education en Ceci n’est pas une école d’art? <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="">…</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=""></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=""></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=""></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=""></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=""></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=""></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="">…</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=""></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="">…</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=""></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=""></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=""></a>, accessed 26 Feb. 2018. </span></p> </div> </div> Thu, 11 Apr 2019 12:11:24 +0000 Rop 53834 at Autonomous Fabric <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Autonomous Fabric</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 - 13:38</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>The (first) Autonomous Fabric symposium, organised by the Willem de Kooning Academy on February 10, 2017 at several venues across the city, presented an excellent overview of the <a href="/subject/contemporary" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">contemporary</a> relevance of the term ‘autonomous’ as well as its problematic aspects. What exactly constitutes ‘<a href="/subject/autonomy" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">autonomy</a>’ in the context of <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> production, and what constitutes the material of this production? The event originated from the necessity to update the map of the existing field, as well as the alignment of the curriculum of the Willem de Kooning academy with this field, and how the academy approaches this alignment as an educational institution.<br /> The initiatives that presented themselves within the various workshops ranged from the pico-scale to the semi-institutional, and from a white-cube approach to full-blown politically and socially oriented programmes and formats. The academy’s educational activities and curriculum are currently structured according to three professional profiles: autonomous, commercial (i.e. commissioned), and social. This framework reflects an overview of the history and conceptual space of western <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> thinking (art in terms of its relation to existing forms of production, specifically capitalist production, within a social context); indicating the continued relevance and centrality of <a href="/subject/autonomy" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">autonomy</a> as a concept within this configuration; but also as something from which to distinguish and separate oneself. The partitioning between the commercial dimension and its critical counterpart and commentator, the arts, can thus be recognised within this framework.</p> <p>This model of the assignment of <a href="/subject/positions" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">positions</a> within the art world’s <a href="/subject/institutions" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">institutions</a> and infrastructure is reflected through its broader institutional <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> presentation and production platforms, which generally see exhibitions as the end products of artists, usually in the form of objects (contributing to an individual body of work within the existing economy of <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> production), and only rarely in the form of practices of production.<sup>1</sup><br /> Yet it is within this field of initiatives which experiment with modes of production as forms of <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> expression, that most <a href="/subject/contemporary" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">contemporary</a> notions of cultural production actually occur and are expressed. This institutional under-representation of the notion of practice as an <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> object indicates a mismatch between diverging ideas of what <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> production is or can be. The focus of the <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> object is rarely upon recognition through institutional representation, but rather upon the quality and modality of the practice itself. Artistic production is understood here as a fundamental quality: how can it contribute to ideas of how we should organise our lives, and what are these lives to begin with? What is the <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> object here?</p> <h2>Terminology</h2> <p>The history of the term ‘<a href="/subject/autonomy" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">autonomy</a>’ is fraught with issues that mirror the problem of art’s relationship to life itself, to the ideology of politics, and to the organisational powers of policy-making. On a level of terminology, ‘<a href="/subject/autonomy" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">autonomy</a>’ within the arts resonates with autonomist notions of <a href="/subject/practical" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">practical</a> <a href="/subject/autonomy" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">autonomy</a>: a retreat from the structures of power, accompanied by the establishment of independent organisations and ways of living. These ideas can be found in the writings of well-known Autonomist-Marxist thinkers such as Antonio Negri, Paolo Virno and Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, who promote the importance of self-organisation as the prime organisational quality, in opposition to the organisational models imposed by states or ideologies. This stance also entails a decisive distancing from existing institutes and structures, as well as from the immediate channels of agency and power that would have to be restructured or reimagined based upon the self-organised initiating principle – hence the continued importance and relevance of the idea of <a href="/subject/autonomy" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">autonomy</a>.