The laboratories and playrooms to unfold knowledge – Serge von Arx – Norway

Serge von Arx, (Architect and Professor), is the artistic director of the scenography department of the Norwegian Theatre Academy (at Østfold University College), and external professor at the Danish National School of Performing Arts. He is a member of various boards, notably for the Norwegian Artistic Research Program, and the Scandinavian Artistic Research Journal VIS.

In my visit to Norway we meet at one of the school’s Oslo offices to converse on the subject of Artistic Research, from a Norwegian perspective based on his extensive experience, Serge explains his viewpoints as an educator, observer and facilitator, rather than seeing himself as a practitioner, something that he finds amusing but which has also given him the opportunity to study the field in depth as it expands in the Nordic countries, without depending on the results of these changes for his own artistic development.

Of the embodiment of new insight he refers to as an opportunity, mainly, to create laboratories “and playrooms” that allow for collective thinking rather than the already obsolete solo-hero-story, which plagues the art world. In sharing input and output, perspectives and diverse approaches, we find ourselves at a powerful turning point in not one but many fields of collaboration and as a society… but he is also quick in highlighting that in these opportunities lay also very clear political interests, and why we cannot allow ourselves to be defined by the titles and easy opportunities of an academic new entrance, if what we really are, is artists seeking to make art.

Special thanks to Serge for his support in this investigation, for this interview, and for the consulting done throughout the process.