Cocky Eek

Field Academy-Almere

The Field Academy is a practical exchange of knowledge between various academies, local experts and the human and non-human inhabitants in and around Almere beach.

In a world of change and uncertainty fieldwork in the broadest sense of the word is a crucial part of our cultural orientation. The Field Academy is a platform where diverse academies can develop and test their own vision on fieldwork on site. Participating Academies were/are the Academy of Architecture (dep. landscape architecture with Thijs de Zeeuw), the Rietveld Academy (dep. Jewellery-Linking Bodies with Sonja Baumel), the Royal Conservatoire, the Hague, (dep ArtSciene Interfaculty)  and the Academy for Theater and Dance (dep. Mime.)

Besides being a testing ground for academies, the Field Academy organised the open summer sessions; an open invitation for everybody who wants to be immersed in a diverse program of sensory explorations of the environment. Guided by creative makers and local experts the landscape will be viewed from entirely new perspectives. You can participate in a diverse range of outdoor workshops and inspiring field lectures. Each session is a collective voyage of discovery and surprise is the central theme.

..”The Field Academy works from the power of not-knowing and lets go of the controlled environment of a classroom or laboratory. When we open these walls we are in direct contact with a much larger field. We think and act very differently in the presence of animals and plants or in the middle of an intense rainstorm. What happens when an experiment really relates to the area with all its human and non-human inhabitants?” Cocky Eek

Cocky has set up the Field Academy at StrandLAB-Almere at the lake side of the IJ-meer and started in to in situ research during the annual exchange weeks of the creative departments (Sonology, Compositiom and ArtScience) of the Royal Conservatoire The Hague from 2018-2022. From 2021 the program expanded and also included the Riedveld Academy; the Academy of Architecture and the Mime – Academy for Theatre and Dance in Amsterdam. Besides hosting diverse academy’s, the program rolled out in a yearly open three-day mini-festival: The Field Academy -Summer Sessions and a two-days-field-program at the Amstelpark- Zone2Source 2022 in Amsterdam.


foto’s by Erwin Budding, Cleo Thomas, Kasper van der Horst, Theun Karelse and Cocky Eek

Fieldwork method

The Field Academy sees fieldwork as a method of exploration based on the trust of direct experience. Often, practicing fieldwork raises completely different questions than the ones you might have thought of at the start. By standing with two feet in the full complexity of a place, you get direct feedback and the field challenges you to take a stand in the midst of its complexity.

The Field Academy assumes improvisational research in a place including all senses (embodied research) that opens up to both the complex and subtle qualities of an area. This exploration is based, among other things, on situated knowledge, doing experiments and making prototypes on the spot influenced by local conditions and relations. For this, skills such as adaptability, improvisation, cooperation and powers of observation are essential on many levels. Cocky Eek