This is an artistic research project description that describes an ongoing research project. It was collaboratively written in a text editing application. It is intended to explain that there is an ongoing project about institutions of culture, art and learning, and how these relate to individual creative practices and collective political engagements. It is a project description of a project that is how to disentangle the representationalism of own roles and various understandings of institutions.

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 relation between institutions and individuals as a condition to and as a shaper of our relations to the world.

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 research addresses three 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. Research questions include:

  • What are important and inspiring institutional experiments, boundary objects and fringe cases in art history, technology and political-economics?
  • How do we interface and experience institutions and institutionality in language, media, and communications?
  • How can artists consider and study institutionalisation as a creative process?
  • What such tactics and strategies can we transfer to micro- and macro political communities?

The project will contribute to experimental instituent processes, it will unbuild models and develop reflections and teaching activities in the hope of allowing more equitable, heterogeneous, accessible relations with and within creative institutions.