On November 29th and 30th, I attended the 2nd Creator Doctus conference, where a consortium of 7 European fine arts academies presented their ongoing work to establish a formal 3rd cycle alternative for the arts. A key element in the presentations is the focus on creating a doctoral programme where artists are allowed to be artists, and not forced to also be academics.
The programme was a mix of artist presentations, organised in collaboration with the conference venue, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, case studies from each of the 7 participants, highlighting where they are in the work of establishing 3rd cycle programmes today, and some overall presentations of the Creator Doctus initiative and their interim report.
The thing that strikes me in the most positive way, is the fact that more countries are now beginning to see the necessity of a fine arts alternative for 3rd cycle education. The «CrD» — Creator Doctus — is being touted as a defined degree which will mark that the recipient has completed a rigorous body of work in the fine arts that qualifies for a 3rd cycle degree. This avoids the problems inherent in attempting to fit the work of artists into the various PhD models that exist.
In Norway the government has established the «ph.d. i kunstnerisk utviklingsarbeid» — PhD in Artistic Research — as a defined alternative for the arts. It is a good thing in that this is clearly defined as being based on artistic output and not academic work, but the use of the designation «PhD» still has the potential to cause confusion both nationally and internationally.
To be continued. (Sometime!)