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Symposium on transdisciplinarity in arts, sciences, and philosophy

Wie of wat is de kunstenaar van de toekomst?

Symposium over transdisciplinariteit in kunst, wetenschap en filosofie

Nederlands Genootschap voor Esthetica (NGE) / Dutch Association of Aesthetics https:nge.nl

& RASL, https://rasl.nu

Friday, June 24, 2022

RASL, Boijmans Hillevliet
Hillevliet 90
3074 KD Rotterdam-Zuid

Dutch & English

Admittance free
RSVP: let us know when you plan to attend (with regard to catering) by sending a mail to: erikhagoort@dds.nl

Please consider a donation by becoming a NGE member, 25 euro, see: https://nge.nl/lid


10.00: open, coffee and tea.

10.30-11.15: NGE-vergadering voor NGE-leden

Symposium (see bio’s of speakers at the end of this document)

11.15-12.00: Clinton Peter Verdonschot: Immanent and aesthetic critique (English)
A reconstruction of Theodor Adorno’s method of aesthetic critique in order to propose it as an alternative to immanent critique. ‘The positive function of aesthetic negativity in Adorno’

12.00-12.45: Gert Wijlage – Van singulariteit naar gemeenschap: het kunstinitiatief DeFKa (Dutch)
Over affectieve plaatsbepaling en transversaal denken.

12.45-13.45: Lunch

13.45-14.30: Philip Meersman – The Brussels Planetarium Poetry Fest (English)
The link between language, worldwide genesis myths, science and XR technologies. An immersive performance of visual poetry.
Audience is invited to use VR-glasses (provided).

14.30-15.15: Emily Evans, Gerty Van de Perre, Niels van Poecke – Staging Cancer: Constituting Illness through Theatre (English)
A discussion of the transdisciplinary space that arises in the disciplinary boundary transgression of the fields of arts, social sciences and the specific healthcare domain of medical oncology. ‘Does theatre allow us to work towards narrative integration of contingent life experiences by advanced cancer patients?’

15.15-15.30: Short break

15.30-16.15: Arthur Cools – Dissensus and Artistic Activism (English)
Artistic activism entails the risk that opacity is subordinated (or even erased) and that the political meaning of the artistic intervention replaces and conceals the ambivalences of artistic modes of presentation and impedes their appreciations.

16.15-17.00: Wander van Baalen – Art-science: A story about the hyphen (English)
How does an art-science collaboration come into being? How is this new intersection stabilized? This is an ethnographically informed story from the art-science construction site.

17.00-17.30: Conversation RASL & NGE & audience on transdisciplinarity in arts, sciences, and philosophy.

Drinks till 18.30



Who or what is the artist of the future?

Symposium on transdisciplinarity in arts, sciences, and philosophy.
Organised by Nederlands Genootschap voor Esthetica and the Rotterdam Arts and Sciences Lab.

Education and research, in both the arts and the sciences, are to a large extent future-oriented.
In Higher Education for the arts and the sciences we observe a drive to experiment with various forms of collaboration. This results in transdisciplinarity; a trend that is increasingly made concrete in education and research programmes.

This trend raises fundamental and practical questions about the assumptions of transdisciplinarity, its fundamental conditions, and its future imaginaries. These questions are as relevant for the philosophy of the arts, pedagogy, and the philosophy of science as much as these fields can contribute to transdisciplinary practices.

First of all: Why Transdisciplinarity, and towards which ends? An often heard claim is that collaboration between ‘the arts’ and ‘the sciences’ enables engaging with wicked problems or complex societal concerns, such as global warming, public health issues, and increasing inequalities.

But what is it that artists and scientists do when they collaborate, and what do they work on? What is the role of imagination? Can scientists make use of artistic imaginations and artists of the scientific imagination? Are these imaginations different, and if yes, how? Or are transdisciplinary projects experimenting with new forms of imagination that cannot be categorised along the lines of ‘the sciences’ and ‘the arts’?

Second of all: Transdisciplinarity raises the question about the future and futuricity? What do we talk about when we talk about the future? What kind of future is anticipated when we collaborate across the disciplinary bounds of the arts and sciences? Which images of the future condition and diirect transdisciplinarity? And where does this orientation on the future stem from?

