The ambitious example which a summer school can mirror its own development into, is the Black Mountain College, founded in 1933 in the woods of North Carolina that existed until1956. It was an alternative and experimental educational institution with the aim of incorporating innovation into academic education, with an emphasis on the student’s autonomy. Josef Albers, one of the main protagonists of the Bauhaus movement, was appointed as the first director.
The Black Mountain College flourished during the post-war period. In those years musician John Cage, choreographer Merce Cunningham worked alongside architect, scientist and ecologist Buckminster Fuller. The summer schools in particular became multidisciplinary experiments. In 1952, John Cage and Merce Cunningham, together with Robert Rauschenberg, among others, organised a theatre performance ‘Number One’, as a kind of early example of a ‘multimedia happening’.
For the first edition of the summer school a rather pragmatic approach was chosen, specifically how an artist could develop his or her career. This entails both content-oriented and practical aspects. The various sessions were led by Kathleen Deboutte of the Kunstenloket.
The afternoon brought content-based feedback in the shape of lectures dealing with various media, focusing on music, art and architecture.
In 2010 the idea of a cross-pollination occurring during a summer school will be realised in the context of the artists’ village during the ‘Coup de Ville’ exhibition project.