Artistic Entrepreneurship: Intensive Module MFA2

08.06.2020 - 12:00 to 12.06.2020 - 15:00
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MFA 2nd year

Zoom Room:

Artistic Entrepreneurship is an agency that involves and engages new combinations and new forms of cooperation among researchers, concepts and ideas, technologies, resources, and machines. It paves the way for a different kind of entrepreneurship in the truest sense of the word: Rather than just a business model, it is the undertaking or new beginning of acting together across sectors, across actors and across disciplines. Common responses, shared means of production, creative solutions, and joined forces allow for an agency that will inspire people to tackle the biggest challenges society faces.

This second iteration of “Artistic Entrepreneurship” workshop aims at figuring out possible responses to the current pandemic as an artist and how to be un-afraid of pioneering new opportunities that might open up by reclaiming the term “entrepreneurship”. What could artistic entrepreneurship mean, as opposed to the entrepreneur of the self?

During the weeks programme, The Trondheim Academy of Fine Arts’ teachers, students and alumni set out to intensely debate and explore the role of the arts in times when knowledge and affect production have to respond to urgent societal challenges. This may mean going into un-roadmapped territories into which artists can explore, pioneer and ultimately live from what they do.

Key Topics are:

* What possibilities and limitations are inherent in current definitions of Artistic Research?
* What could be a new notion of artistic entrepreneurship?
* What tools from other areas of entrepreneurship could be used?
* Skills and tools needed for experts and practitioners
* Investment and alternative funding sources
* Responsible and ethical research and innovation
* Case studies into crowdfunding, start-ups, NGO’s
* Discussing current and designing future models regarding copyright, open source, creative commons, digital distribution, intellectual property
* Sustainability and Community Building
* In which ways can Artistic Research inform different forms of knowledge transfer?
* Industry collaborations and public outreach
* Expert Networks & Stakeholders
* Art schools-society-economy (Russegger, 2019)
* Develop new dissemination channels and exchange platforms

This second pilot brings together local and international experts to discuss artists’ experiences, career paths, opportunities towards a new notion of Artistic Entrepreneurship. The forum will be an exploration of cutting edge concepts, trends and opportunities to enhance artists capacity to build new models of their own, take risks, know their rights and promote their work to new audiences in socially and technologically innovative ways.

Facilitated by Trondheim Academy of Fine Arts in conjunction with NTNU Engage, Kulturell og kreativ næring, Kulturrådet and Stein7000.


Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th June
12:00-15:00 Martin Palmer "Floating Stones: A workshop on key issues relating to establishing yourself and surviving as an artist"
Art is an uncommon profession, one that is best defined as an entrepreneurial religion. This is because it offers the possibility of spiritual fulfillment but at the same time it operates like any other enterprise of our capitalist world. (...) Some consider it unfortunate that an activity considered transcendental and of vital importance to the spiritual progress of humanity such as contemporary art is should be governed by economic directives, but it is necessary to accept this and to learn how to live with it, in the same way in which those who seek advancement in a religious profession have to abide by the rules established by the church. It is by learning these rules that we may finally be in the position to offer our grain of salt to the art world.
Pablo Helguera

DAY 1 (3 hours)
A short history of surviving as an artist
Plans and expectations after graduating (short round table discussion)
Reality check: The artist economy
Ways of seeing / Ways of funding:
4.1. Sales. How it works.
4.2. Public funding in Norway
4.3. Grants and stipends - An overview
4.4. About commercial sponsorships
4.5. Valuing your expertise

DAY 2 (3 hours)
Case study: How to apply
When we’re screwed we multiply: Why join the artist union

Martin Palmer is a MFA graduate from KIT. In addition to his own artistic practice, he is working with the Arts Council Norway and is currently also head of program at Trondhjems Kunstforening. He is a board member of TBK (Trøndelag Bildende Kunstnere) and Trondheim Art Museum. He has read and written a ton of applications.

Wednesday 10th June
12:00-13:00 Anaclara Talento Acosta will share her personal experience (mostly mistakes she made) and also some strategies for those who want to establish themselves as artists and researchers in Norway but also pretty much anywhere else. Some general advice on our job as artists and researchers, but also some practical specifics on Norway and Scandinavia as potential places to establish, stay, live, and work.

Anaclara Talento Acosta is a visual artist, researcher, teacher. Bachelor and Master of Arts – Plastic and Visual Arts (Uruguayan University of the Republic – UdelaR. National School of Fine Arts Institute – IENBA, 2007 – 2013). Master in Fine Arts (MFA) (Norwegian University of Science and Technology – NTNU. Trondheim Academy of Fine Arts – KiT, 2017 – 2019). Member of Uruguay’s Contemporary Art Foundation (FAC) since 2007, a member of the Artistic Research Society (SAR) since 2017 and a member of the Norske Billedkunstnere since 2018. Her work revolves around five main projects: EMH: An Essay on Motherland History (2009 – 2015), Pink Mist (2013 – 2015), Letters to Sebastian, a memory rehearsal: (re) script – (re) stage – (re) enact (2014 – 2021), Love in another language (2019 – 2022) and the Latin American Office of Contemporary Art and Political Subversion (OLAC SP) (2020 – 2025).