Third of all: What is quality in transdiciplinary collaborations between artists and scientists? And what are the qualities needed when doing so? Also, as a philosophical question: How can you reflect and determine quality? What can aesthetics, as a philosophical discipline, contribute to reflecting about qualiy when disciplines engage with one another, cross into each other’s domains, and perhaps even forge new fields? Do we ‘measure’ or ‘safeguard’ quality in transdisciplinary projects? Do we need to? Do we want this? And if yes, how would we be able to do so?

The symposium is organised by the Nederlands Genootschap voor Esthetica (NGE), in collaboration with the Rotterdam Arts and Sciences Lab (RASL).


Biographies/ biografieën

Wander van Baalen is a lecturer at Erasmus University College and a researcher at Codarts University for the Arts. Since 2015, he can describe his oscillating employment as “working for RASL”. In his PhD research, Wander takes issue with overly abstracted understandings of concepts such as art-science, transdisciplinarity, and quality. He ethnographically attends to how these concepts take shape, are put to work, and are negotiated as concrete and material practices.

Arthur Cools is full professor and vice-dean at Department of Philosophy at the University of Antwerp.

Emily Evans is currently a Research Assistant at the Amsterdam University Medical Centers, in the department of Medical Oncology. She is a recent graduate from the MA Arts, Culture and Society, Erasmus University Rotterdam and has previously worked as a producer and programmer for arts organizations in the UK specializing in socially engaged art practice. Her research interests have followed this focus on the socially engaged arts, and currently she is researching the practicalities, peculiarities and potentials of transdisciplinary practices between the arts, social sciences and oncological healthcare.

Philip Meersman works on a doctoral research on immersive performance of visual poetry, with the use of XR technology. He is a cultural consultant and curator. He is curator of the Brussels Planetarium Poetry Fest, dedicated to poetry and performance art at the largest Planetarium in Europe. He also is co-ordinator of the European & World Championships Poetry Slam.

Gerty Van de Perre is a theatre maker, actress and singer whose work mostly focuses on interdisciplinary performance and physical performance. In 2013, she graduated from the music theater department at Codarts conservatory of music. During her graduation year, she and her classmates started the music and performance collective Club Gewalt. Together they create and perform their own shows and operas. Aside from working with her collective, Gerty also collaborates with other directors and choreographers.

Niels van Poecke works as a PostDoc researcher at Amsterdam University Medical Centers, in the department of Medical Oncology. Prior to his current position, he worked at the department of Arts and Culture studies at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (Erasmus University Rotterdam) as a Senior Lecturer, where he taught courses in aesthetics and the sociology of culture. He currently focuses on investigating the role and significance of music in the everyday lives of (advanced) cancer patients and on investigating the place and significance of transdisciplinary research at the intersection of the arts, the social sciences and oncology.

Clinton Peter Verdonschot. Researcher in aesthetics and practical philosophy (critical theory especially). I received my PhD in 2020 from the The University Essex for a thesis on the relation between personal autonomy and aesthetic experiences. I have published on Ludwig Wittgenstein’s aesthetics and ethics and my current research focus, which grew out of my PhD, is on ways in which aesthetic practices mimic epistemic ones without falling under their category.
Recently published: “‘That They Point Is All There Is to It’: Wittgenstein’s Romanticist Aesthetics”. Estetika: The European Journal of Aesthetics 58, no. 1 (2021): 72–88. DOI: 0.33134/eeja.222.

Gert Wijlage is art historian (UvA, 1984), visual artist, curator and editor of DeFKa Research SC magazines. DeFKa Research arose from the DeFKa foundation, the Department of Philosophy and Art in Assen, NL, originally an artists’ initiative since 1994. The aim of DeFKa has been from the outset, to investigate the relationship between art, philosophy and science, with an emphasis on the essayistic and poetic quality of contemporary visual art.
Activities include the regular display of transdisciplinary research projects with a focus on architecture, literature and performances. Lectures, debates and publications are regular elements. An important aspect of the organization is the relationship between local, regional and (inter)national interest. In 2022, the priority is the publication of the DeFKa Research SC Magazine and the ‘Havenkwartier’ project.

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