Boshears argues that, to be genuinely open, research should be focused less on research objects and more on the new ‘publics that result from the circulation of these objects’. (Boshears 2013: 617) Thinking about what sort of publics we might engage (or generate) through the production of open research objects is an ambitious challenge, one that our masters of contemporary art have risen to meet. They do so during a pandemic that has brought the arts to a virtual standstill.
Rather than create virtual projects aimed at a faceless mass of placeless lurkers, paragogues have peer-produced participatory workshops for each other. Working together in four small basho (Red, Green, Purple, Yellow) they have created an intimate, reciprocal programme of artistic learning that is, nevertheless, scaleable.
The four projects produced by each basho blend curatorial tools, re-imagine event-places and devise artistic practices for multiple scenarios. The JEDER MENSCH EIN KÜNSTLER fair is a work in progress, a chance to playtest the range of practices offered by the members of each basho. Anyone is welcome to browse through and participate in any of the asynchronous projects and workshops.
Contemporary Art & Open Learning is a brand new 20 credit course running as part of the MA Contemporary Art Theory and MFA Contemporary Art Practice programmes in the School of Art, ECA, The University of Edinburgh.
The Course Organiser and designer is Prof Neil Mulholland. The teaching team includes Dr Jake Watts and Dr Emma Balkind. Dr Watts’ field of research expertise is the artistic workshop, Dr Balkind’s is commoning and the open paradigm.
Contemporary Art & Open Learning is a paragogics that draws on Shift/Work (Mulholland, Watts, Naomi Garriock and Dan Brown) and Neil’s research on Re-imagining the Art School via a number of open learning theories, tools and practices.
Courseware is distributed across a number of online platforms, some of which are closed access (MS Teams; Blackboard are for UoE students with a login) and many of which are completely open (e.g. WordPress, Notion, Twitter).
Neil will be attempting to post all of the OpenCourseware here on the course’s Art & Learning blog to create an Open Educational Resource (OER).
If you want to use the OpenCourseware personally or with your own students, please do so making sure to attribute the author(s) using the licence posted on each page (nominally a CC Share-Share-Alike licence).
If you do use it, please contact me (Neil Mulholland) to let me know a) what you do with it b) how you get on. I won’t be able to help (unless you are my student at ECA) but I’m interested to see how the OpenCourseware is used so that we can recalibrate our learning design and improve the OER from one year to the next.
The course begins on the 21st of September. You will find an Introduction to the Course here:
Neil Mulholland ‘Shift/Work: Speculations’, in L. Campbell (ed.), Leap into Action, New York: Peter Lang. 12th December 2019. pages 21-26; 39-40; 59-60 ISBN 9781433166440
Shift/Work is a performative paragogics (Corneli 2011) that supports the active peer production of Open Education Resources (OER) for artists. Shift/Work arose from participatory action research (PAR) into art education’s hidden (anti-)curriculum as a means of intervening in the monadic culture of self-sufficiency performed by its atomising technologies of the self. An iterative practice continually re-performed like a musical score, Shift/Workers compose and play-test intersubjective workshops for one another prompted by a ‘gesture that interrupts’ (Biesta 2017, 36); a MacGuffin that playfully amplifies our different educational expectations in order to draw our collective attention to how learners are subjectivised as artists. Drawing on a paper presented at ISoTL17 in Calgary, this chapter delineates Speculations (Shift/Work 2017), a Shift/Workshop composed and performed in Scotland, India and Norway during 2017 and in Ottawa in 2019, the parameters of which were scaffolded by Dan Brown, Jake Watts and Neil Mulholland.
This book proposes ‘paragogic’ methods to re-imagine the art academy. While art schooling was revolutionised in the early 20th century by the Bauhaus, the author argues that many art schools are unwittingly recycling the same modernist pedagogical fashions. Stagnating in such traditions, today’s art schools are blind to recent advances in the scholarship of teaching and learning. As discipline-based education research in art eternally battles the perceived threat of epistemicide, transformative educational practices are rapidly overcoming the perennialism of the art school. The author develops critical case studies of open source and peer-to-peer methods for re-imagining the art academy (para-academia) and andragogy (paragogy). This innovative book will be of interest and value to students and scholars of the art school, as well as how the art academy can be reimagined and rebuilt.
Re-imagining the Art School assesses the organisational development of the humanist ‘idea of the art school’ from the post-rationalist perspectives of constructivist and connectivist educational learning theory. It examines how recent internal (‘porous’) and external (‘para’) reforms have transformed the production of subjectivity in art schooling and pioneers the application of theories and methods of para-academia and paragogy in art education. It is the first book to be published on the future of the art school to develop an open access paragogy for artistic learning and research.
Reimagining the Art School will be published in 2019 by Palgrave Macmillan
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