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We are absolutely thrilled to share that our alum Helen Zeru (DAI, 2017) is one of the 12 artists who will be reimagining the future of their cities through design and creative problem-solving as part of the Creative Industries Fund NL & Prince Claus Fund's Building Beyond mentorship programme in 2023! The 12 selected artists come from Ethopia, Mozambique, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Benin, Egypt, Libya and Tanzania and work in a wide range of design fields including architecture, urbanism, digital design, visual arts, photography, research and performance. The artists will work on projects that re-imagine the future of public space, community and functionality in their own contexts. The program aims to foster thought leadership, promote criticality, reframe design-based practices, and contribute to an ongoing conversation on how creative practices rooted in locality and community can lead to new perspectives and promote transformative urban agendas. DAI's journey with Helen began in 2014 when she warmly welcomed us to Netsa Art Village in Addis Ababa: more than an art space and an art project: it was a collective, a studio, a network, a gallery, a garden, a school, an experimental room, and so many other things. Following the term “Netsa” (translated to “free” from Amharic), Netsa Art Village played the role of a hybrid-crossing space between the urban and the rural, the formal and the unregulated, the conventional and the experimental. Today it is so great to know that although Netsa, unfortunately no longer exists, Helen and her work continue to make the difference. Click to find more information.
From 9 to 12 February 2023, the Mondriaan Fund is organizing a new edition of Prospects during Art Rotterdam at the Van Nelle Factory. The exhibition shows the work of 73 starting artists (based in, or strongly affiliated with the Netherlands). All artists received a financial contribution from the Mondriaan Fund in 2021 to kickstart their career. Among the artists are Clara Amaral (DAI, 2019) and Aldo Esparza Ramos (DAI, 2018).
"LAND-GRAB FOR AN IVORY TOWER". Although the Vienna Declaration will likely become a future constitution and framework for artistic research in European art schools, no public debates of its content seem to have taken place in the six months after its publication. Florian Cramer and Nienke Terpsma think that it is time to speak up – and fundamentally disagree with its concept and framing of artistic research. Here at DAI we have to hold ourselves back to not quote their ENTIRE excellent article as it truly strikes a chord with us. It was published online by Open! already quite some time ago but we only stumbled upon it now (click on this post to find the link). Here is one quote by means of a teaser: "With educational institutions now claiming ownership of artistic research, and introducing their own quality and validation standards, they factually create their own art system........ As a result, artistic research will be split into two forms and systems: ‘AR’ in art schools as opposed to artistic research in art practice and art worlds at large. Is this desirable? We don’t think so. Instead of creating hospitable spaces, infrastructures and institutional recognition for artist-run research initiatives (from the Bureau de recherches surréalistes to the Community Futures Lab of the Afrofuturist Affair in Philadelphia or Lifepatch in Indonesia), ‘AR’ is in danger of ending up as its own self-referential system, with artistic researchers and projects that are recognised only within that system, and the system serving the ultimate purpose of preserving itself; in other words, a land-grab for an ivory tower."