Universiteit Leiden

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Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA)

ARC (art_research_convergence)

ARC (art_research_convergence) is an outreach initiative of Leiden University Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, and the University of the Arts The Hague, for the active communication of artistic research.

What is ARC?

ARC hosts exhibitions, installations, lectures and performances every second Tuesday of the month. The idea is to enable a space of communication and action where artist-researchers can show work in progress (or finished work in need of feedback) and discuss it with the audience.
ARC plays a connective role in the network of artistic and investigative practices. It strengthens the knowledge infrastructure in the dynamic field of practice-based research as well as brings it into the public eye. In doing so, it contributes to the knowledge economy in the region.
This project acts as a forum or laboratory, in which artist-researchers work together with other cultural players on new works, designs and performance practices.


  • What? Performances, exhibitions, installations, lectures and other formats suitable for the communication of artistic research
  • Who? Artist-researchers, including graduate students, doctoral candidates and lecturers at artistic research institutions as well as independent artists who regard and represent their work as research
  • For whom? General audience interested in the relationship between art and research, artists, researchers and students whose field has to do with artistic and/or research practices
  • When? Every 2nd Tuesday of the month. More sessions to come from September 2021 on...

Where? Studio Loos, De Constant Rebecqueplein 20B, 2518 RA, The Hague/ Korzo Theater, Prinsestraat 42, 2513 CE, The Hague OR online (depending on the covid-19 situation).

Past sessions 2021



ARC session 12 January 2021 // Blind Maps and Blue Dots

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Book Presentation Joost Grootens: Blind Maps and Blue Dots

The shift towards digital modes of production has fundamentally changed both cartography and graphic design. The omnipresent computer, the interactive possibilities of digital media and the direct exchange of data through networks have obscured the distinction between designers and users of visual information.

Blind Maps and Blue Dots is the first comprehensive publication to explore the disappearing boundaries between producers and users of maps. Joost Grootens examines three mapmaking practices—the Blue Dot, the location function in Google Maps; the Strava Global Heatmap, a world map showing the activities of a fitness app; and the ‘Situation in Syria’ maps, a regularly updated map of the Syrian conflict made by an Amsterdam teenager. Through these examples and numerous visualizations, the book shows the blurring of the binary distinction between producing and using, ultimately offering a whole new approach to graphic design.

Joost Grootens is a graphic designer, educator and researcher. He is a University Lecturer and researcher at the Academy for Creative and Performing Arts of Leiden University. In April 2020 Grootens obtained his doctorate at PhDArts, Leiden University and KABK The Hague. 


9 February 2021 New Inputs

ARC session 9 February 2021 // New Inputs

An evening with research presentations and artistic performance devoted to the role of interdisciplinary thinking and extended modes of interaction in free music improvisation. With research presentations by Richard Barrett and Johan van Kreij, video footage of Richard Barrett and Daryl Buckley and live performance of Cristina Schönbach (voice), Hilde Wollenstein (electronics), Peter van Bergen (saxophone) and Johan van Kreij. Read more.


ARC session 9 March 2021- Walking (as a Method) in Artistic Research// Alice Twemlow


Presentations and a moderated discussion, featuring:
Justin Bennett, teacher in Institute of Sonology at KC, member of Interdisciplinary Research Group (KABK, KC and ACPA) and member of Jubilee, platform for artistic research and production in Brussels.
Rebecca Dunne, alumna, MA Artistic Research, KABK
Stephanie Springgay, director, School of the Arts and associate professor, McMaster University; co-director of WalkingLab and co-editor of Walking Methodologies in a More-than-Human World.

Sophie van Romburgh, lecturer at LUCAS, Leiden University
Alice Twemlow, Design Lector at KABK and associate professor at ACPA, Leiden University

The act of walking

The act of walking is a familiar and well-theorized research methodology in the social sciences, especially geography. Its value for new forms of situated, embodied, relational, and material research is also increasingly recognized in the field of artistic research. Whether they wander, stroll, dérive, crusade, trespass, or consciously follow the coordinates of a map; whether they bring with them a camera, audio recorder, facial recognition software, pen and paper, or nothing at all; walking can provide designers and artists with ways to think and make in solitude, to talk and exchange with others, or to simply co-exist with non-human companions.

In this session Dr. Alice Twemlow and a panel of artistic researchers working in different media explore the cross currents and the points of differentiation between their various approaches to walking as a research method. Among other topics, they will address the relationship between walking and other strategies and tactics such as writing, mapping, image-making, archiving, sensing, speculation, listening, and place-making, and between walking and issues and themes such as rhythm, public space, climate crisis, the Anthropocene, and slowness. The session also invites a discussion on how walking could be situated more critically in what theorists Stephanie Springgay and Sarah E. Truman have labeled a “more-than-human” methodological discourse, with the potential to engender “solidarity, accountability, and response-ability.”

Read more

Watch the recording of Walking (as a Method) in Artistic Research

Intro, presentation by Alice Twemlow

Presentations by Justin Bennett, Rebecca Dunne, Sophie van Romburgh

Presentation by Stephanie Springgay, first 15' of Q&A


Read the blog about this session on ARC_view, an online documentation project of the ARC (art_research_convergence) sessions.


