culture https://autonomousfabric.org/ en Ceci n’est pas une école d’art? https://autonomousfabric.org/text/ceci-nest-pas-une-ecole-dart <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Ceci n’est pas une école d’art?</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Rop</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 04/11/2019 - 14:11</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-text field--type-text-with-summary field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Text</div> <div class="field__item"><p>Since its origins in the 19th century, Western <a href="/subject/avant-garde" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">avant-garde</a> <a href="/subject/culture" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">culture</a> has been based on the development of <a href="/subject/alternative" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">alternative</a> professionalisms taking place outside of the traditional institutions of art.1 Academic curricula, aimed at the transmission of traditional skills and conventions regarding the making of art, were rejected in favour of innovation. ‘Movements’ succeeded ‘<a href="/subject/school" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">school</a>s’ and, ultimately, movements succeeded each other at an increasingly rapid pace.2 Over the course of the 20th century, they redefined art itself as objectless and time-based, and gave birth, as the American art critic Harold Rosenberg once famously put it, to the ‘tradition of the new.’ 3<br /> As the economy turned away from manufacturing to service production, the <a href="/subject/avant-garde" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">avant-garde</a> moved from the margins of mainstream <a href="/subject/culture" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">culture</a> to its heart.4 It secured the permanent cultural rejuvenation needed by an economic <a href="/subject/system" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">system</a> based on the necessary production of novelty and sensation.5 Like the character Neo in the Matrix trilogy, <a href="/subject/avant-garde" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">avant-garde</a> <a href="/subject/culture" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">culture</a> strengthened the <a href="/subject/system" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">system</a> it initially sought to overthrow: it acted in the manner of a virus that reinforces the defence mechanisms of its host once it has been overcome.6<br /> In light of these developments, one can see how the history of art education in the 20th century might be understood as an attempt to grapple with the far-reaching implications of these profound economic and cultural transformations, which ultimately favoured lifestyle and experience over the making of objects.7 Attitude had indeed become form, and ‘autonomy’ was elevated from a basic premise to a moral imperative: everyone became an artist.8<br /> Problems posed to education by the institutionalisation of the ‘logic of the new’ endure as of today. State-funded art academies in Europe struggle to keep up with a <a href="/subject/culture" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">culture</a> that relies on the necessity of constant change. Stifled by bureaucracy and a dependence on national and European political agendas, art academies often cannot keep up and are doomed to fail in their attempt to become the key players in the knowledge economy which they often promise to be.9<br /> They also see, in specific national contexts, their own traditional, state-led support <a href="/subject/system" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">system</a>s being dismantled in the form of public funding cuts and encouragements to seek previously untapped financial opportunities. Public art education is caught between a vanishing base that still largely determines its shape, and the absence of a replacement for this base in the face of a competitive <a href="/subject/market-economy" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">market economy</a> – not to mention the impact of the Bologna Process on further competition amongst universities in Europe and beyond.10<br /> Partly as a response to these issues, individual artists as well as commercial galleries and museums have launched, since the early 2000s, a number of <a href="/subject/alternative" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">alternative</a> educational platforms. In the UK, initiatives such as Open School East in Hackney offer free art education in exchange for students’ participation in collective work.11 B Academy in Rotterdam promises insider information about the local art world, presumably leading to institutional success.12 Art projects, as well, often take the form of educational programmes, with initiatives such as The Silent University and New World Academy by the artists Ahmet Ogüt and Jonas Staal respectively. They seem to exemplify what the contemporary art world has hailed as the ‘educational turn.’ 13<br /> The economic models behind these <a href="/subject/alternative" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">alternative</a> educational initiatives vary widely. Based on a combination of exchange economy and private funding, Open School East constitutes a straightforward reaction to soaring tuition fees in state-funded art education, and to a general discontent with established curricula.14 Initiatives in the Netherlands also seem to be a response to cuts in state funding for <a href="/subject/culture" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">culture</a>, though other factors also play a role, such as the inability of established structures to appropriately respond to the realities of the profession (B Academy) or to pressing contemporary issues such as the refugee crisis (The Silent University).15<br /> In parallel to these <a href="/subject/alternative" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">alternative</a> educational trends, art academies in the Netherlands are rebranding their programmes as ‘<a href="/subject/school" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">school</a>s within <a href="/subject/school" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">school</a>s.’ Consider, for example, the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, whose Dirty Art Department offers a programme called The Wandering School.16 The Sandberg has also hosted and accredited the School of Missing Studies from 2013 to 2015, based on an initiative which had started a decade earlier, as well as the University of the Underground17 (2017-2019). Though all of these programmes fall under the same jurisdiction, they also radically diverge from one another in terms of funding as well as in their educational goals and pedagogies, resulting in internal discussions about educational ownership and institutional credibility.18 Indeed, the University of the Underground attracts private investors and businesses to partly fund students’ tuition fee, whereas The Wandering School uses forms of civil disobedience such as squatting as pedagogical tools, in collaboration with local self-organised initiatives.19<br /> The Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam also sees self-organised local initiatives as an opportunity rather than a menace to its own existence.20 Over the past year, it has been mapping self-organised local initiatives, including educational initiatives, under the name The Autonomous Fabric.21 In the long term, the Willem de Kooning Academy could set up partnerships and, ideally, make these <a href="/subject/alternative" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">alternative</a> local initiatives responsible for part of its curriculum. The consequences for both parties, however, remain unclear.<br /> The Autonomous Fabric arguably formalises a dynamic that is already at work. Self-organised local initiatives do indeed constitute a fertile breeding ground for teaching staff on an individual basis, as a result of an informal management <a href="/subject/culture" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">culture</a> that favours a non-official, network-based hiring policy. This provides the academy with part of its necessary flow of experts, and strengthens the links between the <a href="/subject/school" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">school</a> and the city of Rotterdam. Close collaboration with actors in the local field is also to the advantage of students, who are thus brought in contact with potential local employers or mentors as well as <a href="/subject/future" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">future</a> clients.<br /> Many of the self-organised initiatives mapped as part of The Autonomous Fabric constitute true attempts to challenge the status quo and to create <a href="/subject/alternative" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">alternative</a> forms of education. M/Other Voices seeks to counter the negative effects on women’s careers of motherhood-based gender inequality in the cultural sector.22 The New School Collective is a think tank that addresses critical issues in education with, as its ultimate goal, the establishment of an elementary <a href="/subject/school" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">school</a> with art education at its heart.23 Most of these initiatives have sprung from an urge to act outside of existing institutional structures, with their confining hierarchies and potentially discriminatory dynamics. Often they are also in opposition to the logic of efficiency that is turning public cultural institutions into profit-driven businesses.<br /> This is perhaps where the most critical issue of these potential collaborations between public educational institutions and their <a href="/subject/alternative" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">alternative</a>s may reside: in the definition and type of exchange that can happen. Will it be a form of outsourcing? A one-directional process in which the academy will pay for the services it needs, when it needs them, towards a reduction of operating expenses and risks, as well as long-term savings in areas such as training and social benefits? Or will it be possible to instead establish strategic alliances towards common goals based on shared norms and values?<br /> The answer to these questions is crucial, as it will most surely shape the <a href="/subject/future" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">future</a> of the Willem de Kooning Academy as well as, potentially, that of its prospective collaborators. Collaboration may well constitute one more step towards the transformation of public education into a commercial enterprise with its myriad strategies for minimising costs and maximising profit by further harnessing local manpower and expertise on a more or less precarious basis. But it may also become the true birth of a <a href="/subject/school" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">school</a> that is not a <a href="/subject/school" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">school</a>: a continuous exchange of expertise, services and learning opportunities towards the collective creation of an equalitarian <a href="/subject/future" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">future</a>.<br /> This means that self-organised initiatives will have to make sure that they know what they want to get out of this process. And, in order to assess the likelihood of success, also to return the enquiring gaze. They need to map the internal organisation and institutional dynamics specific to the Willem de Kooning Academy. What might be the potential restrictions resulting from the academy’s dependence on the jurisdiction of the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences? And which aspects of its internal management style might stand in the way of, for example, the formulation of common goals? Alternative initiatives will have to equip themselves with such knowledge in order to act strategically.