For a new art academy! For a new Europe!
Reforming art and design education as a political and existential imperative
The current situation in Europe is bleak. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has fundamentally transformed the continent, with millions displaced, hundreds of thousands killed, cities and infrastructure destroyed, and little hope of a peaceful solution in sight. All the while an ever more threatening climate crisis has revealed the unsustainability of our very way of life, while the nearly normalized inequalities of global capitalism continue to grow, and counterfactual authoritarian regimes are on the rise …
It is in the face of these fundamental crises that we would like to rethink the goals, methods, and content of art and design education—not with the hope or pretense of being able to “heal the world,” but rather to look towards art and design as models of human activity that can (at the very least) help us to negotiate and create new terms of engagement for working, thinking, and living together.
The following lecture series will link historical and theoretical research to existent alternative education projects as a first step towards the development of a future art school. Somewhere between utopian fantasy and the nitty-gritty questions of organization, funding, and concrete realization, this art school would look to draw both critically and affirmatively upon the classics (William Morris, Werkbund, Bauhaus, Vkhutemas, Black Mountain College, CalArts, Center for Advanced Visual Studies MIT, etc.…) while at the same time (and perhaps more importantly) studying and making contact to other like-minded contemporary projects. With specific inspiration from among others John Dewey, Jacques Rancière, Ruangrupa, the Instituto de Artivismo Hannah Arendt, George Maciunas and Jonas Mekas…but also the phantasmagoric utopianism of Jorge Luis Borges, we wish to set into motion a research project and network for the future art academy!