<br /> Another, more complex, definition can be found in the writings of the philosopher Jacques Rancière, who developed a concept of the function of <a href="/subject/autonomy" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">autonomy</a> within our current model of <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> production, as the <a href="/subject/interrelationship" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">interrelationship</a> between on one hand those feeling unrecognised and looking for change, and on the other hand the powers that govern. The world is organised into spheres of common understanding, spheres which are policed, and one must be able to recognise the world and the power structures through which this world is governed and organised in order to affect or possibly counter these structures – to organise a redistribution of that which is ‘sensible’.<sup>2</sup> According to Rancière, the idea of <a href="/subject/autonomy" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">autonomy</a> is always, and inherently, linked to its heterogeneous quality: the exchange and engagement with the surrounding field. This discrepancy therefore becomes a matter of politics. In this case the retreat is not in itself a goal or a prerequisite; it is rather a strategic positioning, geared to modes of perception and redistribution.<br /> Whereas the first position is mainly informed by the assertion of a hegemony of capitalism over cultural production (requiring withdrawal), the second presumes a permanent space of negotiation to still exist, and to provide the remaining route for possible engagement.</p> <p>It is between these two poles that the current debate takes place, and it is here that <a href="/subject/positions" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">positions</a> and tactical approaches are conceptualised and strategised, and shaped into practices. Between these two opposites, the structures and programmes of <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> initiatives are determined by a shifting configuration of organisational forms, between independence and compliance, between <a href="/subject/autonomy" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">autonomy</a> and heterogeneity. It is within this field, which has been the subject of ongoing development over the past decades, that the issue of institutionalisation has become of prime importance: how to realise the necessary organisation in relation to, or within, existing structures of power?<br /> In this regard, it is noteworthy and important that a survey of this constellation and of the field of existing independent initiatives has been instigated by an institutional art school such as the Willem de Kooning academy.</p> <h2>Self-organisation as an institutional format</h2> <p>Rotterdam has a rich history of artists’ initiatives, originating in the period from the late 1970s to the 1980s, when a first generation of practitioners established themselves – a few of which have managed to continue until recently, or in some cases are still active. These initiatives originated from a need to better equip the individual practice of artists, but also, and more importantly, to organise as a group or as a quasi-institutional manifestation – a cooperative enterprise.<br /> Though mostly instigated out of dissatisfaction with existing institutional formats, which were seen as being insufficiently equipped to articulate <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> needs, the prime motive of these initiatives was not to retreat from contact with the public, but rather to organise and engage on one’s own terms. These initiatives were at the vanguard of producing new <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> forms that are still fully in use and recognisable today, and that have proliferated widely and deeply into the texture and infrastructure of global <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> production.<br /> For example, presentation models developed here were structured not so much around the idea of an individual artists’ profile, but rather around a theme or topic that needed to be addressed. Such a topic, or a directional and curatorial approach, was mostly the result of deliberations between the artists and the network at hand, with a focus on providing an opportunity to express <a href="/subject/contemporary" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">contemporary</a> <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> ideas and formats.</p> <p>These presentations were often accompanied by side-events such as artist talks, symposiums and debates, where the presentation continued on a discursive basis. Publications, either as a mode of articulation or as a documentation of events taking place, constituted another important element in the development of modes of dissemination of <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> production.</p> <p>There was also a major effort toward viewing <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> production as a form of exchange. Numerous artist-in-residence <a href="/subject/positions" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">positions</a> were established, facilitating a global exchange among artists. This <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> residency format in turn gave rise to a practice of research, in the sense that artists coming from abroad, in order to orient themselves in their new surroundings, had to develop knowledge of where they were working. This led to a practice of a research-based mode of production that addressed local, regional and international conditions. </p> <p>Self-organisation generally provides the main impetus guiding these initiatives. This made it possible to circumvent the choices that normally would have been made by institutes, through their curatorial or institutionally thematic guidelines. This is how these initiatives differ from established institutes, which are more accountable to governmental and political production guidelines, so that these institutes remain more aligned with the existing economic order. The production of any manifestation realised under the supervision of the autonomous initiative is thus the further advancement of <a href="/subject/autonomy" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">autonomy</a>, which is maintained and operationalised in the form of agency.