13:00-15:00 Prerna Bishnoi: ARTISTS SURVIVE (Focus on Non-EU cultural workers in Norway)

1. UDI:

Types of visas that non-EU artists can apply for

(Self-employment visa requirements and how to start your own company

2. Infrastructure for art practice:

Studios in Trondheim (brief listing)

Residencies (for a post-Covid world)




4. Mutual aid and support

Non-EU artists alliance (Facebook group)

Brainstorm: cooperatives, collectives and more, we will work towards creating a bank of ideas for mutual aid and ways we can support each other.

Potential questions to address during a collaborative brainstorming session:

Do you qualify for grants in your home country?

How can you continue your own project even if you don’t get public funding?

How much of how you work in Norway is determined by the UDI and how can we loosen that grip?

What emotional and educational support will you miss after leaving KiT, how can you re-create that after?

Can we identify clauses in the UDI visa applications and grant applications that prove to be hindrances? If so, can we overcomes them through shared strategies? 
Ex. How can you apply for project support (Kulturrådet) when you don’t have an invitation for an exhibition?

What are you good at? How to not underestimate all the skills and knowledge you embody through your art practice?
Can we map all the technical support/workshops, institutional or personal in Trondheim?

Prerna Bishnoi has a practice in filmmaking. Working at the co-influence of performativity, study and spatial production, the films expand into different forms: scripts, poetry, live events, or archives. Often, the starting point of her projects are images produced by the persistent forces of teleological “development” that dominate the growth of cities and transform conditions of living. She is interested in constructing narratives that actively re-imagine existing spatial and systemic relations. Most recently, her work has been shown at Trondelag Senter for Samtidkunst, Bangalore International Centre and The Raja Ravi Verma Heritage Foundation. She has been an artist-in-residence at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2013) and Capacete (2019). She finished her Master's at the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art in 2015. Ever since, she has worked as a project coordinator and artist-researcher for the project PARK. at LevArt, a municipal public art project in Levanger. She currently lives in Trondheim and roots her practise in both India and Norway.

Thursday 11th June

12:00-15:00 Benjamin Toscher
This talk will cover what Ben believes is one of the most useful and practical theories from the entrepreneurship research field - Saras Sarasvathy’s theory of effectuation (here attached). As much a work of philosophy as it is a theory of entrepreneurship, this theory might get you to think a bit differently about how you go about your career and your life — instead of thinking of end goals, this theory will have you think of your means and resources available to you in order to act like an expert entrepreneur.  In this sense, entrepreneurship is treated as bricolage and individuals can take a grounded, practical approach to artistic entrepreneurship.

Benjamin Toscher is a PhD research fellow at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. As a member of SFU Engage, a research center dedicated to engaged education through entrepreneurship, Ben researches arts entrepreneurship education -- entrepreneurial learning and entrepreneurship education in the contexts of higher music education and arts education. His work has been published in international peer-reviewed journals such as Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, The International Journal of Education and the Arts, and Social Enterprise Journal.

Friday 12th June

12:00-15:00 Stein Bjelland lecture / breakout workshops: How to really survive as a professional artist // A hardcore look at the artist economy; structures, marketplaces, marketing, money, funding and the possibility to make a living after school´s out. As a professional artist you are by nature part of the global art economy and the more you understand the better you will be prepared. We will take a closer look trying to break down mechanisms and possibilities in this crazy world without compromising the product itself: art.

Stein Bjelland (1970) is a cultural entrepreneur and music business consultant. Stein now runs Stein70000, his own consultant company within the music and the arts. There he has been dealing with counter-culture and entrepreneurship within the music- and arts business for over 20 years, working closely with different organisations, companies, artists and institutions on innovation and entrepreneurship within the cultural sector. Between 2008-2013 he was the co-founder and president of the Norwegian production- and management company Great Moments, working with artists like Kvelertak and Purified In Blood. He has also his own experience from the international music industry, trying hard to become a true rock star with the band the Getaway People in the late 90s. The band signed a major deal with Columbia Records in New York and toured the US and Europe extensively between 1997-2001. For over 13 years Stein Bjelland was the owner of Nuproductions As who owned and produced the boutique Numusic and Nuart festivals in Stavanger. He was also the manager for Norway's first and only music investment-fund, Buzz As in Bergen, investing in music companies, music technologies and other relevant projects. At present time he is thinking really hard about the concepts and in-and-outs of entrepreneurship in the arts- and cultural-business´ doing work for a lot of different clients from the Norwegian Government and Symphony Orchestras to smaller music companies. In 2018 Stein was re-elected chair of the Audio and Visual fund by the Ministry of Culture, he also serves as the head of the board of Kunsthall Stavanger and as a member of the board of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. He teaches regularly at the New York University and other Norwegian Universities and is often invited as a speaker to conferences and workshops. Stein divides his time between his homes in Stavanger, Norway and Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Kunstakademiet i Trondheim
Norwegian University of Technology and Science (NTNU)
N-7491 Trondheim

Visiting address:
Innherredsveien 7 (Industribygget)

Contact form
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Tel. +47 73 59 79 00
Fax. +47 73 59 79 20