Background Not only the ecosystems, but also human societies, i.e. social justice, democracy, cultural vitality and the welfare of citizens, are put at risk by the continuing trend of an unsustainable development: The challenge of achieving sustainability, in the face of a complex crisis of civilization combining ecological, social, cultural and economic dimensions, demands integrated understandings and responses. As the famous Einstein quote goes, “the problems of the present cannot be solved with the thinking that created them”. The atomized, specialized islands of knowledge and of practice in contemporary societies, shall be turned into a common ground from which responses to the global crisis may emerge. We argue that artists and scientists, in putting together their resources of inquiring and re-thinking, in an exchange with civil society, can make an important contribution in the coming decades, before climate change, biodiversity breakdown and other global phenomena would turn into a civilizational collapse. However, in order to do so, artists and scientists urgently need adequate places and moments where and when they can trespass disciplinary boundaries and the routines of their trade.
The Summer School hopes to address the issue of distance and lack of dialogue and cooperation between scholars/researchers, communities and arts practitioners. The Summer School is thus dedicated to the productive dialogue and mutual teaching/learning processes (with workshops given by each for the other) among all cultural practitioners and scholars engaged in change processes for sustainability. The process is expected to be one of mutual enrichment, which can lead to rethinking the opinions and work approaches of each group and of individuals and then get ramified in a series of new approaches to inspire projects in communities around the world.
The Summer School aims to encourage scientists and artists to transform their own working processes, thanks to the insights gained from the other participants. The Summer School is also expected to stimulate the inquisitiveness, the inter- and transdisciplinary openness and the critical reflexivity of participants, allowing them to confront the complexity of today’s global crises and unsustainable developments, with creatively and effectively integrated perspectives. Navigating through the insights of cross-disciplinary dialogues, the summer school participants will discover islands of common experience, on the way to a shared transdisciplinary common ground as the long-term destination of the summer school.
The Summer School will contribute to an understanding of the role of community spaces and organizations dedicated to the arts and how the work of these organization in national and international networks can create a dynamic of sustainable social transformations propelled by a widely spread creativity among generations and across intercultural boundaries.Theme (2010): Walking and Places: building transformations
An overarching theme is proposed for the first edition of the Summer School: Walking and Places: building transformations
Walking, as a practice for exploring, learning, mapping, and intervening, in urban and in rural contexts, will be explored. This practice brings up insights highly relevant to the summer school’s focus on action-based research – and constitutes a field which has grown rather directly out of a relation to practice, rather than as a theoretical problem held by science for itself. Traditional as well as new ‘déambulation’ practices (e.g. in postmodern dance or among traditional pastoralist communities) mark the relationships between cultural practices and their social and ecosystemic environments. Furthermore, in the recent past, walking-based (re)search practices have flourished both in the arts and sciences (e.g. in contemporary art practices or in the new discipline of “Promenadologie”), opening up spaces for inter- and transdisciplinary explorations, which the summer school will further develop and interconnect.Read more here for a background information on the theme (on Cultura21's wiki)...