</p> <h2>Which object? Which representation?</h2> <p>These initiatives thus established a new mode of <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> production, ranging in scope from making connections with the ultra-local to a more generalised commentary of our social fabric. A recurring theme throughout these developments is a general critique of the notion of the cultural object as a commodity, valuated solely through the market, as the prevalent system of art valuation. The establishment of non-commercial platforms for the production and exchange of cultural objects provided a critical response to the commodity-form of the cultural object, and thus to the capitalist system of valuation. The issue of individuated authorship, symptomatic of the prevailing form of <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> production, was also widely questioned here. The initiative was seen as a cooperative platform for <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> production.</p> <p>A do-it-yourself ethos, and the question of how to run such an initiative in the first place – with the resulting financial implications – were also important elements in establishing these initiatives as political agents. Ideas of how best to organise, to house and to cooperate immediately bring up questions of an ideological nature: what needs to be produced, and how? This is an approach that has particularly shaped programmes in which issues of labour and organisation became the focus of <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> inquiry. Current initiatives such as Casco in Utrecht or the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem have especially focused on the conditions of production as <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> research. In Rotterdam, Leeszaal Rotterdam West can be seen as an initiative whose activities focus on the social question of how to organise labour. The general underlying question became an issue of which objects were produced, and who these objects represented as their producer. How does the <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> object function?</p> <h2>In and out of the institute</h2> <p>It is this model that has evolved into the quintessential framework of production for <a href="/subject/contemporary" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">contemporary</a> art. Sometimes the characteristics of this model are upscaled to new institutional formats, as is the case with Witte de With (Rotterdam), or they evolve from small-scale initiatives to a larger scale, as with De Appel (Amsterdam), Worm (Rotterdam) or V2 (Rotterdam). This model has also proliferated within the broader network of institutional frameworks such as biennales, educational environments such as Goldsmiths, University of London, or publication and residency platforms such as Afterall (London) or Bard (New York). This institutional scale is in constant dialogue with the smaller scale of independent initiatives and formats, in an ongoing exchange of people and <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> presentation formats.</p> <p>There is a permanent debate regarding the institutional form: how to function, and how to avoid the pitfalls of institutionalisation? Any condition of dependence, whether financial, logistical or <a href="/subject/practical" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">practical</a>, inevitably leads to concessions in the degree of <a href="/subject/autonomy" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">autonomy</a>: every transaction comes with issues of accountability, whether programmatic or pragmatic, that exert an influence on the independence of programmes and initiatives. It is this struggle that acts as a constant mirror to initiatives operating on a more established scale. Within this issue of maintaining sufficient independence, the smaller and larger scales are interlocked and part of the same fabric.</p> <p>It is this issue of institutionalisation which <a href="/text/living-organisation-that-is-self-organisation" rel="nofollow">Binna Choi </a>described, in the introduction to her workshop during the symposium, as the quintessential issue to be negotiated: how to become and remain aware of the effects of power and authority during the establishment of an organisational structure? Any organisation, through the very fact of its coming into being, generates conditions of power and authority, in which guidelines, identities and objectives are formulated that result in inclusion and exclusion. These mechanisms will inevitably occur, and must thus be recognised at every level, from the hyper-individual to the full-blown institutional. All institutional organisations must identify and deal with these mechanisms, in order to be as inclusive and non-authoritarian as possible, and also to monitor how these mechanisms are linked to the institute’s context – its work commission, as formulated through policy-making and political discourse.<br /> Problems of accountability arise precisely in the exchanges between different levels: policy-making imposes its own ideas of outcome and productivity upon the initiatives, for example upon an educational institute. Following this rationale, the issue of organisation is something that needs to be addressed and accounted for in all transitions occurring within the field, including policy-making and educational structures. In their co-authored article The Wrong of Contemporary Art: Aesthetics and Political Indeterminacy,<sup>3</sup> Suhail Malik and Andrea Phillips describe the difficulty of this task, and how every new understanding – and therefore every articulation – between different <a href="/subject/positions" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">positions</a> risks becoming the new normative principle. Any new arrangement needs to be permanently open, fundamentally non-hierarchical and welcome to change. Malik and Phillips emphasise how Rancière’s emancipatory principle of the ‘distribution of the sensible’ lies precisely in the realisation that a true consensus, or a definitive arrangement between parties, can never be reached; permanent dialogue and exchange are thus required.