The Education of the Artist: Research and Academic Capitalism

February, June and November 2013

In recent years, the education of the artist has become one of the most intractable problems being debated in the art world. Despite the seemingly permanent tension that has existed between educational institutions and the art scene throughout modern times, never before has it been so difficult to reach a consensus in the academic sphere about which theoretical and technical concepts an artist in training must develop. The difference lies in that nowadays it is no longer simply a matter of discussing educational programs; rather, the polemic exists at the heart of a situation whose traditionally unvarying elements are now in a situation of crisis and transformation. This is the case of the university as an institution, the state of academic disciplines, and artistic practice itself.

In this context, the current controversy regarding research and doctoral programs in the field of fine arts derives from a curricular problem that, in reality, has been affecting art studies since they were first incorporated into university curricula. It is significant that this situation, which has been latent for years, is now being presented as a new and urgent debate, just when RD+innovation has become the goal and the model of universal knowledge. Now, under the Bologna Plan, all academic areas or disciplines, including art, must engage in research guided by concepts of a certain technocratic semblance, as open to ideological interpretation, as the concepts of innovation and development.

Addressed as a cultural symptom, the dilemma of the artist as researcher finds itself at a crossroads: initially, it appears to be an academic and curricular issue, but due to its implications and repercussions, it calls for a re-examination of ideological and epistemological questions regarding the distinctive nature of art in today's world. Preliminary work in this area suggests that the complicated task of integrating art education into the new paradigm of R&D+innovation offers a critical perspective, an excellent vantage point for studying the contradictions not only within the emergent production of academic knowledge, but also within new artistic production.


Selina Blasco, Art History professor in the School of Fine Arts and Vice-Dean of University Outreach Programmes at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Carlos Chocarro, profesor in the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura at the Universidad de Navarra.
José Díaz Cuyás, profesor of aesthetics at the Universidad de la Laguna.
Jorge Fernández Santos, researcher for the subprogramme Ramón y Cajal (Ministerio de Ciencia e Investigación, Madrid) appointed to the Universitat Jaume I de Castellón.
Aurora Fernández Polanco, tenured professor in the Department of Contemporary Art and Director of the Art History Department in the School of Fine Arts at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Esther Terrón, philosophy professor in Tenerife and docent in the School of Fine Arts at the Universidad de La Laguna.

Participants (Table 1)

Fernando Baños, artist, researcher at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and member of the R&D project Imágenes del arte y reescritura de las imágenes en la cultura visual global.
Carlos Fernández Pello, researcher and cultural producer, member of the collective Rampa.
Beatriz Fernández Ruiz, Art History professor in the School of Fine Arts at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Ricardo Horcajada, Director of the MIAC Master Program in the School of Fine Arts at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Lila Insua, professor of project guidance courses in the School of Fine Arts at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Josu Larrañaga, Dean of the School of Fine Arts at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Juan Luis Moraza, sculptor, tenured professor in the Sculpture Department of the School of Fine Arts at the Universidad de Vigo, and founding member of the collective CVA.
Emilio Moreno, Amsterdam-based artist and professor in Gerrit Rietveld Academy. He has recently exhibited his work in South African National Gallery (Cape Town), Casco (Utrecht), and Van Abbemuseum/ Onomatopee (Eindhoven).
Jaime Munárriz, Vice-Dean of Research and Post-Graduate Studies at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Victoria Pérez Royo, researcher for Artea, professor of aesthetics and art theory in the School of Philosophy at the Universidad de Zaragoza and co-Director of the Masters Program in Performing Arts Practices and Visual Culture.
José Antonio Sánchez, honorary professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts in Cuenca, co-Director of the Masters Program in Performing Practices and Visual Culture, and researcher for Artea.
Remedios Zafra, writer and tenured professor of art, innovation and digital culture at the Universidad de Sevilla and of politics of the gaze at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Director of the platform X0y1 for research and art practice on identity and network culture.


Actividad pasada June, 2013
Table 2. Art Education in Modernity: From The Academy to the Pedagogical Models of the Avant-Gardes

Location: Museo de la Universidad de Navarra
Coordinated by: Carlos Chocarro and Jorge Fernández

Museo de la Universidad de Navarra

Actividad pasada November 11, 2013
Table 3. The Knowledge of Images: The Debate about Images and about Art as Knowledge

This table looks at the recent theoretical debate arising around the subject of the image, with special emphasis on the trends that defend an anthropological conception of the image – as an object and an act.
The table will review the disciplinary polemics of recent decades, basically those revolving around a new history of images, visual studies and iconic shift. At the same time, in a public colloquium, it intends to analyse the relationships between image and knowledge, between visual and textual discourse, and also the links that connect art to technique and scientific thought.
Coordinated by: José Díaz Cuyás and Esther Terrón
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. In-house seminar. Nouvel Building, Study Centre
Open only to the team and the members of the three groups that take part in this research platform.
4:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. Public round table. Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200
Moderated by : José Díaz Cuyás and Esther Terrón Participants: the guests - at the table - and members of the team from the audience.                             

Participants: Ana García Varas, Yaiza Hernández, Irene Kopelman, José Luis Pardo and Pedro G. Romero

Museo Reina Sofía. Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200