In 2016 Pascal Gielen was one of the laureates of the Odysseusprogramme and was granted 2.269.236 euros from The Fund for Scientific Research for a large scale project on ‘Sustainable Creativity in the Post-Fordist City.’

The team

With this grant, Pascal Gielen instituted the Culture Commons Quest Office, an interdisciplinary research team based at ARIA.

  • Arne Herman (musicologist/philosopher): PhD-research project Musical Canonisation as a Performative Process
  • Giuliana Ciancio (art scientist): PhD-research project Creativity in a Changing World
  • Hanka Otte (cultural scientist): PostDoc-research project City Policy and Sustainable Creativity
  • Lara Garcia Diaz (art scientist): PhD-research project Precarious and (Self)Organized: An Action Framework for Counter-Hegemonic Labour Organization
  • Louis Volont (sociologist): PhD-research project Artistic Constitutions of the Urban Commonwealth
  • Thijs Lijster (philosopher): PostDoc-research project The Future of the New
  • Walter van Andel (economist): PhD-research project Balancing the Creative Business Model
  • Maria Francesca De Tullio: PostDoc research project Cultural and Creative Spaces and Cities
  • Katinka de Jonge: visual artist
  • Kato Everaert: PhD-research project Psychological and social risk factors for low back pain in dancers
  • Marlies De Munck (cultural philosopher): research project Convoking Cultural Commons
  • Rodrigo Monteiro PhD researcher

Ongoing projects

Women in Nineteenth-Century Popular Science Performances and Displays. 01/05/2021 - 30/04/2026

Abstract

This subproject of Science at the Fair (www.scifair.eu) examines a neglected aspect of the social, cultural and artistic role of women in fairground communities and their impact on the circulation of knowledge and visual culture in nineteenth-century Europe. As in other cultural fields, the role of women in nineteenth-century show business is poorly documented. Iconographic sources such as paintings, posters, prints or photographs give us a clue, but should be interpreted with caution. Depictions of women in appealing fairground advertisements confirm and often reinforce a number of stereotypes. The female performer is mostly portrayed as the graceful assistant. Dressed in glamorous, revealing costumes, her role seems reduced to assisting her husband, shifting props onto and off the stage. In other instances, her elegant body is being sawn into pieces. However, in itinerant show business families, women traditionally participated in all aspects of the business, while their names were rarely mentioned in the records. Moreover, fairground communities allowed and encouraged women to perform whatever role befitted them on stage, including all the traditionally male jobs off-stage, such as driving vehicles and doing manual work, as well as maintaining the financial and domestic side of life and, in some cases, travelling the world. This project aims to reassess these notorious female stereotypes in the historiography of popular science performance and, by extension, draw attention to the company, the family, the troupe, and the unseen people in the wings of the travelling theatre.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA)

Project website

The role of citizen participation inuUrbandDesign: seeking sustainable cooperation in Boston. 11/01/2021 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

This post-doc project explores the notion of 'sustainable cooperation' within the field of participatory urban design. It asks which strategies citizens, municipal planners and professional designers mobilize in order to align their interests. Phase one (exploration) consists of individual interviews with citizens shaping their own urban environment. Phase two (excavation) consists of group interviews with citizens, planners and designers. Phase three ('consolidation') seeks to disseminate the findings within the Bostonian field of participatory urban design. This project will constitute a vital, intermediate step towards the development of the 'Design Beyond Boundaries' online platform.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA)

The Constituent Museum 18/12/2020 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

The Constituent Museum is a commission from the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp to Dr. Marlies De Munck and Prof. Dr. Pascal Gielen to make the organizational structure of the museum and its relationship with society 'constituent'. That is to say, more democratic, more open and more horizontal.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA)

Anthony Braxton's Tricentric Thought Unit Construct in Post War Western Art Music. 01/12/2020 - 30/11/2024

Abstract

The perception of the canon of post-war western art music today is still strongly determined by a constructed dichotomy which keeps Western art music separate from evolutions and radical experiments in jazz and black American music. The very extensive oeuvre and philosophical body of thought of the American composer Anthony Braxton, what he calls his Tri-Centric Thought Unit Construct (TCTUC), can be seen as the metaphorical elephant in the room. This unique oeuvre has been ignored to this day as part of a larger canon of post-war Western art music and is rarely performed as such. This research project takes Anthony Braxton's TCTUC as a starting point to see how I, as an interpreter of Braxton's music, can contribute to a broadening of this canon. The intention of this research is to approach a wide selection of Braxton's compositions on their own terms. By putting these works as specific case studies on the agenda of relevant actors such as the conservatory, contemporary music festivals and concert series and through recordings and other media, I hope to make a canon broadening possible through my practice as an interpreter. In addition to this I will address the gaps within the existing discourse on post-war Western art music through Braxton's own writings (Tri-Axium Writings) as well as recent texts by George Lewis, Benjamin Piekut, Georgina Born, a.o. The results of this research will be presented in the form of concerts, lectures, articles, workshops and recordings.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA)