</p> <h2>Practice as life / articulation</h2> <p>The importance of this autonomous field as a structural counterpart to the official field cannot be overstated. It is all of these issues bound together that demonstrate the central role of the autonomous field, and demonstrate it to be the most sustainable within art production as a whole. It is here that the closeness between art and experimental life is given shape through different practices. The autonomous initiatives Conversas and Upominki, for example, show that art is not about producing art objects, but is rather about developing an <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> practice, as a practice of dialogue, communication and hospitability – a practice of the possibilities of life as art.<br /> Within initiatives such as these, the aforementioned three-way partitioning of professional practices into commercial (or commissioned), social, and autonomous – which provides the basic framework for the WdKA’s curriculum – is short-circuited: instead, the work commission is formulated through an exchange between the participants in the conversation, as a social practice on its own (autonomous – or perhaps it would be better to say: sovereign) terms. Here the value of the ‘autonomous’ would not be understood as the leading principle, but rather as the means for aligning production according to a more natural and reciprocal approach, thus bridging the distances and the alienation between producer, audience and object of transaction.<br /> Both Conversas and Upominki thus wish to maintain as much as possible their independence, while minimising the perceived negative effects of any inevitable dependence. Yet they remain in dialogue with the field, and constitute a continuous presence and influence within this field. It is here that the alternation between the institutional and the autonomous fields provides its function of heterogeneous agency. This demonstrates how foundational values of <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> production continue to find their way through the filters of the institutional, where they otherwise risk becoming diluted, rephrased and misrepresented. In their article Peripheral Proposals,<sup>4</sup> Mark Fisher and Nina Möntmann observed and analysed the potential of such small-scale <a href="/subject/institutions" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">institutions</a> for the entire cultural ecosystem, but also warned of the risks of being rendered powerless by the absorbing powers of capitalism. It is here that the possible integration into an academic context becomes of paramount interest: how should one articulate the desired characteristics and modalities within an institutional context? As an inescapable manifestation of the institutional, this represents the engaged position of the institute within the debate. How can an art institute such as the WdKA articulate such qualities and needs on an institutional level?<sup>5</sup></p> <p>The value of mapping this field for the first time, and of having it recognised as the most persistent, basic and durable form of <a href="/subject/artistic" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">artistic</a> production, can hardly be overstated. Recognition by an educational institute expands the dialogue by which the potential of this field can be channelled and increased to a more structural level, and its agency amplified.<br /> The urgency for such a dialogue-based model was perfectly worded by Geert Lovink during the introduction to his Network workshop. Here he highlighted the urgency of formulating a restructuring of our world in a spirit of cooperation, in order to counter the all-encompassing ecological and political catastrophes of our times, resulting from the unchecked expansion and destruction of the liberal order. Such a task can only stand a glimmer of a chance in the context of a dialogue, never in a continuation of the system as it is.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </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="2018-02-05T11:00:00Z" class="datetime">2018-02-05</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">Jack Segbars</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/positions" hreflang="en">positions</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/institutions" hreflang="en">institutions</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/contemporary" hreflang="en">contemporary</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/artistic" hreflang="en">artistic</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/autonomy" hreflang="en">autonomy</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/practical" hreflang="en">practical</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/interrelationship" hreflang="en">interrelationship</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/intersubjective" hreflang="en">intersubjective</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><span>1. Despite major efforts to develop modes of presentation that emphasise the notion of artistic practice as determining the outcome being exhibited, it is very difficult to capture a full understanding of the time investments or the day-to-day living aspects involved with these efforts. Institutional formats that wish to address this mode of production, usually struggle to represent these within their prevailing mode of operation.</span></em></p> <p><em><span>2. Rancière’s notion of the ‘distribution of the sensible’ has become an important and popular philosophical framework for discussing the political dimension within artistic production in our age, and was first proposed in Rancière’s books Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics, Continuum, 2010, and Le partage du sensible: Esthétique et politique, La Fabrique Éditions, 2000.</span></em></p> <p><em><span>3. In this article, Malik and Phillips chose to translate Rancière’s original French ‘partage du sensible’ as ‘partition of the sensible’ rather than the usual ‘distribution of the sensible’, in order to stress the dual meaning of the French term ‘partage’, indicating the communality as well as the division of the aesthetic. Aesthetics is thus a matter of an ongoing agreement to disagree, the recognition of the plural as well as the singular, of the autonomous as well as the heterogeneous.