Gabriel Cornelius von Max [1889] Monkeys as Judges of Art. Oil on canvas, 85 × 107cm. Neue Pinakothek, Munich.


An overview of alternative art schools and peer-support networks. This is a ongoing research project and this page will be updated regularly. In the meantime, if you represent an alternative art school or peer-support network that is not on this list, or if you would like to amend or add to the entry, please get in touch!


Alternative Art College
2011 Lincoln
The Alternative Art College was set up by Paul Stewart to question UK higher education. It is a protest against fees and employability. Nomadic and sporadic, the school aims to experiment with education and create spaces of collaboration and negotiation. It has existed as a three-month  school, one day events and as Skype and Slack pages. It is a peer network that forms when necessary, otherwise it lays dormant as a resource and archive. The school regards contemporary art as an efficient means of resistance, interruption and deconstruction of global capitalism.

Alternative Art School Fair
2016 Brooklyn

Organised by Pioneer Works, a non-profit cultural centre dedicated to experimentation, education and production across disciplines, through a broad range of educational programs, performances, residencies and exhibitions.

2010 London

Alternative ‘Master of Fine Art’ course established by artists for artists as a free alternative to studying a university-based MA in London. AltMFA incorporates the most desirable elements of an MFA course: space to work, collaborators to argue with, and a social sphere to move within. “We squeeze into any space and adapt it to our ends.” Unlike a conventional MFA, AltMFA is a common space in which there are no fees and time and facilities are all offered in kind. Meet weekly Monday nights 6.30pm -9.30pm. Programme takes place in a range of private and public venues. AltMFA is self-selecting; the only criteria for membership is attendance and the contribution of time and energy.

1968 London

The Antiuniversity of London was a short-lived experiment in self-organised education and communal living at 49 Rivington Street in Shoreditch.

Antiuniversity Now
2015 London / UK

Antiuniversity Now is a collaborative experiment to challenge institutionalised education, access to learning and the mechanism of knowledge creation and distribution.  Antiuniversity Now was set up to reignite the 1968 Antiuniversity of London with the intention to challenge academic and class hierarchy and the exclusivity of the £9K-a-year-degree by inviting people to organise and share learning events in public spaces all over the country. Antiuniversity Now events are free, accessible and inclusive and are delivered using non-hierarchical, participatory and democratic pedagogy. The Antiuniversity is firmly rooted in a collective desire to create and sustain safe autonomous spaces for radical learning that follow, nurture and enact anarchist, feminist, anti-racist, anti-fascist, anti-homophobic, de-colonial and anti-capitalist values through conversation and direct action.

Autonomous School Zurich (ASZ Autonome Schule Zürich)
2009 Zurich
A grassroots project run by locals and immigrants offering diverse educational and cultural activities for everyone including undocumented refugees, the socially excluded and all other interested people. This school is a project to fight against racism and injustice. It is also a meeting point, where people of different origins get to know each other. “Autonomous” is being independent and also self organized.  The school moves forward with the collective work and genuine understanding from the students and teachers.  All teachers are students too. All students are teachers also. Everybody plays a very important role in the school. There is no boss in ASZ. Everybody works freely and voluntarily.  This school is not a government project. It gets no help and financial assistance from the government. Sometimes it gets help, financial assistance and class materials from kind, good spirited individuals and organizations. There is a plenary assembly every 2 to 4 weeks. There are various working groups carrying out different tasks in the school.  Personal ideas can be realized in ASZ. Own ideas are also welcome to move the school forward.

2014 New York
BFAMFAPhD makes art and creates reports and pedagogical tools to advocate for cultural equity in the United States. BFAMFAPhD is a collective of artists, designers, technologists, organisers and educators who work in the intersection of art, technology and political economy. They bring people together to analyse and reimagine power relationships in the arts. Of Supply Chains is a free resource for educators that investigates the life-cycle of projects: how materials are sourced, how labor is organized, how the artwork is encountered etc. Concerned about the impact of debt, rent, and precarity on the lives of creative people, BFAMFAPhD asks: What is a work of art in the age of $120,000 art degrees? BFAMFAPhD core members are Susan Jahoda, Emilio Martinez Poppe, Agnes Szanyi, Vicky Virgin, and Caroline Woolard. They invite contributions.

