KUV-netværket (The Artistic Research Network) was set up in 2014 at the behest of Kulturministeriets Rektorer (KUR, Rectors under the Ministry of Culture). All of the artistic education programmes under the auspices of the Danish Ministry of Culture were represented in the network: Den Danske Filmskole (National Film School of Denmark), Den Danske Scenekunstskole (The Danish National School of Performing Arts), Kunstakademiets Billedkunstskoler (The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ Schools of Visual Art), Syddansk Musikkonservatorium (SDMK – Danish National Academy of Music), Det Jyske Musikkonservatorium (The Royal Academy of Music Aarhus/Aalborg), Rytmisk Musikkonservatorium (Rhythmic Music Conservatory) and Det Kongelige Danske Musikkonservatorium (The Royal Danish Academy of Music). The year before, in 2013, the Danish Ministry of Culture had set up a funding scheme for artistic research – known in Danish as Kunstnerisk Udviklingsvirksomhed (KUV). All of the artistic education programmes could apply for funding from this scheme, which helped attract attention to artistic research in Denmark and facilitated more – and larger – projects within the field at the artistic educational institutions.
The objective of the KUV-netværket was to strengthen and develop artistic research in Denmark through interdisciplinary collaboration between the art programmes. The KUV-netværket acted partly as a space for inter-institutional exchanges of lessons learnt and knowledge sharing, and partly as a vehicle for developing the area across the various art forms and institutions. With support from KUR and from the Kulturministeriets Tværæstetiske Pulje (funds set aside from the Ministry of Culture for interdisciplinary work), the network organised a number of events and publications: during its five years in existence, the network was behind five seminars, a KUV festival, a website and the publication of a KUV yearbook.
In 2012, two years before the network embarked on its work, the Danish Ministry of Culture published a report on artistic research. The report offered the first common definition of artistic research (KUV) at art programmes seen on Danish soil. While the concept of artistic research had been on the rise internationally for a long time, it was still relatively little known in Danish context, and right from the outset the ministry’s study played an important role as a common frame of reference for the work done by the KUV-netværket. Indeed, the network worked on the basis of the report’s definition of artistic research (KUV), which stated that it is ‘an integral part of the artistic process, one that leads to a publicly accessible result and is accompanied by reflections on the process itself and on the presentation of the result’. Thus, artistic research (KUV) is defined as an activity carried out by artists who, through their artistic practices, explore, test and ask questions – and subsequently disseminate the results of these studies to their peers.
The objective of the network’s efforts was to jointly develop conceptual and methodological frameworks and formats for artistic research while ensuring that the concept always made sense and was relevant in an artistic context: artistic research was, and still is, a young discipline where important developments take place through real-life practice, meaning that the individual artistic research projects are instrumental in laying out the framework for what artistic research is and can do. The concepts and formats should not be seen as firm moulds to which each individual project must adapt, but rather as structures and scaffolding that can be used as the basis for further endeavours. For example, one aspect of the network’s efforts consisted in a continuous discussion and joint development of the ‘framework’ around artistic research. In this regard it was important for the network to work towards a common understanding and definition of artistic research among the various art programmes, all while taking into account the differences between the different arts and institutions.
The other main aspect concerned the facilitation of an inter-institutional artistic research culture that could support individual projects at the various art programmes while also offering a shared space for inspiration, reflection and sparring. In other words, the work was about creating formats where educators who were already working on artistic research projects could meet, and where interested professionals could familiarise themselves with artistic research, contribute to the discussion and perhaps be inspired to embark on artistic research projects themselves. The network’s seminars became an important part of this work: here, artistic research practitioners could present projects to each other and receive feedback from colleagues, regardless of whether the projects in question were ongoing or completed, and the discussions undertaken during the presentations (and over lunch) were very valuable in building a common language and culture around artistic research.
Over the past decade, a great deal of work has been done at individual art programmes to set up and consolidate artistic research, not just in the form of individual projects for the benefit of individual project practitioners, but as an integral part of the development of a knowledge base that benefits the entire institution and, not least, its students. The KUV-netværket has played an important role as a focal point for the art programmes in this process. The establishment of the Center for Artistic Knowledge and Development constitutes a new and ambitious step in this common direction.
(KUV-netværket, May 2020)
Overview of network members 2014–2019
National Film School of Denmark: Pia Milwertz Jensen (2014–17), Søren Friis Møller (2017–19)
The Danish National School of Performing Arts: Inger Eilersen (2015–17), Signe Allerup (2017–19), Ralf Richardt Strøbech (2017–19)
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ Schools of Visual Art: Carsten Juhl (2014), Jan Bäcklund (2014–15), Sidsel Nelund (2016), Karen Harsbo (2017–19)
SDMK – Danish National Academy of Music: Kasper Hafstrøm Bøg (2015–19)
The Royal Academy of Music Aarhus/Aalborg: Bjørn Petersen (2014–19)
Rhythmic Music Conservatory: Lars Brinck (2014–19)
The Royal Danish Academy of Music: Eva Hess Thaysen (2014–19), Anne Gry Haugland (2014–19)
Overview of the network’s events and publications, 2014–2019
- 2-day Artistic Research seminar, 12–13 November 2015
Venue: Schæffergården, Gentofte
Moderator: Bjørn Kruse
- 2-day Artistic Research seminar, 15–16 September 2016
Venue: Havreholm Slot, Hornbæk
Moderator: Henrik Frisk
- Festival, 5 November 2016
Venue: The Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen
- Artistic Research seminar, 4 May 2018
Venue: SDMK – Danish National Academy of Music, Odense
Moderator: Anne Helen Mydland
- Artistic Research seminar, 18 September 2018
Venue: The National Film School of Denmark and The Danish National School of Performing Arts, Copenhagen
Moderator: Michael Schwab
- Artistic Research seminar, 26 April 2019
Venue: Rhythmic Music Conservatory
- Yearbook 2018