Category Archives: Talks

Shift/Work: Groundcourse | Roy Ascott

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The Groundcourse is a two year foundation led by Roy Ascott at Ealing (1961-64), Ipswich School of Art (1964-67) and currently at Beijing DeTao Masters Academy in Shanghai.

Groundcourse is a seminal educational experiment that is a key influence on Shift/Work. Prof Ascott will discuss Groundcourse before running a short exercise from it. This is a unique opportunity to experience the legandary Groundcourse at first hand.

Schedule:

1. Discussion of full Groundcourse programme, the theory behind it, and plenty examples of student outputs, both way back in Ealing/Ipswich and currently at De Tao.

Then comes the practice:

2. Each individual student will design and construct a machine that can calibrate changes in one’s individual environment and in one’s behaviour, producing for each user a severely limited repertoire of actions.

3. Organisms are identified, each consisting of five “calibrated” students , recognising their mutual dependancy in enabling the organism’s ability to produce  thought and action.

4. Each organism then to design and build an environmentally-situated  performative game.

5. Presentation: enactment of each organism’s game.

6. Organisms discuss their critical reflection of the process.

Professor Roy Ascott, Ars Electronica Golden Nica award winner, works with cybernetics and telematics on cybernetic art, focusing on the impact of digital and telecommunications networks on consciousness. He is President of the Planetary Collegium, and DeTao Master of Technoetic Arts at the Beijing DeTao Masters Academy in Shanghai. He is the founding editor of the research journal Technoetic Arts, an honorary editor of Leonardo Journal, and author of such the books as Telematic Embrace: Visionary Theories of Art, Technology and Consciousness.

Prof Ascott’s full biography can be reviewed here:

https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/staff/roy-ascott and here

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Ascott

„DER FACHIDIOT?” The Paratechnic in the Monotechnic

„DER FACHIDIOT?” : The Paratechnic in the Monotechnic
13:30 Provocation Paper for CHEAD, ‘Agents of Change: Art School & Universities’ http://chead.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/CHEAD-Annual-Conference-2016-programme.pdf

Wandergesellen
Wandergesellen: Alexander Kiefer (center) with his journeymen in his last travel section of Niederwinden

 

Since the early ’60s, increasingly integrated paratechnical curricula have been (begrudgingly) hosted by monotechnical art and design schools. I outline the key characteristics and limitations of the (modernist) monotechnical art and design curriculum and give some examples of different integrated paratechnical tactics and strategies. From this, I suggest that the paratechnic attempts to pursue the following qualities:

Diversification of methods and communities of practice

Externally-networked dissensus (Bill Reading’s ‘University of Dissensus’)

1:1 scale immediation (non-representational)

Ludic, adaptive flow

Paragogical cooperation and collegiality

An opportunity lies in admitting that the monoculture of art and design education – its internal ethics – still nurtures modernist assimilation and bias, and that, in preventing art and design from realising its educational potential, fachidiots place their own field at risk of redundancy. From this we may begin a productive transformation of the art school’s communities of practice (its variety of staff and students) and their relations with international communities of purpose.

Mask Project, St. Martins Sculpture DipAD Course 'A', June 1972
Mask Project, St. Martins Sculpture DipAD Course ‘A’, June 1972

Shift/Work Unlearning: Participatory Workshops for Contemporary Art Practice

The 4th International Visual Methods Conference, organized by the University of Brighton will take place from 16th September to the 18th September 2015 at the University of Brighton in Brighton, United Kingdom. The conference will cover areas like International Visual Methods conference will be an outstanding conference which will primarily focus on interpretation of visual methods. As we see, a wide array of visual methods used in participatory visual research including ‘Photo voice’, photo-elicitation’, ‘graphic-elicitation’, ‘mind mapping’, ‘concept mapping’ and all forms of ‘Arts-based research methods’. International Visual Methods conference will be organized to focus on all these aspects. The participants will be highly benefitted by the track sessions of this conference. They will be able to know about all the aspects of the concerned industry. It will be attended by the participants with great enthusiasm. 

http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/whats-on/sallis-benney-events/theatre-2015/september/4th-international-visual-methods-conference-2015

9:00-10:30 Thursday 17th September 2015 Session 4: Critical Perspectives on Visual Methodologies – M2 Brighton University,  Eastbourne, England BN20

Shift/Work Unlearning: Participatory Workshops for Contemporary Art Practice

Key themes:

  • Arts based visual research methods
  • Participatory visual methods

Key words:

  • Paragogy
  • Unlearning
  • Workshopping
  • PAR (Participatory action-research)
  • OER (Open Educational Resources)

Paper Abstract:

Shift/Work examines and reconfigures comprehensive workshop-based approaches to artistic production that are theoretically informed, practical and participatory. Shift/Work aims to establish a collective ontology for practice, creating process-led paragogy, critically reflecting upon the learning processes involved, and disseminating research on a share-and-share-alike basis. Key to this is an open engagement with practice (work) as a means of both generating and transferring new knowledge (shift). This experiential knowledge facilitates new practices and open educational resources for artists and art educators to adapt and implement.

In 2014, Shift/Work commissioned an artist (Leeds United www.leeds-united.org.uk) and designer (Crille Lampa www.crillelampa.se) to facilitate a three-day workshop at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. Shift/Work Unlearning (28-30th May 2014) acted upon current discourses and practices that engage with the values of unlearning, deschooling, improvisation and amateurism.

Working in two groups, the participants, a mixture of artists, educators, curators and arts administrators, spent a day designing an unlearning process for their peers to experience on the final day. The workshop was subsequently evaluated by all involved and re-calibrated to run at the Malmö Art Academy, Sweden (12-14th September 2014).

We will analyse the two iterations of Shift/Work Unlearning as examples of how to design, evaluate and develop an iterative action-based approach to artistic learning that is at once theoretical and practical. We will draw upon relevant literature, discourses, practices and models of unlearning that enable and inspire artistic researchers to implement their own workshops.

Shift/Work: Performative Unlearning

Shift/Work: Performative Unlearning

Dan Brown/Neil Mulholland

Strand B: The Politics of Performance Alternative Zones: Uncovering the Official and the Unofficial in Fine Art Practice, Research and EducationParadox Biennial Conference, 9-11th September 2015, Poznan, Poland.

“It was immediately apparent to us that unlearning presented a paradox. Unlearning is an anti-foundational foundation from which to proceed. This makes it a provocative starting point for a workshop, given that workshops are so often predicated on ‘active learning’. Our question, therefore, was what would happen if participants (who we call Shift/Workers) were encouraged to reverse engineer the process of active learning?”paradox2015_poster_citylight-667x1000

Paradox Programme

Neomedieval Aesthetics in the 21st Century

@neoflagellants Panel 141 @IMC_Leeds 6th July 2015: 11.15-12.45 Neomedieval Aesthetics in the 21st Century https://t.co/kIQwdwTUIA

Medieval archetypes such as pilgrimage, liturgy, anchoritism, relic-ing, alchemy, banquetry, palimpsesting, mumming, compagnonnage, gifting and commoning are popular practices and themes in contemporary art. Why are so many artists mobilising metahistorical anachronisms to explore their contemporaneity – recalibrating and reactivating a variety of premodern ideas as vehicles of renewal – in ways that are best described as neomedieval? This panel of artist-theorists will speculate on neomedievalism’s aesthetic potentialities, from the elasticated loops and folds it presses on our ideas about history, to the untimely visions of differing non-modern futures it can help us to invoke.