Our reflections BASED ON THE INTENSIVE PROGRAMMES
Working as a community of learners, the collaboration of teachers and students in a LAB environment served to be very interesting. For some teachers sharing leadership was something they were quite experienced with. For others this was a new way of thinking and working. Rethinking the teacher role is both interesting and challenging but it seems to be a necessary exercise for working in a cross-arts environment where you have to offer different expertise than only your discipline specific knowledge.
Presenting work in progress, we found a useful way of scheduling this element of sharing in the programme in a new way. One of the LAB groups developed the idea of experimenting with a new point of departure every day from scratch. They were therefore able to present new experiments on a daily basis. This seemed to be a fruitful approach for opening up the idea of presenting work in progress further. It has been helpful to address this issue during our project, however we also feel we should experiment with more ways of focusing on process instead of final product.
Being able to work as artists in residence, interacting with both the hosts of the residencies and the residency itself was a valuable experience. Being placed in a particular context for five days allowed the LAB groups to concentrate on a particular space, to explore many different possibilities and invent new experiments on a daily basis. They could experiment with different approaches, coming from the various art disciplines they represent and were also able to cross their own boundaries and experiment with a new artistic role. Also, in some cases the residents of the villages became active participants in the LAB groups.
Starting the IP by making connections to local people, creating a collaboration, led to us becoming a community with these local residents, responding to their spaces and sharing our mutual stories. This interaction became a meaningful cycle of mutual giving and receiving and provided us with new reflections on how to engage with an audience in our art practice.
The past two years we have been trying to widen our perspectives and looking beyond the boundaries of our disciplines. This cross-arts collaboration not only fed into the needs of our master students, it also provided the faculty to work in a cross-arts setting, bringing new insights into different disciplines. Within the frame of our institutions, cross-arts collaboration is relatively new, and we have developed some valuable material that can be used in the existing curriculum. However, most of the development work has been very focused on students that are taking the first steps in cross-arts collaboration. This has allowed them to broaden their horizons, develop collaborative skills, creative skills and communication skills. The next step would be working on how to further support students in growing their artistic skills. While the process-oriented focus is very important at this stage in the student’s developments, a discussion about the quality of the artistic results becomes more appropriate as the student develops further. Here, a systematic evaluation would be very beneficial, using critical reflection and contextualisation as a starting point, without losing the aspect of the encouraging learning environment.