Name of the mentors:
Bojana Bauer, Zeynep Gunduz , Roos van Berkel

Period, duration
Block 1: weeks 37- 42,

Study load
98 Hours

1, 3, 4, 5

On Gesture is an assignment for students to devise a collaborative project in which they conduct a research focused on the cultures of gesture. The outcome of this research will be an artistic proposal. The word « gesture » is multifaceted  : it can refer to the automatic gesturing of hands, face and body, which may be unconscious, yet unique to every person; it can point to partially controlled expressive gesturing that accompanies speech; or it can refer to the codified hand and body signs that have a  matching clear verbal meaning. Last but not least, the concept of gesture defines movement beyond its purely mechanical aspects. A gesture is a meaningful  action or « state of being ». To stand, to rest, to give, to run, to think, to question, to imagine - are just some fundamental gestures through which we construct our being -in- the-world. What all these different types of gesture have in common is that they are about expression, meaning, communication and relations. The gestures we do, and how we do them define how we perceive and understand the world around us. Through them we relate to our  environment and to others, and therefore create a commonality between individuals.  In this way, gestures are  always related to a context, a situation, a set of rules and common practices, as well as knowledge. They are both physical and symbolic. In a word, through gesture we embody both our being here and now, as well as  our history and culture. Through this project, students will research together their own personal world of gestures and use it as grounds for an artistic proposal.

Design of the project:
Students choose the field of their research: for example their family culture or their dance culture. In the first part of the project, students gather and produce written and visual material through interviews, observation and collection of images. From this material they reconstitute forms and qualities of some fundamental gestures (such as entering- exiting , greeting, sitting, standing, talking), as they are used, shown, taught or transformed in the field they are researching. Further analysis of this physical and symbolic material allows students to explore forms of embodiment that express identity, relations and positions of people in the culture they are researching and to formulate an artistic proposal that they will rehearse and show at the end of the project.

Learning goals
Learning how to formulate a personal artistic research goal.
Learning how to use self-narrative in the context of an artistic research.  
Becoming able to translate various verbal, written and visual material into physical material.
Combining different research methods (observation, interviews, collection of visual material, studio experimentation) in an artistic process in a meaningful way.
Sharing ideas, giving and receiving feedback, and formulating common working methods in a collaborative project. Being able to focus on a research topic.
Being able to respond creatively to an assignment Understanding meaning-making dimensions of movement. Being able to understands forms of embodiment as social and historical constructs.
Being able to connect personal experience with social and historical conditions.

Working method (s) used
Work in small self-managed groups Interviews, self -interviews
Stream of consciousness writing.
Collection of visual material, photography, drawing, video
Experimentation with physicalities, movement elements  
Analysis and mapping Interpretation, translation, distortion
Creating a portfolio
Studio rehearsal

Used study material
Online student portfolio and student’s material of choice

Assessment criteria:
Students are assessed in regards to the  learning goals of the class and their  own personal development trajectory.

Method of assessment
Portfolio and small studio performance

Learning goals in the class contribute to the overall development of the competency indicators:
1.6 / 1.7 / 3.2 / 3.4 / 3.5 / 4.1 / 4.3 / 4.4 / 4.5 / 5.1 / 5.2