Over the weekend of January 24-26 the Symposium of the Forum for Interdisciplinary Studies at the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts in Kiel will develop thematics related to the “Borders of Art”. Annika Frye invited Institutions as a Way of Life researchers Bernhard Garnicnig and Jamie Allen to the Kunst an den Rändern symposium at Muthesius Kunsthochschule, Kiel. A lecture and workshop will propose a thinking and practice of “Improvising Institutions”.

“Improvisation, when it works, is like watching pilots put their plane together in mid-air.”

When improvisation studies scholar, black man, and free-jazz ethnomusicologist George Lewis, won the Guggenheim “genius” award, he was asked what he hoped to achieve within institutional cultures of art, music and research. His answer was that he wished to create environments where people would be supported no matter what, an improviser, and of institutional practices that are expressive of what is creatively possible. Can this expressive possibility be taken into the creative practices of or within institutions? How might we learn to riff and respond to the ‘call’ of hierarchical institutions and demands with dis-order and dispersion, ritornello riffs, noise and dischord?

Looking across works by Lewis, Moten and Harney, Audrey Lord, Bell Hooks, and studies of institutionality (D. Graeber) for moments and subalterns where improvisatory strategies spring up through necessity or invention, Jamie Allen will deliver a lecture entitled “Improvising Institutions”, followed by a homonymous workshop by Bernhard Garnicnig and Allen that will activate students and faculty toward these same themes and practices.

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