Life After DAI


Last weekend, I attended the graduation presentations of the Dutch Art Institute’s second-year students, at State of Concept in Athens. This was also my farewell to this institution, which in its current “roaming” format required me to travel to a different city (and, usually, country) each month. DAI is in the vanguard both of critical art education and of relentless self-exploitation, exhaustion, and pseudo-glamorous precarization. All that is solid melts into Airbnbs (or, for the students, youth hostels). In addition to my university teaching in Amsterdam, this was not viable for me in the long run. I can quit because it will not result in instant neo-Dickensian poverty; others are in less privileged positions.


Nonetheless, it is a pity that I’ve had to take this step; not being able to continue working with the current first-year students is a particular regret. The experience of working with this exceptional art programme has been rewarding. Teaching a theory seminar at an art school provides different challenges and rewards from teaching in a university context;  with their interesting interests, their already distinct merging practices and critical questions, my students have been inspiring interlocutors, and it has been a pleasure seeing them (and helping them) develop their thoughts and their work.


After the graduation presentations, my students (Alaa Abu Asad, Stephan Blumenschein, Sara Cattin, Leon Filter, Olga Micińska, Dina Mohamed, Nina Støttrup Larsen, Sam McCulloch; Matthieu Blond couldn’t make it to Athens) raised a toast with a certain beverage that I seem to be notorious for consuming. I usually don’t deal with my teaching here on this site, or get personal, but every rule needs exceptions: cheers peeps, and thanks!