Black Mountain College
1933-1957 North Carolina

New York

BHQFU is New York’s freest art school, a learning experiment where artists work together to manifest creative, productive, resistant, useless, and demanding interactions between art and the world. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, BHQFU offers completely tuition-free courses on a variety of subjects during fall and spring semesters, hosts public programs and exhibitions year-round, and operates cost-free artist studio residency programs.

Cátedra Arte de Conducta
2002–09 Havana

Center for Art Analysis
2004 Bucharest

Continental Drift
2005-2014 New York / International
An experiment in collective autodidacticism that began in 2005 as a series of seminars with Brian Holmes and the 16 Beaver Group in New York, inquiring into geopolitical change and its local consequences.

Copenhagen Free University (CFU)
2001-2007 Copenhagen
A self-organised institution for research and knowledge sharing established in 2001 by artists Jacob Jakobsen and Henriette Heise in their Copenhagen apartment. The CFU was a protest against artists’ self-definition as accomplices to power in the prevailing conditions of neo-liberalism, a reaction against the commodification of knowledge and the corporate appropriation of education. The Copenhagen Free University made it clear that universities do not necessarily have to reflect the hegemonic structures of society; universities could be organised and based in and around the everyday knowledge and material struggles structuring people’s lives… Knowledge for us is always situated and interwoven with desire. The institution was dedicated to the production of critical consciousness and poetic language until 2007 when it ceased its activities.

DIY art school
2013 Manchester

DIY art school Manchester is “a survival tactic” by Manchester Metropolitan University graduates. The school provides a support network for recent graduates. A platform for recent graduates and emerging artists to critique and develop their work. Its framework is in a constant state of flux depending on what graduates need and want from the network.

Engine ChatChat
2007 London / UK

An informal, supportive peer critique network for artists in London, UK and beyond.  Set up by Elizabeth Murton after graduating from Goldsmiths to continue the conversations, atmosphere and support to foster an informal, supportive peer critique network for artists in London, UK and beyond. Chaired to a style and philosophy which is informal and stimulating. Keeping the groups small, constructive conversation is encouraged. Emphasis is placed on peer feedback in response to the artist’s own questions and concerns. The format can be arranged to suit location, artists and budget. Open to all artists, at any stage of their career.

Essential School Of Painting
2004 London
The Essential School of Painting is based in Bethnal Green and specialises in painting and drawing classes taught by leading contemporary artists.

Evening Class
2016 London

A self-organised design education experiment, consisting of 20 participants from various cultural and educational backgrounds. It is a flexible environment where participants can cultivate common interests, develop their research and collectively shape the class’s agenda. Evening Class takes place twice per week. Thursday evening talks and readings are free and open to all to attend. Evening Class is a self-supporting group. The expenses are decided collectively and fluctuate in accordance with the group’s needs. At the moment they amount to £30 a month each. If our intention was to challenge the selection processes of conventional education structures, then we should begin with the (non-)admissions procedure. Unfortunately it is not possible to continue this method indefinitely, so we are not currently accepting new members. We are trying to think of other ways to make our programme available to more people.

Fairfield International
2014 Saxmundham

Islington Mill Art Academy (IMAA)
2007 Salford

Believing a traditional BA does not prepare students for life beyond education, this was founded by a group of local art foundation students. A peer-led experiment into alternative modes of art education, tailored to meet the needs of artists striving to develop their creative practice alongside full-time day jobs. Founded in 2007, IMAA emphasises shared responsibility. A forerunner in the alternative art schools movement, it was set up in response to student fees and the debate around the relevance and usefulness of mainstream art education. The Mill’s ethos is based around an openness to try new things. It is a place to experiment and inquire; to translate arts education into something viable and meaningful in the real world. IMAA gives artists an opportunity to take control of their own learning through facilitation, practice and experimentation. Open to anyone who would like to be an artist and who is interested in taking responsibility for, and direction of, the way in which they intend to do this.

Juggernauts Artists’ Peer Mentoring
2017 London

Juggernauts Artists’ Peer Mentoring came out of an ArtQuest peer mentoring session at the ICA. The group meets at the Royal Festival Hall every month. The name Juggernauts is a reference to how difficult it is to steer through the art world.

London Free School
1966 London

Machine Project
2003 Los Angeles

Manifesta 6
2006 Cyprus  (cancelled)

2010 Alexandria

2014 California

Artists of the incoming class of MFA students at USC Roski School of Art and Design, who in the fall of 2014 dropped out in protest against student debt.

Network 11
2015 London
The Network 11 is a peer group of artists who are grappling with contemporary art practice. Taking their cue from the Pan African Connection and the BLK Art Group in the 1970s/80s, they came together as a new generation of professionals that will reignite relevant discussions brought about by older generations and raise new questions about the position of British-based artists of colour and LGBT communities. Recipient of the first Cubitt Peer Forum from November 2015 to May 2016.

New Independent Art School
2013 Hastings

New World Academy
2012 Leiden / Utrecht

Nomad Art School
2015 London / UK

​Nomad Art School is an open, permanent, free, and itinerant Art School, where artists offer their knowledge, in person or virtually: no syllabus, no selection, no accreditation. The school is itinerant because it uses places and spaces available free to the community for the common good, permanent because, whenever possible, it aims to broadcast and maintain a record of all its events. Consequently, there is no certificate at the end of the course, because it is not a course, and so never ends. There is no syllabus, because content is offered by artists willing and able to provide it.  There is no selection, because all one needs to do to be a student is turn up, and participate in lessons.

Open School East (OSE)
2013 East London / 2017 Margate

Open School East (OSE) creates an environment for artistic learning that is free, collaborative and brings together diverse voices. We do this by providing tuition and studio space to emerging artists, and by producing and hosting cultural events, social activities and projects for and with everyone. Initial backing £110,000 from the Barbican and Create London.

Peer Sessions
2009  London

Peer Sessions is a nomadic crit group providing a forum for the discussion of contemporary art. Monthly meetings aim to offer constructive feedback to practicing artists and engage with current concerns in art and culture. In addition to monthly crits, Peer Sessions organise projects focussed on facilitating and supporting artistic collaboration. Founded in 2009 by Kate Pickering and Charlotte Warne Thomas after graduating from Goldsmiths MFA. ‘’From its beginnings as a monthly get-together for artist-led peer support, Peer Sessions’ remit has expanded to include residencies, exhibitions, educational and collaborative workshops for artists, and public education workshops on engaging in contemporary art.‘’
Peer Sessions meetings are held monthly at 7pm on a weekday evening. In each session two artists present recent work for feedback. Any practising artist can join.

Precarious University
2016 Manchester

A collaboration between and Levenshulme Contemporary Art Centre (LCAC). “ is dedicated to the salvation of the art school and, if not its salvation, its eradication and replacement as social form”. The school is defined as “a formless monstrosity… an entirely autonomous, democratic, non-heirarchical, rhizomatic, arts collective without any permanent members”. LCAC is a Manchester-based collective of artists and thinkers interested in the politics of social space. They transform marginal, abandoned and contested sites around the city into arenas of critical discussion and reflection.

Public School, The
2007 Los Angeles

A school with no curriculum. It is not accredited, it does not give out degrees, and it has no affiliation with the public school system. It is a framework that supports autodidactic activities, operating under the assumption that everything is in everything.

2008 London / UK

Organises open-submission group crits that are open to the public. Q-Art is an art education research, publishing, and events organisation, which aims to break down the barriers to further and higher level art education and contemporary art.

School of Machines, Making & Make Believe
2014 Berlin

“…keen on inventing one-of-a-kind hands-on learning experiences in the areas of art, technology, design, and human connection. We embrace art, creativity and exploring the latest technology and ourselves with openness and curiosity.”

School of The Damned
2014 London / UK

A free, artist-led postgraduate art course run by and for its students. It was founded as a reaction to the increasing financialisation of higher education, by its first year of students (Class of 2014). The school is constantly redefined by the motives of its students. It is decentralised and seeks to include and unify artists across the UK and is committed to running crits and events outside London, making use of students’ networks. The group meets once a month for the core programme, which consists of presentations from guest visitors, crits and a business meeting. Each year re-writes the manifesto written by the previous year, each year’s manifesto is published on the website. By the end of the year, students in the school have been administrators, promoters, assessors and the passers-on of their experiences and contacts to the following year, taking on every role it takes to run a school. The students also organise and collaborate on other projects, exhibitions, meetings, talks, interviews, workshops, which all form part of the programme of study. The student body selects two or three guests to attend the monthly critique sessions. Guests are remunerated for their time through the School’s Labour Exchange Programme. Each year group is selected by the previous year group through an open call. The next open call will be in December 2017 and the year will begin in February 2018.

Self-Organized Seminar (SOS )
2011-2013 Iowa
A collective of graduate art students who engaged in “autonomous learning” and institutional critique within and beyond the university. They worked collectively to problematise the professionalization of their art degree, labor and atomization in the neoliberal university. SOS was a reading group and a research project, organising events on the relationship of academia to systems of domination and oppression.

Silent University
2012 London / Europe
The Silent University, an alternative school for refugees and asylum seekers, set up by Turkish artist Ahmet Ögüt during his residency at the Tate Modern 2012 and now runs courses in several European countries.

2009 Mexico City

Syllabus (Wysing Arts Centre)
2015 Wysing / UK

The Syllabus: A Peer-Led, Non-Prescriptive Postgraduate Alternative. Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, Eastside Projects Birmingham, S1 Artspace Sheffield, Spike Island Bristol, Studio Voltaire London, New Contemporaries London. 10 month programme centred around a series of intensive retreats which are delivered by artists, curators, writers and other practitioners and hosted by a partnership of six England-wide nonprofit visual arts organizations. “Networks” and “conversations” are two of the most frequently used words by those describing the Syllabus. The Syllabus curriculum is intended to foster critical engagement with artists’ practices and what it means to be an artist now and as such will adapt with each iteration. Partner organizations host retreats at roughly two-month intervals, starting and ending at Wysing. Between each retreat, the artists are assigned readings and maintain discussions, sharing suggestions for future weekends.
the tuition for Syllabus is £3000, due to Wysing Art Centre’s Arts Council England funding, Syllabus participants pay only £500, plus an est additional £500 travel. Selection through an Open Call.

The Other MA (TOMA)
2015 Southend-on-Sea

TOMA is a response to the fact that many artists who wish to continue their learning and critical discourse with peers are unable to access most current MA provisions for a number of reasons. Designed to fit the everyday lives of contemporary working artists TOMA is a space to work and develop practice within a critical framework for postgraduate level. TOMA is an unaccredited MA in the traditional sense, but provides a programme of learning that benefits the practice of artists in the same way. A socially engaged model, which works as an artist led co-operative, TOMA takes on parts of the structure of a standard art MA, but is also responsive to its artists. Participants directly steer the study programme, choosing those who comes to teach on it and the topics explored. Funded by its participants TOMA costs £75 per month towards visiting artists, lecturers, practical workshops, a personal tutor, offsite projects, exhibitions, a programme co-ordinator and bookable spaces to make work. TOMA is transparent to participants showing where their money goes each month.

Turps Banana
2012 London

Painting Art School Studios and gallery in South East London. Artist-run magazine and art school focused on painting. Includes the turps studio programme: mentoring, peer-led learning, and invited artists/speakers within an open studio environment. Correspondence course a year long programme of one to one online mentoring with an assigned tutor. turps surgeries are open access (for a fee) to individual and group tutorials at turps studios. studio programme (Sept-July), online correspondence course (Oct – Aug) £1,600and artist surgeries. The core programme is led and delivered by Marcus Harvey, Phil Allen and Helen Hayward. Turps studio programme Fees: £6,000. Correspondence course. Turps surgeries.

2006-2007 Berlin

University for Strategic Optimism
2010-2013 London
“Welcome to the University for Strategic Optimism, a university based on the principal of free and open education, a return of politics to the public, and the politicisation of public space. As our university buildings are being boarded up we inhabit the bank as public space. Not just a public space but the proper and poignant place for the introductory lecture to our course entitled ‘Higher Education, Neo-Liberalism and the State’. We will take up only five minutes of your time for our inaugural lecture but will reconvene in different locations on the dates to be found on the syllabus that should be circulating. Please do check the website for further information and for details about assessment.”  University for Strategic Optimism Inaugural lecture, Lloyds TSB, Borough High Street, 24 Nov 2010


You might also like to consult School of the Damned‘s online Open Library for more titles on alternative art education.

Allen, Felicity (2011). Education (Documents of Contemporary Art). London: Whitechapel Gallery & MIT Press.

Art Monthly (2008). The Future of Art Education Special Issue. Art Monthly #320, October 2008.

Ashill, Kathryn (2013). Symposium report: alternative art schools. a-n blog.

Beck, John and Matthew Cornford (2014). The Art School and the Culture Shed. Kingston Upon Thames: The Centre for Useless Splendour. John Beck and Matthew Cornford have been tracking down and photographing the sites of British art schools for around five years. While many towns in the UK used to have a dedicated art school, now there are only a handful left; most of the buildings have been repurposed or demolished. Instead of educational institutions dedicated to the study of art and design, British towns are now more likely to contain signature gallery and museum buildings intended, in part, to contribute to local regeneration, heritage, and/or tourist agendas. What does the decline of the local art school and the rise of the ‘destination’ art gallery tell us about changing ideas about the function of art, its possible civic purpose, and the relationship between participation and spectatorship? For a copy of the book please contact Dean Kenning. For further information the project email John Beck or Matthew Cornford.

Beech, Dave (2014). Teaching the Unteachable. Art Monthly 377, June 2014, pp. 8-10.

Belzer, Heike and Daniel Birnbaum eds. (2007). Kunst Lehren — Teaching Art. Frankfurt: Städelschule, & Cologne: Walther König. The Frankfurt am Main Stadelschule, and its gallery Portikus, form an international center for experimental contemporary art. This publication is authored by contemporary Stadelschule professors and visiting lecturers, including Pamela Lee, Niklas Maak, Jan Verwoert and Okwui Enwezor, who discuss what teaching art means in the context of a contemporary academy, and at what point the art market should be introduced in a student’s education. It serves as an example of the kind of discourse available to Stadelschule students, as there is always in residence an impressive international cast of artworld practitioners.

Birnbaum, Daniel (2007). The Art of Education. Artforum Vol. 45/10 (Summer 2007), pp. 474-477. This article is relevant to students’ interests, partly because we are at the cusp of a dramatic change in art education as more and more the student becomes the customer and education becomes a commodity. Where does the art school stand in relation to these changes? More and more art education is being standardised and drawn further into the university system both physically and in terms of financial logistics. There is a concern that art school has become too much of a production line. It pre-determines what art should be rather than a developed by the students. “Its as though the work that you will produce by the end of the course is pre-ordained in some way”. There seemed to be a concern that art schools were changing because of the idea of money being involved, it seems as though you are buying something rather than coming to invest something of yourself. Everything else ought to be provided because it is your ‘right’. The main bulk of the discussion was centred around the argument in relation to our personal situation at MMU and how we can apply these concepts to our own education.

Birnbaum, Daniel (2009). Teaching Art: Adorno and the Devil. In Art School (Propositions for the 21st Century), Steven Henry Madoff ed. Cambridge: MIT Press, pp. 231–246.

Bourgeois, Vera ed. (2007). Art Mistresses: Between Classrooms and Studio. Cologne: Salon.

De Ville, Nicholas and Stephen Foster ed. (1994). The artist and the academy: issues in fine art education and the wider cultural context. Southampton: John Hansard Gallery.

De Ville, Nicholas (2000). Richard Hamilton: Art Schools and Influence: A Case History. In Things: Assemblage, Collage since 1935, K. Fijalkowski ed. Norwich: Norwich Gallery.

Duve, Thierry de (2005/1994). When Form Has Become Attitude – And Beyond. In Theory in contemporary art since 1985, Zoya Kocur & Simon Leung ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 19-31.

Coatman, Anna (2016). What next for art schools? Times Higher Education, 17 March 2016

Corris, Michael (2012). The Un-artist. Art Monthly 357, June 2012.

Elkins, James and Cornelia Sollfrank (2008). Art Education Is Radically Undertheorized. An interview with James Elkins by Cornelia Sollfrank. Dundee: Dundee Contemporary Arts, Visual Research Centre.

Elkins, James (2001). Why Art Cannot Be Taught: A Handbook for Art Students, Illinois: University of Illinois Press.

Five Years (2012). This is Not a School. London: Five Years. Documentation of a diverse programme of events collected by open invitation that responded to the phenomenon of the ‘alternative education project’ in the form of a one-hour ‘participatory activities’ that questioned the ‘Free School’ structure and its wide ranging history and ethos.

Foster, Hal (1984). (Post) Modern Polemics. New German Critique No. 33, Modernity and Postmodernity (Autumn, 1984), pp. 67-78.

Foster, Sesshu (2015). How is the artist or writer to function (survive and produce) in the community, outside of institutions? East Los Angeles Dirigible Transport Lines, 10 July 2015.

Freire, Paulo (2005/1968). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Glazek, Christopher and Sean Monahan (2013). Certainty of Hopelessness: A Primer on Discharging Student Debt. Los Angeles: Paper Chase Press. While bankruptcy protocols are always complex, student debt is loaded with its own special brand of illegibility. Debtors are misled by the media into thinking that discharging student loans is impossible and shamed into treating the mere notion of relief as a form of extravagant welfare-queenism. Our original intention was not to create a satire, but rather to map the possibilities for broke postgrads interested in taking a more adversarial approach to dealing with their debt. Guides like Strike Debt’s Debt Resistors Operations Manual help combat the vilification of debtors and address pragmatic concerns about keeping loans out of default. (n+1)

Hall, Gary (2016). The Uberfication of the University. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. The contemporary university’s implications for the future organization of labor. The Uberfication of the University analyzes the emergence of the sharing economy and the companies behind it: LinkedIn, Uber, and Airbnb. The book considers the contemporary university, itself subject to such entrepreneurial practices, as one polemical site for the affirmative disruption of this model.

Jacobi, Silvie (2017). Alternative Art Schools in London: Contested Space and the Emergence of New Modes of Learning in Practice. In Art and the City: Worlding the Discussion Through a Critical Artscape, J. Luger & J. Ren eds. London: Routledge. With the substantial increase of tuition fees in England and Wales in 2012, a number of alternative art schools were set up in London to offer an affordable option to higher education in fine art. While exploring how these schools meet the demand of the art world, the chapter focuses on the complex relationship between space and art practice in determining their educational formats and modes of operation. This includes the discussion around how the schools engage with different local publics and emphasises on the role they play in using contested space.

