missions and background


A/R asbl – art (slash) research – is a non-profit organization for the support, exchange, circulation and promotion of arts research in the Higher Schools of Art of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.
This platform came to life in recognition of how diverse emergent arts practices, particularly in art schools, invent their own research methodology appropriate to the questions at hand, thus creating new fields of inquiry and knowledge.
Artistic creation is fundamentally unpredictable, unexpected, and even unverifiable, thus evading all pre-defined notions of what research in the arts can mean prior to being practiced. It similarly eludes all subsequent systematization, or all uniformity of procedure and methodology. So it is essential to establish evaluation and identification strategies that are tailored to these particular objects. This mission will be carried out in close collaboration with the artistic council of A / R asbl.

A / R asbl aims to support research in the arts by acting as an initiator, through calls for projects implemented under the auspices of its artistic council.

Most importantly, arts research, like any other research, must not stay confined to the places where they emerge, rather should be made accessible to both other artist-researchers and the larger public. A / R asbl intends to take on the responsibility of disseminating this research and putting it into circulation.

The platform also provides information related to theses that have been completed or are in-progress in the WBF as part of a Doctorate in Art and Art Sciences organized by the Universities in collaboration with the Higher Schools of Art.


A / R asbl is the fruit of a reflection process carried out for many years by the Higher Schools of Art within what was then known as the Higher Council of Higher Eduction in Art of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (CSESA). In 2012 the CSESA, hoping to take stock of the situation, organized an international colloquium from November 28-29 at the Palais des Académies in Brussels, entitled: "Einstein/Duchamp and after? Research in Higher Schools of Art".
The colloquium opened the debate, turning an internal CSESA issue into one of larger, public interest. The number of participants and the quality of the audience’s attention proved how necessary and urgent it is to talk about this essential question and find a way for institutions to promote this research, the nature of which demands an original approach within the panorama of higher education.
If the colloquium brought to light the richness and general interest in research projects developed in art schools in Europe and elsewhere in the world, it also revealed the existence of well-structured, high-quality research already taking place within certain Higher Schools of Art in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.
The CSESA determined that it was necessary to highlight these research initiatives and reinforce the dynamics already in place by creating a platform to support and promote research, exchanges of practice, and availability of resources, by establishing A / R asbl and its artistic council.
It is important to emphasize that arts research should not be mistaken for scientific research with art as its object of study, which could be supported, for example, by the FNRS (national funds for scientific research).