Autonomy Summer School Programme

6 May

From July 6 till July 10, 2011, the Autonomy Project presents its second Summer School. The Autonomy Project (a collaboration between the Van Abbemuseum and a number of universities and art schools) aims to foster discussion on the past as well as current significance of the notion of autonomy. In October, a conference will take place at the Van Abbemuseum with speakers such as Jacques Rancière and Thomas Hirschhorn. In the Summer School at the D.A.I. in Arnhem, students will participate in workshops, the outcomes of which may be integrated in the conference.

The 2011 Summer School focuses on the topic of “mediating autonomy.” In modernism the relation between the notions of autonomy and that of the medium was seen through the prism of the formalist doctrine of medium-specificity. Painting in particular was supposed to safeguard its autonomy by focusing on its “essential” characteristics of form, material and visuality.
Since the 1960s, however, a very different form of “autonomedia” has developed in activist circles , where printed leaflets and magazines as well a broadcast media such as television and especially (pirate) radio have been used to create “autonomous zones” in which new subjectivities, new forms of social life and cultural practice became the object of experimentation. Art practice formed an integral part of such explorations of alternative forms of community, as demonstrated by the various cable programs that flourished in Amsterdam.
While there are points of contact and overlap between aesthetic and political forms of “autonomedia”,  which role can these multiple genealogies of autonomous practice play in a present where pirate radio seems as quaint and anachronistic as modernist painting? How can autonomy be mediated today? This question will be examined not only in theory but also in the context of practice-based workshops.

Summer School tutors include Jeroen Boomgaard, John Byrne, Phil Collins (tbc), Charles Esche, Annie Fletcher, Sven Lütticken, Gabriëlle Schleijpen, Steven ten Thije, Willem van Weelden (tbc). The Summer School runs from July 6th to July 10th and will take place at DAI (Kortestraat 27, Arnhem) and Showroom Arnhem.

VAMA participates in the Autonomy Project though the Platform Moderne Kunst of the Onderzoekschool Kunstgeschiedenis. The number of places is limited and accommodations in Arnhem need to be booked, so please contact Sven Lütticken if you’re interested!

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