AKI Research

Within the AKI Academy of Art and Design, University of the Arts ArtEZ, there are currently three research programmes active, which are listed below. Following the (preliminary) structure of the ArtEZ Graduate School, we can organize these initiatives along the lines of studio centred, lab-based and hub oriented activities. The odd one out is the Annual National Deleuze Conference, and its preceding activities, which is a more formal academic event. The hub oriented research program “The Material Image” is in development to become a master program, as well as the lab-based research program “AKI Bio Matter’s”. A third (studio-centred) program “Reality Studio’s” will be added in a later stage, yet it is currently fully operational as a didactic concept in the bachelor program.

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Artistic Research program 2017-2018

With the new biotechnologies such as cloning, tissue engineering, DNA editing and the research on microbiome our old understanding of what is life and living bodies, nature and culture have stopped having any fixed meaning and relevance. Artists known as bioartists and biodesigners have begun to use living matter as a form of visual speculation but also hands-on manipulation, actively participating in shaping an understanding of what life is and what living bodies might be and do. In other words, rather than representing the reality, bioartists invent a reality. AKI BIO MATTERs artistic research program follows bioart’s movement to learn how to think and create when your medium is alive.

Introduction The use of living matter in art is nothing new. Artists have been working with living bodies already since the beginning of the last century. However, art’s experimentation with life and living matter has gained a new significance and unexpected roles. Known as bioartists and biodesigners, they have been entering bioscientific institutions and laboratories in order to collaborate with scientists and learn to use their tools and protocols in the artistic practice.

The unique non-goal/profit oriented attitude toward experimentation, questioning and invention makes artist to gain a new role. Bioartists became a biophilosophers, bioeducators, bioactivists and biostorytellers of the new brave world where biology, technology and philosophy are not separate from each other.

However, with the new medium and possibilities, the old worries came. If art creates life, is it also responsible for it?  If bioart is not a simple representation of scientific findings, but an actual generation of realities, what becomes the role of art? These questions concern thus not only the status of art with regard to science and philosophy but also the methods, tools and implications of art’s present and future practices with living matter. AKI BIO MATTERs will thus exercise within lectures, workshops and hands-on engagements the capacities and agencies of art working with living matters.


We will face with the art and science relations and practices of living matter manipulations in a manner that hands-on practice is never separated from instant processes of thinking. We will experience and discuss what is actually happening in the labs within wider Do IT Yourself biology and bioart scene and what are the challenges of living matter manipulations. The aim of AKI BIO MATTERs will be to create spaces of thinking while doing, and doing while thinking with the living matters.

The course begins with:

Bioart Lab Week – Human Microbial Condition on 02.10.2017 till 06-10-2017

With the introductory lectures into bioart and the workshops by the guest bioartists Raphael Kim – a biohacker and a researcher, interested in DIY biology, micro-organisms, speculative futures and bio-digital interfaces https://biohackanddesign.com/

Course continues for one day a week with lectures, workshops, excursions; on an extra day, the individual guidance, discussion and consultation will be provided.

Possible lecture topics may include – detailed schedule, reading lists and case studies to be announced:

Posthuman lab – human enhancement or disenchantment?; Nonhuman lab – on plants and alien ecologies; Microbiome lab – on bacteria and agency of multiplicity; Food Lab – when art can be eaten; Biopolitics lab – on commodification of life.

Results: Students will produce their own living art and learn how to write a sound artistic research proposal for working with living matter. They will learn new artistic and theoretical methods of dealing with living matter. The interdisciplinary and open form of the course with guests bioartists conducting workshops and lectures, but also excursions to important in the field institutions and galleries will prepare students for the dynamic and plural field of bioart, biodesign and DIY biology. After the course, students know major bio art works, DIY biology tools, and artistic and philosophical influences, problems, issues and discussions when working and creating with living matters. They are familiar with the existing practices in the field of bioart and possess necessary knowledge/tools of how to develop their bioartistic research further.

Lecturer: Agnieszka Anna Wołodźko. More information: a.wolodzko@artez.nl

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May 17-18, 2017
The Sixth Annual Lowlands Deleuze Scholarship Conference will take place on 17–18 May 2017 at the AKI Academy of Art and Design in Enschede, part of ArtEZ University of the Arts, the Netherlands. The Conference’s scientific committee includes Rosi Braidotti, Rick Dolphijn and Sjoerd van Tuinen. The conveners of the event are Marc Boumeester (AKI) and Andrej Radman (TU Delft). Previous editions revolved around the following central themes:

2012 University of Utrecht;
2013 Delft University of Technology: Affect;
2014 Erasmus University Rotterdam: Passions;
2015 Radboud University Nijmegen: Aesthetics;
2016 University of Amsterdam: Ecologies.

The 2017 edition titled A Grin without a Cat will be devoted to the concept of pedagogies. It starts from the premise that what we learn is inextricably linked to how we learn it. Dichotomies such as content and form, figure and ground, or inside and outside, serve no purpose. It is the task of educators to integrate de-stratification and immanent approaches into pedagogical practices that should include the design of education itself. Papers concerning these and related issues will be presented at the conference.

Of special interest are papers exploring the intersection of education and semiotics. It is neither the materiality of the sensuous body, nor the incorporeality of signs, which render meaning, but a space of reciprocal determination. Deleuze calls this intensive space, or spatium, the ‘body without organs’. BwO is not the body, but the very process of de-re-territorialisation, i.e. embodiment. Here comes the formula, a prescribed pedagogy if you will: ‘To make the body a power which is not reducible to the organism, to make thought a power which is not reducible to consciousness.’

The conference is preceded by a cluster of Deleuze events, which unites scholars, philosophers, students and artists. The sessions had their kick off on Monday the 26. September 2016. Invited speakers were Prof. Dr. Julieanna Preston, Filip van Dingenen, Dr.ir. Andrej Radman and Dr. Marc Boumeester.

The seminar is followed up by regular meetings of the Deleuze reading group under the lead of Agnieszka A. Wolodzko. In her programme Deleuze’s apprenticeship, she will not only introduce the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze (and Félix Guattari), but elaborate on the multiple connections and uncomfortable lines of what drives thinking and creativity.

See also: Deleuze Website
AKI ISSUU Library: Conference booklet