Institutions as a Way of Life is a research project that explores and projects the legacy of Institutional Critique and develops models of instituent practices in terms of micropolitical actions, radical pedagogies and artistic processes. It investigates how technology, media and art can reflect and open up new infrastructures for thinking and doing, aiming to generate critical understandings of the relations between cultural institutions and creative individuals as a condition and as a shaper of our relations to creative life.
Institutions as a Way of Life explores and projects the legacy of Institutional Critique and develops models of instituent practices in terms of micropolitical actions, radical pedagogies and artistic processes. It will reveal how technology, media and art can reflex and open up new infrastructures for thinking and doing. It aims at generating a critical understanding of the relationship between institutions and individuals as a condition to and as a shaper of our relations to the world.
The research addresses example environments in institutions of art and culture: museums, archives and art schools. IWL understands institutionality as a site of emancipation and negotiation between individual actors and structures of power and regulation. IWL explores how histories of art, political economies and pedagogical initiatives have changed the relationships people have with institutions, which traces a particular history of ideas. Insights and actions informed by this history help us to modulate institutionality, and create conditions and infrastructures we would like to live in and amongst. The research collects multiple, non-canonical meanings and divergent responses of ideas and realities of institutions. It enacts ethnographically inspired artistic research and cross-readings of recent art history and discourses of politics, economy and philosophy.
The project takes place through the Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures at the Critical Media Lab Basel (2017–2021) and involved Bernhard Garnicnig, Lucie Kolb, Jennifer Merlyn Scherler, Mark Iandovka and Sonia Malpeso, amongst many others, and featured numerous activities, book publications, essays, editorial projects and public-making events. Images by Sonia Malpeso.