F for Fact
Sandberg Instituut Master Program 2020 – 2024
— At a moment in time when facts are framed as fantasy and feelings equal truth, F for Fact investigates different forms of knowledge through an artistic lens.
But what counts as knowledge? What’s the difference between truth and meaning? How are narratives shaped and by whom? What defines authenticity and what do claims of authorship and copyright mean today for the arts?
F for Fact is a two-year course where participants work on individual and collective projects in which the factual, philosophical, or tangible world is the point of departure.
The program revolves around the interaction between knowledge and imagination, to discover new forms of storytelling. We look at the difference between fiction and truth, fact and belief systems, fake news and honest fantasies by working with a number of different sources. In short: we critically revisit the past and speculate about possible futures.
At this school of second thoughts we playfully explore the nature of personal, factual, embodied, digital, and spiritual information. We actively connect with other domains through official and unofficial institutions related to the sciences, performing arts, architecture, and society itself. Being an interdisciplinary master’s programme, the research around a subject and the form in which it is shared are closely related.
Truth has always been stranger than fiction. It still is.
— If anyone would have described what daily life currently looks like, at the moment we were exchanging first ideas on F for Fact, we would probably have shelved the whole idea. Wrong decade, wrong world. Luckily we were oblivious.
So when the COVID-19 virus did hit Europe and The Netherlands, there was no turning back.
And besides, it would be over in a few months at most – right?
How to translate different forms of knowledge into new forms of storytelling? That is the question we’ve asked as a starting point for the temporary master program F for Fact.
A question like this one, that fuels our thoughts on F for Fact, doesn’t become invalid during a pandemic. Different forms of knowledge still exist, new knowledge is produced and insights are gained every day, even (or especially) when society is stuck in freeze-frame.
The measures, to limit the number of people being infected, have a great effect on our lives: being in lockdown and having a curfew trigger existential questions, on a personal level as well as on a global scale. Related to the past: how the hell did we get here, who’s responsible? or in the present: it’s a hoax!?
The way these rules affect our feeling of freedom lead to unrest, conspiracy theories and the spreading of fake news. Even our ‘objective’ news is being framed as fake and/or biased – in which there is an undeniable truth. Their aim to be neutral sources of information is what makes them trustworthy to some, but the attempt can also be seen as naïve – every intentional choice holds its own message.
Concepts like truth and trust were never simple, but hardly ever were they seen as more subjective than today.