Educational background

I acquired a BA in Fine Art (2010/14) from the HKU University of the Arts in Utrecht and a research master in Artistic Research (2014/16) at the University of Amsterdam. Two years ago I entered the Master Education in Arts (2016/18) at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam. I applied with one paragraph titled; The Essayistic Science of Artistic Research. This paragraph was extracted form my previous MA thesis PER-FORM, the performative essay and the essayistic performance, in this thesis I researched the essay in relation to performance art which developed ideas first explored in her BA thesis Un Essai d’essayer. The essay has fascinated me from the first time I saw an essay-film and read Adorno's essay on the in my BA. It influenced, and still influences, both my artistic and academic work.

[PILLOWBOOK pp. 5-8]


With the paragraph from my previous MA I first entered the field of art education. I did not have practical educational experience when stated this MA, therefore I decided to extend my experience and actively searched for internships. In the first year of the master I did a 6-month internship at Secondary school IJburg College II and after that a 4-month internship as a co-teacher with artistic Christina Della Giustina at Saloun Prague. This last project tested my educational ideas in practice, and influenced the development of my current educational project.


Besides my practice as artist and researcher, I am the organizer and co-initiator of Café Chercher, an inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional platform for unfinished artistic research projects. For this monthly event I create short video essays (Clippings) reflecting on the themes of the evenings. I have been organizing this event for the past four years, throughout these years, students of the UvA MA have been connected to practice tutorials. During the course of this master in education I discovered that perhaps this platform could be perceived as an artistic and educational practice. I had started Café Chercher as a practice tutorial (2014-15 and 2015/16), after I graduated. In my first year at the Piet Zwart Institute, two first year students of Artistic Research asked if they could do Café Chercher as a practice tutorial 92016/17). Before the start of the second year I worked on formulating the practice tutorial, and at the start of the second year I started writing the theoretical research an educational project.



The combination of my theoretical background, my artistic practice and video-essays, and my experience at Saloun Prague and Café Chercher, together with the initial writing I started with, is now the foundation of this thesis.




This research is about education in artistic research. Artistic research is a relatively new field where academic research and artistic practice are integrated. It encapsulates a vast variety and combination of academic and artistic fields, topics and disciplines. Defining this institutionalized field, and the methods and evaluation criteria of its output, is highly debated. Because scientific and artistic methodologies are subject to different criteria, there’s no one universal definition or evaluation in this educational field. Science needs to articulate its sources, as well as its relevance and its context, and it must provide clear argumentation, art is not constrained by these demands. Can we integrate the scientific and artistic in individual working methods?


The essay inherently embraces both the artistic and the scientific. It drifts in-between the subjective and the objective, the experiential and the intellectual. The essay expresses a train of thought, and critically reflects on those thoughts: it experiments and speculates. The essay can encompass other artistic media and is originally a verb. What if artists use essaying as an un-methodological research method? The artistic researcher approaches the topic of investigation essayistically: essaying art. The form of expression can encompass all possible artistic media and all possible combinations of media.


In order to put this theory to the test, I’ve formulated an elective practice tutorial for first-year students of the research master Artistic Research at the University of Amsterdam (NL). In this experimental pilot, I investigate how an essayistic approach to artistic research could be practically used as an unmethodological method for developing individual approaches to artistic research. The subject of the tutorial is the intertwinement of artistic and scientific research strategies by essaying, with a specific focus on the relation between form and content. The students used a performative space for essaying during presentations at Café Chercher and a digital space for essaying within a workspace on the Research Catalogue. Through the modes of the performative and the digital space, the students built their own references, contexts, and sense of what artistic research could be for them.


Ideally, when combining a collective of individual artistic research approaches this could define the field — an undefined and ever shifting definition.




