Guide for incoming students
Welcome to erg
Since its creation in 1972, erg has defined itself as a research school where the activation of modes and spaces of production enables students to learn while developing a practice. The articulation of the classes aims at forming a zone of convergence favoring the emergence of unexpected occurrences, of modes of exchange and collectiveness, and of hybridized forms, thus contributing to the training of citizen-artists in relation to the world, extending far beyond the curriculum. Here, what matters is not to offer certitudes, but to gather the conditions for a maximal degree of experimentation that pushes the students to position themselves in relation to their medium while de-constructing it for a better appropriation. In order to de-construct a medium, one needs to manipulate it. The specificity of the erg’s teaching method lies in its inter- or trans-disciplinary approach, guaranteed by the way students and teachers interact across various disciplines: video, painting, photography, sculpture, drawing, installation-performance, digital arts, typography, graphic design, digital deqsign, illustration, comics, animation. In the Bachelor’s program, these interactions take place in pluri-disciplinary workshops organized as clusters: Art, Narration and Media. In the Master’s program, four programs are proposed: Art Practice, Critical Tools (Art and Simultaneous Contexts), Narrative and Experimentation (Speculative Narration), Politics and Experimentation in Graphic Design (Design & Politics of the Multiple / Artistic Practices and Scientific Complexity). Students also have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with other practices through in-school internships, during workshops organized by the teachers with external guests and open to multiple orientations, or through the use of various learning sites (video editing room, super 8 lab, sound lab, print lab, and so on).
Spaces dedicated to production and action are becoming more diverse. The first years are marked by a maximal degree of experimentation in relation to these spaces. Experimenting the nature of a workshop: a computer, a table, a stage, a kitchen. The multidisciplinary workshops are not confined to the classes, as every space in the school may lend itself to experimentation: the auditorium, specific classrooms, the cafeteria, or the various exhibition spaces. The plastic development of ideas, projects, external commissions, or acts of communication is a process that occurs and operates within its very elaboration. It is a necessary stage: imagining, making, seeing, saying. It matters to accompany the students at they venture in critical territories uncharted by traditional manuals. In order to address the issue of production conditions, the tools the students manipulate must be explored and understood: software, pigments, typography, film, or voice. Is form determined by history, IT companies, technical limitations, economical means, the workspace? Critical and theoretical tools One must also explore the issue of the critical conditions of productions pertaining to the existence of the students’ projects: with what analytical tools are we looking at things? What are the sources of these tools? Who is talking? To whom? In what kind of economic, political, and social system? In what kind of history? Throughout the curriculum, the purpose will be to support a form of resistance and epistemological disobedience to the norms and the codes of history. An art practice articulated around the possibility of a critical thought necessarily places its references and its objects within a geopolitical context. Practices cannot be separated from their sites, their forms, and therefore from their techniques, their time, their relations to other artists, art forms and situations.
A specific attention will be given to productions that may have a parallel existence according to various formats: performance, video, lecture, publication, or graphic design. These forms are explored collectively by learning from and questioning the other. The working conditions raise the issue of group work, as the group is a necessary condition for experimentation. This collective work will therefore be central concern for the teaching and administrative team. Such a stance will lead to probe the way the school functions and evolves, as well as the way artists, authors and scientists work. Inviting them to observe the kinds of relations that are developed, the protocols that are established, and the kind of hospitality that is offered. These educational priorities are elaborated with the erg’s team of teachers, together with a program inviting actors from the fields of art, science, and humanities in the form of workshops, seminars, and public interventions. Erg is a place dedicated to artistic, plastic and graphic practices that venture in theoretically and formally critical zones. It offers spaces and pedagogies to be defined and re-defined collectively. It is a place where one may learn from what does not work – that is, a place dedicated to research.
THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW BEFORE COMING TO ERG
art clusters (art, narration & media)
The clusters – “pôles” – are meeting points and places of convergence between several options. Their role is to confront and blend knowledge and practices. Each cluster possesses its specific, multidisciplinary workshop. The AP (Atelier pluridisciplinaire, Multidisciplinary workshop) is compulsory, and its pedagogy is based on research and experimentation in relation to the students’ personal projects.
Students choose one orientation among the 13 proposed, each of which is linked to a cluster. To allow students to choose with the full knowledge of the facts, all workshops are open during the first week of the academic year, and teachers are invited to describe the content and objectives of their courses.
Artistic course / multidisciplinary workshop: AP
4h/week = 120h/year
– The AP Art gathers the students registered in the orientations: Digital Arts, Drawing, Installation / Performance, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Video.
– The AP Narration gathers the students registered in the orientations: Comics, Animation Cinema, Illustration, Video.
– The AP Media gathers the students registered in the orientations: Digital Design, Graphic Design, Typography.
To be chosen from all the orientations (different from the first choice), or between serigraphy, etching (on metal or on wood) and Model drawing classes.
