Departing from his own academic and artistic practice, Olav will address the relationship between art making and research, and ask how artistic research as well as artistic PhD programs can help produce relevant art. He will discuss his experience on various Research Councils in Sweden, and the types of debates that led to the formulation of different, idiosyncratic research programs in the context of the Swedish educational landscape. The talk will further focus on an artistic research project on comedy, which pushed the boundaries of what can be considered research, as well as on the ongoing, interdisciplinary dialogue between the Royal Institute of Art (RAI) in Stockholm and the Swedish Polar Research Station which he initiated 8 years ago. It will, culminate in some questions about the role and potential of comedy in research and innovation.
Olav Westphalen is a German-American artist and arts educator, living in Stockholm. He has exhibited widely and taught internationally (among other institutions) at Tyler School of Art, The Cooper Union New York, The Royal Institute of Art Stockholm. Currently, he is a guest professor at Hochschule für Künste Bremen. He is known (in German-speaking contexts) as a member of the cartoon collective Rattelschneck and has published cartoons about art and art-world absurdities in art magazines for many years. He was recently a resident in Nida Art Colony and made a new piece for 9th Inter-format Symposium On Fluidity of Humour and Absurdity, curated by Livia Paldi and Vytautas Michelkevičius.