Zeerijp Cross-Arts Intensive Programme (2018)
The second intensive programme (IP) took place in 2018 in the Netherlands in two small villages, Zeerijp and ‘t Zandt, at the country side north from Groningen. Faculty and students spent ten days at the course focusing on cross-arts collaboration.
The programme was prepared by the cross-arts working group. We used the outline of the last IP (2017) as a point of departure for organising the programme. Building on the experiences and reflections of the previous IP we developed some new ideas for the Zeerijp IP. The most important changes are described here:
Artists in Residence
Aiming for more audience engagement during the IP we connected to the local residents of the villages Zeerijp and ‘t Zandt a few months before the IP started. The idea was that they would host residencies, in which the LAB groups could work during the IP. The residencies were two monumental 13th century churches, a mill, a garden and a farmhouse. The different residencies and their hosts functioned as a source of inspiration and as a context to respond to for the LAB groups.
We discussed new approaches for working with the LAB groups. Students of the IP 2017 indicated that more (teacher) guidance in their LAB groups would have been helpful. Therefore, decided to involve teachers in the LAB groups as a participant in the group, creating a community of learners with the students.
Presenting art as a work in progress
The LAB groups had the opportunity to share their work in progress after two days, and after five days of working together. We made sure that this was understood as a moment to share experiments, show or demonstrate what happened during the collaboration, what worked for them and also what didn’t work. This could be done by performing work, presenting ideas, evaluating with the audience in whatever form seemed suitable for the group. It was made clear that this was not meant to be a final result but a sharing of the work and collaboration. The locals that had helped with the project participated in this sharing as well. This was a different approach than the sharing moment of the IP in 2017, where we scheduled this on the final day. This time, we didn’t share the work in public, to avoid students feeling pressured to deliver a final result. The work of the LAB groups was shared in the six places of residencies they had been working in.
The objectives of the implementation of mentoring in the programme were:
Introducing and explaining mentoring in the learning environment of higher arts education.
To create critical awareness, a sense of understanding and reflexivity.
Participating in daily mentoring and offering students an actual experience with mentoring as a group activity and as a one-to-one activity.
Encouraging peer-mentoring (both on the student and faculty level).
Two representatives from the mentoring group of this strategic partnership, Þóra Einarsdóttir and Marc van Roon, started with leading a large group mentoring session. Here the focus was on creating an open, safe and undefined atmosphere for being present, reflecting and sharing. The session took shape of the Bohm dialogue (a freely flowing group conversation in which participants attempt to reach a common understanding, experiencing everyone's point of view fully, equally and non-judgementally). To give the session a repetitive ritualistic feeling, a large Gong and a talking stick/stone were used.
From the third day onwards, which was also the day the students broke up into the LAB groups, mentoring was offered daily, in the following format: After a brief group dialogue (Bohm-dialgue), the participants broke into groups by country or institute. In this intimate setting both students and staff were invited to share any topic, sensation or experience related to the process. These smaller mentoring groups were led by mentors of the NAIP institutes.
Mid-way through the IP various ways of artistic reflections were introduced to the students, which strongly resonated with the mentoring reflections.
These were facilitated through artistic reflection practices, introduced by Niels Vermeulen, the Sharing-on-the-Marketplace game led by Marc van Roon, and Wilhelm Carlsson introduced the awareness of personal professional roles and responsibilities in regards to leadership and support in the LAB groups.
At the end of the IP there was a day of reflection. This day which we called reflective LAB, was dedicated to reflection on IP experiences. Instead of expressing reflections in a verbal way, work forms were introduced for participants to express reflections in an artistic way. This day included reflective moments, including group and individual reflections.
Reading on: Reflections