Creative Forms of Art Criticism and Writing with An Paenhuysen

*Live video-conferences every Monday at 7pm Central European Time. Recordings will be available in case you miss a live session!


In this Course we delve into experimental and hybrid forms of writing and art criticism. On a macro-level we will investigate how art criticism can open up to a bigger realm that goes beyond a particular artwork or exhibition, providing insight into ongoing tendencies and movements in contemporary culture. How do critics put the finger on the pulse of their times? On a micro-level we will also look for ways to expand art criticism’s narrative into the poetic and the fictional. What happens when nonfiction and fiction meet in art criticism?

We will experiment with the writing of art criticism not just to find new creative forms but for what it can contribute to the art world in a deeper way. The general aim of this course is to develop a better sense of your own personal interests, voice and style. Therefore an intensive engagement of the participant is required.

How do Node Courses work?


Week 1:  What is trending?

  • tracing trends, movements and hypes in the contemporary art world
  • blowing-up and venting in art criticism
  • the (dis)advantages of making grand, sweeping statements in art criticism
  • writing manifestos in art criticism: where/what is the next revolution?
  • assignment

Week 2:  Signature shot

  • feedback on writing assignment
  • what is one’s own voice? Finding your “signature shot”
  • investigate historical examples of daring voices in art writing in the 1920s
  • learning to control the narrative / develop a sense of construction / writing with the ear
  • assignment

Week 3:  (Non)Fiction

  • feedback writing assignment
  • fictional form in art criticism: the art work as starting point for fictional and poetic developments
  • the question of truth and untruth in art criticism
  • the writers’ room or writing as a collective
  • assignment

Week 4:  New perspectives

  • feedback writing assignment
  • developing interests in your writing/mapping
  • creating new perspectives on art
  • deconstructing the trodden path
  • writing exercise in class


Creative Thinking: Strategies to Develop and Refine your Project Ideas with
Jennifer Danos

*Video-conferences every Tuesday at 7pm Central European Time. Recordings will be available in case you miss a live session!


Every project we want to make or do starts with an idea, an impulse that is often inspired by a subject or question we are interested in exploring. But how can we make that initial idea the best it can be? This course will expose participants to a number of different strategies for research, development, and refinement of an idea while creating visual tools to track their ideation process.

This course is for curators, artists, designers, and anyone in the cultural fields wishing to make the creative process of developing concepts more effective and to arrive at ideas that would take their projects to the next level.

Following the course, participants will learn a range of creative thinking and research techniques, including practical and unorthodox research methods as well as visual tools to track their creative process. Participants will be able to apply these techniques to any number of project ideas, leading to the creation of each participant’s unique method that is suited to their specific practice and the needs of the project.

How do Node Courses work?


Week 1: How to be a creative sponge

  • Idea brainstorming techniques
  • Mind mapping & other train of consciousness techniques
  • Practical & unorthodox research strategies
  • How to foster a creative attitude & atmosphere
  • How/where to gather & keep this information
  • Look at types of visual logs
  • Daily activity: collect collect collect!
  • Weekly activity: think big!

Week 2: Finding the needle in the haystack

  • How to filter and archive all that is gathered
  • Look at examples of this process
  • Make new connections & find hidden threads
  • Taking risks with idea development strategies
  • Continue visual logs
  • Daily activity: shaking out the gold from the sand
  • Weekly activity: bringing big down to earth


Week 3: Putting the pieces together

  • Analysis strategies to assess initial results
  • Picking one or more ideas to further develop & refine
  • Knowing when to keep looping back through the process
  • Group critique past individual activities
  • Continue visual logs
  • Weekly activity: how can this be better?


Week 4: Fostering a creative practice

  • Look at examples of post-production analysis
  • Analysis of visual logs
  • Group critique of individual work
  • How to apply these strategies to a number of different tasks
  • How to identify & develop your own individual practice
  • Final Q & A


Engaging Audiences: Educational Programming in Curating with Kate Brehme (neé Martin)

*Live video-conferences every Thursday at 7pm Central European Time. Recordings will be available in case you miss a live session!


This course has been developed for curators who would like to learn more about how curatorial and educational practices can come together. Participants will find out about the various ways in which education can be approached practically and conceptually by examining case studies from around the world.

In the first week, participants will gain an overview of what education can be within a curatorial context, exploring different approaches and formats and looking at the shift from art “audiences” to “participants”. The second week will explore the role that interpretation plays in curating discursive education events and activities while the third week focuses on facilitating practical aspects such as collaboration, leading and organising workshops, collaborative and participatory projects. Finally we will examine the programming of education activities within institutions and as part of an independent curatorial practice.

How do Node Courses work?


Week 1: Introduction to education within a curatorial context

  • A short history of education within a curatorial context – where are we now, and how did we get here? The so-called “educational turn” within curatorial practice and the shift from “audience” to “public” to “participants”.
  • An overview of how education is approached by various institutions and independent curators and a look at terminology within and definitions of education.
  • A look at education from formal to informal, practical to theoretical, and participatory to collaboratory. How does one combine these with a curatorial practice?

Week 2: Interpretation

  • Explores the role that interpretation of contemporary art plays within curated education activities such as speaking, writing and moderating.
  • Examines case studies of academic discursive events, informal discussion groups and other interpretation formats.
  • Presents factors to consider such as knowing your “public”.

Week 3: Facilitation

  • Explores the role that facilitation plays within curated education activities such as collaborating, leading and organising.
  • Examines case studies of practical education activities such as workshops, participatory and collaborative projects.
  • Presents factors to consider such as negotiating relationships and interacting with your “public”.

Week 4: Programming

  • Examines case studies of the programming of education activities within institutions.
  • Examines case studies of the programming of education activities as part of an independent curatorial practice.
  • Presents factors to consider such as developing programming concepts and aims.