In 2009 V2_ will begin an interdisciplinary collaboration with the Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University in Beijing. We are founding an interdisciplinary Lab to support research and artistic production within an international residency program. Parsons the New School for Design will participate in the project with V2_. PhD and MA students at Tsinghua University may also be offered internships and residencies with the two partner organizations.
Tsinghua University has great expertise and a respected reputation in neuroscience, computer science and electrical engineering and has subfaculties in fields such as pervasive computing and interaction design. MA and PhD students from Tsinghua will work with professional artists, who will be selected by the participating organizations on a project-by-project basis. Since Tsinghua University’s facilities are extremely advanced by European standards, an outstanding basis has been established for the project.
The project is a spinoff of V2_’s collaboration with Chinese artists, art organizations and universities, begun in 2004 for the purpose of jointly establishing a platform for international discourse and collaboration in China.
The fruits of these activities include the realization of an art and technology triennial at NAMOC (the National Art Museum of China) in Beijing. The first edition Synthetic Times - Media Art China 2008 drew 95,000 visitors and was named the year’s most influential exhibition in China.
In building its Chinese network, V2_ concentrated mainly on young artists, curators and independent art organizations and on media activists such as the Chinese bloggers’ community. In 2006, V2_ invited European bloggers to take part in the second Chinese Blogger Conference in Shanghai by means of two-way streaming between Shanghai and Rotterdam. V2_ focuses on a young generation that looks critically at both itself and the West and is busily developing a new vision of China in the future and the role of contemporary art and culture there. Media, particularly independent media such as blogs, serve as an important instrument and platform in this process.
V2_’s projects emphasize two-way traffic, because for us, international contacts also serve as a mirror for self-reflection. For this reason, V2_ brought 23 young Chinese artists, curators and university lecturers to the Netherlands in 2007 during DEAF07 and organized a visitors’ program at our colleague institutions in the Netherlands with the Mondriaan Foundation.
The new Lab and residency program is the next step in our development of collaborative projects in China. We will look with an open yet critical eye at the nature of each project and its participating organizations. We see collaboration as a mutual exploration and a nourishing exchange between independent minds that understand things in the context of the processes of globalization and technologization and their effects on social and cultural organization, and the resulting contemporary artistic and cultural practice.