Category Archives: Education

S1 Assembly, Sheffield on Saturday 5th February 2011

Tayto et Tayto, Dialogue (2005)

I am giving a talk entitled ‘Co-op, Co-opt Coup?’ at S1 Assembly, Sheffield on Saturday 5th February 2011.

S1 Assembly

11.30 – 12.00. Open studios, viewing of FIFTEEN exhibition, coffee.
12.00 – Introduction: Emma Cocker and Charlotte Morgan

SESSION 1

WHY/WHAT/HOW artist led spaces.

12.15 Presentation by Neil Mulholland.

COMING OF AGE –how to move on without settling down.

12.45 Candice Jacobs, Robin Kirkham, Julie Westerman.

13.30 Panel discussion with Candice Jacobs, Robin Kirkham, Julie Westerman, Neil Mulholland.

2.00 – 2.45. Lunch and viewing of temporary archive of material contributed by artist-led groups and organizations.

2.45 – Chair: Introduction.

SESSION 2

TESTING SPACE

3.00 Presentation by Rebecca Fortnum

3.30 Panel discussion with Jim Prevett, Haroon Mirza, Charlotte A Morgan, Thom O’Nions and Rebecca Fortnum with input from studio holders.

4.15 – 4.30 Coffee and cake.

SESSION 3

BEYOND SPACE – DIY, ASSOCIATION AND COLLECTIVITY

4.30 – 5.10 Profiles of Tether, The Royal Standard, The Woodmill, Reactor.

5.10. Presentation by Jim Shorthose.

5.30. Questions, issues, points of discussion, provocations: Andy Abbott, Megan Wakefield.

OPENING OUT

6.00. Plenary audience discussion:

6.30. Informal screening.

FIFTEEN is a group exhibition marking 15 years of S1 Artspace

kate allen – simon + tom bloor – theo burt – ross chisholm – chris clarke – katie davies – sean edwards – josephine flynn – babak ghazi – tommy grace – jerome harrington – steve hawley – paul housley – george henry longly – duncan marquiss – haroon mirza – ryan mosely – emily musgrave – steve dutton + percy peacock – james pyman – james richards – florian roithmayr – giles round – matthew smith – sarah staton – graeme stonehouse – shaan syed – rosanna traina – nicole wermers – julie westerman – katy woods

Curated by Louise Hutchinson and George Henry Longly

Inhabiting any new premises requires its potential occupant to conduct a survey and inspection of the building to test its condition and value. For an artist-led space, this survey involves more than an assessment of bricks and mortar, it has to be tested in other ways. To mark the inauguration of its new premises and the occasion of its 15 year anniversary, S1 Artspace has invited over 30 artists to survey its new space, to test it out according to the criteria of their specific practices.

The exhibiting artists have already played a key part in S1’s history, they include previous and current studio holders as well as artists who have contributed towards S1’s programme over the last 15 years. The exhibition attempts to address the notion of the survey show: it is not an occasion of looking backwards, a retrospective survey that simply attempts to celebrate what has already been. Rather, the exhibition itself is presented a s a testing space, where selected artists have been invited (back) based on their capacity to both reflect and test out key concerns and issues considered intrinsic to S1’s programming (past, present and future).

Some works act as support structures for presenting the work of other artists, elsewhere collaborative approaches are made more central, where the line between individual and collective practice is wilfully blurred. The critical concerns of the exhibition (and issues relating to artist-led activity more broadly) will be further addressed through a series of talks, panel discussions and events, collectively entitled S1 Assembly. Together the exhibition and events programme operate both as a survey of S1’s (past) activity and for surveying its new premises and the potential therein; where the past is drawn upon as a way to test the conditions of the present, as a point of provocation against which to develop and debate possibilities for future action.

Notes on Groundcourse

Notes on Groundcourse – Neil MulhollandThe Groundcourse was a two year foundation that ran at Ipswich School of Art from 1961 onwards. Discussions of this course now tend to focus on its impact upon online learning environments, cybernetic art and some of Roy Ascott’s more utopian predictions regarding the world wide web (what he called ‘telematic’ art). One of the main ideas of the Groundcourse was the idea of the ‘irritant’. This involves introducing rules or conditions that will facilitate a kind of self-consciousness in learning (sand in the vaseline).

This is designed to enable ‘learning from the ground up’ – which relates to radical pedagogy (Illich’s ‘Deschooling Society and Jaqcues Rancier’s ‘Ignorant Schoolmaster’). This is common to many 1960s art school experiements, especially those informed by systems theory. The element of the Groundcourse I find most interesting is when students spent ten weeks of their second year living out a character contra to their own. I think that we can consider this as an experiment in which everyone calibrates the conditions for themselves:
“The Groundcourse emphasising behavioral change as a founding principle for enabling creativity, utilized the enactment of new personalities as educational strategy.” ground<c>: The Enablement of Creativity in a Metaverse – Art Education in a metaverse: ground<c>
This now has resonance with the common use of avatars in online games and chatrooms (there’s a SecondLife version of the Groundcourse called ground<c>) It’s also similar to other doubles in the arts, such as the motif of ‘Bunberrying’ (from Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt‘s Oblique Strategies (1975) ‘reverse an axiom’ card (Eno was a student on the Groundcourse), and the character George Costanza ‘Doing the Opposite’ in Seinfeld. The easiest way to understand this is to watch this clip from Seinfeld:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKUvKE3bQlY

LGP Art Theory Course (1968-72) Symposium – 18th November 2010

LGP Art Theory Course (1968-72) Symposium – 18th November 2010

Old Skool

[Slides]

LGP are organising a symposium of leading academics, artists, curators and writers to analyse the echoes of events at CSAD 1968 – 72 and look at current art educational practice and the perceived systematised failures and/or successes. It will examine the role that the regional art education institution played in the art education narrative and its significance to the wider counter culture of the 70s. In the late sixties and early seventies, CSAD held a vital subset of staff and students who together were responsible for formidable critical opposition to the art education model’s perceived compliance with the market definition of the art object and its reliance on the centrality of the author.

The Art and Language collective’s critical agenda was to shift focus beyond the material paradigm and to construct an education capable of reflecting and promoting conceptual practice. The 70s administration of CSAD repelled this self conscious overturn of the traditional material/author-centric regime. This unyielding stand, common through regional art schools at that time, created a network of opposing force which became part of the wider counter culture of the decade.

The symposium will look at the significant role that regional art schools played in the art education narrative and examine how, if at all, the art education institution can function as a site of self-organisation, agitation and change. It will be held at the Herbert and free to attend.

Speakers:

Terry Atkinson, Artist and Founder of Art and Language.

Neil Mulholland, Associate Head, School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art.

Simon Bell, Senior Lecturer Design and Visual Arts, CSAD.

Neil Cummings, Professor of the Theory and Practice of Art, University of the Arts London.

Francis McKee, Curator, Writer and Director of Centre of Contemporary Art, Glasgow

Lisa Tickner, Professor, Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

John Reardon, Founder of Artschool UK and Lecturer in Politics, Goldsmiths

Annie Fletcher, Independent Art Critic and Curator.

The proceedings and papers from the symposium, along with a reflective article by the chair Professor Steve Dutton, will be published in January 2011 and be distributed world-wide to major and marginal educational establishments, art galleries, museums and public libraries. It will take the format of a free newspaper.

LGP, in collaboration with the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, is presenting a solo exhibition of David Rushton’s eclectic body of work. Rushton was solidly involved in the conceptual Art and Language movement both as a student at Coventry School of Art in the early seventies and beyond. His art practice is infused with the radical politics of that time and this root focus has been transmitted through various politically committed disciplines; local television, trade unionism, social activism and education.

The exhibition is purposefully divided between both sites. LGP’s curatorial focus is art and education. Rushton has been working with CSAD students to restage a work he did as a student at CSAD in 1970. The work is a replica of a Robert Morris soft-form felt cutting piece that he produced as an alternative to writing an artist biography for an art history assessment. It was a statement about authorship and the dematerialisation of the art object, as well as a pointed comment towards the institution’s staid imposition of the separation between art theory and the art object. The Morris project is one example, of many, of an internal intervention Rushton and his peers undertook to address the educational objectives of the art school. The sense of agency or agitation didn’t transfer to the contemporary students and we thought this was symptomatic of the wider crisis in art education.

Alongside the historical interventions and contemporary re-appropriations, LGP will display select titles from Rushton’s collection of UK art student magazines, critique and journals from 1969 – 79. These publications reflect a period of significant administrative change to the management structure of UK art schools and the insurgent artist-collective and self-organisation initiatives that this triggered in defence. By distributing it through other regional art schools where similar struggles for a theoretical practice were taking place, they created a dynamic and robust network of students, resistant to the traditional modes of teaching and keen to share their collective intellectual enquiry. The content in this material was of significant conceptual consequence and became an integral part of the wider counter culture of the 70’s. As well as having intense localised influence, the distributing network they established meant that the content was a great force of agitation, and eventually of consequence, to the prevailing system.

Coventry and other marginal non-metropolitan places that contributed to these publications played a major role in the development of the art education narrative and harnessed a student-led coalition which linked localised but shared ideals to create a significant movement across the UK.

The North

Visual and Material Practices and the Cultural ‘North’

This experimental workshop will consider how ideas about ‘northernness’ are embodied in contemporary art and design practices, as well as exploring the recent proliferation of specially themed research networks , scholarly and public events that examine representations of the ‘cultural north’ in historic and contemporary visual and material culture. Building on the success of these events, participants in this workshop will consider how questions and issues arising from recent projects that practitioners and scholars at ECA and the University of Northumbria have conducted (as well as future projects they are planning) may contribute toward the development of new projects/networks/collaborations that are concerned with ‘northerness’ in creative practice as they relate particularly to Northeast England, Scotland and Scandinavia.

The practices and projects discussed in the introductory part of the workshop will span the disciplines of contemporary art, film, and material culture studies, and the audience will be asked to actively contribute to discussions.

Format:

There will be 4-5 short presentations from practitioners and scholars about recent/planned projects that explore ‘northernness’ in a number of different ways. Following this, we will have a roundtable discussion about these and future projects bearing the following questions in mind:

-What is ‘northernness’?
-How has recent creative practice and scholarship addressed this?
-How can new networks/projects/collaborations at ECA and other institutions be developed around this theme?

The final part of the afternoon will include a summation of ideas and a preliminary sketching out of ideas for research projects, networks and potential external funding applications.

The workshop will take place from 1-5 pm on 26 May, 2.15 EvoHouse, Edinburgh College of Art.