So far this is what we discussed-this is all open to further discussion and changes:
With regards to form:
1. We would like it to be a series of one-hour sessions running throughout the day (or two days-depending). People would be able to walk in and out.
2. The sessions would be workshop-like-participatory, rather than merely theoretical.
3, We wanted to think of practical ways of engaging with the issues we have been discussing, creating a manifesto that reflected that.
3. With regards to medium: we thought of exploring different avenues, not only research and discourse but also sound and collective listening, performance, sound walks etc, food-based workshops, video and other media.
4. We talked a lot about having an online curated ‘event’ to open up the audience, and allow for people that do not necessarily like going to galleries to somehow take part, whilst at the same time negotiate the terms of these mediation and be self-reflexive on how we go about that.
5. We talked about bringing in different members of already established collectives that work with direct action, but also students from different parts of the country (approaching different universities), youth workers, community organisers and artists-educators-researchers whose work traverses social institutions, social movements and artistic strategies.
6. Need to have some basic structure that allows for everyone to take part and for quiet people of a group to voice their opinion but not too limiting and ‘structured’ either..
With regards to content, so far:
1. We talked about social practices that focus on social content, and how we would also like to somehow think of a practice of social consequences and impact as well, apart from content.
2. Looking at the Partcipatory Action Research group and the idea of trying to integrate three basic aspects: participation (life in society and democracy), action (engagement with experience and history), and research (soundness in thought and the growth of knowledge).
3. How can we ‘curate’ our day so that we connect our investigations with broader society. Instead of having the outcomes in mind beforehand how can we think of a general question or theme and then allow for a collaborative investigation to happen in its own terms.
3. We talked about the idea of ‘playing a/the game’ but at the same time not going along. How we could work with notions of ‘seepage’, piracy, caves and the circus as ways of investigating temporary autonomy. Curating the sessions accordingly-
4. We really want this event to appeal to people that are not already somehow part of the group, and give a chance to voices that are not usually ‘represented’ in museums and galleries to come to the fore. So we thought of inviting groups or individuals and asking them how THEY think they could use this time and space in the most useful way for THEM.
5. We have to somehow curate this in conjunction with the ICA exhibition (which is all about the computer and the arts), so we talked a lot about the impact of technology in education, the arts and our experience of micro and macro environments. So one of the sessions at the event would be around IT and arts education. The discussion circulated a lot around the democratic basis of the structures that support online participation, how democratic they are or not-and how ‘effective’ they are with regards to ‘real’ participation and movement. Data visualisation. Computer science.
6. Other thematics we have discussed in the past and which could potential be used as themes or inspiration for our hourly collaborative investigations are:
I/ The question of space: demand for the location, time and resources which enable us to teach ourselves about the kind of resistant pedagogies possible. Where we can come together and talk.
II/ The idea of the contemporary: how this distances the production of social content from social consequence-governing subjectivisation and desirability/ undesirability of students. If we are dissociated from our micro and macro-political circumstances of production in favour of an idealised aesthetically separate condition (the artists as autonomous)-then we are much less likely to acknowledge the conflicts of these circumstances, and much less likely to mobilised to resist or struggle against the these conflicts are experienced.
III/ Subsumption: the political economy of relational aesthetics and art’s subsumption into university discourse. Standards-setting exercises and instruments of governance that weave management with labour and research interests of corporations.
IV/ The curatorial turn running parallel with the educational try: cause and effects.
V/ Hornsey case study: appropriation of emancipatory projects, research etc. Phd-practice-art-longer term experimental and radical possibilities…
VI/ Precarity: You are not a LOAN!
VII/ Freire: critical consciousness-to be critical but not become a ‘knowledge product’…
VIII/ Being part of a collective-why do you do what you do?
VIII/ The idea of a ‘possible study’ instead of artistic process related study or study that can be shaped in advance
IX/ Relationship between intellectuals and non intellectuals
X/ University based knowledge versus collaborative popular knowledge
XI/ Information Technology on arts education.
XII/ As discussed in last meeting, please have a look here at the Radical Education Forum’s workbook, where you can find inspiration regarding possible workshops-sessions:
All of these are just initial ideas of course. There isn’t a definite structure either form or content wise. So, please have a read and if interested do suggest people you think would be interesting to invite, involve etc. But also different questions-themes or ideas about a session.