Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art: A Berlin Intensive at the Juncture of Theory, Praxis, and Art

November 2017 by Jennifer Teets


“Founded by artist and theorist Warren Neidich, who serves as codirector with the art critic and poet Barry Schwabsky, and until recently, with Lisa Bechtold as program coordinator, the Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art (SFSIA) is a Berlin-based, three-week-long art and philosophy intensive. It landed in the German capital in 2016 after a brief stint in 2015 in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, the resort town in the Alps where the European Graduate School (EGS) administers its master and doctoral programs in its Division of Philosophy, Art & Critical Thought. Schwabsky, who will lead next summer’s intensive under the tentative title of “Praxis and Poesis in Cognitive Capitalism,” described his desire to start a school as a response to a “crisis” across the sector wherein art academies are “controlled by administrators—not by faculty—an ever-expanding layer of bureaucrats who are removed from the real needs of students and the realities of teaching and research.” Schwabsky proceeded to team with Neidich, who he knew had simultaneously developed a desire for a retreat and would turn plans into action.” – Jennifer Teets