Practice tutorial of 6ECTS (1 ECTS is 28 hours) as elective for first year students at the research master Artistic Research of the University of Amsterdam. The meetings every second Tuesday of the month, will be hosted by the University of Amsterdam Faculty of Humanities, VOX-POP Creative Space University of Amsterdam, and alternative locations like cafe’s and artistic studio’s. The events every last Tuesday of the month will take place at VOX-POP we get a small sponsorship by LAPS Rietveld Making Thinks Public fo Café Chercher. My position is that of an independent artist-researcher and educator, I am not funded or paid by the University of Amsterdam.


The national educational context that this research positions itself in, is that of Artistic Research, mainly masters in Netherlands: There is one Artistic Research Masters in research University, this two-year research master is offered by the University of Amsterdam (WO) and part of the department Art Studies of the Faculty of Humanities. There is one University of Applied Science that offers a Master Artistic Research, namely The Royal Academy in The Hague (KABK) has a two year Master Artistic Research (HBO)[1]. The Dutch Film Academy (Hogeschool van Amsterdam) has a regular master in Artistic Research aimed at artistic research in and through cimema.

In distilled the main characteristics of the essay form, using my master thesis “PER-FORM” (2016). This thesis has been written in the context of my 2014-2016 MA Artistic Research at the University of Amsterdam. This thesis analyses the essay form by refereeing to on Michael de Montaigne “Essays", the text “The Essay as Form” by Theodor W. Adorno (1958) with several analytical reflections on the text. I also used contemporary theorizations of the literary essay form, mainly using “The Essayistic Spirit” by C. de Obaldia. I use the notion of “essayistic science” by L. O’Erickson in “Meta-Fact” (2004) and by P. Burgard (1992).


[1] The MaHKU has a two-year master with an emphasis on Artistic Research. and iArts Maastricht seems to be developing one as well (UM collaboration) 

 Main research question



How can you stimulate students to discover and develop their own artistic research approaches and forms by essaying art?



Essaying: A verb with many possible forms of expression. 

How can an unmethodological method enable an intertwinement of artistic and scientific methodologies an enable a mix of disciplines and media?



Space: Artistic research education in different contexts

The essay in an educational/institutionalized context.

Can an informal environment, between the institutional and non-institutional domain, provide the space for essaying in an educational context? Can we create spaces for art and science in potentia?

Can an online space for essaying and physical space for essaying art performatively, enable essayistic forms of artistic research?

[PILLOWBOOK p.22 pp.28-30]


Process: The element of time with moments (iterations) of externalization and reflection.

Can you evaluate a student’s research process with a summative assessment, providing transparent and measurable criteria without having an end-assignment?





The theoretical debate on Artistic Research mainly takes place in the context of PhD’s. This research deals with the instructional dichotomy of MA’s in Artistic Research in the Netherlands. In The Netherlands, there the two main MA’s Artistic Research, one has its roots in the art academy (University of Applied Science or HBO) and the other in the academic field (Research University or WO), consequently we could say that one is dominantly practical and the other dominantly theoretical. But it seems that something in-between the practical and theoretical is missing. The practical problem that I encountered is that two artistic research students that were on the student team of Café Chercher, expressed the lack of practice tutorials in their master. They, as I and other alumni of the master, experienced the dichotomy between the theory and the practice, and also a lack in balancing and intertwining the both. Even though, the university context is a unique context, theory and research in an academically written form is dominant in their MA. This was the starting point for developing a practice tutorial for the future students. This practice tutorial is a pilot and provides a framework that could be used and adapted for other Masters and Bachelors in the Arts.




The didactical aim is to provide the students with many different perspectives, forms and communities of artistic research, in order to contextualize and place themselves in the field. The goal is enable the students to find their own approach to artistic research through essaying in a digital space and essaying in a performative space: a process of essaying art, and discovering their own way of doing artistic research. My role is to guide this process and expose them to feedback, suggestions and sometimes even critiques form different perspectives.



The pedagogical aim is to create an environment which encourages critical- and speculative thinking. A space which stimulates experimenting, taking risks and stepping out of your own comfort zone. I ask them to openly doubt, question and to share their research process in an unfinished stage, this asks for an environment of trust.