ARC session 13 April- Musicians Playing With Computers | Musicians Interacting With The World 

The use of technology in music encompasses different practices: live coding, gestural software instruments, live-electronics interfaces, AI and machine learning, etc. However, the different ways in which musicians make sound using their computers reflect not only the relationship between humans and technology, but also a broader and more universal relationship – between humans and the world surrounding them.
How do music technologists design tools in order to address the potential needs of a future performance situation? How do they address questions concerning technology and human behaviour or perception? How do they choose to digitally document and study the world around them, and to use computer instruments as a critical tool to retheorize political, cultural, and social issues?
Presentations and a moderated discussion, featuring:
Dr. Jenn Kirby (University of the West of Scotland)
* Live Electronics: Performer Agency and Audience Reception
Kirby’s research is focused on developing new methods of performer agency in live electronic music and utilising audio-visual symbiosis to enhance audience engagement. She designs and performs with gestural software instruments.
Prof. Anıl Çamcı (University of Michigan)
* The Immersive Thread: Building Tools for Worldmaking across Various Media
In this presentation, I will talk about some of the tools and techniques I developed in recent years to explore immersion as a common thread across different modes of artistic expression ranging from fixed electronic music to audiovisual, interactive and participatory art. In discussing the relationship between my creative work and technology, I will also outline how research into extended realities can influence our notions of creativity and audience engagement moving forward.
Dr. Ilya Ziblat (Independent composer and researcher)
* Live-electronics and the News: Real-time Processing of Speech Samples Extracted From Social-media Platforms
My live-electronics interfaces are designed to process audio samples in real time. I often choose to work with samples of speech extracted from social-media and video-sharing platforms. By re-working these politically 'charged' materials I am able to deconstruct biases and supposed meanings, to question the dispositions of the speakers, and finally to reconstruct language in a musical rather than syntactical order. 

You can view the documentation of this session here.


ARC session 11 May- What Method for Erotohistoriography? // Ben Spatz, Jed Wentz, Laila Neuman, João Luís Paixão

Elizabeth Freeman’s “erotohistoriography” proposes that “contact with historical materials can be precipitated by particular bodily dispositions, and that these connections may elicit bodily responses, even pleasurable ones, that are themselves a form of understanding.”

This presentation advanced the idea of an erotohistoriographical method by focusing on emerging audiovisual approaches to practice research in performing and embodied arts. What if the interplay of history and identity in the researchers’ own bodies were recognized as central to the research process? What if the inherently collaborative concept of the laboratory were taken as a starting point for research in arts and humanities? What if audiovisual production were understood not only as a source of objects for analysis but also as a form of scholarly publication?

The presentation examined audiovisual materials from Ben Spatz’s Judaica project, which explores jewish identity through audiovisual embodied research, as well as a new collaboration between Spatz and a lab run by actor-musician Jed Wentz at the Leiden University.


ARC session 7 June - REFUSE/NIKS: Classical Music Performance Norms—Resist or Obey? Daniel Leech-Wilkinson in Conversation with Anna Scott

As this session's special guest Daniel Leech-Wilkinson observes in his 2020 eBook Challenging Performance: Classical Music Performance Norms and How to Escape Them: "Classical musicians may be the only Western artists still trained to believe that their job is to reproduce the practices and intentions of the dead, as faithfully as possible, for ever."

Classical music's adherents might support the idea of increased performer agency and creativity, but "behind idealistic talk of artistry musicians must always strive, in the ruthless neo-liberalism that the music business so efficiently performs, to out-play their rivals in fluency, reliability, punctuality, collegiality, health, good looks, and musical affect, while being careful not to change the agreed character or meanings of a score."

Classical music performance norms are a set of rules and expectations concerning the agreed-upon character and meaning of musical scores. Both prescriptive (dos) and proscriptive (don'ts), as well as strictly enforced, these norms include patterns of behaviors and internalized values, beliefs, and assumptions that often operate unnoticed—until someone dares to expose, challenge, and escape them.

This session brings together a group of artist-researchers doing just that. As the above quotes suggest, however, this comes with great risk. Engaging more imaginatively with composers' scores is one thing, but how open are we really to greater imprecision, or to imbuing musical works with startlingly new characters and meanings, or to radically rethinking our criteria for evaluating the quality of performers and their performances? 

Chaired by pianist Anna Scott, Assistant Professor at Leiden University's Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA), and featuring themes that emerge from a series of pre-recorded video presentations by Daniel Leech-Wilkinson and a group of ACPA-affiliated artist-researchers, this session will take the form of a 'live' discussion and Q&A. Pre-recorded videos will be available to registered attendees one week in advance. Questions to be discussed on June 7th include: why challenge classical performance norms at all; what are the risks and rewards; how to engage with gatekeepers; how to avoid alienating artistic communities; what role do audiences play; what wider cultural and political implications are involved; what has been the effect of the ongoing pandemic?

For more information go here!


Programme 2021

Keep an eye on our website for the sessions from September 2021 on.

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