Faculty include: Antonia Alampi, Suzanne Anker, Chloë Bass, T.J. Demos, Paz Guevara, Betti-Sue Hertz, Stefanie Hessler, Leon J. Hilton, Joan Jonas, Amelia Jones, Maurizio Lazzarato, Alex Taek-Gwang Lee, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, Yann Moulier-Boutang, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Warren Neidich (founder/director), Clio Nicastro, Ahmet Ögüt, Rachel O’Reilly, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Jasbir K. Puar, Tobias Rees, Suely Rolnik, Daniel Ross, Martha Schwendener, Barry Schwabsky (co-director), Vandana Shiva, and Anuradha Vikram

A central feature of SFSIA is a Public Lecture Series, which is free and open to the public to invite conversation, debate, and inquiry across communities. You can see the full list of public lectures and register here.

Building upon our past five year engagement with topics concerning estrangement, individuation and collectivity in art and politics, Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art 2020 will address the present and future conditions of our new pandemic reality, as well as the new possibilities it may generate.

In the past twenty years, the techno-social-scientific revolution has joined forces with neoliberal reformers to produce a generalized crisis in empathy and thought. Through the coronavirus pandemic we have all, in one way or another, become cognitariats – isolated data workers laboring for free within the abstract conundrum of the infosphere. As Franco “Bifo” Berardi stated in Breathing: Chaos and Poetry, “Neoliberal reformers have put competition at the core of the daily business of life, and digital connectivity has replaced physical conjunction in the sphere of social communication: so the psycho-cultural conditions of empathy have been undermined.” Berardi’s comments offer an insight into the inadequate response to this pandemic as a disjunction of comradeship, a pervasive lack of social solidarity. These are symptoms of a disease in which our community is rotting from within.

As this already global condition has been further complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, Care, Caring and Repair in Cognitive Capitalism is the focus of this year’s Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art which will  be presented online. We ask: Is the rising global death toll still happening in many regions a result of the powerful effect of neoliberal capitalism upon empathy making the care it necessitates impossible? Will the effects of seclusion and the growing importance of virtual technology in our daily life (such as remote learning, shopping and communication) intensify the loss of comradeship and solidarity already in progress? Finally, if the pandemic is linked to a coming global catastrophe will the governments, corporations and other institutions which have proved so ineffectual in the current moment fail miserably again? In the hope of creating awareness and addressing the causes of the factors that are breaking our social webs apart, we will interweave four broad categories of care, caring and repair: (1) Cognitive Capitalism and Affective Labor (2) Theory of Mind, Empathy and its Psychopathologies (3) Class Consciousness and Solidarity (4) Climate Change and Global Warming. Through online discussions, deep readings and performative lectures, we aim to develop strategies of counterinsurgency.

Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art (SFSIA) is a nomadic, intensive summer academy with shifting programs in contemporary critical theory that stresses an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the relationship between art and politics. The program consists of seminar-style lectures, deep readings, and experimental workshops. An evening lecture program is free and open to the public. Subscribe to our mailing list for updates.

Subscribe to our mailing list...