Research proposal

Making Dutch Space – a morphology of the idea of makeability. It is the title of a research proposal I wrote that has just been accepted at the University of Leuven/LUCA school of the arts. News that makes me happy! My research will focus on a subject that I have been curious about for years: are we (the Dutch) ‘obsessive makers’ with regard to our landscape, and if so, why?

In formulating the research proposal I was intensively – and very pleasantly – guided by my supervisor, Dr. Steven Devleminck, affiliated with the Intermedia research unit of LUCA and the e-Media Lab of the KU Leuven.

Central to my proposal is the idea of makeability – the idea that the Dutch landscape can be made and remade as a matter of course. This idea is so self-evident in Dutch culture that the thought itself is almost invisible. But it is also deeply rooted in the consciousness of ‘the average Dutchman’ – a paradigm from which people in the Netherlands see, think and act.

Big problems required big solutions, and every generation put ‘the shovel in’ – diking, pumping, draining, subdividing, regulating, building, inhabiting, working. And when the threat increased or the land sunk: repeat. “Are we becoming more and more intelligent in this or are we reproducing our overconfidence?” wrote Frans Soeterbroek in his publication ‘The Makeable Land (Het Maakbare Land)’.

My research asks the question where ‘makeability’ manifests itself (the most) in the Netherlands, what it means and in what direction it develops. In doing so, I appeal to two related artistic traditions: that of the artist who walks and that of the artist who makes maps. I will explore patterns of ‘makeability’ in a number of areas in the Netherlands and fix and reinforce those patterns in specific places.

In this PhD my scientific roots (Geodesy, TU Delft, 1987) and my practice as a visual artist (MaHKU, 2010) come together – a challenge!

« <-- previous post next post --> »