BY CAROLINE SÜESS
Radical changes are occurring on various levels across the arts, design, and art and design education. This issue of Zett gathers contributions exploring minor and major upheavals, which are (also) taking place at Zurich University of the Arts. Reporting on the current refurbishment of the historic Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, “A home for design icons” raises construction dust. The tradition-steeped building will re-open in 2018. Technological change is the topic of a contribution on immersive technologies. It includes the ideas of several experts around campus who, through applying various methods and pursuing different goals, are developing alternative realities.
Wherever radical change occurs, novelty arises. Those who leave behind established certainties are mostly rewarded with new insights. “Thinking at the edge” deals with works of art that were created at the turn of the twentieth century in Swiss psychiatric institutions. Katrin Luchsinger has rescued many of these works from oblivion; her research raises and sheds light on several universal questions: What is normal? What is mad? Who is an artist? Which historical circumstances shape the constantly evolving definitions of these key concepts? Some radical changes even entail paradigm shifts: The same thing suddenly appears in an entirely different light. “DisAbility on Stage” reveals how people with disabilities can extend dance and theatre practice, that is, how a supposed inability becomes an ability.
Jörg Scheller’s essay “Football stadiums don’t host biennales” traces the nature of radical change. He claims that the current upheavals in sport, fitness, and (fine) art exhibit surprising parallels.