sampson, Bassam el Baroni, Michele Rizzo, Yuk Hui, Flora Lysen, Erik Rietveld, Warren Neidich, André Lepecki, Melanie Bühler, Victoria Pitts-Taylor, Hannah Barton, Jennifer Chan, Paul Feigelfeld, Daniel Keller, Elizabeth Orr, Özgür Kar, Timotheus Vermeulen, John C. Welchman, Daniel Pinchbeck, Florencia Portocarrero, Lars Bang Larsen, Patricia Clough, Mette Edvardsen, Leon Hilton, Anne Juren, and many others.
What does it mean for art making if the “human” is but one life form among many?
“In the similarity of clowns to animals the likeness of humans to apes flashes up: the constellation animal/fool/clown is a fundamental layer of art.” (Theodor W. Adorno quoted by Anselm Franke in Ape Culture, 2015)
This year’s Studium Generale Rietveld Academie is about bots, bodies, and beasts. It focuses on the notion of the posthuman and the blurring of the traditional distinctions between the human and its others – be these bots or beasts. How can a notion of the posthuman be a tool for understanding the present? How can it help us make sense of our flexible and multiple identities? Can it redefine humanity’s place in the technological and biological continuums we are part of? Together we will dive into dialogue with posthumanism, (dis)embodiment and the dismantling of the liberal humanist and anthropocentric “subject”.
With: Anselm Franke, Maaike Lauwaert, Karen Archey, Cécile B. Evans, Hans-Christian Dany, Neïl Beloufa, Geo Wyeth, Mohammad Salemy, Amanda Beech, Matteo Pasquinelli, Victoria Ivanova, Xavier Le Roy, Keti Chukhrov, Alicia Frankovich, If I Can't Dance, I Don't Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, Brian Holmes, Filipa Ramos, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Alexandra Anikina, Jan Peter Hammer, Harun Farocki, and many others.
ARE YOU ALIVE OR NOT? Looking at ART through the lens of THEATRE proposes itself as a “modus operandi” for generating knowledge, ideas, questions, collaborations, happenings, and things. The project takes its initial inspiration from a wish expressed in the introduction to Claire Bishop's book Artificial Hells, Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship:
“It is hoped that these chapters might give momentum to rethinking the history of twentieth-century art through the lens of theatre rather than painting or the ready-made.”
With: Claire Bishop, Nikolaus Gansterer, Maximilian Haas, Mette Ingvartsen, André Lepecki, Gavin Butt, Annie Dorsen, Alexandra Pirici, Jesse Darling, Claire Tancons, Claire Bishop, Joanna Warsza, Milo Rau, Ekaterina Degot, Chto Delat, Artur Zmijewski, Florian Malzacher, Rana Hamadeh, Mårten Spångberg, Joanna Warsza, David Weber-Krebs, and many others.
Creature of Transition
“[…] the voice is elusive, always changing, becoming, elapsing, with unclear contours […]” – Mladen Dolar in: A Voice And Nothing More (2006)
An increasing number of makers and thinkers, in sweeping and often groundbreaking ways, are concerned with the phenomenon of “voice”. Numerous exhibitions, symposia and publications continue to be dedicated to the physical, mythical, psychoanalytic, political, philosophical, legal and performative potential of “voice”. By looking into theory, literature, film, theater, visual art, popular culture and society at large, Studium Generale Rietveld Academie explores the potential for “pleasure” and “power” offered by the voice and invites you to ask yourself what vistas, at the dawn of the 21st century, “voice” has in store for you.
With: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Ali Kaviani, Tom Rice, Gregory Whitehead, Maha Maamoun, Susan Gibb, Sharon Hayes, Francesco Ventrella, Wendelien van Oldenberg, Alex Martinis Roe, Ruth Noack, May Adadol Ingawanij, Imogen Stidworthy, Danica Dakić, Luis Jacob, Susanne Oberbeck (No Bra), Mark Beasley, Joan La Barbara, Nicholas Bullen, Gelsey Bell, I Can’t Dance I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, and many more.
By exploring the potentialities of ecological worldviews, old and new, through theory and art, WHERE ARE WE GOING, WALT WHITMAN? seeks to accelerate, accumulate, animate and activate our poetical and political understanding of the world. The project will not map a North, South, East, West. No upside, no downside, no center, no periphery, no order, no border. It rather reveals a meshwork of criss-cross paths, rhythms, and flows. It wants to be a guide for self-learners wishing to think freely and critically about and through art and 'a thousand ecologies'.
With: Nishant Shah, João Florêncio, Marius de Geus, TJ Demos, Diedrich Diederichsen, Erich Hörl, Armin Linke, The Otolith Group, Angela Melitopoulos, Ei Awakara, Binna Choi, Bracha Ettinger, Sabu Kohso, Stefan Tcherepnin, Natasha Ginwala, Rosalind Morris, Olof Olsson, Ayreen Anastas, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Vinciane Despret, Rene Gabri, Fernando García-Dory, Marcos Lutyens, and many more.
Drawing inspiration from The Role of a Lifetime (2003), by artist and filmmaker Deimantas Narkevičius WE ARE THE TIME explores the role of lifetime and life experience as a crucial source of ideas and inspirations, as a force that shapes ones’ art practice. Life experience is always generated as the intersection between the personal rhythm of one’s life and the larger societal perspective. How do we position ourselves in time? What are the decisive moments in our personal lives? What is our relation to the historical moment or context? How do we weave them into our life-narratives?
With: Deimantas Narkevičius, Foundland, Ruth Noack, IRWIN, Bojan Fajfrić, Ernst van den Hemel, Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson, Rosa Barba, Rana Hamadeh, Tony Chakar, James Beckett, Rossella Biscotti, Kathrin Rhomberg, Jeffrey Babcock, Charles Esche, Arnisa Zeqo & Laurie Cluitmans, Sam de Groot, Chto Delat, Ann Demeester, Tai Shani, Fay Nicholson, Maria Hlavajova, Irit Rogoff, Hiwa K, Franco Berardi, Chicago Boys – While We Were Singing They Were Dreaming, AA Bronson, Yael Davids, Adrian Rifkin, David Dibosa, Grant Watson, Boris Groys, Anneke Smelik, Alfredo Cramerotti, and many more.
In the belief that art students can only learn to think independently when knowledge, imagination and reflection combine to work together in an unorthodox and critical way, Studium Generale Rietveld aims to encourage critical forms of learning, making and thinking. It follows a new research trajectory every year around a specific theme that links up with current events, issues and discussions in the (art) world. Artists and theoreticians from home and abroad offer a broad spectrum of perspectives on the overarching themes with lectures, performances, presentations and screenings.
After a preliminary programme, which also includes film screenings, reading groups, workshops and publications, there is an annual four-day conference festival in collaboration with guest curators who make contact with urgent critical discourses from different perspectives and practices. This takes place at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and is open to the public.
Since 2014 Studium Generale teams up with Rietveld Uncut; departments and individual students develop projects in relation to the theoretical framework of Studium Generale. The presentation and exhibition of these programmes is simultaneous to the conference, bringing ‘the making and the thinking’ together.
Frederik Roeskestraat 96, 1076 ED Amsterdam
Head of Programme
Jort van der Laan
Press and PR
Photo and Video
Rietlanden Women’s Office
Mrs Eaves by Zuzana Licko
Art Nouveau Bistro by Christina Torre