</span></em></p> <p><em><span>4. Mark Fisher and Nina Möntmann, ‘Peripheral Proposals’, in: Binna Choi, Maria Lind, Emily Pethick, Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez (eds.), Cluster: Dialectionary, Berlin, Sternberg Press, 2014.</span></em></p> <p><em>5.<span> Following up on the idea of reciprocity and dialogue, the educational institute should ask itself: Who is being educated? Who is being ‘produced’? What kind of artists are being produced? And how can the institute know the answers to these questions? It can only know by opening up to the field and engaging in dialogue with its students. </span></em></p> </div> </div> Thu, 11 Apr 2019 11:38:52 +0000 Rop 53832 at You already changed <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">You already changed</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">Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:54</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"><blockquote><p><em>An artist should avoid falling in love with another artist</em> <sup><small>Marina Abramovic</small></sup></p> </blockquote> <p><span><strong>How can one relate as an artist to a community in a sustainable way? How to avoid institutionalisation without losing the power to organise? How to not become cynical while working in a public environment and seeing that many people just don’t care? How to start thinking about artistic education as a critical point of entry to the social fabric of the city?</strong></span></p> <h2><strong>A. Paper tour</strong></h2> <p>I will first take you on a tour through the <a href="/subject/practice" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">practice</a>s of four Rotterdam-based initiatives. This paper excursion is the result of an afternoon of walking, talking and reflecting upon a challenging question: how can art schools teach their students to have an impact upon <a href="/subject/communities" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">communities</a>? The second part of this text focuses on this question.<br /> Although the four initiatives each have a different focus, they have this simple fact in common: they started doing. This is important especially nowadays, when public environments – libraries, community centres or public spaces – are disappearing from city life, being replaced by online spaces and social media. How does this affect local <a href="/subject/communities" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">communities</a>? And which long-term effects can be brought about by artist-run social spaces? Is community-building a goal, or a vehicle for something bigger?</p> <p>Join us on our tour!</p> <h3>1. Critical community: Upominki</h3> <p>‘After finishing art school I expected to work as I had been <a href="/subject/educate" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">educate</a>d: as an autonomous artist,’ says Weronika Zielinska. ‘But when I became a mother, the real struggle began.’ She started Upominki – meaning ‘gifts’ in Polish – in 2012 as a non-profit artist-run space. ‘My biggest question was: how to combine family life with remaining part of a critical artistic community?’</p> <p><em>A small connection</em><br /> Weronika had to re-train herself: ‘There is only a small connection between the art school and the outside world. I needed skills I hadn’t been taught. How to improvise? How to organise? Where to find space? How to become self-sustaining? How to make money through projects?’ Upominki became her tool to address these questions.<br /> Weronika has been successfully running Upominki for five years now. She recently moved Upominki to her new family home in Rotterdam-West. Using a white marker, she writes on the window: When basic needs are met, it’s easier to be creative. ‘Are you able to be generous? Can you build relationships? In the end it’s all about giving and receiving,’ Weronika states. It’s as if she wants to say: it’s hard to meet obligations towards a community, when you yourself are in <a href="/subject/survival" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">survival</a> mode.</p> <h3>2. Local community: Leeszaal Rotterdam West</h3> <p>Leeszaal Rotterdam West started as a low-key organisation, not long after the <a href="/subject/neighbourhood" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">neighbourhood</a> library closed: ‘We didn’t write a plan,’ says Maurice Specht. ‘We just started by tapping into the local fabric.’ Free space was provided by a housing corporation. ‘We’re completely run by volunteers.’ So how do you maintain a library?</p> <p><em>Aliens </em>   <br /> ‘Do as little administration as possible. People just take books – some bring them back, others don’t.’ Of course, some money is involved: ‘The DOEN Foundation gave us €50,000. After the first year we hadn’t even spent half of the money. So we contacted them and asked if they preferred us to waste the rest of it on something expensive, or save it for later.’ The DOEN Foundation agreed to the latter. ‘Now we still have about €15,000 left.’ Maurice smiles: ‘You have to assemble your life in such a way that you can live like this.’<br /> This is an important issue for Maurice: ‘We have to change the money <a href="/subject/system" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">system</a>. We didn’t accept funding from the local government. We don’t want to maintain their pace. We don’t want to force the people we work with. We want to stay independent.’ This <a href="/subject/independence" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">independence</a> makes Leeszaal Rotterdam West stand out. ‘People like us because of our presence in the <a href="/subject/neighbourhood" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">neighbourhood</a>.’ But: ‘Especially artists are coming like aliens and then leaving again. My question to them is: how can you work on a long-term basis?’</p> <h3>3. Ambitious community: Freehouse / Afrikaanderwijk Coöperatie</h3> <p>‘Using small-scale interventions, we plugged an ambitious artistic <a href="/subject/network" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">network</a> into a local framework and language.’ Ramon Mosterd explains how Freehouse functions as a tool: founder Jeanne van Heeswijk brought her international <a href="/subject/network" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">network</a> as an artist to the local market square in the Afrikaanderwijk <a href="/subject/neighbourhood" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">neighbourhood</a> in the south of Rotterdam. Funding helped allow these experimental interventions to grow into more viable ways of making money. ‘Along the way, we used institutionalisation in order to become a growing force.’</p> <p><em>Oh no, not another group of students...</em><br /> ‘At first it functioned as an art project, rooted in Jeanne’s <a href="/subject/practice" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">practice</a>: a portrait of <a href="/subject/communities" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">communities</a>.’ But gradually it has become more than that. Operating from the Gemaal op Zuid building, a former surface-water pumping station, Freehouse set up Afrikaanderwijk Coöperatie, which facilitates new forms of shared space for meeting and interacting: sometimes it functions as a professional <a href="/subject/neighbourhood" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">neighbourhood</a> kitchen, a church or a library; on other occasions it could be a (web) shop, a shared office, a gallery or a meeting space.<br /> ‘But when people come and go, how can you establish a clear identity?’ Ramon laughs a bit: ‘Sometimes we whisper: oh no, not another group of students...’ He continues: ‘You need to organise in order to be taken seriously by the local government. How to find time and money to set up an organisation that can carry this responsibility?’ The main thing is to stick with the process. ‘Keep a goal in mind, but work based on intuition.’</p> <h3>4. Attentive community: Conversas</h3> <p>‘People are too busy! There is no time anymore after finishing art school.’ Constança Saraiva co-founded Conversas – ‘conversations’ in Portuguese – in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2012 as an ‘open space for open people’. Conversas is a series of weekly informal meetings where three people share ideas, projects or stories with the gathered group. Later she moved to Rotterdam ‘because I fell in love with someone who lives here’ – and she brought Conversas along.</p> <p><em>Being a good host</em><br /> Conversas events are currently being organised in various cities around the world, and thus also in Rotterdam, in this case on February 15 at Upominki. ‘Conversas are a basic tool for organising a critical <a href="/subject/network" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">network</a> after you graduate,’ Constança explains. ‘We organise through social media, but meet in real life. We invite people to speak out. It’s a positive model in which we secretly help each other, by being a good host, by listening, and by raising questions to get each other to talk.’ Her motivation: to provide <a href="/subject/alternative" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">alternative</a> ways of learning from others. Conversas are open to everybody. ‘Our <a href="/subject/network" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">network</a> is mostly made of creative people, but we believe that we can learn from anyone, even more so from people who think differently and come from other backgrounds,’ Constança says.</p> <h2>B. How to teach?</h2> <p>What do these four <a href="/subject/practice" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">practice</a>s mean for art education? They are all related to artists – and all but one are rooted in the <a href="/subject/practice" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">practice</a>s of these artists. Only Leeszaal Rotterdam West functions at somewhat more of a distance from this. A closer inspection raises questions such as: How to work with, or within, the <a href="/subject/system" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">system</a>? How to teach the art of using the social fabric as artistic material? How to teach the art of bringing back artistic production to the <a href="/subject/communities" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">communities</a> involved? Based on these questions, I wish to advance four proposals for art education. The core of each of these proposals is the verb ‘to teach’.</p> <h3>1. Process</h3> <p>Within all artistic <a href="/subject/practice" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">practice</a>s, the same simple question arises: how to survive? Constança says: ‘There is no time anymore after finishing art school.’ ‘How does one find time?’ Ramon adds. Maurice has adapted his life in such a way as to create the necessary space and time. But still, as Weronika found out, ‘I needed skills I hadn’t been taught.’ These artists have all struggled and are looking for tools to develop and grow.<br /> Thus, art schools will need to introduce a course called ‘Process’. Here, students will learn to address questions such as: How to start? How to prioritise? How to work based on intuition? How to persevere? How to finish? And how to work in a sustainable way?</p> <p><em>Hardship</em><br /> An example of a course focusing on process is Marina Abramović’s teachings on performance art – a time-based and process-based <a href="/subject/practice" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">practice</a>. At the beginning of a workshop she takes her students to a place ‘either too cold or too hot, never comfortable’ and, while fasting ‘for three to five days, drinking only water and herbal teas, and refraining from speaking’, she does various exercises: lying on the ground for as long as possible, going to a forest where a student is blindfolded and then tries to find the way back home, or trying to remember the very moment between being awake and falling asleep. Through these durational exercises, she wishes to give students ‘the general feeling that the hardship was worth it.’1 Only after these exercises does she allow students to start working.