Bik Van der Pol
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The School of Missing Studies
Be realistic, demand the impossible

The School of Missing Studies (SMS) is a network for experimental study of cities marked by or currently undergoing abrupt transition. With an increasing crisis in public space, cultural education has never been so close yet so far removed from cultural production. It has fallen far behind more generative forces for the perception of culture, such as politics and the economy. For the sake of the sustainability of society, education and learning urgently need to reclaim their territory as they provide a means to participate in politics and a force for creating forms of political socialization.

The collective public space of discourse requires certain conditions in order to be able to critically explore the ethics and aesthetics of the potential of art in relation to the public, the public good, and the public space. Taking the notion of ‘school’ as a thinking model, understanding education and learning as a space of experience and deploying education as a strategy for emancipation, SMS is a research model for the realization of missing studies, a platform for meetings and experimental learning.
The School of Missing Studies
Understanding education as a ‘place of practice’, the aim of SMS is to develop, disclose, and articulate (artistic) practice in dialogue with practices developed in other fields of knowledge and to explore if and where art produces a public sphere. Doing and learning how to continuously form society on a day-to-day basis, is a form of (self)education where dialogue is a major mode of transfer. In order to increase opportunities for diversification, SMS explores the potential of the dialogical model, understood as much more than an exchange, namely a constant negotiation of knowledge between citizens.

SMS at Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam (2013-2015)
SMS facebook
SMS at Lodgers, MHka, Antwerp (2015-2016)
SMS at Lost Highway expedition (2006)
SMS at Kunstverein Munchen (2004)