23 Platform Human Matters;
In challenging times, we often are geared towards finding solutions in what technology has to offer. However, this offering often does not take into account messy realities, and it limits us from seeing other possibilities. But if we are to focus on building humane futures, we have to centre the human.
For this reason, we adopted the slogan Human Matters as the core of our programme. In collaboration with the University of Humanistic Studies (UHS) in Utrecht, we are establishing Platform Human Matters to foreground artistic and academic inquiries into the human experience and move towards future proposals. For example, how does technology and the internet of things influence the relationship between humans and their environment? What would an alternative to our current economic system look like if we aim for social equality instead of financial growth? And perhaps most significantly for Platform Human Matters: what productive position does the artist take in these questions, and where do academic research and artistic practice meet?
In December 2019, ArtEZ and UHS signed a memorandum of understanding to consolidate our shared ambitions, marking a promising start to this unique endeavour. At its core, Platform Human Matters believes in the complementary approach of its founders, with the platform functioning as a centre where ArtEZ and UHS become coworkers in both education and research, thereby exploring and experimenting with new humanistic forms and structures. One of the planned outcomes is the collective MA programme Human Matters that seeks to even further elaborate on the connection between artistic and academic research practices. In addition, the Platform will also engage with a diverse network of collaborators, from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Het Nieuwe Instituut (Rotterdam), and the research consortium Simagine (Utrecht) to smaller art initiatives like TAAK (Amsterdam).