<br /> They should then pause and evaluate the actual added value of the collaboration for themselves, beyond the obvious – and often much needed – extra income and institutional guarantees. May <a href="/subject/avant-garde" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">avant-garde</a> <a href="/subject/culture" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">culture</a>, with its history of co-option, serve as a cautionary tale. Self-organised initiatives should hold their ground and turn collaborative partnerships into opportunities for achieving their own agendas, rather than simply going along with a <a href="/subject/system" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">system</a> that may turn their autonomy into mere branding and cost-saving strategies. If they fail to do so, they will only have helped the rejuvenation of a <a href="/subject/system" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">system</a> that feeds on its own critics, probably at the cost of their own reason of being. They must <a href="/subject/claim" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">claim</a> back the ‘autonomous fabric’ before it has even begun.</p> <p> </p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-subject field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Subject</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/education" hreflang="en">education</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-date-written field--type-datetime field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Date written</div> <div class="field__item"><time datetime="2018-03-11T13:11:25Z" class="datetime">2018-03-11</time> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-string field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Author(s)</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item">Catherine Somzé</div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-keywords field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Keywords</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/culture" hreflang="en">culture</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/institutionalized" hreflang="en">institutionalized</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/school" hreflang="en">school</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/market-economy" hreflang="en">market economy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/alternative" hreflang="en">alternative</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/future" hreflang="en">future</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/system" hreflang="en">system</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/system" hreflang="en">system</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/avant-garde" hreflang="en">avant-garde</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/claim" hreflang="en">claim</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-literature field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Literature &amp; Footnotes</div> <div class="field__item"><p><em><strong>From the Critique of Art-Educational Institutions to the Institution of Art-Educational Critique</strong></em></p> <p>1. <span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">David Cottington, ‘Origins: Emergence and Consolidation 1820-1914’, in: </span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>The Avant-garde: A Very Short Introduction</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"> (Oxford, Oxford University Press), pp. 22-47. </span></p> <p><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">2. </span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Renato Poggioli, ‘The Concept of a Movement,’ in: </span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>The Theory of the Avant-garde</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"> (Cambridge, MA and London, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1968), pp. 16-40. </span></p> <p>3.<span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"> Harold Rosenberg, </span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>The Tradition of the New</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">, 1960 (New York: Da Capo Press, 1994).</span></p> <p>4. <span>Matei Călinescu, ‘The Crisis of Avant-garde’s Concept in the 1960s’, in: <em>Five Faces of Modernity: Modernism, Avant-garde, Decadence, Kitch, Postmodernism</em>, 1987 (Durham: Duke University Press, 1996), pp. 119-124. </span></p> <p>5.<span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"> Paolo Virno, </span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>A Grammar of the Multitude: For an Analysis of Contemporary Forms of Life</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"> (New York: Semiotext[e], 2004). </span></p> <p>6. <span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Luc Boltanski and Ève Chiapello, ‘The Test of the Artistic Critique,’ in: </span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>The New Spirit of Capitalism</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">, 1999, (trans.) Gregory Elliott (London and New York: Verso, 2007), pp. 419-482. </span></p> <p>7.<span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"> Steven Henry Madoff (ed.), </span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>Art School (Propositions for the 21</em></span><sup><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>st</em></span></sup><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em> Century)</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">, (Cambridge, MA and London: The MIT Press, 2009), pp. ix-x. </span></p> <p>8. <span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Thierry de Duve, ‘When Form Has Become Attitude –And Beyond’, in: Stephen Foster and Nicholas deVille (eds.), </span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>The Artist and the Academy: Issues in Fine Art and the Wide Cultural Context</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"> (Southhampton, England: John Hansard gallery, 1994), pp. 23-40. </span></p> <p>9.<span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"> Jeroen Chabot, ‘Essay #1 / Reflections on Art Education’, in: Jeroen Chabot </span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>et al</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">. (eds.), </span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>Reinventing the Art School in the 21</em></span><sup><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>st</em></span></sup><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em> Century</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"> (Rotterdam: Creating 010 and Willem de Kooning, 2013), p. 5.</span></p> <p>10<span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"> Pascal Gielen (ed.), </span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>Institutional Attitudes: Instituting Art in a Flat World</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"> (Amsterdam: Valiz, 2013), pp. 16-21. </span></p> <p>11. <span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">David Batty, ‘Alternative Art Schools: A Threat to Universities?’, in: </span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>The Guardian</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">, 21 Oct. 2013, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/oct/21/alternative-art-schools-threaten-universities">https://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/oct/21/alternative-art-schoo…</a>, accessed 26 Feb. 2018.</span></p> <p>12.<span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>B Academy</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">, <a href="https://www.bacademy.nl/">https://www.bacademy.nl/</a>, accessed 26 Feb. 2018. </span></p> <p>13. <span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Irit Rogoff, ‘Turning,’ in: </span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>E-Flux Journal </em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">#00, Nov. 2008, <a href="http://www.e-flux.com/journal/00/68470/turning/">http://www.e-flux.com/journal/00/68470/turning/</a>, accessed 26 Feb. 2018. </span></p> <p>14.Sam Thorne (ed.), <em>School: A History of Self-Organized Art Education</em> (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2017), p. 25.</p> <p>15. <span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">Ogüt’s </span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>Silent</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"> </span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>University</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"> constitutes a knowledge exchange platform for and by refugees and asylum-seekers, allowing them to reflect upon their condition through academic formats such as courses and conferences. See website: <a href="http://thesilentuniversity.org/">http://thesilentuniversity.org/</a>. Olafur Eliasson’s </span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>Green Light </em>travelling workshop invites, as its website states, ‘refugees, asylum seekers, and members of the public to participate in a multifaceted program of creativity and shared</span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"> learning.’ See website: <a href="http://olafureliasson.net/greenlight/">http://olafureliasson.net/greenlight/</a>.</span></p> <p>16.<span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>The Wandering School</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">, <a href="http://wanderingschool.com/">http://wanderingschool.com/</a>, accessed 26 Feb. 2018. </span></p> <p>17. <span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>University of the Underground</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">, <a href="http://universityoftheunderground.org/">http://universityoftheunderground.org/</a>, accessed 26 Feb. 2018. </span></p> <p>18.<span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"> UUGH! Or: Issues Regarding University of the Underground,’ 17 Sept. 2017, <a href="https://medium.com/@uugh/issues-regarding-the-university-of-the-underground-and-the-sandberg-instituut-fe58dbbf889b">https://medium.com/@uugh/issues-regarding-the-university-of-the-undergr…</a>, accessed 26 Feb. 2018. </span></p> <p>19. <span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>School of Missing Studies</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">, <a href="http://www.schoolofmissingstudies.net/">http://www.schoolofmissingstudies.net/</a>, accessed 26 Feb. 2018.</span></p> <p>20.<span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"> David Batty, ‘Alternative Art Schools: A Threat to Universities?’, in: </span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>The Guardian</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">, 21 Oct. 2013, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/oct/21/alternative-art-schools-threaten-universities">https://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/oct/21/alternative-art-schoo…</a>, accessed 26 Feb. 2018.</span></p> <p>21. <span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>The Autonomous Fabric</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">, <a href="https://autonomousfabric.org/">https://autonomousfabric.org/</a>, accessed 26 Feb. 2018.</span></p> <p>22.<span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em> M/Other Voices</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">, <a href="https://www.mothervoices.org/">https://www.mothervoices.org/</a>, accessed 26 Feb. 2018. </span></p> <p>23. <span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB"><em>The New School Collective</em></span><span lang="en-GB" xml:lang="en-GB">, <a href="http://thenewschoolcollective.com/">http://thenewschoolcollective.com/</a>, accessed 26 Feb. 2018. </span></p> </div> </div> Thu, 11 Apr 2019 12:11:24 +0000 Rop 53834 at https://autonomousfabric.org