The Master of Arts-programme in “Spatial Strategies” emerged from the vision of an artistic and urban design practice that acts on city space. It tackles the necessity to reconsider the concepts “space” and “publicness” (Öffentlichkeit) in a world that is drastically transforming under the effects of globalisation, and to expand the scope of artistic practices in the social context. To that end, “Spatial Strategies” focusses global, virtual and urban space and confronts “public space”, as well as artistic production within it, with the actuality of these three fundamental fields of action.
Accordingly, it pursues the critical examination of the factors and contradictions of a global production of space that seems dominated by supranational agencies and financial transactions; the study of urbanisation phenomena that elude hitherto explanatory models; the analysis of power relations that are as pervasive as under fire. Equal attention is dedicated to the proliferation of representations deriving, today, from the virtual (re)production and alleged expansion of social space boosted by artificial intelligence and augmented reality; to the infrastructures that sustain these developments—as well as to the possibility, for users, to appropriate the latter. In urban space, students learn to parse the rationales of planning strategies as much as the consequences of processes such as privatisation, commercialisation or touristification; they appraise the impacts of voluntary and forced migration flows as much as the traces of contemporary mobility and multilocality; they recognise new understandings of ownership as much as self-organised ways of living and forms of individual or collective struggle.
With global and technological developments of the past two decades having deeply modified the universal conception of “publicness” as democratic access to social spaces and vital resources, also the political responsibilities of each individual undergo a redefinition. “Spatial Strategies” seeks their possible forms as well as preconditions by combining artistic work and the insistence on public space as sphere in which differing social questions, discourses, aspirations are staged and dealt with. The students are supported in developing autonomous positionings in space, which from time to time can pass through artistic research or solo as well as group interventions, installations or videos, performances or publications. In order to convey complex issues in specific fields of action, they deploy the most diverse media and means of expression.
This two-year tuition-based programme welcomes applicants from all areas of the Fine Arts, Sciences of Art and Design, architects and urban researchers, as well as graduates and professionals in the Humanities, Cultural and Social Sciences. It offers further qualification at the interface between artistic practice and discourses in the realms of art theory and art criticism, critical urban research and urban development, political theory, migration studies, automata theory and digital forensics. Above all, “Spatial Strategies” aims to boost the reflection and development of an independent artistic or art-related practice that approaches debates around city, participation, artistic intervention, architecture, urban design, performativity, critique or creativity, as well as around political, economic and media questions, with a sense of autonomy and political sensibility.
The programme explicitly promotes interdisciplinarity and peer learning: beside different professional qualifications, the students have experiences from different cultural, national and biographical contexts that decentralise usual perspectives and instigate multifaceted insights into the discussed topics.
Upon successful completion of the studies, students are awarded a “Master of Arts” degree.