The PhD program aims to support researchers to become emancipated independent researchers in the fields of performance and scenography, or beyond.
We support our researchers to think and work ‘out of the box’, or forget about the box altogether, and to become innovative practitioners and thinkers, that develop their work out of a (self-)critical ability to assess and relate their urgencies to a wider environment (the artistic and educational sector, society, the world). We encourage our researchers to think beyond the current value definitions of knowledge and to reappraise their own practices as precious contributions to society. We help our researchers to connect to the world, by supporting them to network, collaborate with external partners, and communicate their work to an outside audience of artists, public and professionals. Read more..
goals of the PhD program
- a.pass wants to offer a critical and collective practice-based environment for the development of the understanding of the Phd in the Arts.
- a.pass wants to develop tools for the evaluation and assessment of the knowledge that is not developed on the basis of academic or scientific criteria, but that takes seriously the qualities and values of knowledge as developed throughout artistic methodologies, attitudes and frameworks of research.
- since often the end result in this case is not necessarily the most eloquent part of the research, a.pass wants to stimulate the exchange of methodologies, practices and work sessions in-between researchers and with a larger group of interested ‘outsiders’ as a fundamental part of the PhD communication and assessment process.
- a.pass wants to support radical and experimental PhD-trajectories that critically challenge the status quo of the knowledge production within other environments, and value the transindividual richness of a shared knowledge processing environment.
- a.pass wants to develop PhD trajectories that are self-critical and relating the research to larger economic, political, academic, social, or other realities. a.pass wants to stimulate researchers to step out of their self-referential framework of discourse, professional ambitions and specialization and take on a more challenging position towards the construction of the PhD as a tool in a greater societal reality.
- a.pass wants to support researchers in their ambition to become engaged mentors in the development of tools for sharing of knowledge, and the facilitation of critical research for others, out of a spirit of generosity, interest, experimentality, criticality and artistic sensitivity.
In the selection of PhD candidates a.pass uses largely the same criteria as for the post-master researchers. In the PhD environment however more emphasis is put on the willingness to open up the research, both to fellow researchers and to a wider audience outside of the limits of the a.pass environment. If we deal with researchers with an academic background we strongly encourage them to develop a practice-based artistic research during their participation in a.pass and to profit as much as possible from the opportunities to commonly share and exchange knowledge practices.
We also expect from the PhD researchers a solid grip on both the theoretical and artistic frameworks and discourses they relate to, and a thorough self-critical and sector-critical attitude in developing their research boldly and radically within the framework of their university setting, and in relation to a larger societal reality.
PhD – organization
The PhD program is organized on a tailor-made basis with each individual researcher. The program is organized within the a.pass research center, that facilitates the research of the research coordinator, the associate researchers, and the independent researchers (see below), but also communicates closely with the post-master program. Concretely this means that a PhD researcher applies to develop (part of) her trajectory within the a.pass environment. This can happen in the pre-PhD phase, or at any time during the PhD trajectory. Since a.pass can only support PhD trajectories, but not grant or evaluate the PhD certificate, the researcher has to find, or be already associated with a university and a university supervisor. When starting a PhD project in a.pass, the researcher and the research coordinator together make up a work contract that stipulates the temporal structure (how long will the researcher be working in a.pass? how many times does she plan to come back?), the foreseen research steps that will be developed within the a.pass environment and the public outcome of the research within that period of time.
This contract then will be signed by the researcher, the a.pass research coordinator, the supervisor at the university, and the head of the department of the university.
a.pass is currently based in the infrastructure of the former industrial site ‘de Bottelarij’ in Molenbeek (Brussels). The former brewery is now occupied by a variety of cultural and other organizations. a.pass works mostly in two different spaces:
The 650 square meters collective studio, situated on the 4th floor of the building, where participants can develop their work, workshops and presentatiosns can take place.
Just bellow, on the 3dr floor of the Bottelarej, we installed the administrative office and a collective library and meeting space.
Beside that there is a storage space for our technical equipment and a work shop for small scenographic undertakings.
Of course the a.pass program spreads also into town and even travels form time to time in order to challange the spacial settings in which we work. Over the years we developed some regular contacts with other institutions in Brussels and beyond and new collaborations are emerge from our work.
Regular partners are: BainsConnective, Nadine, Morpho, KaaiTheater Brussels, Buda Art Center Kortrijk, Ufernstudios Berlin.