Welcome to DAI
The Dutch Art Institute a.k.a. DAI, a.k.a. DAI ROAMING ACADEMY, is an itinerant program that fosters a variety of praxes at the intersections of art and theory (both seen as un-disciplines), and invigorates (collective) thinking, researching, voicing, making, roaming, curating, performing, writing and publishing. DAI is acclaimed for its inventive modus operandi, its generous semi-public program and the transformative potentiality of its curriculum, developed in long time co-operation with a precise selection of imaginative cultural organisations as well as with independent practitioners and researchers at the forefront of artistic and intellectual inquiry, context, production and distribution.
Recently the Dutch Art Institute radicalised its chain of meaningful transformations, evolving from an ongoing process of (un)learning: as off September 2017 we have said farewell to bricks and walls after we closed the doors of our venue in Arnhem. DAI as Roaming Academy is now welcoming its students, tutors and staff at various, changing locations in-and outside of the Netherlands (click Calendar for an overview of our upcoming landings and note that our office continues to be located in Arnhem).
Not to be compared to any studio-based program and certainly not to the notorious edu-factories in the capitals of capitalism, DAI offers a small scale program with a highly experimental and agile profile that in many ways exceeds the limits of conventional art education.
Nine times per year (+ DAI Week 10, 4 extension-to-the COOP days), students and tutors plug into the so-called DAI Week: an experimental learning environment/think tank/networking platform/theory camp, a quite funky temporary art commune, a spaceship landing at a changing variety of locations in-and outside the Netherlands.
Structured by a dense weaving of seminars, face to face conversations, cooperative study groups, walks, communal meals, work-outs, guest-curated as well as tutor-or student-led seminars, presentations and performances, these monthly, one week-long conclaves last from early morning until late at night.
The highly concentrated time of the DAI-week functions as a pressure cooker for an exchange of authorised and unauthorised, vernacular and academic knowledges, that accumulate throughout the year, with every month's gathering. Students are expected to continue developing their independent research while simultenaously engaging with the DAI's discursive input, co-operative methodologies and support structure. During DAI-weeks everybody involved is accommodated in (youth)hostels and other group housing facilities. Lunches and dinners with students, faculty and guests are important shared moments which mark the DAI's communal aspirations. Conviviality is at the heart of the program: infrastructures can be artworks too.
DAI positions itself as a left-leaning program with a feminist, intersectional, anti-capitalist and decolonial orientation. This is of course easy said, but much harder to practice; DAI came into existence as an integral part of the Dutch/European cultural and educational fabric.
Without the unflagging, queering spirit of many of our students, tutors and partners, without their critical awareness, their endurance and their willingness to educate the educational institution they inhabit, DAI would not be able to embrace the intellectual and material transgressions that are needed to first understand, and then break with the limiting, exclusive, oppresive and violent patriarchical, hetereo-normative and eurocentric tendencies in the dominant cultural and economic ideologies that nearly all of us humans, have been born into, regardless of where we come from in terms of class, gender, geography, race, age, or religion.
Positions (in no particular order) that DAI, as an institution is committed to "curate", to care for:
*our strong focus on content driven research and meaningful production.
*our progressive orientation allowing for an inspirational and thought provoking variety of artistic, political and theoretical positions; from 'commonist' engagement with the rural, to Xenofeminism's (conditional) embrace of technology and science-fiction.
*our desire to co-develop and co-promote new perspectives on collaboration and exchange, production and distribution, ethics and aesthetics.
*our functionning as a largely self-organised para-institution, rather than a cog in the machine of the overriding University.
*our inclination towards unorthodox teaching methods, thus in many ways exceding the limits of conventional art education.
*our 'porous' curriculum with its annual transformations, grounded in ongoing productive dialogue between students, tutors, and the world.
*our un-disciplinary study groups through which the poetical and the political can be collectively explored, fueled by (individual) research.
*our rejection of the "private studio space" as a pedagogical tool.
*our DAI-week's holistic point of departure: living, roaming, studying and working together during one full week per month.
*our communal meals, student-led feed back sessions, nightly karaoke parties, curated city-walks, yoga classes and "campsite" workouts; all considered integral constituents of our modus operandi.
*our funky student body, its transnational and diverse composition, based on our intuitive understanding of “elective affinities” (as in the German notion of "Wahlverwandschaften").
*our thriving, interconnected alumni community and our aspiration to support affective, self-steering DAI related groups and to co-develop effective strategies to empower them.
*our pioneering, long-standing collaborations and partnerships with art organizations that continue to constitute “interfaces” between 'academy' and (art)world, offering our students close involvement with other institutional practices, outside of the educational framework.
*our worldwide intellectual linkages and exchanges with friends and allies, powered by our 'Planetary Campus'.
*our fleeting community of brilliant, devoted, candid, anti-hierarchical, independent tutors, where a deep commitment to the notion of 'complexity' is shared by all.
*our responsibility towards individual needs, temperaments and temporalities, in the context of a permeable, non-homogeneous, non-fascist, plurivocal WE.
Embedded in the support structure of the Graduate School of the ArtEZ University of the Arts our precious program is, for the largest part, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Education. Relatively moderate tuition fees established by the Dutch Governement (especially moderate for Europeans, but to our deep regret less so for those holding non-European passports) as well as contributions from students to our Project Fund complement our annual production budget. The ArtEZ University of the Arts offers a very limited number of scholarships to prospective non-EU students in order "to support diversity among the student body".
DAI aims to be able to support MORE students than those awarded with the occasional ArtEZ or Holland scholarships; too many brilliant and commendable prospective DAI students are currently barred by increasingly precarious economic and political conditions. We therefore warmly (WARMLY!!) welcome any support, big or small. Please trust that we are fully committed to engage in productive and precise conversations with you and that we are willing to explore all viable formats, collaborations and joint ventures.