Ed Atkins will be visiting professor
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ Schools of Visual Arts have received a new grant issued by the Novo Nordisk Foundation towards a one-year tenure for a visiting professor. Professor Henriette Heise has invited British artist Ed Atkins to be visiting professor at the Academy in the academy year 2018/19, working on the research project Mortality and experience in contemporary digital representation. Ed Atkins has enjoyed a prominent international career, during which his work has been exhibited several times on Danish soil, including at his critically acclaimed solo show Safe Conduct at the National Gallery of Denmark in 2016.
‘Welcoming Ed Atkins as visiting professor allows our Academy to assign high priority to a field we have hitherto been unable to focus on due to financial constraints: the digital field,’ says Henriette Heise.
Ed Atkins will conduct research and teach at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ Schools of Visual Arts – and speak to students about using digital media in their artistic practice and what this means.
Henriette Heise emphasises how the ever-growing digitisation of society has an impact on the students’ work.
‘Most of the students at our Academy have grown up with the internet, digital video, computers and smartphones – these are elements that have shaped and defined their lives. Responding to this, they develop practices that are frequently, each in their own way, underpinned and governed by this digital realm’.
With keen insight into the field, Ed Atkins addresses the evolution of digital media and their impact on our lives and societies. He works with CGI (computer-generated images) and with digital processing and mediation of what we know as organic and original material. Atkins wishes to help nuance and qualify the students’ deliberations regarding the digital field, and he will bring his internationally founded practice to bear in Copenhagen, introducing new perspectives on teaching and research within the field of fine art.
Three new PhD fellows and a research project of women modernists
The Schools of Visual Arts will be joined by three new PhD fellows who have received funding for their PhD projects from the Novo Nordisk Foundation. David Hilmer Rex has received funding for the project Artistic practice and systems change, Honey Biba Beckerlee for the project Digital Matters and Christian Danielewitz for the project Hidden Flow: The Production of Invisible Territories in the Age of Digital Visibility.
David Hilmer Rex’s PhD project aims to realise a range of new activities and projects pertaining to Primer, a platform for artistic and organisational development that works within the setting of the biotech company Aquaporin. The objective is to consolidate the artistically based research and development department Primer, which is simultaneously integrated in, yet also autonomous from Aquaporin. The project is supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and carried out in collaboration with Aarhus University.
Honey Biba Beckerlee’s PhD project aims to develop a theoretical and practical framework for a posthuman, digitally sensitive art practice within the research area of posthuman aesthetics. The project seeks to renegotiate perceptions of immateriality in cyberspace and the digital realm, as well as to challenge established definitions of life and non-life. The project is supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and carried out in collaboration with Aarhus University.
Christian Danielewitz’s PhD project examines the material production of present-day media technology and the harmful social and environmental impact of such production. The project is supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and carried out in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen.
Hanne Abildgård has received a grant from the Augustinus Foundation for her research project Kvindelige modernisters strategier og muligheder i Danmark ca. 1910-1940 (The Strategies and Opportunities of Women Modernists in Denmark circa 1910–1940), to be published as a book and as an exhibition.
State support for four artistic research projects
Earlier this year, four scholars and artists received funding from the Danish Ministry of Culture’s funds for artistic research (Kunstnerisk Udviklingsvirksomhed – KUV). The four projects are:
Jenny Gräf Sheppard’s project Sounding Bodies – Resonance in and between Bodies. The project has received funding for its initial phase: ‘Developing tools and methods for exploring the body as an apparatus for sound’. Jenny Gräf Sheppard is an associate professor with the Laboratory for Sound at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ Schools of Visual Arts.
Christina Marie Jespersen’s project Bog, Værk og Materialitet (Book, Work and Materiality). The project wishes to examine how the artist’s book can create new spaces of meaning-making in the field where text, image, materiality, format and object intersect. Jespersen works at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ Schools of Visual Arts as editor at Billedkunstskolernes Forlag.
Malene Bang’s project Bæredygtige materialer og materialesprog (Sustainable Materials and the Language of Materials). The project will result in an online library of materials listing sustainable plastic and biomass materials that can be used to cast sculptures and objects at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ Schools of Visual Arts. Students and educators at the Academy will be able to use this library to build knowledge and insight on environmentally friendly and sustainable use of materials. Malene Bang works at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ Schools of Visual Arts as a workshop assistant at the School of Sculpture Charlottenborg.
Anu Ramdas’s project Grafén – Medie og Mineral (Graphene – Medium and Mineral). The research project has received funding for its second, concluding phase. In addition to conducting research, Anu Ramdas is a workshop assistant at the Academy’s Laboratory for Photography.
Facts about artistic research (KUV) and research at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ Schools of Visual Arts
Artistic research – known in Danish as Kunstnerisk udviklingsvirksomhed (KUV), literally ‘artistic development work’ – is a vein of research that focuses on artistic practice as an act that generates knowledge and insight. A work of art generates new knowledge out of and about its material constituents and out of the technical and theoretical knowledge that underpins the piece. Artistic research is an important part of the knowledge basis of Danish fine art education and one of the cornerstones of the Schools of Visual Arts’ methods, educational approaches, artistic practices and ongoing development of competencies and skills within the various specialist fields of fine art. All professors and associate professors at the Schools of Visual Arts are contractually obliged to engage in artistic research. Special projects on artistic research involve interdisciplinary collaboration between the various Schools and laboratories.
The academic research (in Danish videnskabelig forskning) conducted at the Schools of Visual Arts falls under the auspices of the Institute for Art, Writing and Research and is carried out by a range of PhD fellows, postdoc fellows, institute staff and the head of institute. The research conducted by PhD fellows is always carried out in collaboration with a university where said fellows are enrolled. Academic research can be carried out by artists or academics and is mostly funded by external research grants. Research projects are often initiated in collaboration with other research institutions and must be relevant to the realm of fine art education
The Institute for Art, Writing and Research coordinates all research activities at the Schools of Visual Arts, whether artistic or academic, houses PhD students and research staff and offers courses that draw on current research projects.