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Announcement
May 6, 2014

Call for MFA applications, 2014–2016

Dutch Art Institute (DAI)
Addis Ababa, March 2014: DAI students and artists from the Netsa Art Village community during a conversational session around a presentation by O’Tam Pulto, an Ethiopian poet, novelist, and essayist. Photo: Doreen Mende.

We welcome artists, artist-researchers, artist-curators, artist-writers and artist-publishers wishing to explore what it means to be part of a “global art world” to join our experimental learning environment. DAI seeks to bring together a diverse group of practitioners whom we believe will be able to connect with each other in an engaging way through specific shared questions and concerns rather than similar backgrounds and experiences.

Becoming part of our rich and continuously evolving international community implies moving away from systems of canonized references. At DAI we have created an open space where students can familiarize themselves with a thought-provoking variety of authorized and unauthorized positions. Oscillating between radical subjectivity on the one end and the notion of ‘useful art’ on the other, all involved are invited to question ideas, concepts, perspectives, methods and modes of art and knowledge production and dissemination.

The DAI’s porous curriculum is a permaculture, a fine-tuned balance of consistency and contingency that allows for integration of the required competences and learning objectives that come along with our status as a fully accredited MFA program, in a manner as non-essentialist as possible.

 

Three distinctive features mark the DAI’s unique profile:
– The DAI-week phenomenon
Rather than requiring its students to be present on a daily basis, DAI offers an alternative educational environment: students, faculty and invited guests take part in monthly one-week-long residential programs that last from early morning until late at night. The DAI week is a think tank/networking platform/theory camp/temporary art commune structured by a dense weaving of seminars, classes, performances, presentations and conversations. This highly concentrated time functions as a pressure cooker for a collective exchange of knowledge that accumulates throughout the year, with every month’s gathering. 

During DAI weeks everybody involved is temporarily accommodated in Arnhem. In-house lunches and dinners with students, faculty and guests are important shared moments that mark the communal aspirations of the program. 

– Roaming Academy
Reinforcing its structure of monthly meetings in Arnhem, DAI as Roaming Academy offers an itinerant program that combines courses in the Netherlands with travel abroad. Since 2004 collaborations with various individuals and institutions worldwide have brought students, staff and tutors to, amongst others, Addis Ababa, Santiniketan and Kolkata, Mexico City, Marfa in Texas, Beirut, Taipei, Damascus, Bilbao, Dublin, Bangalore, Diyarbakir, Yerevan, Gdansk, Khartoum and Dakar. The DAI’s location in the East of the Netherlands, more or less under the lee of the art world, works to strengthen its susceptibility to the complexities inherent to the realities of other “peripheries.” 

– COOP academy
DAI and its associates constitute an interface between academy and professional field. Commissioned and hosted by the DAI, longtime partners If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution (performance), the Van Abbemuseum (the museum and its possible uses) and Casco, Office for Art, Theory and Design (the Publishing class), curate and tutor projects that are vital to the DAI’s curriculum. These art institutions each have their own perspective and scale, and accordingly offer courses that ground and locate artistic practice within the institutional field, directly involving students in their current programs and stimulating thinking as well as doing. 

In addition to the COOP academy core tutors Alena Alexandrova, Bassam El Baroni, Doreen Mende, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Jorinde Seijdel, Grant Watson, associate PhD researchers, Florian Göttke and David Maroto and Director Gabriëlle Schleijpen curate and teach a range of seminars, courses and discussion platforms, which are merging individual research interests with the students needs. Their informed selection of guest tutors to be invited in 2014–2015 will continue to connect the DAI, at home or out in the world, with artists, curators and writers at the forefront of progressive practice.
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