Artistic Research, the University, and the Trajectory of a Deleuzian Motif

Mick Wilson

conference: DARE 2015: the dark precursor
date: November 9, 2015
venue: De Bijloke Music Center, Kraakhuis
format: keynote
practice: ethics and politics
keywords: activism, artistic research, politics, resistance, university

abstract video about the author(s)


This presentation seeks to problematise a certain appropriation of Deleuzian devices within the rhetorical field of artistic research, with particular reference to the reinstatement of “Art” the renewed attention to the specificity of the aesthetic, and an associated metaphorics of exceptionalism, revolt, resistance, refusal, and flight. This problematisation is not proposed as an act of delegitimation with respect to a given “reading” of Deleuze, but rather as an intervention into the field of operations across art-philosophy. In the wake of the perceived failure of institutional critique and the politics of representation in artistic research programmes, the paper asks, What are the critical alternatives to bourgeois revolt and aesthetic exceptionalism for artistic research conducted within the precincts of the contemporary university? What might the turn to Deleuze offer in this regard?


about the author(s)

Mick Wilson

Mick Wilson is an artist, educator, and researcher based in Sweden and Ireland. He is currently the first Head of the Valand Academy of Art, University of Gothenburg (2012–); was previously the founder Dean of the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, Ireland (2008–12); and before this was first Head of Research for the National College of Art and Design, Ireland (2005–7). Edited volumes include, with Paul O’Neill, Curating Research (2014), Curating and the Educational Turn (2010), and, with Schelte van Ruiten, SHARE Handbook for Artistic Research Education (2013). He has been active in developing doctoral education across the arts through his work as Chair of the SHARE Network (2010–14), as a member of the European Artistic Research Network, EARN (2005–), and as Editor-in-Chief for the recently established Platform for Artistic Research Sweden, PARSE Journal (2015–). Recent art projects/exhibitions include: Aesthetics Jam, Taipei Biennial (2014), Joyful Wisdom, Rezan Has Museum, Istanbul (2013), The Judgement is the Mirror, Living Art Museum, Reykjavík (2013), some songs are sung slower, the Lab, Dublin (2013), and Of The Salt Bitter Sweet Sea: A Public Banquet, CHQ, Dublin (2012). Recent publications include “Opening to a Discussion on Judgement,” PARSE 1, Judgement (2015), “Dead Public: An Unfinished Enquiry” in Vector: Artistic research in context (2014), “Anachronistic Aesthesis” in Experimental Aesthetics (2014), “Between Apparatus and Ethos: On Building a Research Pedagogy in the Arts” in Artists with PhDs: On the New Doctoral Degree in Studio Art (2014), “We are the Board, but What Is an Assemblage?” in Art as a Thinking Process (2013), “Come Promises From Teachers” in Offside Effect: Papers from the 1st Tbilisi Triennial (2013), “Blame It on Bologna” in MetropolisM (2013), “Art, Education and the Role of the Cultural Institution” in European Management Models in Contemporary Art and Culture (2013). He was co-convenor with Paul O’Neill and Janna Graham of the 4th Moscow Curatorial Summer School, 2015.

info & contact


Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg, SE


mick.wilson [AT]