April 2, 2015

“Art and the Politics of Estrangement”

Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art
Drawing the Diagram, SOMA, Mexico City, 2014.

The Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art is a new initiative happening in Saas-Fee, Switzerland that focuses upon the politics of art making and thinking. It is associated with but not part of the European Graduate School. Each summer different topics will be explored and emphasized. This session will concern 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, Anselm Franke, Charles Gaines, Suzana Milevska, John Rajchman, Gerald Raunig, Dorothee Richter, Hito Steyerl, Ben Vickers

Art and the Politics of Estrangement 
June 5–23

This year’s Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art, engages a range of contemporary discourses to renegotiate a seminal idea formulated in high modernism, ostraniene or estrangement: the process or act of endowing an object or image with strangeness by removing it from the network of conventional formulaic, stereotypical perceptions and linguistic expressions. Times have changed since the term’s coinage, and so has the  surrounding discursive environment. What are the implications for artistic ostraniene today? For instance, in the networked environment of “super signifiers” and branded associations, can we still contravene in the stereotypical perceptions they engender? If so, would that be a form of emancipation in which artistic production can play a role, or is it trapped in the new spirit of capitalism and its cycles of recuperation? The Summer Institute uses the term estrangement as a foundation on which to collage a multiplicity of contemporary metaphysical and epistemological practices and terminologies: the Anthropocene, Speculative Poetics, Cognitive Capitalism, Accelerations–can any of them help find an answer to the question of estrangement? For art students and recent graduates seeking a deeper theoretical understanding of their practice, or for those in the fields of critical theory, philosophy, politics, neuroscience, and media and literary theory who aspire to challenge their presuppositions, this course will provide a theoretical bridge to these important emerging discourses.

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 financial needs.

Application submission
Please go to the website for details.
Applications by email must arrive by Sunday night April 5 at 11:59pm EST.

For more information please contact Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art coordinator at [email protected].

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