Stefano Keizers new artist in residence at TU/e

TU/e has a new artist in residence: Donny Ronny, generally known as Stefano Keizers. After the summer, (performance) artist Keizers will take 25 students and PhD candidates on an intense creative expedition. The goal: to discover what lies beyond borders, comfort zones, fear and shame. Those who dare to join the expedition can sign up at Studium Generale until June 16th.

image Studium Generale TU/e

Actually, Stefano Keizers no longer exists. Performance artist Gover Meit bade farewell to the alias under which the general public got to know him and decided to go by the name Donny Ronny from now on. After the academy of art, Keizers (as we will continue to call him for convenience’s sake) ended up in the theater and won first prize at the Amsterdam Kleinkunst Festival. The general audience became aware of him after his participation in tv programs such as De slimste mens, Het perfecte plaatje and De verraders.

Everywhere Keizers shows up, confusion ensues – he once titled his comedy show ‘Hans Teeuwen’, which is the name of another and very famous Dutch comedian – as well as discomfort. Lots of discomfort, although things never get really painful. “There’s always something to chuckle about,” Lucas Asselbergs, head of Studium Generale, says. A tight planning isn’t Keizers’ thing, he prefers to experiment and improvise.


Like that time last October, when he featured as a mystery guest during one of Studium Generale’s lunch lectures. Forty-five minutes before the program started, Keizers woke up in his bed in Amsterdam. The decision was made to set up a live stream so that the audience could follow him as he travelled south by train. About fifteen minutes before the end of the lecture, Keizers walked into the Blauwe Zaal.

Asselbergs: “Afterwards, the place thronged with students who wanted to talk to Keizers, which he did for an hour. That’s when we thought: this man touches people.” That interest turned out to be mutual: Keizers responded positively to the idea of assuming the role of artist in residence (AiR) and setting off on an intense journey with a group of TU/e students. “He really wanted to continue his conversation with those intelligent, motivated young people.” In a video, the artist explains his plans and invites students to apply.


Those who wish to join AiR Stefano Keizers’ expedition in September, October and November, will be required to invest quite a lot of time: the expedition consists of ten meetings in total, including a daytrip. You won’t gain any USE credits. “That’s on purpose: we are looking for students who are intrinsically motivated to participate.”

“They can expect an incomparable, challenging and really fun experience,” Asselbergs continues. He looks back on TU/e’s two previous AiR projects, which were initiated by Joep Huiskamp: one with musician Spinvis in 2019, and one with author Arnon Grunberg in 2021.

“Both student groups still communicate regularly via WhatsApp, and they still meet and keep in touch with ‘their’ AiR. An intense shared journey of discovery like that creates a bond.” It’s remarkable how many internationals took part in those two earlier projects, Asselbergs says. “They may not have even heard of their AiRs before, but they join because of the unique experience.”


Besides fun and special, the expedition is instructive as well, on an entirely new level, Asselbergs expects. Keizers’ methodology for acquiring knowledge – he once went to a courthouse unannounced and entered into a discussion with the people inside – is radically different from the way in which students usually acquire knowledge.

“It’s useful to notice that an uncertain, improvised, apparently chaotic method like that also has structure. And that it yields results. And that you’ve experienced an entirely different way of learning.”

Asselbergs sees a link with Challenge-Based Learning (CBL). “What Keizers does, is the ultimate example of CBL. It’s good to see that TU/e isn’t afraid to experiment in this field.”

Students, PhD candidates and EngD trainees are welcome to participate in ‘Expedition Stefano Keizers: Exploring Creativity Beyond Borders.’ Creativity isn’t mandatory, but curiosity and an open mind are. If you are interested, you have until June 16th to sign up here.

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