The Language of ArtScience

(course for Artscience, 2008/9)
taught together with Michael van Hoogenhuyze, Taco Stolk, and Joel Ryan.

Within the world of contemporary art and also within the ArtScience Interfaculty there are number of distinct views on the possible interaction between art and science. These views partially overlap, but other aspects of these views seem incompatible with each other. The differences between these views manifest themselves most clearly in the different definitions of artistic research they imply. The aim of this series of meetings is to give an overview of the most important of these views, in order to enable the students to reflect on their own approach and research strategies. The starting point of this course will consist of texts by Dick Raaijmakers, Taeke de Jong and Michael van Hoogenhuyze. Also case studies will be discussed and a number of guests will be invited to present their research and their approach.

DAY ONE, october 10:

introduction and case-study: The Interfaculty Image and Sound (1989-2004)

texts: some early texts of the Interfaculty

DAY TWO, october 17:

case-study: Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Walter Gropius, Gyorgy Kepes; the Bauhaus, the Institute of Design, Centre for Advanced Visual Studies

texts: some texts by Moholy-Nagy, Kepes, Gropius


  • Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, “Vision in Motion”, Paul Theobald, Chicago, 1947.
  • Gyorgy Kepes (ed.), “The New Landscape in Art and Science”, Paul Theobald, Chicago, 1956.
  • Richard Kostelanetz (ed.), “Moholy-Nagy, an Anthology”, Praeger, New York, 1970.
  • Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, “The New Vision”, Wittenborn, Schultz, New York, 1947 (1928).
  • Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, “Malerei, Fotografie, Film”, Florian Kupferberg, Mainz, 1967 (1927).
  • Raoul Francé, “Die Pflanze als Erfinder”, Kosmos, Stuttgart, 1920.


DAY THREE, november 14:

case-study: The Institute of Sonology, IRCAM

text: debate between Foucault and Boulez

literature (still under construction):

  • Georgina Born, “Rationalizing Culture, IRCAM, Boulez, and the Institutionalization of the Musical Avant-Garde”, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1995.


DAY FOUR, november 21:

the artistic process as a particular mode of thinking

texts: Sol Lewitt, Taeke de Jong and Nelson Goodman


  • Michael van Hoogenhuyze, “Het Muzisch Denken”, KABK, 2007.
  • Taeke de Jong, “Kleine Methodologie van Ontwerpend Onderzoek”, Boom, Meppel, 1992.
  • Nelson Goodman, “Languages of Art”, Hackett, New York, 1976.


DAY FIVE, november 28:

language games, cybernetics, culture as play

texts: Roger Caillois part one and part two


  • Johan Huizinga
  • Roger Caillois
  • Norbert Wiener

DAY SIX, december 12:

the artwork as a system, art and technology, collaborative projects, open society, open work, open form.

texts: Jack Burnham fragment one, fragment two and fragment three, Douglas Davis fragment


  • Jack Burnham, “Beyond Modern Sculpture”, Braziller, New York, 1968.
  • Douglas Davis, “Art and the Future”, a History/Prophecy of the Collaboration Between Science, Technology and Art”, Thames and Hudson, London, 1973.
  • Marga Bijvoet, “Art as Inquiry, Toward New Collaborations Between Art, Science and Technology”, Peter Lang, New York, 1997.
  • Karl Popper, “The Open Society and its Enemies“, Routledge, London, 1945.
  • Ludwig von Bertalanffy, “The Theory of Open Systems in Physics and Biology”, Science magazine, 13 January 1950: Vol. 111. no. 2872, pp. 23 – 29.
  • Umberto Eco, “The Open Work“, Harvard University Press, 1989. (original Italian from 1962)


Joost Rekveld