Art as Research

Who has the power to decide which practices of experimentation, of discovery, and of criticism are deemed “artistic” or “scientific”?

For the past several years the field of artistic theory has been the topic of debate on whether artistic working methods or the knowledge gained through artistic practice – within the fine arts, music, literature, and theatre – and the underlying work processes, can also be defined as “research”. Considering the opportunities currently available for obtaining a PhD within the arts (Dr. phil in art, Doctor of Arts, Doctor in Practice), one can assume that artistic research is indeed being conducted, at least at the specific art schools and universities offering these degrees.

In this context, the research group (RG) ‘Art as Research’ asks the question: What are the similarities and differences between artistic and scientific practices? Furthermore, the RG seeks to investigate the still very young history of the institutionalisation of artistic research in Germany. This topic touches on fundamental questions of the concepts of both art and science, and the RG brings artists and scientists into dialogue with each other to discuss these questions in a cross-disciplinary setting.

On the one hand, the RG addresses the current relationship between art and science: Who has the power to decide which practices of experimentation, of discovery, and of criticism are deemed “artistic” or “scientific”? Which rules of argumentation, proof, and doubt apply in the different fields of art and science?

On the other hand, the RG explores future prospects within the relationship between art and science: Can both sides benefit from the other’s research practices? Can they inspire each other? What would suitable structures and languages of such an exchange look like?

Last, but not least, the RG examines the controversial special status of artistic research within academic institutions: Which forms of artistic research are currently practiced in Germany? What are the focal points of this research in terms of methodology and content? What are the criteria used to evaluate artistic research? What are the typical presentation formats (i.e. “piece & paper”)? Where and with whom does research take place?


Workshop "Creativity"

In many areas it is discussed how important creativity is. Science does not remain completely unaffected by this discourse as well: creative approaches in research are discussed as well as inventive questions. But what does creativity mean - and (how) can it be practiced?

The research group “Art as Research” of Die Junge Akademie wants to discuss this question during the workshop on the subject "Creativity", and to connect and discuss practical and theoretical approaches.


Project "VR-Audio"

In the “VR Audio” project, Miriam Akkermann and Christian Stein are developing a prototype for an acoustic virtual reality game that explores the relationship between room acoustics and spatial visuality. Their goal is to find out whether it’s possible to render an environment using VR technology and 360° audio that is so realistic that it can be used to improve conscious hearing.


Project "Sorgenfrei"

The research group Art as Research and sch wa nk hal le held an artistic-scientific project between March and June 2017 in Bremen. For the project artists and scientists were asked to apply for an interim use of a vacant residential building on the grounds of the Klinikum Bremen Mitte.

Sorgenfrei 1 video documentation


What defines an institution? This work documents conversations among artists, curators and scholars on the roles that institutes play as well as the types of criticism to which they should be subjected. The discussions also address new ways of conceptualizing institutions. In these conversations, participants draw on examples from architecture, the fine arts, and legal studies, and investigate the tradition of institutional critique in the performing arts. Performing Institutions present excerpts from these discussions in conjunction with scene descriptions and archive materials from Herbordt/Mohren, the artist duo behind the book project. The result is a multi-layered artistic book on the prerequisites for and goals of institutions as well as the changes required to ensure they move with the times.


Testing Institutions

The conference "Testing Institutions" took place from the 14th to 16th of November 2014 at the University of Hildesheim Foundation, domain Marienburg.


Symposium „Zum Brüllen!“

The interdisciplinary symposium about laughing took place from the 2nd to 3rd of May 2014 at the chamber music hall and Pina-Bausch-Theatre of the Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen. Die Junge Akademie member Gordon Kampe organized the symposium and concert and is editor of the closing publication "Zum Brüllen!".


Performing Institutions

The ‘Performing Institutions’ series of workshop discussions takes the changes to our community caused by the globalisation of public spheres as an opportunity to examine and question the institutions of community. Such issues are investigated within case studies in an interdisciplinary framework; these topics include, institution-shaping strategies, institutions in transition, institution's inherent tendency towards overstepping and relationships between institutions, and the public sphere and society. In addition, the institution-critical discourse, which has taken place in the fine arts in particular since the 1960s, is firmly anchored in the theatre as both an institution and art form. Which institutions serve which public interests? Which essential steps towards contemporisation can be used to pursue which objectives? Which tangible, alternative concepts for the establishment of community or elements thereof are conceivable?


The Berlin World Improvement Machine

From the 17th century onwards, various European cities forged secret plans to construct a “world improvement machine”. The machine was based on the assumption that the correct arrangement of particular works of art and artefacts within an architectural “superform” would release enormous power. The idea fuelled absolutist power fantasies and educational attempts to improve the world alike.

2009 - 2012

Art + Academia Salon


Climate Art Research

Climate change is pushing science to its limits. Hybrid projects combining art and research, which have become an increasingly frequent phenomenon in recent times, gain unexpected relevance within this context. The “Klimakunstforschung” publication presents 16 artists whose climate-related work involves the application/deconstruction of scientific methods, co-operation with researchers, or the formulation of their own approach to knowledge. Do these approaches lead to a change in artistic and scientific methods? And can they contribute to efforts to tackle climate issues? Five concluding interviews showcase academics from the fields of climate research, sociology, the history of science, and art history discuss these questions.


Climate Capsules – How to survive a catastrophe

How do we want to live in the future? How will daily life look when climate change becomes a tangible reality?


Symposium "Experimentation In Art And Academia"

The symposium “Experimentation in Art and Academia” took place in Erlangen on January 29-30, 2010. The Latin word experimentum can be taken to mean attempt, proof, test, or sample, and this variety of definitions indicates the wealth of opportunities that experimental theory and practice have to offer. The event used a round-table discussion as a forum for artists (some of them also academics) and academics (some of them also artists) from a variety of disciplines to deliberate the relevance of experimentation to their own work.

participating Alumnae / Alumni