May After all is said and done, I guess I am pretty old fashioned. I want art to be moving, to be spiritual, to be well made by someone with talents. I even want art to look good in my living room. I just said that. Totally politically incorrect. But then there is this other me who thinks that art should be political, provocative, life-changing. There is this other me who spends half her life engaged in something called artistic research. These days art is not about having a concept, but about making series of things and putting them into a theoretical research program. I have nothing against artists with phds (I’ll write on that another time), but I have to admit that I am bored with artistic research. (Second confession.) I am bored with art that tries to get scientific funding, I am bored with artists who are afraid of leaving art school, and rather do a PhD (that's me) I am unmoved by the art that is solemnly discussed in art schools. I want to learn or feel something through art. What extra value is there? What do I get from perceiving an art work? Does art have to be entertaining, life changing, interesting, spiritually challenging, mind blowing? I guess everything and none of it. At the end of the day the artist does whatever she wants to do, no judgement, no blaming. I came to learn that art is not about the product (which might look nice with my new throw pillows), but always about the personal process of the artist - and maybe about the individual process of the recipient. Further: I want art to be transforming for my students. Making art should show them that they have the right to be whoever they are. I want them to love themselves and scream out into the world their weird, fun, whatever authentic selves. I want art students to use art to free themselves from conventions, trauma, family stories. I hope they use art to show their worldview and their opinions. But does that count as research? I personally doubt that, but there are many definitions of research out there. I strongly believe that this form of expressive art making counts as being human as best as we can and as consciously as we can: Maybe the process of art making supported to my students to be who they are. Then I guess it counts as research.
Currently professor and head of the Arts and Design Education Department at the Academy for Arts and Design, Basel, Switzerland. I love to move, write, and be inspired. I am motivated by political arts, smells, and animals.