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HKU University of the Arts, Utrecht

The Postresearch Condition, Metropolis M Books, Out now

Cover image: Amanda Beech, Covenant Transport, Move or Die, 2015


Today, the field of artistic research clearly is in need of a process of recharging. The ontological question of ‘What is Artistic Research’, posed so many times in debates over the last ten years, turned out to function merely as an impetus for disciplining the field. As a consequence, an unintentionally bureaucratic and organizational focus restricted room for spotlighting the specific areas of attention of thought and imagination so characteristic during artistic research.

Thus, the production of a strategic apparatus that identifies the structural and programmatic elements for a future artistic research agenda is of the highest priority now. Pressing questions are: Should we talk about a postresearch situation or a postresearch condition? Could this be compared with how poststructuralism relates to structuralism as its philosophical comprehension and the elaboration of its consequences? And how could a postresearch condition address contemporary art practices?

To answer these questions, it is crucial to start from the three conceptual spaces that fundamentally determine what we mean by artistic research: creative practice (experimentality, art making, potential of the sensible); artistic thinking (open-ended, speculative, associative, non-linear, haunting, thinking differently); and curatorial strategies (topical modes of political imagination, transformational spaces for encounters, reflection, and dissemination). How could we comprehend these spaces in their mutual, dynamic coherence as a series of indirect triangular relationships?

From whatever conceptual space one departs though, an artistic research practice could signify a creative proposition for thought in action. Yet again, that mode of research could never be reduced to a method of one of the three constituents: artistic research cannot be equated with creative innovation, disciplinary knowledge production, or political activism. Therefore, we do need to challenge and question the issue of how to articulate and present the intersection between the three conceptual spaces.

For this purpose, an intensive program of workshops, presentations, propositions, and screenings took place as EARN/Smart Culture Conference in Utrecht (BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, HKU University of the Arts) in the spring of 2021.

This new Metropolis M Books publication reflects further on these discussions and debates, while providing programmatic elements for a future artistic research agenda.

With contributions from:



Henk Slager (HKU University of the Arts, Utrecht)

No Going Back – But Not Forward to There Either. Once More on Art and/as Research

Peter Osborne (Kingston University, London)

Response: Hito Steyerl (Berlin University of the Arts)

Post-research Publishing and Writing: Atlas of Diagrammatic Imagination                

Vytautas Michelkevičius (Vilnius Academy of Arts)

Artistic Research – dead on arrival? 

Florian Cramer (Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam)

Vulnerability, Animality, Community                                                               

Terike Haapoja (Parsons New York)

The Postresearch Condition. EARN Working Groups:

Methodologies (co-organizer: Uniarts Helsinki)

Sustainability (co-organizer: UCL London/Slade School of Fine Art)

On Value (co-organizer: Luca School of Arts, Brussels)

Politics of Aesthetics (co-organizer: Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)

Curatorial Studies (co-organizer: HDK-Valand, Gothenburg University)

Embodying Knowledge: On Trust, Recognition, Preferences

Rachel Armstrong (Newcastle University) and Rolf Hughes (KU Leuven)

Art’s Intolerable Knowledge

Amanda Beech (CalArts, Los Angeles)

Corpus Infinitum – a thought experiment

Denise Ferreira da Silva (University of British Colombia, Vancouver)        

Not Yet

Irit Rogoff (Goldsmiths, University of London)


The Postresearch Condition

Publisher Metropolis M Books, Utrecht

Editor Henk Slager 

Final Editor Annette W. Balkema 

Design Joris Kritis with Terry Kritis

Printing Die Keure, Brugge


Order this new Metropolis M Books Publication here:

Information about Postresearch Condition Conference:  


The Postresearch Condition Conference (January 26-30, 2021) was organized in collaboration with EARN (European Artistic Research Network), HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, NWO (Smart Culture/Dutch Research Council. Advisory Board: Odile Heynders, Janneke van Kersen, Iris van der Tuin, and Kitty Zijlmans), and BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht.

Information about EARN (European Artistic Research Network):                          




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