‘The artistic processes are very promising for improving science’

  • 05 juni 2023
HKU and the University of Humanistic Studies sign a covenant for artistic research.
‘The artistic processes are very promising for improving science’
HKU University of the Arts Utrecht and the University of Humanistic Studies (UoH) seal their strategic cooperation under the moniker of Meaningful Artistic Research. The goal is to conduct mutually inspired research that merge the artistic and scientific perspectives. To achieve this, a covenant was signed on 5 June during a festive gathering by HKU Executive Board member Heleen Jumelet and Joke van Saane, principal and chair of the board of University of Humanistic Studies.

‘We have a lot in common’, says Joke van Saane. ‘The research of our university is about urgent and topical questions in our society, such as the future of our democracy, the structure of our healthcare practices and ethical questions about living a meaningful living. Art can make a significant contribution to such questions. That’s why we are very pleased that we can continue our cooperation with HKU on a structural basis.’

Heleen Jumelet adds: ‘This valuable structural cooperation has a lot to offer, for the arts, society and the sciences. This value is realised by conducting PhD research together on the important challenges, so that we learn in what way art and science can contribute to a meaningful impact on people and society.’

Exploring, innovating and fundraising

HKU and UoH will be promoting research that combine and reinforce the disciplines and methods of both institutions. This allows both practical and creative works to become part of a research process. The partnership further seeks to innovate educational practices, with both institutions see opportunity for collective fundraising at the intersections of art and science.
Merel Visse (Senior University Lecturer at UoH and Nirav Christophe (professor at HKU) have prepared the partnership. Visse: ‘‘The artistic processes are very promising for improving science, because they propagate a broad perspective on our society.’ Art is more than just ‘fun’, as the famous arts educator Harry Broudy once proclaimed. The arts are essential for a ‘good’ society, because they help us come to new modes of thinking about how to live together. And vice versa, the researchers at UoH can enhance the artistic practices with their scientific approach.

Collective PhD research

Two collective PhD tracks have already been initiated. Marloeke van der Vlught conducts artistic research to get to an ‘aesthetic of touch’, which she names Healing Art (‘Genees-Kunst’). And Simona Kicurovska does research into modern design practices: how can designers keep using automated design tools in a critical way? On the festive gathering, both PhD candidates presented their work-in-progress and showed the participants what added value Meaningful Artistic Research can offer.
Heleen Jumelet and Joke van Saane