Convoking cultural commons. 01/12/2019 - 30/11/2021

Abstract

Convoking Cultural Commons is a pilot study in preparation for a new Horizon 2020 application. This research aims to (1) test the "convoking" research method (Haiven & Khasnabish, 2014) by (2) one or two case studies in the cultural sector. The pilot-study proposes to analyze and evaluate the relation between scientific research and cultural practices (of creative professionals and cultural organizations) via the experimental approach of convoking cultural commons. There is often too much distance between scientific research and the cultural practice, or, more general, between universities and societies. Cultural professionals mostly do not benefit much from academic research in the humanities. The validation and credit systems of universities often do not encourage academic interest in research with useful outcomes for creative practitioners. Through the research method of 'convocation' (Haiven & Khasnabish, 2014) and by experimenting with the principles of 'commoning', including creative commons, peer-to-peer knowledge exchange, and open source dissemination, the CCRL aims to explore how an academic research agenda can be more in line with research questions of the cultural sector. How can scientific research serve concrete social interests while upholding the necessary quality criteria required by scientific and artistic standards? Research professors Marlies De Munck and Pascal Gielen, in collaboration with the cultural sector, will set up actual studies and experiment with them. The researcher will design, monitor, and evaluate a model for collaborative research. Finding a balance between social interests and scientific and artistic values is the overarching aim in this. For the sake of limiting the scope of the research, this study will be about cultural organizations and creative professionals who concern themselves with commoning practices and are interested in the theoretical and empirical outcomes of the research. The results, however, will have wider relevance for cultural domains, cultural and scientific policy, the humanities, and universities in general.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA)

Project website

From Individual to Collective Creation. How Art can strengthen the individual and play a role in the Transition to a Socially Just, Sustainable Society. 08/10/2019 - 07/10/2023

Abstract

Practice-based research in the field of visual arts questioning the working methods and the processes used in a body of work from individual to collective creation. My vision is to co-develop productions that both speak their experience and vision, and are art works in their own right. In this study, I want to interrogate that process, what it yields for the community and for the world of art, in the case of my three most recent projects (one sculpture, two films): 1. 'Skull3'(Moscow Biennale, 2015), an installation constructed with artists/non-artists; 2. 'The Return of the Swallows' (Brussels, 1999-2004), a multimedia project with migrant/refugees communities, 3. 'I watched the white dogs of the dawn', (Duncormick-IRL, 2015-2017), my latest filmproject where I used collective memory and the notion of 'disenchantment' of a fishing community as a base for the creation of artistic work. I will develop the following elements for my theoretical&artistic framework (these elements will intersect and resonate with each other): 1.Trauma and resilience, 2.The role of the arts in community development, 3. The artist as agent in the community. The data I will analyse are my own plans/records of the dialogic process as it developed, and the visual data of the projects themselves: therefore, I will use the autoethnographic methodology. I will investigate the work of Beuys, specially the expanded conception of art, which includes one's values, attitudes and ways of thinking and will put it in a contemporary context. I will seek to ascertain 'if' an artist can play a more engaged, active role in society where s/he becomes a "partisan of the real", where through the collective work in these projects, we can reflexively and critically disrupt individualism in all its facets, from auteurism to neoliberalism to market-driven, globalization.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA)

Disarming Design from Palestine. 08/10/2019 - 07/10/2023

Abstract

How can design be a vehicle for political action and solidarity? How can one engage through the act of design, in complex politicized realities and how can design practices be a way to resist oppression and form a strategy to set up sustainable positions in fractured societies? These questions have become pertinent in my practice particularly through the experiences of working in Palestine. Building upon these relations and involvements I want to define conditions to empower the social, political and emancipatory impact of design. A subquestion is how to develop educational models that stimulate such design practices, ultimately arriving at design education that reinforces and commits to the economic, political and artistic independence of designers, especially for those in marginalized positions. Combined with literature research on alternative schools and design in suppressed realities, and through a wider framing of comparable practices, I will reflect upon these exchanges and develop collaborative models in which designers, crafts and the political realm meet. Specific conditions will be developed and tested in direct collaboration with Disarming Design from Palestine, the Birzeit University in Palestine, the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam and foremost the Sint Lucas School of Arts. These findings will result in a publication that shows the potential for a design-mentality that supports social resilience, solidarity and equality, and secondly to the establishment of an educational platform for design in Palestine

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA)

Sustainable creativity in the post-fordist city. 01/10/2016 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

The central question in this study is how creative workers may contribute to the urban environment and what has been called 'the commons', how creative biotopes arise and how they can be maintained in a sustainable manner by city policies. Earlier research has shown that the urban context is the most important breeding ground for creativity. This study will address the social, economic and political conditions that cities (may) generate in order to develop a sustainable creative biotope. It revolves around such questions as: How do social conditions (for instance, networks, the creative class), economic conditions (for instance, competitive relationships), and political conditions (for instance, subsidies, democratic decision-making) affect urban creative biotopes? What kind of creative processes are viable, or not, under specific social, economic, and political circumstances? This study aims to make a contribution to research on creativity both empirically and theoretically.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA)

Past projects

The Big Flemish Reconsederation 25/02/2021 - 30/06/2021

Abstract

The Flemish Broad Reconsederation (FBR) aims at a thorough review of the various expenditure items and, where relevant, cost coverage within the Flemish Budget. This aims to improve the quality of public finances in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. An important role is reserved for scientifically based insights. These insights may consist of research that has already been carried out, but may also require new research. Moreover, cooperation from the policy areas will always be required. This communication aims to describe the governance of the VBH. In addition, be elaborated a number of accompanying measures. These measures go beyond the VBH, but are necessary to be able to carry out the screening.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA)

Cultural and Creative Spaces and Cities. 01/11/2018 - 28/02/2021

Abstract

In this research the relation and mediation between top-down governance and bottom-up cultural organizations is studies from a juridical perspective. The postdoc research Maria Francesca De Tullio will analyze and develop regulations that support commoning practices and regional and urban cultural policies based on principles of the commons.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA)

Service Flemish Opera 18/02/2018 - 03/06/2018

Abstract

It is only about sharing research information through lectures, introductions to concerts. The research information comes from the research that Arne Herman continues in the context of sustainable creativity research.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA)