The Summer School hopes to generate a high-quality learning experience for all participants, generating innovative methodologies, knowledge and agendas in art, (re)search and action. The vision is to create a framework for a truly creative process for the methodological empowerment of both artists and scientists working for sustainability/social transformation. The event will not merely be a collection of workshops and discussions, but a “school” in the noblest sense of the word: a place for learning, teaching, sharing and evolving together.
The Summer School addresses the HOW questions of art & science for sustainability: For example: How can academic research contribute to community artists and contemporary artists developing new social, aesthetic and community approaches? How can the experience of post-modern off-balance dance contribute to a rethinking of democracy? How can scientists enhance their reflexivity and their creativity thanks to insights from the arts? How can artists effectively work in communities and at other levels of social reality, for social transformation together with academics? In order to address these questions, the Summer School will explore: How do artists and scientists from a diversity of backgrounds, do their work today? Which methods and approaches do they use and how can these be transfered and transmuted to other artists and scientists around the world? And which cross-breedings between these different approaches should be further developed?
The Summer School will also foster thinking at a paradigmatic and normative level and link the WHY and the HOW questions, in order to avoid mere instrumentality. That ‘deeper’ level will address issues of spirituality, epistemology, ontology, aesthetics and introspection, and critically reflect the orientations and values we vest in ‘social transformation’ and in ‘sustainability’. Art and philosophy, conceived not only as vehicles, but also as possibilities to step outside ourselves, will contribute to this deeper, epistemological and ‘more than rational’ level of the Summer School’s methodology.
The Summer School aims to provide an intense and insightful learning experience to all participants, which is interdisciplinary, engaged and intercultural:
a) The Summer School aims to facilitate the cross-breeding of arts and sciences in their efforts to renew their methods and their paradigms towards social transformation for sustainability. It also aims to exchange these insights with organizations from civil society. Concerned are the fields of art and science in a wide sense, including on the one hand the whole spectrum of the academic world, from natural sciences and social sciences to philosophy and humanities, and on the other hand a wide variety of artistic practices, from eco-art and community arts practitioners to social sculpture, media art and others ; from the side of civil society practitioners, concerned are NGOs working in communities and for sustainable development. The summer school’s focus cuts across established disciplines, pursuing inter- and transdisciplinarity, but also affirms a proactive and normative, yet self-reflexive and critical framework.
b) The Summer School aims to train effective agents of change, not mere observers of contemporary crises nor uninvolved prophets of doom. The Summer School aims to foster social transformations towards a more sustainable civilization: i.e. resilient human cultures advancing social justice, economic well-being, ecological integrity and cultural diversity. It is intended for artists, researchers and practitioners who acknowledge and support the values of engaged (i.e. normative) and self-reflexive, concrete and theoretically informed, positive and critical practices in science, art and civil society.
c) The Summer School aims to facilitate transcontinental exchanges, comparisons and critical explorations of experiences across the world, with participation of researchers and practitioners from the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania and South-, Central and North-America.
d) The Summer School aims to enable the conceptualization and drafting of possible future partnerships and projects among artists, scientists, and practitioners.
e) The Summer School aims to generate a transdisciplinary process allowing the pluralistic and diverse, yet united and overarching burgeoning of a transdisciplinary culture in the arts and in the sciences:
Inspiring scientists to reach beyond the limited types of formal rationality traditionally catered to in the Western scientific tradition. New approaches and new tools, inspired by artistic methodologies and artistic (re)search practices and theories, shall carve new avenues of explorations for the participating scientists.
Inspiring artists to enrich their current practices. New methodologies for action and (re)search, e.g. interdisciplinary work with scientists and activists, shall open further perspectives for the participating artists.
Enabling participants to develop varied ways to work transdisciplinarily, no longer only as determined ‘artists’, ‘activists’ or ‘scientists’, but, as artiscientists, artivists, intellectactors, i.e. shaping new identities for a new culture.