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Pathway Leader: Xandra van der Eijk

Ecology Futures


Locally grounded international community in the south of the Netherlands
2 year, Full-time interdisciplinary research pathway
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Ecology Futures


‘As the impact of accelerating climate change is slowly revealing itself, we are confronted with how deeply our cultural identity is intertwined with the landscape. Imminent drastic alterations to the way we live cause profound feelings of unease, sadness, and detachment. Losing land to sea, losing ice to the sun, losing animals to history- how do we deal with this new notion of [ecological] grief?’ 

— Xandra van der Eijk (Course Leader Ecology Futures)

 

We live in a time of ecological catastrophes, in which the realities of environmental collapse are starting to reveal their impact on society. Artists and designers have a major task to identify, critique and design the narrative around ecological degradation. This is where Ecology Futures comes into play: a new research master pathway launching in September 2020. 

The master pathway in Ecology Futures focuses on the role of new media art and design research in interpreting, analyzing, critiquing, experiencing and visualizing ecological degradation and its broad network of cause and effect. At its core, it considers societal, political, economic, and environmental issues as ecological, and unpacks its complexities through a multitude of transdisciplinary methodologies and theories. Students are invited to explore alternative realities from a position rooted in the knowledge of layers of complexity, avoiding oversimplification of facts and one-sided approaches. The pathway supports interdisciplinary art and design practice-led research, interconnected with science, technology and philosophy. If ecology is the science of all the relationships that make up the environment of organisms and living creatures in general, then Ecology Futures is proposing art and design as a way of examining the relationships that construct an environment.

The Ecology Futures pathway focuses on introducing students to artistic methodologies and technologies that are informed by science; conducting fieldwork, deep mapping, use of AI in text writing, use of opensource datasets and software, using earth observation data, sensory technologies, storytelling through science fiction writing, artistic journalism, material research and microbiology. Students are educated in a professional interdisciplinary context. The pathway promotes a tactic based on DIY/DIT principles, supporting students to become independent professionals who are inventive and able to develop novel approaches between disciplines.

Art-science collaborations are developed primarily through the Centre of Applied Research for Art, Design, and Technology (CARADT), specifically within the Biobased Art & Design research group currently led by Professor Dr. Elvin Karana. The research group are located in the Material Incubator (a bio lab) situated in the main hall of the building in which MIVC is located. The lab is operated by both professional microbiologists as well as artistic researchers from a broader network of institutions (WDKA, TU Delft) and its methodologies are embedded within the curriculum of this research pathway. Students are offered a unique opportunity to work in a professional lab environment that facilitates practice-led artistic research.

In response to the instability of this age, Ecology Futures is in constant flux. Negotiated between tutors and students, a critical attitude informs continuous curriculum appraisal, so that it is responsive to the requirements that arise through the multiplicity of student backgrounds, narratives and unfolding environmental crises.

Through the combined network of the Course Leader, the MIVC and CARADT, a distinct team of guest tutors contribute to the programme. Each tutor is currently breaking ground within their own specialism, and all have strong industry links that bring opportunities for students to connect to the professional field.


What are we providing?

This two-year high-performance Master pathway is directed towards helping everyone realize their individual creative potential. This is achieved through a fully integrated approach to the rapidly expanding field of ecology, combined with contextual research in Visual Culture. Through the imaginary potential of artistic practices, art is a form of knowledge that contributes to the many fields of inquiry and reflects on the countless ways in which knowledges are created.

Drawing on the expertise of the teaching team, students learn to critically and creatively integrate their studio work with the acquisition of theoretical principles relevant to innovatory studio practice, in relation to the extensive context of design, audiovisual art, interactive media and digital culture. Students gain access to the formidable expertise and resources of our educational and industry partners.

Taking account of sector needs in creative employment, students at the Master Institute of Visual Cultures benefit from direct access to the industry network and execute assignments in collaboration with our partners, allowing them to test their abilities with confidence within a professional context. Our alumni form an invaluable international network of creatives. Each year we offer teaching opportunities to support and build this vibrant ecosystem.

Meet the master's programme

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Xandra van der Eijk

Xandra van der Eijk

Core tutor in Ecology Futures

The Netherlands

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...
Mark IJzerman

Mark IJzerman

Practice tutor in Ecology Futures

The Netherlands

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...
Dr. Elvin Karana

Dr. Elvin Karana

Professor at Master Institute of Visual Cultures

Turkey

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Programme Overview


Programme Specification

Duration of study: 24 months (4 semesters)
Mode of study: Full time
Award: Master of Fine Art and Design
Credits: 120
Awarding institution: Avans University of Applied Sciences
Board of studies: St. Joost School of Art and Design


We offer students a unique interdisciplinary (taught, research and knowledge exchange) programme of art & design activities, fostering key areas of research and scholarship in a much broader spectrum of art and design practices, while at the same time building a bridge with science and technology. Across all our pathways, practice and theory are co-taught, encouraging knowledge generation in relation to current social issues and civic urgencies that are relevant today, where the value of creativity, agency and critical production is understood as key for social change. 


