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Contemporary Art and Beyond

Art has the ability to express societal conditions and changes. Artistic works give shape to the shapeless and the not yet depictable. They can be seismographs, making our changing environments tangible and communicable. In this sense, art is a speculation about the present and potential futures – regardless of whether it refers to something of the present or the past and what medium it uses. At the threshold between the perception of the present and the anticipation of the future, we cannot predict which artistic positions will become important. Therefore, the University of Art and Design needs to promote the entire spectrum of potential artistic approaches and strategies, allowing the future-related arts to prosper – and the arts of the future to be born.

The emergence of such liminal perceptions is not a plannable or predictable process; a process in which successful artistic creation is the fortunate exception and failure is the fruitful rule. Still, we can create conditions which allow an ideal realisation of speculative artistic processes. These necessary preconditions will be improved within the next few years. Production conditions in the studios, workshops and labs will be enhanced and expanded; reflectivity will be advanced through the interlacing with cultural and media science; the internationalisation of students and teachers will be promoted; the presence of artists with diverse artistic positions will be increased.

At the same time, academic and organisational structures will be adapted in a way that allows more free space for independent, interdisciplinary, cross-media work. Students must be encouraged to explore their individual approaches to art and to develop their own ways of artistic expression.

In the training of educators, the experience of individually motivated, open, experimental artistic and creative processes is essential – because the various disciplines carry this experience into schools and thus into society.

The creative areas of the University of Art and Design are characterised by project-based, free, artistic and experimental work. The act of creation constantly requires new methods and models of action in order for us to develop solutions for contemporary problems and to keep our focus on the future at the same time. Creative processes lead to answers, designs and problem-solving approaches which can become effective in society immediately – and change society itself.

In the course of the next few years, the University of Art and Design Linz will position itself even more as an internationally seen place of artistic production and reflection. It focuses on art as a form of critical exploration and radical, brave and interdisciplinary rethinking of contemporary and future problems. All activities relating to teaching, advancement and appreciation of the arts as well as research are connected to artistic/creative production and its critical reflection.

The appointment policy of the next few years will be influenced by this artistic focus. On the one hand, an increased number of professors, assistant professors and lecturers leads to the creation of more positions which connect teaching to projects relating to advancement and appreciation of the arts, design and research. On the other hand, the appointment of internationally sought-after and known artistic personalities aims to promote this thematic focus.

Teaching at our university initiates educational processes and prepares students for the co-creation of a drastically changing world. In order to firmly establish constant change and innovation in teaching, the university lays a special focus on promoting the teachers’ individual artistic/creative work (and research activities) over the next few years.

A notable example is the creation of a new professorship for Sculpture and Environment. Other new fields will be pioneered by the professorship for Artistic Photography, the professorship for Graphic Arts (Visual Art), the (guest) professorship for Performance, the professorship for Visual Art, the (guest) professorship for Exhibition Cultures and Curatorial Practice, the professorship for Art and Design in Teaching, the professorship for Creative Robotics, and the professorship for Imaging Techniques. New appointments regarding an existing professorship for Media Art, two professorships for Sculpture – Transmedial Space and one professorship for Painting aim to strengthen this distinctly artistic focus area in a future-oriented way.