Individual Project

Hacking Tools as Artistic Research

Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (NL)

Anja Groten teaches the course Hacking Tools as Artistic Research at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague.

The course will attend to tools and tool-making processes and the hacking of tools as means of artistic research. Students will explore other ways of interacting with tools (digital or physical tools) that they use in their practice, to unsettle common notions such as usability and efficiency. The meetings will comprise a series of lectures, exercises, and workshops – which are relevant for all artistic disciplines. The emphasis will be on the process rather than the results. No prior knowledge is required.

During the course, students will be looking at a range of tools, theoretical tool concepts, as well as tool-making practices. They will question in what way tools take influence on their artistic/design methods and utterances. What kind of relations do they establish and disrupt? What are their dependencies on the tools they use as artists and designers? To what extent can they differentiate between using and making tools? What are other inspiring tool-making practices? And how do communities evolve around tools and tool-making?

Students attending this course will (re)make a tool, or a series of tools, including a definition of the ‘toolness’ of the tool, that is – its characteristics, functions, and malfunctions. The departure point could be a software application such as Photoshop, or a manual tool such as a paint brush, – as long as it is significant for the respective art/design student.