Art Academies
Launched in 2003 by lecturers from HGK Basel, F+F Zurich, HKB Bern, ZHdK Zurich, FH Aargau. HEAD Geneva and HSLU D&K Lucerne joined in 2004. ECAV Sierre joined in 2011.

Festival locations
The ACT events take place in various cities annually. More than 400 projects have been shown as part of ACT up to 2012, including by some artists who now have noteworthy careers.

Current and previous lecturers
Ramona Altschul, Geneva
Linda Cassens, Basel
Brigitte Dätwyler, Lucerne/Zurich
Mo Diener, Bern
Yan Duyvendak, Geneva
Patric Fasel, Lucerne
Iris Ganz, Basel
Dora García, Geneva
Sabine Gebhardt, Basel/Lucerne/Zurich
Yvonne Good, Zurich
Pascale Grau, Basel
Franz Gratwohl, Lucerne
Monika Günther, Lucerne
Caroline von Gunten, Sierre
Daniel Hauser, Zurich
Olivia Jaques, Zurich
Paola Junqueira, Geneva
Birgit Kempker, Basel
Frantick Klossner, Bern
Franziska Koch, Zurich
Quentin Lannes, Geneva
Milenko Lazic, Zurich
Heinrich Lüber, Basel/Zurich
Valerian Maly, Zurich/Bern
Muda Mathis, Basel
Lou Masduraud, Geneva
Jeanne Macheret, Geneva
Anja Moers, Zurich
Katherine Oggier, Sierre
Sybille Omlin, Sierre
Suzana Richle, Zurich
Maren Rieger, Bern
Marion Ritzmann, Basel
Dorothea Rust, Sierre/Zurich
Andrea Saemann, Lucerne
Ruedi Schill, Lucerne
Klara Schilliger, Zurich
Sarina Scheidegger, Basel
Talaya Schmid, Zurich
Dorothea Schürch, Bern
Lara Stanic, Bern
Nataly Sugnaux, Geneva
Benjamin Sunarjo, Basel
Hannah Weinberger, Basel
Nadine Wietlisbach, Lucerne

Performance lecturers at various Swiss art academies have been in close contact with each other for several years. The ACT project was launched for the first time in spring 2003; art academies in Bern, Zurich, Aarau, and Basel took part, and the first performance events dedicated exclusively to students’ work took place in these four cities.


ACT is a touring performance festival, which back then consisted of three public performance evenings in the aforementioned cities, an initial day of working together (information day to get to know the works and to create a draft of the program), and a debriefing with everyone involved. 28 students from the University of Applied Sciences Aargau, HGK Basel, the University of the Arts Bern, F + F Zurich, and the Zurich University of the Arts took part in the project.

Individual performances were predominantly shown, as well as performance videos, acoustic interventions, and interactive and performative installations. The works were performed one to three times. Students from the respective universities took over the organization and the responsibility of the program at each of the venues.

The project was of importance to the students in several respects: they were able to test their performances publicly. For performance work, the live situation—with the dynamics between the performer and the viewer—is essential, and there are not many opportunities for this in a purely academic environment. Repeating a performance in a new place in front of an unknown audience and with different surroundings offered interesting learning opportunities. The performances could thus be developed and optimized further. The meetings between the students from different universities were also informative. In addition, the students became familiar with the curatorial practice for the performances (technical responsibility, installation and deinstallation, moderation, catering, press relations, programming decisions).

An important part of the project was the joint debriefing of the works shown. In doing so the desire emerged to repeat the project in the spring of 2004. This is not primarily about a competitive exhibition for the universities (although competition can also frequently inspire), but the public’s experience, which can be put to the test. The live situation must be able to be practiced again and again. The focus should not only be on the performances shown, but also on the preceding development and decision-making processes.