Artistic Educational Commoning as a Laboratory of the Real

Frederiek Bennema

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This article presents and discusses an extracurricular, co-constructed programme: “The Catalyst Club” as a form of Artistic Educational Commoning (AEC). Having been developed as part of a PhD research at Minerva Art Academy (Groningen, The
Netherlands), The Catalyst Club (TCC) explored new perspectives on the education of artists and designers in a globalized world and created alternative modes of operating in higher art education. It brought together students, alumni, teachers from a range of disciplines, and external participants. During developing TCC, the author occupied a dual role as researcher and participant, working together with others in an artistic co-creative process. TCC drew on and developed the methods relating to Collaborative Autoethnography, Participatory Action Research and Artistic Research. This study presents AEC as a communal effort to build spaces for learning and experimentation. They are created through interaction and cooperation, based on social relations and the production of shared values. As such it can offer a counterbalance to the extensive individualisation, instrumentalization, and commodification of communities in higher art education. The article formulates some recommendations on how AEC can reconnect the education of artists and designers with the role of the arts in wider technological, societal, and political contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-96
Number of pages31
JournalEuropean Journal of Philosophy in Arts Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2022


  • higher art education
  • neo-liberalism
  • commoning
  • learning through difference


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