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.
As contemporary artistic practice has become ever more polymorphous and multispatial, large scale exhibitions have accommodated a wider array of emerging nonmodern epistemologies, materialities, and temporalities ‘in the middle’ (Latour, 1993, 47). As a critical means of considering contemporary art’s homologous non-modern, this paper refracts two influential global exhibitions of contemporary art – dOCUMENTA (13) and Il Palazzo Encyclopedia – through the lens of Medievalisms Studies. Medievalisms Studies’ challenge to the ‘simplified binarization of premodernacts and modern identities’ (Fradenburg, 1997, 213) invites deeper scrutiny of contemporary art’s knowledges, materialities, and chronopolitics. Developing the medievalist analogies of the compendium and the relic, I focus on specific exempla presented within the curatorial frameworks of two key biennale that offer a macro-cosmic discourse on contemporary art’s developing relations with knowledges, materials, and time. In unfolding anachronic materialist narratives, a nonmodern sensibility promised to liberate emerging art from the social constructivist paradigms that still dominate contemporary art. As a corollary of their nonmodern materialist epistemologies, the biennale that form my exempla also attempted to (dis)place the practices they curated through a polytemporality in which now-and-then and here-and-there areintertwined.
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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A charrette is an intensive participatory group that engages a common enquiry. Atelier, Skye is a three-day charrette wherein a group of artists, curators, academic researchers and members of Atlas Arts will work with a series of common research ‘objects’ located in the north of the Isle of Skye (Trotternish, Waternish and Duirinish).
Working with the charrette curators, ATLAS Arts have identified a series of sites and objects that will facilitate and contrast different methods of visual and material enquiry. These objects range from artefacts in local museums, to areas of outstanding natural beauty. By engaging with ‘things’ in the custodianship of Atlas Arts, our charrette will enable us to map and improve conditions for cross-disciplinary collaboration, shifting the emphasis away from doing research towards the creation of research objects.
We aim to assist Atlas Arts in meeting their aims and obligations as the primary arts organisation for Skye and Lochalsh and thus to the local populace. We will enable this by enlisting Atlas Arts to collaborate directly with artists, arts professionals and academics in the creation of common research objects. The charrette will transform participants’ understanding of what material research is, what it can be and of who/what might participate in it. We also hope to use our visit to establish an open access online archive of the project, proxy distributed by Atlas Arts, that will ensure Atelier’s methods are available to artists, researchers and educators working with comparable community-based and site-sensitive organisations.
What is ‘Skye’?
For the purposes of this project, Skye functions as host environment for engaging a broader community of academics and non-academics in contemporary art and materialist research. It is both a slowly changing land mass and a more rapidly transforming series of agents, things and discourses. ‘Skye’ is a contingent object, one in an ongoing process of flow and growth. Following the material-turn, it is appropriate that we do not presuppose a singular thematic or disciplinary approach towards ‘Skye’. This is why participants will work only from things hosted by the island, discovering a varied flow of entanglements over the duration of the charrette. Our initial meetings with Atlas Arts Director Emma Nicholson established our objects of enquiry, the journeys our research group will make around the island, the iterative structure of the charrette research process and the ways in which we will document this.
What is ‘Atlas Arts’?
Based in Portree, ATLAS Arts seeks to be a pioneering producer and commissioner of contemporary art that will create connections between artists and audiences, and respond to the unique qualities of this region, its landscapes, its culture and its people. http://atlasarts.org.uk
Atelier warmly welcome Professor Richard Sennett, who will be discussing his seminal work The Craftsman at The University of Edinburgh. In this book, he shows how history has drawn fault-lines between craftsman and artist, maker and user, technique and expression, practice and theory, and that individuals’ pride in their work, as well as modern society in general, suffers from these historical divisions.
Sennett’s research has explored how individuals and groups make social and cultural sense of material facts – about the cities in which they live and about the labour they do. He focuses on how people can become competent interpreters of their own experience, despite the obstacles society may put in their way. His research entails ethnography, history, and social theory. As a social analyst, Professor Sennett continues the pragmatist tradition begun by William James and John Dewey.