The interdisciplinary curriculum across the MA FAD offers students flexibility, as well as a fixed programme of mandatory courses and elective modules that are shared across our MA pathways in Situated Design, Visual Arts and Post-Contemporary Practice and Ecology Futures. Fixed elements are: Independent Studio Practice, General Academic Studies (GAS), Professional Practice and Research Seminars (pathway specific). Flexible elements allow students to design their own curriculum through: Elective Modules, Tutorials (one-to-one and group), Skills Based Workshops, Lectures, Excursions and Group Critiques. Residencies, Internships, PhD preparatory trajectory and Caradt Research Fellowships offer students the possibility to broaden the spectrum of their personal curriculum choices. 


Learning Tracks
The learning track of each semester of the MA FAD programme is as follows:
Semester 1 Context & Skills Learning
Semester 2 Co-research and External Enquiry in the Field
Semester 3 Consolidation of Practice-led Research
Semester 4 Graduation Phase

Units of study
MA FAD pathways are delivered across twenty-four months, comprised of 4 semesters and 6 units of study. Each unit ends with an assessment (either summative or formative) correlated to adhering learning outcomes.

 

 

Semester 1

Context and Skills Learning

 

Semester 2

Co-research & External Enquiry in the Field

Semester 3

Consolidation of Practice-led Research

Semester 4

Graduation Phase

Unit 1

 

General Academic Studies (GAS)

 

3 EC

Unit 1

 

General Academic Studies (GAS)

 

3 EC

Unit 5

 

Professional Practice

 

 

3 EC

Unit 5

 

Professional Practice

 

 

3 EC

Unit 2

 

Research Seminar

 

3 EC

Unit 2

 

Research Seminar

 

3 EC

Unit 2

 

Research Seminar

 

2 EC

Unit 2

 

Research Seminar

 

2 EC

Unit 3

 

3x Elective Modules

 

9 EC

Unit 3

 

3x Elective Modules

 

9 EC

Unit 6

 

Thesis

 

10 EC

Unit 6

 

Thesis

 

10 EC

Unit 4

 

Independent Studio Project

 

15 EC

Unit 4

 

Independent Studio Project

 

15 EC

Unit 4

 

Independent Studio Project

 

15 EC

Unit 4

 

Independent Studio Project

 

15 EC

 

TOTAL 30 EC

 

TOTAL 30 EC

 

TOTAL 30 EC

 

TOTAL 30 EC

Admissions


Ecology Futures is open to artists, curators, writers, philosophers, and scientists with a demonstrable faculty for the arts. While applications from all disciplines are welcomed, the primary focus is on those with a background in new media, installation, sound art, performance, data visualisation, bioart/design and design research.

Admission requirements include a portfolio, artistic statement and research proposal.

The MIVC has effective arrangements in place for managing the quality of information provided for potential applicants. The MIVC proactively supports transition to master education and is responsive to individual needs. Support is given by the Head of Education, Course Leaders, the assistant coordinator and programme producer. 

Meet the Team

Xandra van der Eijk – Course Leader
Xandra van der Eijk is a Dutch artist and designer connecting art, ecology, and activism. Graduated from the Interfaculty ArtScience (MA) at the Royal Conservatory, after graduating from Graphic Design (BA) at the Royal Academy of Art, Van der Eijk has developed a distinct research methodology demonstrated in a broad body of work. Incorporating theory, fieldwork, documentation methods and material development in her practice, she re-interprets the landscape from an anti-anthropocentric view. Each of her projects deals with a key ecological issue, and how it is exposed by the passing of time. 

Van der Eijks work has been nominated and awarded multiple times and is extensively exhibited throughout the world. Her work extends through lectures, workshops, writings and curating exhibitions. Besides her own practice, Van der Eijk has been advising individual designers and institutions since 2012, including RAUM, Open Set and the Dutch Design Foundation. She has been a member of renowned design collective Dutch Invertuals since 2017.

Milton Almonacid, Tutor Decolonizing Ecological Futures
Mapuche philosopher and Professor of History and Geography at the Universidad de la Frontera, Temuco, Chile. He has more than 12 years of international experience in matters related to cultural, intercultural and global studies in areas such as science and technology studies

Darko Lagunas Leon, Tutor Decolonizing Ecological Futures 
Sociologist uncovering the social dimensions of the sustainability transition and bridging between human and non-human worlds for more inclusive social designs.

Jarl Schulp, Tutor Cartographies of the Vanishing Now  
Curator, co-founder and director of FIBER. Originally trained as a graphic and exhibition designer, he started working as a curator in the fields of electronic music, creative coding, media art, and performance art.

Mark IJzerman, Tutor Cartographies of the Vanishing Now 
Dutch media artist and designer making installations and audiovisual performances. In his work he explores interaction between sound, light and the physiological effect on the body. Most recently, his works have been exploring the way we experience and relate to our ecology and atmosphere.

Ana Lisa Alperovich, Tutor Eco-Materials Cultures & Growing Culture 
Ana Lisa Alperovich is an independent curator, journalist, and tutor based in Eindhoven. Alperovich holds a BA (Hons) Eco-Design from Goldsmiths University of London and an MA in Design Curating & Writing from Design Academy Eindhoven. 

Wasabii Ng, Tutor Growing Culture 
Wasabii is a design researcher and practitioner. She graduated with a First Class Honours BA in Textile Design at Chelsea College Of Art London and holds a MA in Information Experience Design from the Royal College Of Art London. She is a researcher in the Material Incubator lab teaching students to work with Mycelium.

Behind the Scenes


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