Autumn 2008


In the beginning of the 20 th century, when Monte Verità (a Swiss mountain near Ascona) became the cradle of European counterculture, it was an exceptional case to find artists, psychoanalysts, nudists, anarchists, writers, vegetarians and dancers gathering together to create a visionary common project. But today it would be hard to find any artists, art schools or art institutes which do not claim their practices and programmes to be profoundly multi-, inter- and even trans-disciplinary. Most contemporary artists eagerly acknowledge that crossing borders, embracing “alien” domains and disciplines and borrowing, importing, adopting and adapting “strange” idioms is a very good way to deal with the complexity and the hybridity of life in “liquid times”. Of course, “disciplines” (understood here as regimes of learning, of research, of techniques and skills, or some combination of these) are still relevant. Trans-disciplinarity complements disciplinary approaches. It occasions the emergence of new interactions from out of the encounter between disciplines. Open minded and generous practitioners strive to overcome disciplinary chauvinisms and their expertise may “seep freely through institutions and structures like water through the pores of a membrane” (to cite the social scientist Helga Nowotny, herself a fiery advocate of the potential of trans-disciplinarity). Between 15 October and 10 December 2008, Studium Generale Rietveld Academie offers you a set of communicating vessels in the form of seven coherent series of lectures and presentations that will introduce, question or simply demonstrate old and new visions of multi-, cross-, inter- and trans-disciplinarity.

In February 2009 Monte Verità (2) will test the viability of 
“the” and our art academy as a site for transgressing boundaries.

Curated by Jorinde Seijndel and Gabriëlle Schleijpen.

Jorinde Seijdel is general editor of 'Open, cahier voor kunst & het publieke domein', chairs the Comissie Basissubsidies Fonds BKVK. Jorinde Seijdel teaches at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.

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