the new normal: digital art academy, and a daily art task


May 23rd, 2020  

It’s week 10 of lockdown, with restrictions easing since this month.
And it’s week 5 of: art academy summer semester.

Like all universities and schools, the new semester brought a new way to go to classes: it’s all online, to make things safe for everyone.

„I am glad that the art academy is starting again now, with a digital summer semester, that this place of connection and inspiration and learning is returning and they don’t have to cancel it all, like so many other events.“

That’s what I wrote in the first week. The good news is that things worked out well so far, probably also as most of us know each other from the previous semesters, and the video call technology works okay.

What I am missing is the place, the chance encounters and talks, the drive there, the feeling of „getting away from my desk,“ which already involves enough screen work and time.

Well: I still could go for a walk, I realized after a video call that left me feeling de-placed. And following that impulse, I went there, with some chalk, to leave at least a temporary physical sign in this time of social distancing. And out came this piece of urban art, on video: „Kunst in der Zeit von Social Distancing


To balance the missing atelier space, one of the art academy tutors started a daily art project for all students: Every weekday, he sends out a page with a task that relates to an artist and their way of working. And everyone is invited to create an artwork with things you have at home, based on this instruction, and take a photo and send it. They are making a gallery of it on the website.

Day 1 was based on Christo: „wrap something up“, day 2 on Slominski „Fold something up“, day 3 was about laying things in a square pattern, inspired by artist Peter Roehr, and so on.

Each day is bringing a creative impulse, and also introducing us to artists and their way of work in an indirect / direct way: not by explaining, but by asking us to following their approach. Plus, the tasks create a group feeling and spark conversation and exchange beyond the seminars.

My own favs so far are the pattern task – i still have the box with „red things“ for the currently pausing red project. And had fun by putting them to a different use:

And another fav: „Hiding in plain sight“ à la Liu Bolin (do you see me?):

After some days of joining, I decided to focus on this, and on the other art academy projects – and leave the 100 days. Well, typing this now, I think: actually the art academy tasks are like a follow-up of the 100 days of sharing and exploring.

The contribution that speaks most to these days so far is probably this one, sparked by „build a kid cave“. Something I would never have tried without this task

and the one i enjoyed most doing – that was the meditative exploring of pretty weed-flowers, following artist Ursus Wehrli:

Some extra-links: