Call for applications

Call for applications

Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art

Image courtesy of Pixabay and SAAS-FEE Summer Institute of Art. Public domain, 2015.
January 24, 2015
Call for applications

Arts and the Politics of Estrangement

Deadline for applications: April 2, 2015

SAAS-FEE Summer Institute of Art
Alter Kehr 20
CH-3953 Leuk-Stadt

The Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art is a new initiative associated with the European Graduate School, taking place in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, that focuses upon the politics of art making and thinking. Each summer a different general topic will be explored and focused upon. This summer will concern itself with Art and the Politics of Estrangement.

Inquisitive students and professionals hailing from artistic discourses such as painting, drawing, film making, sculpture, performance and sound studies as well as the aligned fields of poetry, cultural studies, philosophy of mind, neuroscience, sociology and politics, are asked to apply.

Directors: Warren Neidich and Barry Schwabsky

Esteemed faculty: Armen Avanessian, Franco Berardi, Charles Gaines, Suzana Milevska, Warren Neidich, John Rajchman, Gerald Raunig, Dorothee Richter, Barry Schwabsky, Ben Vickers


Art and the Politics of Estrangement
This term estrangement was first coined by the famous Russian formalist theorist Viktor Shklovsky in his essay “Art as Technique.” The Russian word ostraniene means “a process or act that endows an object or image with strangeness by removing it from the network of conventional formulaic, stereotypical perceptions and linguistic expressions.” Of special importance for this year’s rendition of the institute is that together, faculty and student body will enter into discussions and collaborations concerning the possibility of enacting a new glossary of terms with which to describe and enact new forms of resistance and dissensus in the context of what has been referred to as cognitive or communicative capitalism. Present circumstances call for a reassessment of what a politics of art practice means. Cognitive capitalism delineates the recent transformation of our economic, social, political and psychological conditions, which threatens the subsumption of all forms of life and living by the information economy. Engaged as such are our habits of perception and their normalization through, for instance, distributions of sensibility and familiarization processes that produce a passive delivered world picture attuned to a particular condition of being. Additionally, the subsumption of art to the machinery of world capitalism through art fairs and auction houses produces a false familiarity and linkage to stereotypical forms of cultural capital that delink it from the defamiliarization and production of difference which may be its ultimate cultural and neurobiological function. We are at a crossroads: art can create heterotopias, renegotiate prefabricated perceptions, break ground on new cultural specificities and intentions, and disorient mediated trajectories; but in a society in which creativity has been subsumed into capitalistic production, it can also become a kind of agency of control and reinforce normalized patterns of thinking. The choice may not even be ours but it remains our task to attempt an exit from this dilemma.

School and program
Twenty students will be selected to attend the school. Applications will be assessed by members of the faculty. Two scholarships will be available for students with special needs.

Application submission
Please go to the website for details.

Applications by email must arrive by 11:59pm on April 2. For more information, please contact Gabriele Stellbaum, SAAS-FEE Summer Institute of Art coordinator, at [email protected].

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Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art
January 24, 2015

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