Studio talks are a vital part of artistic practise, from preparatory art schools to academies and further into professional artist life. However, innate power structures tend to corrupt communication. How to deal with this issue? How to establish a common space, where the status of the speaker doesn’t obscure the topic; where the query doesn’t serve the purpose of positioning oneself within a hierarchy, but actually opens diverse perspectives, nurtures courage and kindles insights?
At the DAS Theatre Academy of Theatre and Dance (Amsterdam University of the Arts), a feedback method has been developed to address these questions. The model provides a methodical toolkit which, to my experience, well serves the intention expressed by the staff of DAS Theatre:
The central aims for the feedback situations are: to empower the artist who is getting feedback on his or her work, to go beyond the pronouncement of judgments, to allow fundamental criticism, to create a sense of (self-)discipline for the sake of precision and clarity, and, last but not least, to increase the enjoyment of giving and receiving feedback.
For the last few years, I have been part of a peer-to-peer network continuously practising the DAS Theatre method. As a process leader, I have also found it valuable in educational situations – and will happily share.
A Film About Feedback