MERIAN invites established artists and academics to engage in collaborative research in between making and thinking. Mobilizing the powers and fragilities of artistic and scientific practices, selected candidates engage in research that is problem-based, methodologically innovative, and focuses on interdisciplinary topics that can fruitfully be explored across the arts and academia. MERIAN is an institutional space for the development of new norms and forms of embodied knowledge. MERIAN renegotiates relationships between existing cultural and knowledge institutions and addresses urgent matters of societal concern.
Instead of positioning the program within academia or claiming it principally for the arts, MERIAN is collaboratory: a shared initiative through and through. Distinctive in The Netherlands, MERIAN does not belong primarily with one artistic or academic discipline but builds on the heterogeneity of all involved artistic and academic disciplines. Artistic research conducted in MERIAN thus goes beyond individual artistic practice. It arises from – and is reflexive about – basic questions about how research is to be done, what for, and where. In this way, MERIAN is complementary to other Dutch initiatives offering post-graduate, or so-called “third cycle education” for artistic research.