</p> <h3>2. Organisation</h3> <p>Money and institutionalisation are a second struggle. Weronika seeks a degree of self-sufficiency. Maurice didn’t accept funding from the local government, because of a desire to stay independent. On the other hand, Ramon says: ‘You need to organise in order to be taken seriously by the local government.’ And Constança hopes to reach more people than just friends and artists.<br /> Thus, art schools will need to introduce a course called ‘Organisation’. Here, students will learn to address questions such as: How to find the necessary money? How to write proposals? How to build a team? How to collaborate with people who aren’t (already) friends? How to communicate about events? Using Facebook, for example, how to reach more people than just friends?</p> <p><em>Intuitions</em><br /> Today the individual is subject to pressures from different types of seemingly overpowering organisations: the state, big corporations, or the financial <a href="/subject/system" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">system</a>. Self-organisation and collectivity are important tools as counter-forces, but they too are part of the same process, as the hipster movement or the history of the internet clearly demonstrate. Starting from a simple desire to share information, the internet grew into a <a href="/subject/system" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">system</a> now controlled by a few big corporations and characterised by ‘filter bubbles’ and algorithms. The same basic story also applies to money and organisation.<br /> During a debate, Anne Miltenburg, a brand developer, said something like: ‘When you’re supported by the money <a href="/subject/system" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">system</a>, it’s too late already. You’re part of the <a href="/subject/system" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">system</a>, and there’s not much you can do to change that anymore. The most interesting part is over.’ Or, to paraphrase the sociologist Joop Goudsblom: when we think together, we create institutions, which then grow and eventually replace our intuitions.2 Thus we should teach each other to cherish and hold on to this first phase of organising, in which we are intuitively searching for solutions without yet finding them. Because although this part seems hard, it is the most open and fruitful.</p> <h3>3. Transmission</h3> <p>Finishing art school, Weronika discovered: ‘There is only a small connection between the art school and the outside world.’ Especially Maurice and Ramon are critical of art students: ‘Artists are coming like aliens and then leaving again. My question to them is: how can you work on a long-term basis?’ And: ‘Oh no, not another group of students...’ To explain these observations: when working within the framework of <a href="/subject/communities" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">communities</a>, how sustainable is the traditional concept of the artist?<br /> Thus, art schools will need to introduce a course called ‘Transmission’. Here, students will learn to address questions such as: How to renounce the institutional status of art? How to communicate with people who don’t know art or artists? How to present yourself to people who are cynical towards art and artists? How to stay generous? How to become an accomplice to a person, an organisation or a community – and vice versa? How to use this social field for sincere artistic production?</p> <p><em>Understanding</em><br /> In 1974 the artist and furniture designer Enzo Mari published a booklet titled Proposta per un’autoprogettazione, enabling the public to make ‘easy-to-assemble furniture using rough boards and nails. […] Anyone, apart from factories and traders, can use these designs to make them by themselves.’ Mari thus provided ‘an elementary technique to teach anyone to look at present production with a critical eye.’ 3 Because: ‘The world was not only made for the rich, who live in large apartments and villas, but most people live in two-room apartments.’ So: design does not become design by formally contributing to someone’s status. ‘Design is only design when it communicates knowledge,’4 Mari states.<br /> Similarly, the artist Renzo Martens refers to the example of the Unilever series in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, London: ‘Every year a new spectacular exhibition, where art gets to show how important it is for people. This includes very critical, politically motivated works by Ai Weiwei, or works by Tino Seghal about changing labour conditions. Great artworks, sponsored by Unilever. And therefore by plantation workers who earn nothing.’ To Martens this means the very bankruptcy of art: ‘An artwork should first and foremost be a reflection upon itself. When you have great artworks […] that don’t show any understanding of the fact that they’ve been paid for through heartbreakingly abject poverty, then these are just bad artworks.’5</p> <h3>4. Change</h3> <p>After graduating from art school, ‘instead I became a mother,’ says Weronika. Constança moved to Rotterdam ‘because I fell in love with someone who lives here.’ Ramon calls for more intuition. And Maurice describes what makes his activities possible: the fact that they are embedded in his personal life, adapted in such a way that it allows him to live this way. All four are touching upon something important: the layer of everyday life, biography and personality. A decision to start doing begins here.<br /> At first, I thought of using this space to propose a course on personality. But thinking further, the opposite approach became much more interesting: the art school as an institution should train its teachers to open up. Education itself will de-institutionalise and become part of city life and <a href="/subject/communities" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">communities</a>, as an engaging force supporting change within society. Because, as the artist and architect Apolonija Šušteršič wrote: ‘As citizens we lack power, but the influence we have, we can use to bring about change in our immediate surroundings, based on communication, respect and trust.’6 So: when we work to change art schools, what is the concept of this change?