About Academia

Antoni Muntadas: About Academia I-II, an Online Interpretation, 2011-2017 (2021)


28 Apr 2021

Antoni Muntadas: About Academia I-II, an Online Interpretation, 2011-2017 (2021)

website access:

30.4 – 31.10.2021


Based on his experience in American higher education, the artist Antoni Muntadas inaugurates in Brazil an online interpretation of About Academia. The project discusses the role and function of universities today, the place of art in this context, the relationship between public and private, tradition and contemporaneity, the future of universities and interdisciplinarity, based on interviews with professors and students.

About Academia, a project originally presented at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, invited by Harvard University, during Antoni Muntadas’ last teaching period in the program in Art, Culture and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (ACT MIT), in 2011, followed in different versions to cities like Boston, Vancouver, Amsterdam, Seville, among others.

The Brazilian version of the videoinstallation About Academia, which at first would occupy the Biblioteca Brasiliana at the University of São Paulo’s (USP) Butantã Campus in São Paulo, translates as another work of the multimedia artist and professor, by creating a digital interpretation of the original installation, developed as a website, which can be accessed from April 30 For the first time it is being shown in Latin America, with all its materials translated into Portuguese, in a bilingual version (Spanish), through a partnership between the Fórum Permanente, the Instituto de Estudos Avançados at USP, and the Biblioteca Brasiliana José and Guita Mindlin, with the support of the Government of the State of São Paulo, through the Secretariat of Culture and Creative Economy, and the Cultural Action Program (PROAC).

The project is composed of two sets of screenings and publications. While About Academia I (2011) addresses these issues from the perspective of professors and academics, About Academia II (2017) delves into its themes exclusively from the students’ point of view. Due to the pandemic of COVID-19, the first exhibition of this project in the Southern Hemisphere takes place through a virtual room, on a website where it is also possible to access the three roundtables that take place on April 30 and May 10, and where two bilingual publications are available with the complete transcripts of the speeches of the interviewees, among them Noam Chomsky, David Harvey, Carol Becker, Ute Meta Bauer, and the students.

The creation of the immersive, online, interactive videoinstallation gives prominence to the two sets: About Academia I (2011) and About Academia II (2017). It thus respects the duration of the times of the videos originally developed by the artist for their existence in a real physical space.  Thus, despite the interactivity of navigation, it is not possible for the visitor to control the projected videos. The aesthetic experience in virtuality therefore has correspondence with the real time of the analog exhibition space.



The publications in Spanish and Portuguese versions are partially available on the exhibition site. In order to have full access, it is necessary to buy them for a symbolic price. The link for this purchase is through the exhibition site.

Round tables

The round tables will be broadcasted in the exhibition site and will be available later on this site and in the sites of the partners (IEA-USP, Biblioteca Brasiliana and Fórum Permanente).


Which university do we want?

Friday April 30th from 2 pm to 5 pm

  • Néstor Garcia Canclini (Mexico) – anthropologist, philosopher, Chair at IEA-USP
  • Eliana Sousa Silva – educator, socio-cultural activist, Chair at IEA-USP
  • Macaé Evaristo educator, former State Secretary of Minas Gerais
  • Ailton Krenak – philosopher, environmentalist, indigenous leadership
  • Antoni Muntadas (artist)
  • Martin Grossmann (moderation)


Intercontinental Academy

Monday, May 10 from 9 am to 12 pm – (Brasilia)

  • Nikki Moore (USA) Art Historian – Wake Forest University (ICA-UBIAS)
  • Érica Peçanha (Brazil) anthropologist, post-doctorate IEA-USP
  • David Gange (England), historian Birmingham University (ICA-UBIAS)
  • Julia Buenaventura (Colombia) – art historian – Universidad de los Andes
  • Mariko Murata (Japan) – media and museum theorist – Kansai University
  • Martin Grossmann (moderation)


University and context

Monday May 10 from 1:30 pm to 4 pm (Brasilia)

  • Naomar de Almeida Filho – epidemiologist, former dean of UFBA, professor of IEA-USP
  • Helena Nader – biomedical sciences, vice-president of ABC, Chair at IEA-USP
  • Guilherme Wisnik – architect, curator, professor at FAU-USP
  • Renato Janine Ribeiro (moderation), philosopher, former Minister of Education (FFLCH-USP)



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