Theoretical courses pursue the same objectives as the multidisciplinary workshop and the orientation: acquiring theoretical knowledge and critical tools in order to nourish the students’ artistic projects. The wide variety of classes addresses esthetics, art history, or economic and political issues, while keeping a constant link with exact and human sciences.
Our system of teaching
Our system of teaching is based on the so-called "Bologna" process. In 1999, European states signed the Bologna Declaration, agreeing to establish a unified higher education system. This process involves the establishment of comparable degree courses, thereby increasing inter-compatibility and enabling student mobility. For this purpose, the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) was established, allowing a better understanding and readability of degree courses. We offer first-cycle general studies leading to a Bachelor degree (180 ECTS, or 60 ECTS / year). These can be followed by a second cycle leading to a Master degree. This cycle takes one or two years depending on the desired depth and provides access to a professional career. Finally, we offer third-cycle studies, open to holders of a two-year MA and leading to a doctorate (PhD).
The grading system
Following exams (oral and / or written) the final assessment will be expressed as a score between 0 and 20, with a score of at least 10/20 denoting a pass grade. To make the results interpretable, they are then transcribed into an ECTS grading scale, using a cohort percentile (i.e. how a student has performed relative to other students in the same class (or a significant group of students), as set out in the following scale: A: the top 10% of passing students; B: the following 25%; C: the following 30%; D: the following 25%; E: the remaining 10%. The F grade is used for students who have failed.
The academic calendar
The academic year is divided into three quadrimesters, the first two being scheduled for courses and exams. The academic year begins in mid-September. The first term ends on January; the second term runs from February to June. The updated academic calendar is available here
Erg publishes its course catalogue a few weeks before the start of each academic year. It lists the courses offered, together with information about the faculties, courses, when they are held (1st, 2nd term or 1st and 2nd terms for the annual courses) and who is holding them. The catalogue is available here
Registration as an exchange student
To be considered, your application must include, inter alia, the proposed study programme or "Learning agreement” duly approved by your home institution.
Most of our courses do not require prior registration. Students present themselves at courses after informing themselves about when and where they take place. This information is posted either on each faculty’s website under "valves électroniques“ or on the faculty bulletin boards ("valves papier”) situated near the faculty secretariats.
Most courses are offered only in French. As an exchange student you will therefore need a working knowledge of this language.
Belgian public transport consists of buses, trams and trains. The price of a single ticket inside Brussels is 2,10-€2,50 but you can get a monthly or yearly season ticket on the basis of the documents certifying your student status that you receive when you arrive. You can also get 10-trip or 5-trip tickets, which work out cheaper than buying single tickets. We encourage you to find out about these and make use of them. For more information, please visit: HUhttp://www.stib.be/abonnements.html?l=frUH An alternative to public transportation is cycling. Brussels, as a signatory of the “Charter of Brussels", is committed to developing the cycling infrastructure and promoting cycling in the city. This means that you will find self-service bicycle parks where bicycles can be rented at very affordable prices. For more information see : http://www.provelo.org/en
For paying for your lodgings and current expenses, we advise you to open an account at a bank of your choice, once you have arrived in Brussels. To do this, simply go to any bank branch, taking with you your passport or identity card (for EU citizens) and proof of registration at the University. If your passport does not contain your home address, a copy of your registration at the municipal authority in Belgium will be requested.Telephone and Internet You can either go for purchasing "pre-paid" cards or taking out a subscription. This can be done at a store of your choice. There is a wide range of providers on offer and you will be able to compare prices and offers, once you are settled in Brussels.
On arriving in Belgium
If you come to Belgium by plane, you will arrive either at “Brussels Airport” in Zaventem, about half an hour from the centre of Brussels or at the “Charleroi Bruxelles – Sud" airport, about one hour away from Brussels.
87 rue du Page, 1050 Bruxelles
by tram A / At Gare du Midi, get on tram 81 to ‘Montgomery’ B / Get off at ‘Trinité’ (about 10 stops) C / Take rue de l’Aqueduc towards place du Châtelain, and turn right on rue du Page.
by underground tram (“pré-métro”) A / Inside Gare du Midi, follow the blue-and-white “m” signs B / Get on tram 51 to ‘Van Haelen’, or tram 3 to ‘Churchill’, or tram 4 to ‘Stalle’. Get off at ‘Horta’ (third stop) C / Walk up chaussée de Waterloo, pasts “Ma Campagne”, and turn left on rue du Page.
from Gare Centrale
A / Walk to the tram stop parc on Rue Royale B / Get on tram 92 to ‘Fort Jaco’ C / Get off at ‘Ma Campagne’ D / Walk up chaussée de Waterloo, and turn left on rue du Page.
from Gare du Luxembourg
A / Get on bus 54 to ‘Ma Campagne’ B / Walk up chaussée de Waterloo, and turn left on rue du Page.