For those of you who couldn’t make our last meeting, please see attached some documentation of our thoughts and questions, as they emerged from our attempt to collectively re-work the Hornsey Affair, all bound with our insistence to understand what the tasks of our ‘contemporary’ time might be.
As we looked at the demands and manifestos of these students from 1968, we realised that many of us have similar frustrations and concerns today, only in a much more complex and contradictory way.
The struggle for us today being perhaps our inability to perceive the tasks of our time, critically and in our own terms, as these tasks are interpreted and taught from top to bottom, in a vertical kind of way, (from the elite of the university, the museum, the institution). Today’s students having to adapt to the homogenous, pseudo-consensual ‘contemporary’ context, instead of integrating themselves within a context of our own.
We talked about the idea of being able to make choices according to one’s needs and not according to other people’s expectations (outcomes-assessment and business oriented learning), the need for more spaces to meet and talk, and organise, as well as the ability to be able to move freely between different spaces. We also talked about the importance of working with groups outside the institutional context. One of the key questions that came up was the motivation behind collective work, and whether we need structures at all, or whether it is the motivation and original drive that keeps the group going. Finally we also questioned whether art schools today have the capacity to create cultural change altogether, finishing our discussion with ideas around ‘democratic’ dialogue or conflict and the productive forces these may or may not have.
Our next meeting will take place in the first week of May. More details to follow.