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.
Elisa T. Bertuzzo, Gastprofessorin: Spatial Theories, Urban and Urbanisation Studies
Daniela Brahm, Gastprofessorin: Production of Space, Artistic Practice in Urban and Socio-political Contexts
Günter Nest, Akademischer Mitarbeiter, Fachgebietssprecher: Intercultural Comparison, urban development in international context
Hadi Al-Khatib, Lehrbeauftragter: Digital Forensics
Marius Babias, Lehrbeauftragter: Art (and) public space
Jeff Deutch, Lehrbeauftragter: Digital Forensics
Gusztáv Hámos, Lehrbeauftragter: Photo-Film
Martin Kaltwasser, Lehrbeauftragter: Urban Interventions
Katja Pratschke, Lehrbeauftragte: Photo-Film
Konstanze Schmitt, Lehrbeauftragte: Performative Space
Michael Schwarz, Lehrbeauftragter: Automata Theory
Boris Sieverts, Lehrbeauftragter: Travelling through Cities
Weissensee School of Art
The Berlin Weissensee School of Art is one of a kind. The foundation for its combination of theory and practice in the curriculum was laid more than 50 years ago and is just as relevant today. Students will eventually decide on a specialization, but all of them will start with a one-year interdisciplinary program covering the basic principles of art and design. To engage with themes and develop ideas, students are offered a broad range of courses in theory as well as opportunities to do practical as well as project-oriented work. This unparalleled interdisciplinary approach is supported by the school’s thirteen workshops and studios.
The exchange of ideas between the different disciplines is encouraged and supported all the way to the point when students finish their degrees. It enables them to develop the ability to think across boundaries, to take responsibility for contemporary problems, and to cooperate with a diversity of social groups. These overarching goals and the exposure to working with concrete problems provide students with unique challenges and promote imagination, creativity, and social responsibility.
Because of its network of international partners and collaborators, the Berlin Weissensee School of Art can offer a multitude of opportunities for students to be mobile and participate in intercultural exchanges. The global approach is evident in the high number of international students on the campus.
Studying at the Berlin Weissensee School of Art offers a unique opportunity and ideal conditions for all those who believe that art and society are mutually dependent.
Leonie Baumann, Rector