</p> <p><em>Urgent questions</em><br /> According to Šušteršič, the concept of change that is needed in order to open up art and art schools towards <a href="/subject/communities" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">communities</a> focuses on two main issues: de-materialisation of the artwork, and multidisciplinarity. Art is not just objects, and art is more than a reflection upon art itself. Bonds between people, and the creation of platforms to support these bonds, thus become the core of artistic production and education. Referring to philosopher Jacques Rancière, Šušteršič adds: ‘The unequal relationship specific to common ways of knowledge transfer – a one-way transfer from teacher to student – is unsuitable here.’ The opposite is needed: an equal process of exchange, in which the knowledge of an educator or an artist, the experience of <a href="/subject/communities" class="keyword-link" rel="nofollow">communities</a> or the public, and the professional competence of students are understood as equivalent to each other. We no longer live in a world in which independent artists struggle in their studio, isolated from society. In the studio, we still have to deal with gallerists, curators, the museum or the public; similarly, in city life, we have to deal with politicians, policymakers, developers and citizens. There is no more neutral ground. To quote again Šušteršič: ‘What matters is whether art manages to relate to the urgent questions of contemporary society.’7</p> <p>The good part is: the world as it once was no longer exists. You’ve already changed. Now act like it.</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="2017-03-30T15:54:18Z" class="datetime">2017-03-30</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">Klaas Burger</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/communities" hreflang="en">communities</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/practice" hreflang="en">practice</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/independence" hreflang="en">independence</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/survival" hreflang="en">survival</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/system" hreflang="en">system</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/neighbourhood" hreflang="en">neighbourhood</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/network" hreflang="en">network</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/alternative" hreflang="en">alternative</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/subject/educate" hreflang="en">educate</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 lang="nl-NL" xml:lang="nl-NL"><span> Marina Abramovic, <em>Walk Through Walls: A Memoir</em>. Penguin Random House UK, 2016. Page 222-224.</span></p> <p lang="nl-NL" xml:lang="nl-NL"><span> Sander Pleij, <em>Joop Goudsblom</em>. Vrij Nederland, Year 78 #01. Page 101. </span></p> <p lang="nl-NL" xml:lang="nl-NL"><span> Enzo Mari, Autopogettazione? Edizione Corraini, 2014. Page 1.</span></p> <p lang="nl-NL" xml:lang="nl-NL"><span> <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> </span></p> <p lang="nl-NL" xml:lang="nl-NL"><span> <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> </span></p> <p lang="nl-NL" xml:lang="nl-NL"><span> Mariska van den Berg, <em>Stedelingen veranderen de stad</em>. Trancity / Valiz: 2013. Page 137. </span></p> <p lang="nl-NL" xml:lang="nl-NL"><span> Idem. Page 142 - 144.</span></p> </div> </div> Sat, 17 Feb 2018 16:54:18 +0000 Rop 53760 at The New School Collective <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The New School Collective</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anonymous (not verified)</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 11/28/2016 - 23:40</span> <div class="field field--name-field-address field--type-string field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Address</div> <div class="field__item">Hoornbrekersstraat 16, 3011 CL Rotterdam, Netherlands</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-facebook-page-url field--type-string field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Facebook page url</div> <div class="field__item"></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-year-founded field--type-string field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Year founded</div> <div class="field__item">2013</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-founders-still-active- field--type-boolean field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Founders still active?</div> <div class="field__item">No</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-facebook-page-id field--type-string field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Facebook page id</div> <div class="field__item">thenewschoolcollective</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-subjects-and-keywords field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Subjects and keywords</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><div about="/subject/education" id="taxonomy-term-15" class="taxonomy-term vocabulary-keywords-and-subjects"> <h2><a href="/subject/education"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">education</div> </a></h2> <div class="content"> <details class="js-form-wrapper form-wrapper"> <summary role="button" aria-expanded="false" aria-pressed="false">Other Initiatives with subject</summary><div class="details-wrapper"> <div class="field field--name-field-initiative-reference field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">initiative reference</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <article data-history-node-id="214" role="article" about="/initiative/the-new-school-collective" class="node node--type-initiative node--promoted node--view-mode-reference"> <a href="/initiative/the-new-school-collective" rel="bookmark"><span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The New School Collective</span> </a> <div class="node__content"> </div> </article> </div> </div> </div> </div> </details> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-status field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Status</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/109" hreflang="en">Active</a></div> </div> Mon, 28 Nov 2016 22:40:00 +0000 Anonymous 214 at