KIEM grant 'Critical Making'

Janneke Wesseling heads a research consortium consisting of Leiden University (Academy of Creative and Performing Arts), Hogeschool Rotterdam (Creating010), Het Nieuwe Instituut and Waag Society. On 7 July, the consortium received a KIEM grant of € 15.000 for their project 'Critical Making as a model for art practice in the digital age'. The Creative Industry - KIEM programme of NWO (Dutch research council) aims to encourage and facilitate public-private partnerships in the domain of the Creative Industries. Senior researchers can apply for funding via KIEM on behalf of consortia of companies and researchers. 

Project description
Currently, we are witnessing a major shift from art and culture to creative industries, implying a shift from a traditional paradigm of aesthetics (literally: perception) to a technology-oriented paradigm of making. New products are often developed out of a logic of makeability, with limited attention for critical reflection on their social consequences. We therefore need a new creative practice that combines the critical reflection that is central to artistic research with the technology-driven culture of making.

To this end, we propose to appropriate the concept of Critical Making. Coined by Canadian designer Matt Ratto in 2008 and laid out in a series of MIT Press books, this concept has so far been closely tied to FabLabs and artists' media labs, while articulating a more critical position within the overall Maker movement. In our project, Critical Making will be researched and developed further in the context of critical theory and the discourse of artistic research in order to address creative practices in which art, design and technology fundamentally and practically intersect.