Dark Study, an online art program that takes on an experimental and innovative approach to higher education, will begin courses in October 2020. The program takes advantage of their entirely online platform and lack of support from a traditional university system and builds it into a profound opportunity. As the program’s mission statement mentions, the Dark Study program is “digitally-rooted and virtual-first”. At the moment, the program is in search of a cohort of minds distributed around the world that will take part in the first round of courses. The deadline for applications is the 28th of September, 2020.
The philosophy of Dark Study stems from an acknowledgment of the risk, precarity, and failures that have become an inevitable aspect of creative practice. The program intends to teach art and design in a way that takes into account materialism, history, economics, critical theory, and philosophy, all within the context of new technologies. Through a “transparent, open methodology and a commitment to flexibility”, Dark Study is structured in a way to have a direct and succinct impact on a society in crisis. It is also intended as a refuge for students who are dealing with the untenability of higher education and the fallout of neoliberalism. The syllabi, course offerings, and overall methods are created in order to work directly against the oppressive state mechanisms that determine the makeup of post-secondary educational systems, which in general exclusively serve the upper middle class and the wealthy. Dark Study is meant as an alternative for the “Black, Indigenous, First Generation, and low-income students” who experience little support from these traditional systems of education.