KASK & Conservatorium offers a place for free research that is embedded in a local, national and international context. Researchers from different disciplines can develop their research process there in critical dialogue with the world.
The research at KASK & Conservatorium starts from or is closely related to individual or collective art and design practices. This research aims at both an internal and an external transformation. The artistic practice, the artists/designers themselves and their reflection on the practice emerge differently from the process. In addition, they also aim for a transformation in the wider world – be it in education, a particular discipline, society ... These transformations can take place by the sharing of the research processes and – artistic and discursive – results with the world.
The research culture at KASK & Conservatorium is inter- and multidisciplinary and has experimentation, openness and freedom of research at its core.
A strong connection exists between education and research, while the autonomy of both is safeguarded. This close connection is reflected in the sharing of knowledge from research in education and in the collaborations between researchers, teachers and students, which are part of the basis of this shared research culture.
KASK & Conservatorium organizes its research in research clusters. These consist of artists, designers and theorists from various disciplines who gather around a specific research field that appeals to or connects them. In a research cluster, there is room for experimentation, exchange of expertise, interdisciplinary approaches and the organization of study days, symposia, presentations, publications and master seminars.
KASK & Conservatorium maintains a balance between explorations into new areas and consolidation of present and past research. This is evident in the combination of attracting new researchers on the one hand and establishing mature research expertise on the other. KASK & Conservatorium has a career policy for researchers and is actively committed to making research inclusive.
The research infrastructure constitutes important working and meeting places for researchers, teachers and students. This infrastructure consists of research labs, collaborative workshops and presentation spaces and provides opportunities for collective projects and experiments.
The research culture interacts with the social field and the wider arts world, and researchers participate in international networks and research projects, exchanges and knowledge sharing through symposia, festivals and publications.
KASK & Conservatorium communicates about research both internally and externally. In this way, the uniqueness of research at KASK & Conservatorium and the attendant discourse development and knowledge production is shared with the world.
1. This mission/vision applies to the research funded by the Research Fund Arts of KASK & Conservatorium. This concerns all the clusters listed below except Futures Through Design, the research centre housing the PWO research and funded by HOGENT and Howest.
Some very specific conditions determine the uniqueness of research in the arts. The field of research is artistic practice or design practice. Although research in the arts happens through this practice, the practice itself cannot be equated with research in the arts. Therefore, it is important to clearly state the relationship of research to practice.
Every research starts from clearly formulated research questions and methodologies. The choice of methodology is determined by the relationship between the research and its own artistic practice. Its interpretation cannot be limited by the existing methods of the artistic or design discipline. A critical approach to that discipline and those research methods is therefore a prerequisite.
The finality of research in the arts involves the transformation of artistic practice or design practice itself but also knowledge production. The output is of both an artistic and a discursive nature – often intertwining so as to blur those categories – and that output is shared both in the artistic field and in wider society through the most appropriate channels, and researchers do not shy away from inventing and developing those channels themselves.
This attitude also concerns other aspects of the research process – methods, formats, concepts, ... – and means that these too can be an explicit part of research in the arts.