oct. 8th - dez . 12th 2001

deutsche version

virtual academy 2001

a project by the vienna poetry school in cooperation with the academy of fine arts, vienna, infoscreen, orf, profil, and der standard.

barely ten years after the vienna poetry school was founded we find ourselves standing before a new situation, to re-think and re-develop everything from the bottom up. back then, we were faced with the question of the "teachability" of literature, today it is the question of virtual teaching and learning, its structuring and organizing.

the academic situation described by plato was based on the personal presence of the all those involved in the teaching process, and this is now being put in question. the limitation of the participants is being put in question. the criteria of selection and evaluation is being put in question.

what does monologue mean, what does dialogue mean, once multidirectional forms of communication have entered the picture? what does student-body mean, when dispersed and globally scattered, voyeur-like addressees have entered the picture? what does talent mean, what does work-of-art mean, what does 'elite' mean, once analogical methods of cognition and evaluation have entered the digital sphere?

can we translate academics using the availability of the internet into the virtual or do the new networks also generate new forms of teaching that, in the platonic sense, uproot the act of teaching, leaving the traditional closed up classroom behind and transporting it elsewhere?

what is that: an internet class?

the 8 courses of the 'virtual academy 2001' will be conducted by authors working individually and in teams. these courses will focus on the subject 'language and signs in the internet' via exercises in creative writing as well as audio-, video- and web-related ones. this year for the first time students of the academy of fine arts have the possibility to obtain a certificate for their participation.

a dept of gratitude i owe h.c. artmann, who died last year but will always be remembered as a poet, a visionary and a patron of the vienna poetry school, paving its way with his internet-classes "exercises in montage techniques" and "asterix and obelix - translated into viennese".

viva la poesia!

christian ide hintze
september 2001