University | Yliopisto



A meta-educational project by Rogério Nuno Costa

In a very litteral sense, Kantian university is a fictional institution. Reason can only be institutionalized as far as institution itself can remain a fiction, if it can only work ‘as if’ it was not an institution. When the institution becomes real, reason turns away.

[Bill Readings, The University In Ruins, Harvard, p. 68]

UNIVERSITY | YLIOPISTO is a durational meta-project of a virtual, trans-national and trans-artistic multiversity. A school where we can learn how to annul Art by the means of art itself. A laboratory to test Pop as the ultimate cultural appropriation. A masterclass titled “Laziness as the new avantgarde”. An intensive workshop aboyt Kopimism. A cooltural magazine. And a very demagogic, finlandized and prophyl(arctic) political party to fund the whole thing.

The project proposes the building of a collaborative platform for inter-disciplinary thinking throughout 5 “school” years, thus operating, both virtually and physically, between two European “extremes”: Portugal and Finland. Fluid and nomadic work groups will meet in temporary spaces driven by one major goal: to elaborate a hybrid model for artistic learning based on “non-artistic” methodologies, or how can one reach Art without being through art? A self-referential academy that offers one program only — the “academic studies” program —, structured in a rhyzomatic and taxonomical dialogue between all Arts and all Sciences, within a discursive system that is non-hierarchical and post-capitalist. For that purpose, new educational paradigms will be tested, new modes of subjectivation and sharing of knowledge will be experimented, new ethical (therefore, aesthetic) models grounding the relation between “master and apprentice” will be foreseen. Ultimately, some of the premises that originated the mission behind Western university will be recycled, the same premises that (post-)modernity, quantitatively entrepeneur and business-oriented (education as a product, student as a client), has been extinguishing for the last three decades.

After the proto-laboratory that took place within the context of Circular/Festival de Artes Performativas de Vila do Conde (Portugal) in 2008 — The Curator’s School —, and countless other introductory clusters, seminars and workshops in academic institutions such as Escola Superior de Artes e Design (Caldas da Rainha, Portugal), Faculdade de Letras (Coimbra, Portugal), Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (Arnhem, The Netherlands), among others, the official launching of University | Yliopisto’s Year One took place in Bucharest (Romania) in July 2015, a partnership with E-motional – rethinking dance, ODD Gallery and Modulab. In October 2016, the project migrated to Espoo (Finland), in a symbiotic dialogue with Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art program at Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture. A new series of lectures, workshops, think tanks and publications was then initiated, gathering an increasing number of cross-disciplinary artists, researchers and teachers around the main sub-themes of the project, namely the understanding of the academy “as” performance and the speculation of future universities. The Year 2 was introduced in November 2017 in Porta33 (Funchal, Madeira island, Portugal). The Year 3 is about to start in both Finland and Portugal and will occupy most of the year 2020. Check the following links for more info: