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.
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
Speculations is a two day Shift/Workshop. Speculations will be collectively composed and play-tested at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop on the 3rd and 4th of March 2017, a participatory action-research workshop ordained to fabricate speculative artistic research methods.
We will compose a workshop in which participants develop, learn and apply speculative artistic research methods. It is crucial that the genesis of this workshop is, in its own right, speculative. Our speculative process encourages artistic practices that cannot be held, observed or enacted without taking risks or experiencing their consequences. To this end, Shift/Work: Speculations will be collectively composed.
Speculative methods may include, but are not limited to: abduction, syncretism, forecasting, futurism, divination, becoming-rites, probing (making and employing actants), paradisciplinarity, ‘pataphysics, hyperstition, theory-fiction, mythopoesis, fabulation, fictioning, (mis)management, gaming / playing, versioning, licensing, servicizing, technés / technoetics, extended cognition (ExC), imaginative propositions, paper architecture, thought experiments, proposing, lateral thinking/feeling/knowing, weird-ing, speculative realism, mangle-practice….
Who are the Shift/Workers?
A compagon of ‘composers’ – comprising artists, curators, designers, musicians, producers, educationalists, social anthropologists, philosophers and futurists – will join us at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop in March 2017 to scribe and audition Speculations. Working in three groups, participants will compose three iterative workshops. The three groups will then rotate, each participating in the workshops composed by their peers. Our post-workshop re-calibration of the three workshops will translate them into one workshop. Shift/Work will direct this ‘calibrated’ workshop at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale at the end of March 2017.
At the time of writing, we may only speculate on the form Speculations will take. We speculate that the workshop will enable participants to compose, experience and evaluate an iterative, action-based, peer-to-peer learning experience that is both theoretical and practical. We expect they will learn how their speculations (and their attendant risks and uncertainties) are co-affective upon the experiences of their peers. Like previous Shift/Workshops, Speculations will enact relevant discourses, practices and models of artistic paragogy to enable and inspire participants to adopt speculative methods and implement their own workshops.
We hope that you can come to ESW to take part in the composition phase of this workshop.
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