In search of an institution’s history of emancipatory educational structures/moments. A research report.

AestheticMatters The records of the art school I work for have been dispersed to three cities’ archives. During my research leave, I travelled from city to city in an attempt to understand the art school’s complex institutional history, which is particularly confusing with regard to a historically documented and still proudly championed practice of interdisciplinarity. I am particularly driven by a wish to research traces of emancipatory educational ideas in order to confront the present institutional organisation with its own radical history. As a functionary of a contemporary institution of art education, I am involved in current attempts to claim ‘research’’ as part of an art school’s legitimate and legitimizing vocabulary. This involvement, however, has heightened my attentiveness towards practice-based conflicts between argumentations grounded in design, art or academic text production. I will not be focussing on how different disciplinatory demands
shape different arenas of practice and their subjects, because I am much more concerned these days with how, where and why these differences are ignorantly levelled out or authoritatively folded back into predefined common interests.
Johanna Schaffer for:

Aesthetic Matters: becoming an artist, a designer and an architect in the age of Bologna. International conference, 1. – 3. June 2016. ZHdK Zurich University of the Arts, TONI Areal.