Art Valvas

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Art Valvas is an alternative archive for art education. It corrects the conventional model of the brick-and-mortar art schools. It creates an environment for critical dialogue, creative energy and cross-disciplinary exchange. Consequently, Art Valvas functions as a playing field or a spare(time) space in the original sense of the wold “school”. The participants test the potential of a digital platform – and its (only) seemingly rigid parameters.

We consider Art Valvas as a gateway, facilitating unexpected modes of concentrated observation, reflection and communication. It will host workshops, debates and seminars, collections, exhibits and interventions, allowing different formats and strategies. On this community-based platform the historical and the contemporary will intersect in unpredictable ways. Its contributors construct an alternative and achronological historiography of visual culture, thwarting mental barriers between media and disciplines, between the everyday and the exceptional.

In an age of hypervolatile information circulation the Art Valvas community stores or saves what it holds worthy to be stored or saved. However, Art Valvas is not a conservative repository, but rather a dynamic deposit of material ready to be reactivated and reordered at any moment. Consequently, the digital platform allows for an authentic form of artistic research, a permanent search for answers to “slow questions”, i.e. questions that are so fundamental (to one’s own practice or to artistic practices in general) that they don’t necessarily beg for singular answers. Contrary to clichéd preconceptions, digital media can foster a productive and inquiring dilatoriness, which disturbs efficacy-oriented academic curricula.

Art Valvas procures personal studios. It stimulates individual artists and collectives to think about the potential of a digital platform as “working space”, enabling new creative modes and models. The foundational question of Art Valvas is how a digital platform can function as an open studio, welcoming visitors and guests, but simultaneously guaranteeing the intimacy and the concentration of a physical ‘atelier’. Art Valvas aims to be – to put it in the words of the Belgian artist Jan De Cock – a “mental factory, producing tangible and intangible value”.


Art Valvas is an initiative of PXL-MAD School of Arts and The Bruges Art Institute.