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Announcement
January 26, 2015

Open invitation for applications

Institute Art Gender Nature, FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel

Design: Esther Hunziker. Courtesy of Institut Kunst / Art Institute / FHNW HGK.

This is not an open call. Rather, it is an open invitation to study with us at the Art Institute in Basel, Switzerland. In the newly reinvigorated Dreispitz district, the Institute is neighboured by ten other institutes. The House for Electronic Arts, an international residency program, an artist-run space, and an independent radio station are also in the immediate area. It goes without saying that close by are further attractions ensuring Basel’s position as an important historical and contemporary city of the arts. The Art Institute is the very centre of this environment, distinguished by its emphasis on combining personal inquiry into art practice with a far-reaching examination of the forces that shape cultural production today.

Finding the right school for you is a search for the place that will both challenge and encourage, where you can realize your potential while becoming more aware of the world that shapes art’s current possibilities. We believe the Art Institute is such a place for inspiring (and inspired) students. There is a sense of proximity cultivated here, a nearness amongst students, teachers and guests, and among the larger community that the Institute is part of. This nearness manifests as a feeling of accountability when arguing your ideas, opinions and interpretations and as a sense of continuity between courses, thoughts, and gestures, artistic and otherwise, occurring at the Institute. A trust in the fertility of dialogue, in contrast to the barren monologue produced by the culture of statements, is another defining characteristic of our school. Much time is spent by our faculty and staff on researching, questioning and inventing new forms of presentation and expression to communicate, instruct and explore with students. The exciting and unpredictable results of sharing work, methods and decision-making processes are embraced.

Encouraging poly-vocality, that is, the adoption and investigation of multiple voices to assimilate new material and modes of cultural narrative, is at the core of studies here. How does one’s voice fit in among other voices seemingly dissimilar from it?

All of this reveals the way the Art Institute—which is us, the team, but also you, the student—understands speculative thinking as part of art practice. Choosing the literature we encounter, the media we absorb and the modes we use to communicate, being aware of how a text can alter us or produce within us a debate that we may or may not comprehend: these activities are essential parts of becoming an artist. The sense of proximity and closeness at the Institute, of a very present inside, is repeatedly confronted by the appearance of guests coming from other intellectual worlds and systems who bring us an outside. We organize our frequent artist talks and symposiums almost entirely in direct response to what is happening inside the Art Institute, in the studios, classrooms, and auditoriums. Among others, past and future guests include Julia Moritz, Bea Schlingelhoff as well as Trevor Paglen, Kenneth Goldsmith, Armen Avanesian, and Dan Kidner. In complement (or contrast) to such interlocutors from without, we encourage a large number of projects initiated by students to explore ways of making, learning and discussing that are not, in your view, present enough in the Institute.

Though the Bachelor and Master student sections are distinct, there are many occasions during which they can coincide. Our BA students’ main space for thinking is centred at the Forum, where a regular meeting of three teachers with a group of around 20 students occurs. These meetings provide an arena in which to rehearse one’s approach to art while presenting it to others. These conferences are exercises in situating material and idea as well as an expression of the importance of exploring presence in art.

The MA program emphasizes studio time supported by conversations with mentors. Both BA and MA students have the opportunity to attend seminars in which different interpretative frameworks are presented, with topics ranging from art history to the sciences. The seminars expand upon the conversations that occur in the studios or questions that arise in discussions: how is art able to enhance or confront discussions of citizenship, gender, rights, technology and material research, of economy or of ideas coming from quite various cultural and geographical contexts? How can learning occur separately from the usual pedagogical modes so bent on conforming behaviours and approaches to material? What, in other words, can we at the Art Institute, our students, teachers and staff, imagine, what conditions can we create, to empower the artistic thinking and cultural-political activity that produces art in our time?

 

Apply now for the autumn 2015 term!

Bachelor of Arts, a three-year full-time program (180 ECTS credits, CHF 700 tuition per semester), has application due on February 15.

Master of Arts, a two-year full-time program (120 ECTS credits, CHF 700 tuition per semester), has application due on March 15.

 

Study at the Art Institute Basel, 2015

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