Speaking at Revisiting Black Mountain: Cross-discinplinary Experiments and Their Potential For Democratization (in Times of Post-Democracy)

ZHdK Zurich, May 2018

Programmed by Dorothee Richter, assistant Max Heinrich

Experimenting with experience, democratic coexistence, interdisciplinarity, the self-determination of students and teachers, and working in art and design to develop and reconstruct society: Black Mountain College, founded in 1933, served as a space for artistic and social utopias for two decades and has remained a starting point for discussions on the conditions for successful teaching and research in the arts and design through to today.

These cross-disciplinary experiments seem to be especially important in times of so-called Post-Democracy and Post-Facts, which imply a reformulation of the public sphere. Is there on the other hand a potential in the cultural sphere that might offer a space for democratization? Does the impact of new working methods linked to digital technology propel further interconnections and resources that create other public spheres? Might this be a catalyst for new patterns of a communal exchange?

And what does this mean for the teaching and learning of arts and design, for structures, formats and content of learning/teaching, for an institution? The symposium shows connections, interferences, contradictions, confrontations and dialogues. In this panel, we invite cross-disciplinary radical cultural practices as well as educational experiments to open up a horizon of future possibilities in dialogue with other art and design universities and with cultural practitioners, which will be able to initiate other public spheres and therefore enable democratization.