Rini Hurkmans
Flag of Compassion Archive

Making Waves 3

Making Waves 3 is an interactive research workshop organized by and for students exploring social issues from an alternative perspective and will take place in Sexyland, Amsterdam.

Making Waves 3 is organized in collaboration with Sybrand Veeger and Jurriaan Dijkgraaf, two students of Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics at the University of Amsterdam, and takes place at Societeit Sexyland in Amsterdam Noord on March 14. The third edition of Making Waves is a research workshop that revolves around the theme: Beyond Politics? Exploring the role of aesthetics and ethics, art and philosophy, in social structures.

The evening is kicked off with the welcoming words of Robert Rinnooy Kan, chairman of the Unda Foundation, and followed by the keynote lecture of Pascal Gielen, professor Sociology of Art & Cultural Politics. Gielen analyses the relationship between art, politics and the public space in the creative city. He illustrates how artists and other creative ‘workers’ respond to neoliberal policy by taking civil action in the grey zone between creativity and criminality.

The evening continues with table conversations on the relationship between aesthetics and society, viewed from different perspectives: legal, urban, economic, cultural and political. Each of the five table conversations is guided by an expert in one of these fields. Together with the participants, the table leaders delve into topics such as political paradigms, aesthetic principles, and social utopias.

Workshop tables:

table 1 URBAN HISTORY & AESTHETICS – by Claartje Rasterhoff
table 2 IMAGINATION & DEMOCRACY – by Friso Wiersum
table 3 ART & POLITICS – by Erdem Colak
table 4 LAW & AESTHETICS – by Tobias Arnoldussen
table 5 ECONOMICS & AESTHETICS – by Erwin Dekker


Claartje Rasterhoff is a historian and works as an assistant professor in Urban History and Digital Methods at the University of Amsterdam. She is also on the editorial board of Stedelijk Studies, a peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Her table discussion will revolve around the theme "Norms and Forms in crooked cities": how should we live in the city? Should the answer to this question be based on grand visions or modest suggestions? Her table will take the city as a laboratory for exploring the role of aesthetic principles in the organization of society, and will play around with a seemingly paradoxical question: how to plan for an unplanned city? The ethics and aesthetics of the "open city" will be discussed, and the ways in which these may be put into practice.
Short impression of the table conversation by Yiorgos Douliakas.


Friso Wiersum is active at the European Cultural Foundation. The ECF bridges people and democratic institutions by connecting local cultural change-makers and communities across Europe. During the workshop, Friso will host an exchange in line with the theme of his employer’s year theme “Democracy Needs Imagination”. While it seems political issues are back in many discussions in society, most of us are weary of the mobilization political organization entails. We seem to be happy to have professional politicians manage their ‘game’, while we express our ‘new engagement’ in the arts and at ballot boxes once every few years. Friso's table will address the question: how do we turn our imagination into a tool for democratization?
Short impression of the table conversation by Loran van Diepen.

table 3 ART & POLITICS

Erdem Colak (Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam) will encourage a critical discussion around the idea of the “post-political”. Making a start on the critical works of some philosophers such as Jacques Rancière, Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, Erdem’s table will address the question of how possible and, if so, how desirable it is to entertain questions concerning new social orders that go “beyond politics”? Is it really possible to solve all inequalities within neoliberal institutions of our democracies or is there a kind of serious problem in the common definition of democracy? How can we transform those critical questions into the art world? How could we map the art world after 1989 in terms of its relation to politics and the political?
Short impression of the table conversation by Rosa Mulder.


Tobias Arnoldussen is a philosopher (M.A. 2002), a lawyer (LL.M. 2001) and received a PhD in the sociology of law in 2016. He currently uses social constructivism and discourse analysis as interpretative methodologies and is an expert in environmental law, philosophy, and intercultural dialogue. Tobias' table will discuss the different functions of the aesthetics of law and the recent push against the law's ritualistic character. Some questions his table will address are: what is the value of legal aesthetics? Is it merely a quaint left over from ancient times, or does it have value in itself and if so where does this value reside?
Short impression of the table conversation by Karsten Swaak.


Erwin Dekker is post-doctoral researcher at the Erasmus School of Economics. He is also assistant professor in cultural economics at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. He has published in the fields of cultural economics, economic methodology and intellectual history, and is currently working on the moral frameworks which sustain markets. Erwin's table will delve into whether we can see an increasing “aestheticization” of the economy, observing aesthetic developments in the culinary, design, and “creative” industries. This table will be addressing questions such as: why are aesthetics now more at home in the economy? And why have they faded to the background in politics? Or is aesthetics still much a part of social movements?
Short impression of the table conversation by Maartje van der Meule.

After the workshops, the conversations are continued while enjoying food, drinks and music by the duo Eva and Maria.

All the participants received their own Flag of Compassion to take home.