Category Archives: Theory

Atelier: Richard Sennett ‘The Craftsman’

 

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Atelier Present:

Richard Sennett The Craftsman

THIS EVENT HAS SOLD OUT

Richard Sennett

Atelier warmly welcome Professor Richard Sennett, who will be discussing his seminal work The Craftsman at The University of EdinburghIn 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.

„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

Confraternity of Neoflagellants | Mobilitas Loci (Muller Ltd.)

“If art can be said to reflect the conditions of the world in which it is made, art that engages with the vanguard technology of an era can perhaps be said to have a particular purchase on contemporaneous visions of the arc of the future.” Chris Wiley, Beginnings + Ends (post-net art), frieze, Issue 159, Nov-Dec 2013.

We will perform Mobilitas Loci (Muller Ltd.) a  multimedia audio-visual work. As neomedievalist artists based in Scotland and Québec, our collaborative work is often fabricated mid-Atlantic in a cloud-workshop using freeware. Where much post-net art tends to rework the forward-thinking modern/postmodern collectives of the 1960s and ‘70s, neomedieval artistic practice adopts ‘backward-thinking’, to identify and develop possible ‘premodern futures’ through a visceral, indulgent, lavish, liturgical and ludic materialism. Given its non-modern condition, contemporary artistic practice has as much in common with the guilds of the middle ages as it does with the avant-garde of the 20th century.

Set in a contemporary passion park, Mobilitas Loci (Muller Ltd.) entangles a number of medieval sources (from the Bestiary of Philippe de Thaon to Foxe’s Book of Martyrs) with the work of living and fictitious artists, knowledge-architects, Ponzi schemers, and philosophers (e.g. Alexandr Petrovsky, Amanda Beech, Ray Brassier, Adam Toffler, www.bobsacamano.dr). The A/V work takes the form of a bestiary entry on the dog-head Muller Ltd., a quasi-human protagonist in our theory-fiction thN Lng Folk 2 Go: Investigating Future Premoderns™ (Punctum, 2013). It is performed in a mixture of middle and modern Scots and middle American mall talk and includes cover versions of electronic voice phenomena recordings of the medieval dead and moving images of Muller Ltd.

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Unexpected Encounters with Deep Time: Enchantment

Thursday, 26th November 2015

Andrew Grant Lecture Theatre, Evolution House, West Port, Edinburgh College of Art

Organised by the Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network

Earlier this year the discovery of homo naledi propelled enchantment into a framework of deep time. The speculation is that early human ancestors, perhaps from as much as 4 million years ago, may have ritually buried their dead in the dark Rising Star caves. The questions of when, where and for whom the world first appeared as enchanted have abruptly shifted from the 200,000 or so years of homo sapiens into a much longer past. Elsewhere, the deep future of enchantment can be gleaned from discussions around the future of nuclear waste. Will future descendants still be enchanted by this ‘new immortal’? If so how do present humans protect them from their own curiosity when conventions of communication are so closely embedded within shallow time? Looking closely at the implications of these questions reveal cracks in the shell of human exceptionalism. After all the questions around nuclear waste are often accompanied by the caveat that these descendants we seek to protect may no longer be human.  Yet enchantment is a concept tied to the core of the humanities. Stories of the loss of disenchantment remain central to definitions of modernity and the rise of secularism, and enchantment’s return, via claims of the rise of religious fundamentalism, is central to contemporary geopolitics. Within environmental literatures enchantment has been seen as a way of mobilising ethical responses on an increasingly damaged planet (e.g. Abram; Bennet) and critiqued for contributing to the forgetting of countless ‘unloved others’ (Rose & van Dooren).

Our series focus on ‘unexpected encounters with deep time’ emphasises the way that deep time is encountered in materiality of the everyday. Likewise Jane Bennet has stressed that enchantment arises, unanticipated, in the moment, in the “active engagement with objects of sensuous experience” (5).

The aim of this workshop is to explore what enchantment might become within a framework of deep time. We hope to explore questions such as:

  • How might deep time and enchantment reframe or challenge each other?
  • How are their ties to the everyday world to be understood?
  • How might deep time trouble the humanist frame within which enchantment has primarily been situated?
  • How might it disturb current understandings of the promises and perils of enchantment for environmental thought and action?
  • What are the political and ethical implications, positive or negative, of ‘enchanting’ deep time?
  • How might deep time queer the temporalities of enchantment (cf Burlein & Orr)?

Organisers: Michelle Bastian (michelle.bastian@ed.ac.uk) and David Farrier (David.Farrier@ed.ac.uk)

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.

Atelier: Making Research Material Across the Creative Arts & Social Sciences

2/6/15 I gave two short presentations at the ISRF Workshop: Social Science as Communication #Summerhall #Edinburgh http://t.co/yikqyqNS4i on:

Atelier: Making Research Material Across the Creative Arts & Social Sciences

In recent years, there has been a growing concern with materiality as a field of enquiry across the arts, humanities and social sciences. Not to be confused with the field of ‘material culture studies’, or with ‘historical materialism’, emerging research calls into question the binarism and anthropocentrism of critical theory and the cultural turn. The ‘new materialisms’, in their different ways, speculate on how things are material, singular and/or entangled. They have radically redefined post-human politics, agency, corporeality, criticality, representation, and time. In response to these concerns, a group of colleagues from the University of Edinburgh’s College of Humanities & Social Sciences established an Atelier, a network of arts and social sciences scholars and staff from museums and art galleries in Scotland.

Aims:

Our meetings have foregrounded a number of ways in which disciplines within CHSS and our non-HEI partners each have their own protocols and methods for making material available for study in the form of objects. Yet, as we make radically distinct objects from the same material, what remains to be formulated within this multidisciplinary field are the concepts, equipment, and techniques that would generate the truly collaborative ability to fabricate common research objects.

How will the work be carried out?

Atelier members in Social Anthropology (SPS, UoE) and the School of Art (ECA, UoE) recently formalised their research processes, academic and non-academic partnerships in the form of a network project entitled Atelier: Making Research Material Across the Arts and Social Sciences. The aim of the network is to develop models of making phentermine and enquiry that can bring together often separate visual and material research practices within the social sciences and humanities through the creation of an ‘Atelier’. Our Atelier is a commons that allows us to make shared research ‘objects’ through collaborative research practices.  

A series of charrettes – participatory workshops involving interested colleagues across UoE and partners in the museum and gallery sector – will, in turn, focus on a particular object that will facilitate and contrast different methods of material enquiry. By engaging with ’things’ in the custody/field of our non-academic partners the charrettes 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. 

Juche: Art School State of Mind

Closing Keynote for CHEAD Regional Seminar on The Role of Contextual Studies in Art School Education, The Glasgow School of Art 16/4/2015

I specifically address how the Juche mentality operates internally in art schools. Key to this is the connection between the liberal use of the euphemism ‘integration’ in art schools and how it’s used to manufacture folk devils by opponents of multiculturalism. In this framework, ‘studio’ is implicitly presented as the righteous indigenous territorialised community and ‘context’ as other.

When departmentalism is considered as a community of practice ‘integration’ can be understood as a latent form of monculturalism and assimilationism, one aided by the monotechnic roots of art schools. This is anathema in terms of how knowledge is produced today.

Connected to this is the assumption that the art and design curricula are fine and just need tweaking. In fact, like any exceptionalist Juche-style regime, they are fundamentally flawed and need to be rebuilt from scratch. That can only happen through a radical transformation of the art school’s community of practice so that it is symbiotic with international communities of knowledge production.

Crafting Values: Art and its Economies | Confraternity of Neoflagellants

January 23, 2015

School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh (Hunter Lecture Theatre), 10.00 am

with Hans Abbing, Evangelos Chrysagis, The Confraternity of Neoflaggelants (Norman James Hogg and Neil Mulholland), Angela McClanahan, Georgios Papadopoulos, Stevphen Shukaitis, Marina Vishmidt

Taking its cue from debates surrounding the contested character of value in artistic production, this one-day symposium presents an interdisciplinary take on the issue by bringing together scholarship from the fields of anthropology, art and critical theory, Marxism and economics. Some of the areas that the participants will address include the following:

Aesthetic value and processes of urban regeneration

Speculation and art production

Ethical values and economies of affect

Emotional labour, entrepreneurialism and self-precarization

Technologies of value and digital media

Neo-medievalism and hyper-economies