New Artist in Residence: Theun Karelse

Photography by Gabriela-Liivamägi

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The Academy of Architecture has invited artist Theun Karelse to be AiR for the upcoming Winter School programme. This year’s Winter School will be held from 11 to 19 January 2023.

Theun Karelse (Borssele 1974) studied at St. Joost and Sandberg Institute. His experimental practice explores the boundaries between art, environment, technology and archaeology. Theun initiates and participates in research programs. His most recent program was at ARTIS Royal Zoo, where he initiated the Machine Wilderness artist-in-residency program and a student programme with the Art Science Interfaculty. 

Theun has been working for many years with field biologists, farmers and indigenous groups active in ecosystem and landscape regeneration in Europe, India and Africa. His outdoor studio consists of several gardens that serve as testing grounds for urban biodiversity, climate adaptation and indigenous knowledge systems. At the moment, his floating garden in Westerpark is welcoming the otter back to the city after 50 years of absence, and he is documenting several years of research with Ambassade van de Noordzee in a publication. 

During the Winter School, all 1st- and 2nd-year students work on an assignment as an interdisciplinary team. This assignment challenges and crosses the boundaries of the three fields of study, and trains the students’ intuition to transform an idea into an inspired product within a limited time span. The result can vary from built objects to statements, manifestos, plans, visions, and ideas. 

The AiR programme is an initiative in conjunction with the Amsterdam University of the Arts. It stimulates innovation and facilitates encounters with contemporary art practice. It provides host faculties with the opportunity to benefit from the experience of respected artists, breathing new life into the educational and artistic structures of the Academy.