Permanent Education (A Mural About the Beauty of Knowledge): Harmen de Hoop’s Street Art Intervention

Permanent Education (A Mural About the Beauty of Knowledge): Harmen de Hoop’s Street Art Intervention
Permanent Education (A Mural About the Beauty of Knowledge): Harmen de Hoop’s Street Art Intervention

Harmen de Hoop: The Conceptual Artist

  • Name: Harmen de Hoop
  • Date Created: September 2015
  • Location Created: Ryfylkegata 22, 4014 Stavanger, Norway
  • Type: Performative mural
  • Rights: ©Nuart Festival
  • Medium: Chalk

Harmen de Hoop, a Dutch conceptual artist, has carved a distinctive niche in the world of street art through his anonymous and often illegal interventions in public spaces. Renowned for his site-specific interventions and performances, de Hoop challenges established notions of how public spaces should be used. His work captures the tension between governmental expectations and citizens’ unexpected utilization of public domains, offering a fresh perspective often infused with humor.

Permanent Education: Bridging Art and Knowledge

The mural titled “Permanent Education (A Mural About the Beauty of Knowledge)” exemplifies de Hoop’s unique approach. Located at Ryfylkegata 22, 4014 Stavanger, Norway, this performative mural was created in September 2015 as part of the Nuart Festival.

Breaching Authoritarian Systems: A Humane Perspective

De Hoop’s interventions, including “Permanent Education,” serve as a deliberate breach of authoritarian systems of control, injecting a more humane perspective into public spaces. Through his work, de Hoop encourages viewers to reassess their surroundings with fresh eyes, challenging established norms and inviting a renewed sense of humor.

Collaborative Knowledge Propaganda

For this particular mural, de Hoop collaborated with Jan Ubøe, a professor of mathematics and statistics at the Norwegian School of Economics. Ubøe delivered a 30-minute lecture on the streets of Stavanger, discussing the complex subject of option pricing. The act, akin to knowledge propaganda, brought forth a juxtaposition between the aesthetic values of mural art and the intricate equations written in chalk on a public wall, acting as a surrogate blackboard.

Performance in Public Space: Chalk on the Wall

“Permanent Education” is not merely a static mural but a performative piece that unfolded on the streets of Stavanger. The use of chalk on a public wall as the medium adds an ephemeral quality to the artwork, emphasizing the transient nature of knowledge and art in the public domain.

Street Art Movement and Intervention

De Hoop’s work falls within the realm of street art, aligning with a movement that challenges traditional notions of art presentation. His interventions, like “Permanent Education,” intervene in public spaces, questioning societal norms and engaging with the public in unexpected ways.


“Permanent Education (A Mural About the Beauty of Knowledge)” by Harmen de Hoop is not just a mural; it’s a performative exploration of the intersection between art and knowledge. By merging aesthetic values with the complexities of mathematical equations, de Hoop challenges the public to appreciate the beauty of knowledge in unexpected places. This intervention serves as a testament to the transformative power of art, encouraging a reevaluation of public spaces and our relationship with information and complexity.

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