My goal is to provide a safe environment for them to share unfinished stages of their research in a peer and pubic context during the meetings and events.



The theoretical aim is to contribute to the methodological debate in the academic field of Artistic Research, and to stimulate artistic researcher to do artistic research on artistic research, like essayists writing essays on the essay. A way to open up, discuss, and also safeguard the broad definition of the field.




My personal aim as an artist-researcher is to discover new ways of writing and doing my own artistic research and find an intertwined form for my practice and research



My personal aim as educator is to practice what I preach, I hope to to achieve this by adapting the concept and content of the practice tutorial in an essayistic manner, and by sharing my own research process and sharing my own doubts and questions and by incorporating feedback into the tutorial and also share my own research and work with the students.

[CAFÉ CHERCHER #4.3, PILLOWBOOK p. 16 pp. 22-24]


My aim in a broader scope is to provide a framework which encourages the development of many different varieties of essaying Artistic Research. Ideally, when combining a collective of individual artistic researcher approaches, this could define the field. With the end goal is to bridge the gap between the research and artistic practice in an early stage of their MA.




Anticipated findings

If the essay is a combination of the artistic and the scientific, and used by scientist as a free form of science (essayistic science) then the key characteristics of the essay could form a logical approach for artists to conduct a scientific form of art (essaying art). My hypothesis is that essay as unmethodological method can provide strategies of merging artistic and scientific forms and methods for artistic research. A process of science in potentia and art in potentia (reference to Obaldia 2007; the essay as ‘literature in potentia'). I anticipate that students of the tutorial will find and formulate a diverse range of strategies and forms, and at the least gain insight into the field of artistic research and discover their own place in it. I anticipate that an essayistic approach to Artistic Research, could create a hybrid approach witch can be used by artistic research in the broader sense and could contribute to the broader theoretical debate of artistic research.




I will use the practice tutorial as pilot for the research, the most important element is to document the process.  I will gather information by documenting the artistic contributions of the students with a video-camera and by taking screenshots of their Pillowbook on the Research catalogue

[EDUCATIONAL PROJECT, Research Catalogue Workspace Manuel].


The tutorial is a process of adapting and experimenting, a constant iteration. I will analyze one meeting, I will also analyze the ‘process evaluation criteria’.

[EDUCATIONAL PROJECT, Process evaluation criteria, PILLOWBOOK]


For the theoretical research I will use literary analyses of primary and secondary sources and make an overview of the current art and science debate in Artistic Research in order to position my research. 



This will be a practice led research (learning by doing) and the result might be an adapted version of the practice tutorial. I will also apply an unmethodological method to my own artistic research parallel to the students.



-         documentation of the meetings and events

-         reflections, evaluation and feedback from the students

-         Feedback form the professional field

-         feedback the educational context






In the FRAMEWORK I provides my educational background and the abstract of the thesis, it also provides the outline of the research; formulation of the research question; aims; anticipated findings; methodology; structure; form; contextualization; delimitations and the declamation.


The RESEARCH article provides theoretical research of the thesis, this segment discusses the fields of Artistic Research and the essay, compares them, and researches the essay as unmethodological method and verb. Concluding this segment, I summarize the practical implications for Artistic Research using the Zuihitsu as form for artistic essaying and the digital workspace as place. This article will be published in the context of the annual Conference for Artistic Research in Plymouth 2018.


The EDUCATIONAL PROJECT is the practical outcome of the theoretical research, it contains the Practice Tutorial Course ManualProcess Evaluation Criteria, Four Themes,Research Catalogue Manuel, Café Chercher Format and the final Report of the tutorial.


The ARTISITC COMPONENET is my own outcome of the research and the practice tutorial and contains two files; SAR18 and DART18, these contain two versions of a lecture performance including; context, script and lins to the video documentation SAR18 performed at the annual Conference for Artistic Research in Plymouth 2018. And link to the original film and voice recording DART18, which is performed at the biannually Symposium at Di Angewante in Vienna by Didactical art.  


