Towards artistic ways of being in the world

Musica’s project Zintuin uses the temporal arts to investigate how education can enhance our sensory interactions with each other and the world. How do the arts contribute to a more sensitive and embodied existence in the world? Can an artistic approach be at the core of an educational practice?

What is ‘Zintuin’?

Zintuin aims to demonstrate how an artistic way of being in the world can lead to an educational approach based on how we relate to each other and the world. It is an invitation to critically consider – and ultimately transform – the mainly instrumental and methodical approaches of mainstream education. 

Through the temporal arts – music, dance and drama – we investigate how rich sensory experiences, in diverse educational contexts, may lead to a more embodied intelligence and a sensitive attitude towards each other and the world. 

Nourished by current philosophical, scientific and artistic insights, Zintuin goes beyond the usual ideas of art education in schools. Instead of teaching through or in the arts, the artistic attitude becomes central.

How will we proceed?

Zintuin is supported by a mosaic of carefully chosen partners. The project takes place in various contexts: nursery and primary school, part-time art education, extracurricular education, teacher training and the arts in general.

In the start-up phase, all partners will be actively and intensively introduced to different aspects of sensory ethnography from the perspective of the temporal arts. The ‘Sensory Ethnography Training’ by Maastricht University will sharpen their ability to perceive and document interactive processes. 

Over a period of 2 school years, the primary schools and music academies then engage in their own practice – first with an emphasis on the arts themselves, then extended across the entire curriculum. They are invited, inspired and challenged by artists through on-the-spot artistic interventions.

Some research questions

People interact with each other and the world through the senses. Once a baby’s umbilical cord is cut, the senses are the only connection to the wider world, both socially and materially. The interplay of the senses is fundamental to our intuitions and ultimately our intelligences. This is no different in an educational context. Teachers, students and children relate to each other using a myriad of multi-sensory interactions. 

Which methods and contexts facilitate and nurture this interaction? How do they influence our perceptions and behaviour? How do recent technologies influence these interactions? Are there other accents needed for different age groups? Do shared sensory experiences provide fertile ground for an educational doctrine based on reciprocity and shared understanding from which our intelligences can flourish?

What is the role of the temporal arts?

The temporal arts are the starting point for actively investigating the relationship between body, space, time, matter, emotion, memory, fantasy, theory and notation. They are rooted in aspects of human communication that take shape through mutual sensitivity and the manipulation of materials, objects and contexts. 

In the cultural sector, Zintuin results in a deeper awareness of the potential role of the arts in the design of and synergy with education for the future.