Open Call The Octopus Programme
The Octopus Programme is a guided research-based educational programme that encourages artistic research and production-based collaborations across academies and art institutions; students and professionals; diverse presentation modes; and processes of research and documentation in different geographies. While the Octopus Programme functions as a support mechanism for emerging artists, the main objective of the programme is to accumulate experience-based collective and creative output by taking geopolitical, social, ecological, and educational urgencies and diversities into consideration. In this respect, by merging the viewpoints of academic entities and contemporary art institutions along with what they can provide such as mixed facilities and activities, the Octopus Programme would like to develop a progressive methodology by creating its autonomous network.
This call is open to all Diploma Students, Master’s and PhD students at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design Stockholm. The programme was initiated with a pilot phase in 2019/2020 by University of Applied Arts Vienna and Kamel Lazaar Foundation which linked Vienna and Tunis. The main phase is taking place in 2021/2022 and the partners of the programme are University of Applied Arts Vienna; Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Tunis; Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts, and Design, Stockholm; Index - The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation; The University of Pretoria; The Centre for The Less Good Idea, Johannesburg; the Palestinian Museum, Birzeit; SAHA Association, Istanbul; Publics and Saastamoinen Foundation, Helsinki.
The programme intends to bridge and acknowledge social and cultural diversities in the targeted geographical regions—Europe, the Mediterranean, and Africa—just as the programme also values and connects the diversities between and/or among: socio-political realities and perspectives; interdisciplinary approaches; academic and nonacademic intellectual models; forms of artistic research and practices; divergent perspectives on artistic production methodologies; individual and community-based approaches; top-down and grass-root organisation models; accessed and distributed resources and facilities; strategies of environmental sustainability; artistic challenges and opportunities; different funding possibilities; institutional and alternative curatorial practices; forms of engagement of artists, audiences, institutions; forms of innovative and technology-driven mindsets and diverse knowledge production models.
The programme is designed and attached to a two-semester course “Spectral Encounters” (presented by the University of Applied Arts Vienna) that takes place simultaneously in different cities with a joint curriculum, designed and prepared by eight institutions from Europe, The Mediterranean and Africa. The programme includes peer-to-peer educational sessions, talks and tutorials by guest lecturers, online and class discussions, research field trips and work groups, collaborative production-based workshops in Birzeit, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Helsinki, Pretoria, Stockholm, Tunis and Vienna. Futhermore, guest artists and activities will accompany the programme. The course is led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Basak Senova, Visiting Professor at Art and Communication Practices, the University of Applied Arts Vienna, and managed together with 7 curators.
The Open Call for each country will carry its own procedure with the same conditions and the institution/art centre/art space/association from each country will conduct the selection process in collaboration/coordination with Basak Senova from the University of the Applied Arts Vienna. Two students per each university will be selected and they will be part of the programme with six other artists. The travel and production expenses of these four winning participants are covered by the University of Applied Arts Vienna and Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design Stockholm.
Seven curators/instructors/coordinators will develop a joint curriculum for 24 weeks (2021/2022). The activities will be spread around among each node. In University of the Applied Arts Vienna, the programme will continue through 2 semester 3 credit (4 hours) Spectral Encounters course, so the participants will get 6 credits from the university and all the participants will receive certificates from the programme.