Encounter is the subject matter and form of Erik Hagoort's practice. His work consists of conditioned improvisations in which he explores with others our basic assumptions about what an encounter is and how it works in art: reciprocally and asymmetrically. Hagoort's practice emerged from his interest in ethical motifs in social art practices. This interest grew from social work and philosophy of ethics, as part of his theology studies at the University of Amsterdam (graduation 1989), and was developed through writing, participating, curating, and initiating social art practices of encounter.
Hagoort has published widely on contemporary art, with numerous texts for De Volkskrant National Daily Newspaper (1997-2000) and Metropolis M, among others, and with essays such as Symprovisation on Art and Empathy in Mobile Autonomy (Valiz, 2015), and Encounter in The Impossible Community (Moscow Museum of Modern Art-Maier Publishing, 2012). For the Mondriaan Fund he wrote Essay #1, Good Intentions. On Judging the Art of Encounter (2005).
Among his curatorial projects are: Weaving Encounter (2014) at the Natalya Vasilevna Gobelin Studio St. Petersburg, Russia; Art & Reciprocity (2011) for Mutualisms at Co-Prosperity Sphere, Chicago, Illinois, USA (2011); Inertia (2006-2008) at the Pro Arte Institute and the Freud's Dreams Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, and at W139 Amsterdam. He has lectured at Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Universität Duisburg-Essen (2014); Moscow Curatorial Summer School, Moscow, Russia (2013); and Cultures of the Curatorial (Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, 2013), among others.
Hagoort teaches at the Master Fine Arts programme at St. Joost Academy of Art and Design, Den Bosch/ Breda, NL. There he also works for the academy’s research group on the project Using Usership. In Antwerp, Belgium, he teaches ‘Research Methodologies in the Arts’ at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. He is also working on his doctoral research in the arts, titled Resuming Encounters. Sensibility for Asymmetry, at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and the University of Antwerp.