Call for applications: Care, Caring and Repair in Cognitive Capitalism

Call for applications: Care, Caring and Repair in Cognitive Capitalism

Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art

Robby Herbst workshop, Spike Art Quarterly, SFSIA 2017.

June 9, 2020
Call for applications: Care, Caring and Repair in Cognitive Capitalism

Application deadline: June 28, 2020
Session one: July 13–23, online
Session two: August 3–13, online
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Care, Caring and Repair in Cognitive Capitalism

The original program for Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art 2020 in Berlin on Care, Caring and Repair in Cognitive Capitalism was cancelled due to COVID-19 and will now be presented online Monday–Thursday in two sessions. 6–10am PST (LA) / 3–7pm CET (Berlin) / 9pm–1am CST (Beijing)

Building upon our past five year engagement with topics concerning estrangement, individuation, and collectivity in art and politics, Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art 2020 will address the present and future conditions of our new pandemic reality, including new possibilities it may generate.

In the past 20 years, the techno-social-scientific revolution has joined forces with neoliberal reformers to produce a generalized crisis in empathy and thought. Through the coronavirus pandemic we have all, in one way or another, become cognitariatsisolated data workers laboring for free within the abstract conundrum of the infosphere. As Franco “Bifo” Berardi stated in Breathing: Chaos and Poetry, “Neoliberal reformers have put competition at the core of the daily business of life, and digital connectivity has replaced physical conjunction in the sphere of social communication: so the psycho-cultural conditions of empathy have been undermined.” Berardi’s comments offer an insight into the inadequate response to this pandemic as a disjunction of comradeship, a pervasive lack of social solidarity. These are symptoms of a disease in which our community is rotting from within and which have broad social-political implications beyond the pandemic such as economic disparity, white nationalism, the election of despots and the resurgence of fascism. 

As this already global condition has been further complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, Care, Caring and Repair in Cognitive Capitalism is the focus of this year’s Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art which will be presented online. We ask: Is the rising global death toll still happening in many regions a result of the powerful effect of neoliberal capitalism upon empathy making the care it necessitates impossible? Will the effects of seclusion and the growing importance of virtual technology in our daily life (such as remote learning, shopping and communication) intensify the loss of comradeship and solidarity already in progress? Finally, if the pandemic is linked to a coming global catastrophe will the governments, corporations and other institutions which have proved so ineffectual in the current moment fail miserably again? In the hope of creating awareness and addressing the causes of the factors that are breaking our social webs apart, we will interweave four broad categories of care, caring and repair: (1) Cognitive Capitalism and Affective Labor (2) Theory of Mind, Empathy and its Psychopathologies (3) Class Consciousness and Solidarity (4) Climate Change and Global Warming. Through online discussions, deep readings and performative lectures, we aim to develop strategies of counterinsurgency.

Antonia Alampi, Chloë Bass, T.J. Demos, Stefano Harney, Stefanie Hessler, Joan Jonas, Amelia Jones, Maurizio Lazzarato, Alex Taek-Gwang Lee, Fred Moten, Yann Moulier-Boutang, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Warren Neidich (founder/director), Clio Nicastro, Ahmet Ögüt, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Jasbir K. Puar, Tobias Rees, Suely Rolnik, Daniel Ross, Martha Schwendener, Barry Schwabsky (co-director), Vandana Shiva, Anuradha Vikram, and more to be announced.

Applications for SFSIA 2020 are open to students, practitioners and scholars from the fields of art (including video, photography, installation and multimedia), design, architecture, critical writing, science and technology studies, critical theory, cultural studies, film and media studies, and beyond. Please see our website for updates and further details. 

Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art (SFSIA) is a nomadic, intensive summer academy with shifting programs in contemporary critical theory that stresses an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the relationship between art and politics. SFSIA originated in Saas-Fee, Switzerland in 2015 and migrated to Berlin, Germany in 2016 where it is currently hosted by Spike. Additional programs have been hosted by Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, and Performance Space New York. SFSIA was founded and is directed by Warren Neidich and is co-directed by Barry Schwabsky. Sarrita Hunn is the artistic coordinator. 

Please see our website or contact info [​at​] for more information. 

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Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art
June 9, 2020

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