Boshears argues that, to be genuinely open, research should be focused less on research objects and more on the new ‘publics that result from the circulation of these objects’. (Boshears 2013: 617) Thinking about what sort of publics we might engage (or generate) through the production of open research objects is an ambitious challenge, one that our masters of contemporary art have risen to meet. They do so during a pandemic that has brought the arts to a virtual standstill.
Rather than create virtual projects aimed at a faceless mass of placeless lurkers, paragogues have peer-produced participatory workshops for each other. Working together in four small basho (Red, Green, Purple, Yellow) they have created an intimate, reciprocal programme of artistic learning that is, nevertheless, scaleable.
The four projects produced by each basho blend curatorial tools, re-imagine event-places and devise artistic practices for multiple scenarios. The JEDER MENSCH EIN KÜNSTLER fair is a work in progress, a chance to playtest the range of practices offered by the members of each basho. Anyone is welcome to browse through and participate in any of the asynchronous projects and workshops.
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
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.
This workshop will help you to comprehend how your decisions impact upon your peers (and vice versa). Working in a small group, you will collectively engage in a series of simple creative tasks. These tasks have been designed by a group of artists specifically to heighten your awareness of play and reciprocity in the learning process. You will not be assisted by an ‘instructor’. To complete each task, you will have to be imaginative and resourceful, working closely together and learn from each other. The workshop will engage performative forms of ritual interaction and ecstatic mutuality normally found in gaming, for the purposes of learning how we learn.This workshop is predicated on a ludic theory of ‘decisions’ as reciprocal and enmeshed game-rules governing how actants interact. Playing the game leads to the rules being revised and updated, offering fresh game-theoretic insights. This autotelism relates to our perception of Shift/Work as an iterative process, a set of workshops that can be continually re-performed like a musical score.
This Shift/Workshop is restricted to 12 participants to ensure that each group is small enough to form a playful bond (preventing ‘committee’ decision-making) but large enough to require negotiation and consensus building.
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.
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
Arts based visual research methods
Participatory visual methods
PAR (Participatory action-research)
OER (Open Educational Resources)
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.