Topographies of the Obsolete finished its second project phase on the 25-26th of August with Think Tank 2.
The artistic research project has had a phase of planning and discussions that has now culminated in the second of two Think Tanks, gathering representatives from the 9 partner institutions together in Bergen for the first time. Think Tank 2 was a further development in the ideas presented in Think Tank 1, Stoke-on-Trent November 2015, where new post-industrial sites and future collaborations were discussed. Plans and timelines for these began to take form in preparation for a future phase 3.
The collaborating institutions present at Think Tank 2 were Nottingham Trent University, Sheffield Hallam University, Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD), Newcastle University, ENSA Limoges, Bucks New University and Bergen Academy of Art and Design.
During the Think Tank all the institutions presented their initial plans and thoughts for phase 3. Development of overarching research strands for the artistic research project was at the core of the discussion. Anne Helen Mydland, project leader, stated, “Topographies of the Obsolete is a platform for artistic research rooted in the participating institutions.” This entails that Phase 3 of Topographies of the Obsolete will expand and involve the institutions and the countries they are situated in to a greater extent through their own projects. The possibility for cross-participation in these projects will give the artists, with their various nationalities and references, an exchange of experiences that will provide a wider understanding of the topics investigated in the artistic research.
The project’s focus on research-based learning was also discussed. There is a dissolved hierarchy within the artistic research project, with students and staff working artistically alongside each other, in what is a mutual exchange of experiences and critical reflection. Neil Brownsword, project leader, backed this by stating, “Students are a crucial part of the artistic research.”