The CAFÉ CHERCHER component gives an overview of all the events in 2017/2018 and provides the description and history of the platform.


The PILLOWBOOK is a Zuihitsu that describes the process of the precious components and critically reflects on the components of the RESEARCH, EDUCATIONAL PROJECT, ARTISTIC COMPONE and CAFÉ CHERCHER. In this components I analyze the educational project in relation to the theoretical research and reflect upon pedagogical and didactical relations. This component also provides the links between the other components and references to other components of the thesis.


The WEBSITE book marker refers to the online version of the thesis, that also incorporates the documentation of the events and the documentation of the lecture performances.



This thesis is shaped in a printed version [THESIS] and an online version (WEBSITE will finalized July 4th 2018). In both forms, the individual components of the research are meant to stand on heir own. I will not provide singular conclusion in this process, I will focus on the process and the intertwinement of all the components using [..] mar in the FRAMEWORK and PILLOWBOOK appendixes.


[PILLOWBOOK pp. 42-43]


The index (table of contents) are all links that refer to the individual components. The EDUCATIONAL PROJECT and the ARTISTIC CONTRIBUTIO also contain the original documentation and videos referred to in this thesis



The thesis is an office folder containing separate booklets. The FRAMEWORK is printed right-hand side inside the folder, together with the index (or table of content) on the left-hand side. The sections RESEARCH, EDUCATIONAL PROJECT, SCRIPT, PILLOWBOOK and CAFÉ CHERCHER will be separate booklets with different sizes (see frames in table of contents for indication of size), different text-colors (from light grey to black), and different thicknesses of paper (from thick to thin). They also have their own attachment forms. The WEBSITE will be shaped in the form of a book marker and refer to the online space.





This research focuses on the academic theorization of Artistic Research and the essay in the context of a Research University. Therefor it aims to intertwine scientific and artistic methodologies. I am aware of the fact that artistic research takes place at University of Applied Science and outside the institutionalized field of atistic research, but I will not focus these contexts. This is one of the reasons to capitalize the word Artistic Research when discussing the institutional context.


Because the subject of the theoretical research is the simultaneous act of theorizing and practicing a field, the literary sources that are used are only essays on the essay, namely T.W. Adorno’s renowned text The Essay as Form. I will not use other literary sources besides these essays on the essay. My aim is not to use the essay as literary form, but as mode –as verb. Furthermore, it is not my intention to copy-paste the form of the essay to Artistic Research, but rather to extract an essayistic mode. It must be emphasized that the objective of this research is to investigate, and possibly formulate, method for artistic research, but not the method: one that could potentially be used by artistic researchers to create multiple individual working methods.


In this research and in the educational project, I will not use any artistic research case studies or best practices, the idea is to let the students define their own practice. The students and use the Research Catalogue, JAR and contributions at Café Chercher as examples. In this research and the educational project I will therefor not provide a uniform definition of artistic research because my aim to open up de definition and stimulate individual artistic formulations of artistic research, I will use one essayistic performance and one video-essay as example of essaying.




WEBSITE: Throughout the 9 moths of the project, the development of the research and students can be followed by public at Café Chercher (


EDUCATIONAL PROJECT and ARTISTIC CONTIBUTION: The documentation of these events and the meetings will be accessible online and also publically accessible course manual on the Research Catalogue. The Research Catalogue is an openly accessible platform, mainly aimed at peers who are interested in artistic research work processes, or people who want to view practical examples of artistic research.  


EVENT: The graduation event at TENT on the 6th of Juli 2018 will be intertwined with other presentation. The evening has two related themes; ‘artistic research’ and ‘art-based education’. The first section contains a newly adapted version of my lecture performance, then a short summary of the research by Jord Homan in an accessible form using musical reference, closing with a theoretical contextualization of artistic research.

The second section as a Café Chercher and is introduced by the Café Chercher team and structured, it includes short artistic contributions by one first-year student (Marjolijn van den Berg), one graduating second-year student Susana Carvalho and one alumnus (Shailoh Phillips) from the MEiA.