Arts & Interaction

Most modern philosophers, sociologists and other theorists agree that our society is undergoing a radical change influenced by new interactions and network technology such as the Internet, social media, mobile phones, interactive television and more. The dynamics of all these networks is not more one-way traffic from top to bottom. Instead, it consists of two-way traffic: interactions from left to right and back again.

In the past, our society was organised in a well-established hierarchy. Modern society is structured more horizontally. As citizens we are no longer satisfied playing a passive role: we want to partake, participate and co-create or, at the very least, have the opportunities to do so. Modern philosophers and sociologists refer to this more egalitarian society in which new forms of interaction between politics and citizens, artists and the audience, designer and user are being defined as the network society.

This transition from a vertical and hierarchical culture of prohibition to a more horizontal and open society where citizens are constantly challenged to respond to a wealth of different stimuli initially appears to be a positive development.

Learning objectives

In Arts & Interaction you will explore new forms of interaction in art and design. You will not be working on the traditional ‘White Cube experience’ where the art experience is defined by observation while touch and alteration are strictly forbidden. Instead, you are to explore innovative ways to involve the audience in the production process, the presentation and the experience of your work.

How can you encourage the viewer, user or the people that the project is about to participate in your work in innovative ways? Why would you want this? What are the consequences of this participation to your authorship? And to what extent do you give rein to the interaction with participants and your audience? How much control are you willing to relinquish? And how exactly do you give form to this interactive process? How does creating a traditional art object differ from creating an interactive dialogue with your public?

Challenges and assignments

In the Arts & Interaction programme you debate the nature, dynamics and value of our network society and you are challenged to design your own point of view, both visually and theoretically. After all, it's not just philosophers and sociologists who research the strengths and weaknesses of the network society. Artists and designers are vital co-creators of this modern society who use their work to deliver commentary and criticism.

The programme has been set up in such a way that it helps you to position yourself, work together in an interdisciplinary team and to share knowledge. Together with your team, you will be presenting workshops to the other teams in which you introduce the different techniques and aspects of the subject areas in a simple and accessible way. In addition to this, you will take part in several other workshops.

Training goals

Project work

In the projects you learn how you can experiment with interaction. How do you involve the viewer, user or the people that the project is about in your production process, presentation and/or the experience of your work in an innovative way?

You learn to identify scope for further analysis and research. You are going to discover how to create an intervention that has to start an interactive development of which you are the director.

Research skills

The theory lessons enable you to practice essential research skills. These include targeted reading, quickly processing information, distinguishing central points, identifying the essence of an argument, using and applying lesson materials verbally and in writing, debating, creating an informed opinion and formulating counterarguments. All these help you to develop your own visual point of view to benefit your development as an artist or designer.

Presentation skills

Through this you will learn to clearly define your interpretation about one of the areas of research and to present the results of your own visual research. You will get chance to discover how the audience will respond to your work and how it influences their thoughts. You will be given possibilities to construct your own exhibition on location working with a production manager from V2. You decide yourself on the programme and organisation of the exhibit.

This programme is part of the Bachelor in Fine Art and Design at the AKV|St.Joost - School of Fine Art and Design.