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Beyond the Bare Body

Design a research-based project that meets your personal interests, and work collaboratively across a broad range of scientific and artistic disciplines.

Admission: Master’s students, PhD students, and ArtEZ students
Number of students: 10
Time frame: 
November 2021 – March 2022
Meetings: 
Kick-off at InScience in Nijmegen (8-13 November) and self organized meetings and feedback sessions
Study load: 
flexible
Language: 
English
Main teacher:
dr. Martijn Stevens
Study costs: 
None
Application deadline:
 October 3, 2021

Beyond the bare body - afbeelding

Radboud University and ArtEZ University of the Arts (in collaboration with InScience and supported by the city of Nijmegen) offer a joint program for Master’s and PhD students to speculate, (re)imagine, create and contribute to a future society that is resilient with regard to wellbeing and quality of life. After all, while health-related innovations bring about opportunities as well as challenges for many scientists, artists and designers are second to none at confronting, provoking and rethinking taken-for-granted conceptualizations of the healthy body.

Scientific research on nanotech, AI and machine learning has opened up new horizons for the real-time gathering, analysis and integration of all kinds of health-related data. Possible risks can be assessed and mitigated effectively through personalized and timely interventions to support a positive change of behavior. This might help to prevent lifestyle-related diseases and thereby improve people’s wellbeing or health-related quality of life. In fact, technological innovations and integrated approaches to data science hold the promise of a future society in which everyone can live healthily.

However, ‘healthy living’ is a normative concept that necessarily differentiates between a desirable lifestyle and ways of living that are obviously considered less appropriate in view of medical risks and preventable disease. It has even been argued that the human body is rendered bare and perhaps even divested of autonomy, freedom and dignity by the nascent shift from curative healthcare to preventive medicine. Seeing that people’s capacity to act is undeniably affected by this generalized assumption that some behaviors are more proper than others, it would be imperative to have a keen eye to ethical issues as well as the societal implications of health-related innovations.

Students are invited to design a research-based project that meets their personal interests, skills and ambitions, while also making connections to theoretical concepts, artistic works, public discourse and pressing issues with regard to the so-called ‘bare body’. They have the opportunity to work collaboratively across a broad range of scientific and artistic disciplines. Using both artistic and scientific methods of doing research, participants will be thinking, exploring, reflecting, speculating, feeling, dreaming and making – all at the same time. They will gradually work round to defining a joint project that suits everyone’s learning strategies and goals; the various results of their interdisciplinary collaborations will be presented in a curated space and communicated to both a specialist and a non-specialist audience during a public event.

Preliminary schedule and milestones

3 October 2021
Application deadline

8-13 November 2021
Kick-off in Nijmegen at InScience – International Science Film Festival

15 November 2021 - 13 March 2022

Self-organized teamwork, feedback sessions and mentoring

14-19 March 2022
Closing event in Arnhem at HOME OF PERFORMANCE PRACTICES

Application

Application entails a portfolio consisting of a concise CV and a motivation letter (maximum of 700 words) in which you explain how you intend to address the overarching theme of this joint program. What would you like to get out of it? What is your background? What is relevant to you? Where do you want to go? What is still unknown, possibly challenging, or perhaps even contested? What do you find exciting, irritating or confusing? You may also want to look for a mutual connection between various topics, or between your own field of study and other disciplines. No matter how: make it your own! You are encouraged to think broadly and creatively about the collaborative research you would like to conduct with your fellow participants. Feel free to only focus on questions and ideas that speak to you. Moreover, instead of submitting a conventional letter of application, you are allowed to choose a medium or format that really suits you (e.g. video, podcast, website, short story, photo diary, animated infographic, pop song, graphic novel, ... ). Deadline is 3 October 2021. You can apply via this form. 

If you have any questions, please contact Martijn Stevens (martijn.stevens@ru.nl)