Photo: Still from Manifesto

Newly migrated into a university and an open-plan campus building, an art school feels cornered by a suffocating culture of surveillance and administration. Staff and students find ways to subvert control through secret operations. Since cooking is forbidden in the new building, they have created a mobile, easily concealable communal pop-up kitchen. They have a number of completely fake courses that fit in the university structure, and even a pseudo-dean whose title exists only on paper, while they have their own elected rector. Their intentions are by no means aimed at romanticizing the “old European art school”, they just want to create an open, free space for anyone to express and create art. Can freedom be achieved within the system, but under its vigilant radar?

(About Manifesto, International Film Festival Rotterdam)

What is an art school, or an art academy, today, and how has the ideology and the look of Nordic art education changed over the past twenty years? Since the beginning of the 1990s,the former professor run schools have been undergoing a turn towards academization and standardization, and, within a Nordic context; a physical realization of these ideas in new buildings. In the seminar Art Education in the 21st Century we will discuss the neo liberal impact on art education as well as on the architecture where the education takes place, with a starting point in Ane Hjort Guttu´s recently premiered film Manifesto (2021).

Historian Ola Innset will introduce us to the connection between neoliberalism and New Public Management-inspired reforms of higher education. Architect Arild Eriksen discusses with Ane Hjort Guttu and representatives of KMD, with the new KMD building in Møllendalsveien as a point of departure. Artist Lotte Konow Lund will moderate the conversation, and present an introduction to American artist Mike Kelleys famous project Educational Complex (1995). 

The seminar is the result of the exhibition project Ghost in the Machine, as well as the educational projects Nomadic Structures and Joy Forum by Eamon O´Kane and Sveinung R. Unneland.

Art Education in the 21st Century
Seminar programme

 1600: Frans Jacobi/Sveinung Unneland: Welcome
1615: Lotte Konow-Lund: Mike Kelley: Educational Complex

In 1995, American artist Mike Kelley created Educational Complex, a tabletop model that delineates the psychogeography of his childhood by reconstructing from memory the schools he attended and the house in which he grew up. In this introduction, Lotte Konow-Lund presents Kelley’s seminal work and its shrewd eye on art education, architecture and institutional critique.
1700: Ola Innset: Neoliberalism and the Art School
New Public Management-inspired reforms of higher education have transformed European, and Norwegian, university sector. What is the connection between neoliberalism and these reforms? Were things better before, and what would be the conditions for a truly free and independent art education?
1815: Film screening: Ane Hjort Guttu: Manifesto, 2021

18.45: A Powerful Symbol of the Unification Process of Six Faculty Buildings. Ane Hjort Guttu, Arild Eriksen and Frans Jacobi in conversation

Arild Eriksen graduated from Bergen Architecture School with a project on art schools. Here, he converses with Ane Hjort Guttu and Frans Jacobi about inclusion in building processes, the specific nature of the art school architecture and how we can make the new KMD building work. We will also dig deeper into formal and conceptual sides of Ane Hjort Guttu´s film Manifesto, and hear from Frans Jacobi what the art academy of his dreams would look like.


Ola Innset (b. 1985) is a historian and a writer. He holds a PhD in History and Civilization from the European University Institute, and his most recent non-fiction books are Reinventing Liberalism (Springer, 2020), Markedsvendingen (Fagbokforlaget, 2020) and Markedsmennesker (2020). He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at BI Norwegian Business School and a co-editor of Vinduet.

Arild Eriksen (b. 1973) is an architect and planner educated at the Bergen School of Architecture. He runs the architectural firm Fragment in Oslo. Eriksen promotes user participation in development and construction projects, and has, among other things, led the Young Artists' Society's (UKS) work to develop models for affordable housing and ateliers for artists. He has taught at Bergen School of Architecture, Oslo School of Architecture and at NMBU, Ås. 

Ane Hjort Guttu (b. 1971) is an artist and filmmaker based in Oslo. She works in a variety of media, but has in recent years mainly concentrated on film and video works, ranging from investigative documentary to poetic fiction. Among recurrent themes in her work are the relationship between freedom and power, economy and the public space, social change and limits of action. Guttu is also a writer and curator, and she is a professor at the National Academy of the Arts, Oslo. 

Lotte Konow Lund (b. 1967) is an artist  and a professor at the Oslo National academy of the arts, Oslo. Her most recent solo projects are On art, 25 artist conversations, book published by Forlaget Oktober 2021 , Feed, Comission Norwegian University of Life Sciences,  A monumentalt theft of public space and time, exhibition Oslo City hall 2019, Hold everything dear, exhibition, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter 2016, The diaries, 2014-2016, book published by Teknisk Industri 2016.

See more on Manifesto: