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
Bourdon Lecture Theatre , Glasgow School of Art, Bourdon Building
Renfrew Street, Glasgow G3 6RQ View Map
1. Diverse methods, diverse communities of practice
2. Externally-facing ’University of Dissensus’ [Readings: 1997]
3. Immediation, 1:1, live
4. Fluid, adaptive co-learning
5. Cooperative and collegiate
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.
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
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.
MFA students (School of Art) programme their own orientation week as a ‘paragogy’ project. They visit art organisations and, crucially, build their own studio spaces. They quickly establish socio-economic networks that serve them well in their careers as artists, critics and curators, generating an adaptive, geopolitical resilience.
This Must be the Place was concerned with the vital educational role of ‘place-making’, with how contemporary art students develop resources for their practice through the processes of orientation and socialisation. The orientation project was innovative in bringing together art students with non-academic partners for the purpose of introducing all of us to postgraduate education. It allowed MFA students to transition into platforms that suited their practices and so develop a generative context for work from the first week of the programme.
By collectively constructing their studio spaces MFAs gained a invaluable practical lesson in how to establish a studio with limited resources and find a practical solution to the ‘fit’ of the studios. This relates to the perennial problem of ‘allocating’ studio space, something nominally done by staff rather than students. The allocation of spaces is normally conducted before staff have had a chance to ascertain our radically different requirements as artists. RELAY proposed that MFA2s should first collaborate with new students to design and build the common studio spaces in Week 1 as a key component of the orientation project. Collectively designing the the studio space also ensured that all students got exactly the space they required. Part of this aspect of the project involved the construction of the Green Room with common, shared tools and resources and a means of ensuring that the social bonds cemented in the first week remain common, shared tools and resources and a means of ensuring that the social bonds cemented in the first week remain intact.
ABOUT Gearing Up for Transitions Conference, 2016:
The 3rd Annual University of Edinburgh ‘Gearing Up’ event took place on Thursday 5th March 2015 at the John McIntyre Conference Centre, Pollock Halls. To reflect the current QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) Scotland Enhancement Theme of Student Transitions, the event had a broader focus than in previous years and in recognition of this was called ‘Gearing up for Transitions’. It was jointly organised by the Student Induction Team and Academic Services.
The 150 attendees included current students, University of Edinburgh and EUSA staff as well as external colleagues from Higher Education Institutions in Scotland and two staff from Lund University, Sweden.
The day included:
a student panel talking about their experience of transitions;
Keynote address ‘What Works? Facilitating an effective transition into and through higher education” by Professor Liz Thomas, Liz Thomas Associates;
student Art Exhibition ‘It’s a Jungle’ by the University of Edinburgh’s student-run Graphic Design agency “Jungle Studio” dealing with the fear and anticipation before leaving home, school or university;
posters and bring and brag stalls;
18 break-out sessions featuring a wide variety of current practice looking at all aspects of transitions during the student journey.