PhD candidate sought for “Activating Fluxus”

The sister project of PCMK, “Activating Fluxus,” seeks a full-time PhD candidate. Read the full description below.

Bern University of Applied Sciences – Academy of the Arts (HKB) is one of the leading Art Schools in Europe with a broad range of Bachelor and Master Programmes, a doctoral school Studies in the Arts (SINTA) and a variety of advanced-level courses. Its four research institutes perform cutting-edge research on topics related to artistic practice in visual and performing arts, music, theatre, design and conservation. Conservation with its program in Modern Materials and Media, which looks back at twenty years of history, is renowned for its practice-oriented and research-based curriculum.

Within the research project Activating Fluxus generously funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and situated in the Research Institute Materiality in Art and Culture, we are seeking to appoint

PhD CANDIDATE

This predoctoral fellowship fosters the academic career of an individual who aspires to obtain a PhD degree by permitting them to pursue supervised research in a collaborative, supportive environment of a high-profile research project.

The project Activating Fluxus investigates objects, events, scores and ephemera that emerged in the spirit of Fluxus in 1960s–70s in Switzerland, Europe, UK and the US. Inherently fluctuating by definition, Fluxus rejects a stable, material form. Considering the transitory aspects of Fluxus forms not destined for preservation, and looking through a multidisciplinary lens of conservation, art history, performance studies, heritage studies and museology, this project advances novel strategies for activating Fluxus through the reconstruction, adaptation and the artistic reinterpretation of Fluxus forms.

The Research Institute Materiality in Art and Culture explores the multitude of connections between the materiality of art and cultural artefacts, their makers and time, their ongoing lives and existence in collections. Through material analysis, critical-theoretical approaches, and the pursuit of urgent inquiries emerging from conservation, the Institute investigates the human-made world and its expression in culture.

The project Activating Fluxus offers an opportunity to contribute to ground-breaking research supported by a team of established scholars, researchers and artists. The successful candidate should manifest enthusiasm for and ability to research the emerging area of contemporary conservation with a particular focus on Fluxus. The successful candidate’s PhD research will be situated at the intersection of art history, performance studies, visual studies, heritage studies and conservation. The fellow has or is keenly interested in obtaining project-relevant research skills. They have an established track record of professional experience in contemporary art conservation or related field ideally manifest in publications or other outputs equivalent with the predoctoral level. We seek candidates who can work in a team and meet deadlines, are committed to excellence and work ethic, and are determined to contribute to the field by delivering an outstanding dissertation. Excellent communication skills, creative thinking and ability to generate new ideas are prerequisite for this position. The candidate is both highly engaged with the project’s questions but also curious about the challenges the project poses in the field. They are able to communicate confidently with practitioners and academic researchers. Applicants must have a relevant MA in the area related to conservation of contemporary art or material studies and relevant work experience. This is a full-time, fixed-term residential position starting from November 15, 2022, or upon agreement, to March 31, 2026. The approximate gross salary is 47-50K CHF per annum. The fellow works in close liaison with the Project Lead, Prof. Dr. Hanna Hölling. Their dissertation project will be situated within the doctoral program Studies in the Arts (SINTA) and supervised by Prof. Dr. Peter Schneemann, Bern University (primary supervisor) and the Project Lead (subsidiary supervisor).

Main responsibilities of the doctoral candidate

  • Research and deliver of an excellent doctoral dissertation that offers a significant contribution to the research project Activating Fluxus
  • Select, research and develop writing on case studies both independently and under supervision
  • Participate in project meetings and other project-related events
  • Liaise with project team members to discuss, test, and implement the project’s findings
  • Contingent on progress and in consultation with the Project Lead, contribute to the dissemination of the knowledge generated during the project in the form of peer-reviewed publications in an academic journal and an edited volume as well as oral presentations at academic, professional and outreach events oriented toward general public
  • Deliver other agreed output and champion the research project nationally and internationally
  • Collaborate on maintaining a website featuring the research project’s progress and relevant academic activities
  • Co-organize project-related workshops, symposia and conferences
  • Co-organize an exhibition
  • Have an excellent command of academic and spoken English. Additional proficiency in one of the Swiss national languages is compulsory

The interviews for this position will be conducted late October 2022. Queries about this opening can be directed to hanna.hoelling[at]hkb.bfh.ch and sebastian.dobrusskin[at]hkb.bfh.ch. More information about the project can be found here [https://activatingfluxus.com/]. Applications require (1) a cover letter, (2) a statement of research interests and experience, (3) a curriculum vitae including a list of publications and names and contact information of three academic referees able to speak to the candidate’s suitability for this post. Please note that we only accept online applications, in English or German. The deadline for applications is October 15, 2022. Please email us to obtain the link for the online application.


Featured photo: A Çiğ Köfte wrap and glass of ayran, a take on Alison Knowles’s Identical Lunch (1969) by the Activating Fluxus team in collaboration with Buffet Nord, HKB. Photo by Aga Wielocha, June 22, 2022. Click here for more.

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