“(…) in a very literal sense, Kantian university is a fictional institution. Reason can only be institutionalized as far as institution itself can remain a fiction, if it can only work ‘as if’ it was not an institution. When the institution becomes real, reason turns away.”
Bill Readings, The University In Ruins, Harvard, p. 68]
The project “University/Yliopisto” proposes the building of a collaborative platform for inter-disciplinary thinking throughout 5 “school” years, thus operating, both virtually and physically, between two European “extremes”: Portugal and Finland. Fluid and nomadic work groups will meet in temporary spaces driven by one major goal: to elaborate a hybrid model for artistic learning based on “non-artistic” methodologies, or how can one reach Art without being through art? A self-referential academy that offers one program only — the “academic studies” program —, structured in a rhyzomatic and taxonomical dialogue between all Arts and all Sciences, within a discursive system that is non-hierarchical and post-capitalist. For that purpose, new educational paradigms will be tested, new modes of subjectivation and share of knowledge will be experimented, new ethical (therefore, aesthetic) models for the relation “master/apprentice” will be foreseen. Ultimately, some of the premises that originated the mission behind Western university will be recycled, those same premises that (post-) modernity, quantitatively entrepeneur and business-oriented (education as a product, student as a client), has been extinguishing for the last two decades.
After the proto-laboratory that took place in Bucharest (Romania) in July 2015, in a partnership with E-motional | rethinking dance, ODD Gallery and Modulab, the Year One (2016/17) was officially launched in October at Aalto University’s School of Arts, Design & Architecture (Finland), in a symbiotic dialogue with the program Visual Culture and Contemporary Art (ViCCA). Until the end of June 2018, a series of lectures, think tanks and publications will be launched, all around the subject of NON-ART, the structuring core-theme for Year Two.
Following an interest in a group of concepts that circle around the major theme of territoriality, — identity, place, exoticness, remoteness, possession, nomadism, sitespecificity, UNIVERSITY | YLIOPISTO will enclose a both virtual and physical platform built upon educational and research-oriented activities, where meaning is collectively produced towards the creation of a meta-narrative about Art and the means of artistic production. The project is meant to build a universal “meta-academy” that will comprise a series of experimental workshops. Despite their theoretical approach, most of those activities will be highly performative and interactive, and are envisioned to happen inside the frame of cultural and/or academic institutions. The goal is to collect information and compile a data base of ideas and solutions for the creation of a trans-national and inter-disciplinary “university”,therefore reflecting upon the concept of “universal knowledge” itself, that is, a self-referential university. Taking VIRALITY as an operational tool to understand the power of new technologies and social media in nowadays’ society, all activities produced and promoted under the scope of University should be over-portable, over-shareable and over-spreadable.
The results of this durational laboratory (textual, visual and performative) will be systematized and published in an online interactive “magazine” each year, an object meant to provoke the reader with a sort of preparatory set of statements that are the foundations of University. An ongoing “collaborative text” will highlight the concepts of coparticipation and co-responsability within a non-hierarchical system.
Grounded on the concept of “post-artistic thinking” (or the idea of an art that comes after its death, a post-post-art), University is therefore a pedagogical laboratory for the building from scratch of an altermodern university sustained by a learning system purposefully created for the critical reflection of a vast plethora of meta-artistic subjects: mashup aesthetics, virality, copywright (and copywrong), Peta-Byte culture, quantum philosophy (and also lo-fi –sophy), science-based science (and also art-based art), cyber-terrorism, aPOPcalyptical studies, queer epistemology, proto-academia, applied interdisciplinarity (and also anti-specialization studies), non-human creativity, post-human medievalism, and a brand new set of operational concepts to be announced as new avant-gardes (or new -isms).
Throughout four academic stages (Years One, Two, Three and Four) and a final documental assessment (Year Five), research will be understood as a practice, not necessarily an “artistic” one, and a unified set of cross-disciplinary knowledge will be compiled under the scope of a manifesto titled AESTH(ETHICS)™.
For a full overview of themes (statements, hypothesis, assumptions, interrogations) that have inspired this project through its preliminary stage (Year Zero, 2012/15), please read the text “Never skip the intro, stay there!”.
The Curator’s School, ESEIG, Circular/Performing Arts Festival, Vila do Conde (Portugal), 2008
Dogma 2005, Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, Arnhem (The Netherlands), 2008-2009
Big Curator Is Watching You!, Atelier Real, Documentation as an Artistic Practice Program, Lisbon (Portugal), 2010
Dogma 2005, Faculdade de Letras, University of Coimbra (Portugal), 2011
(Artistic) Residency + Realpolitik, Teatro-Cine de Torres Vedras + Espaço do Tempo (residency), Montemor-o-Novo and Coimbra (Portugal), 2012
Third Way/Kolmas Tie, Núcleo de Experimentação Coreográfica, Porto (Portugal), 2013
Cluster #1. E-Motional Festival, ODD Gallery & Modulab, Gabriela Tudor Foundation, Bucharest (Romania), 2015
Cluster #2. Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Espoo (Finland), 2016
Copywrong (workshop/performance-as-tool), Future Places Festival, Porto (Portugal), 2016