Jakobsen, Jakob and Henriette Heise (2007). WE HAVE WON! Copenhagen Free University.

Jakobsen, Jakob (2013). Pedagogy of Negating the Institution. Metamute, 14 Nov 2013.

Julie Ault & Martin Beck (2006). Drawing Out & Leading Forth. In Notes for an Art School, Florian Waldvogel, Anton Vidokle, Mai Abu ElDahab ed. Amsterdam: Manifesta Foundation. Looks closely at some of the recent changes that have taken place in art school education, interrogating different models of teaching and the ideologies inherent within them. Taking a comparative approach, offers insight into how American models have influenced European trends, leading to business-orientated structures. In turn this is seen to produce an economy of hyper-professionalism amongst a new generation of artists, undermining the historical commitments of the art school as an alternative educational institution.

Kenning, Dean (2013). Towards a Critical Art School. What’s the Point of Art School? Central St Martins, 25 April 2013.

Kenning, Dean (2010). The Artist as Artist. Art Monthly 337, June 2010, pp. 7-10.

Kraus, Chris (2015). (The Ambiguous Virtues of) Art School. AKADEMIE X: Lessons in Art + Life. Phaidon. Republished on Artspace, 2 March 2015.

Leonard, Allenna (1999). A Viable System Model: Consideration of Knowledge Management. Journal of Knowledge Management Practice, August 1999. Contends that individual and organizational knowledge is difficult to value and therefore difficult to manage. Looks at the management of knowledge from the perspective of the individual, the network and the organization using Stafford Beer’s Viable System Model, a powerful descriptive and diagnostic tool to map management capacities and promote viability.

Llewellyn, Nigel (2015). The London Art Schools: Reforming the Art World, 1960 to Now. London: Tate. Since 1960, progressive forces within art education have fired new impulses in the field of artistic production. As society at large embraced youth and popular culture, art school students with international aspirations exploded class barriers, fused fashion with Pop and insisted that art was integral to social change. Art schools across Britain, and notably in London, responded to these seismic changes, beginning to widen the range of artistic exploration from a craft-based curriculum to more art-historical and experimental approaches. A new generation emerged, whose techniques, perspectives and arguments were more influenced by ideas of art theory and personal exploration than draftsmanship and life-drawing, and whose forms of expression maintain their influence on artists today. Now, for the first time, this history of innovation is uncovered by scholars in the field who, across nine thematic chapters, address key aspects of a dynamic period, from the work of early pioneers in international styles, through to changes in studio practice, and new roles in the art school for art history, architecture and the art market. This essential survey will appeal to students, scholars and practising artists, as well as everyone fascinated in the workings of the contemporary art world. Nigel Llewellyn is a freelance art historian and curator. He was Director of the Research Centres programme at the Humanities Research Council before leaving in 2007 to establish the Research Department at Tate.

Madoff, Steven Henry ed. (2009 ). Art School (Propositions for the 21st Century). Cambridge MA: MIT Press. The last explosive change in art education came nearly a century ago, when the German Bauhaus was formed. Today, dramatic changes in the art world—its increasing professionalization, the pervasive power of the art market, and fundamental shifts in art-making itself in our post-Duchampian era—combined with a revolution in information technology, raise fundamental questions about the education of today’s artists. Art School (Propositions for the 21st Century) brings together more than thirty leading international artists and art educators to reconsider the practices of art education in academic, practical, ethical, and philosophical terms.

Malik, Suhail (2000). Notes on the Pedagogical Pragmatics of Art School Activities. Drawing Fire: The Journal of the National Association of Fire Art Education, vol 2, no 5.

Manifesta 6 School Books (2006). Notes for an Art School. Manifesta.

Morrill, Rebecca ed. (2015). Akademie X: Lessons in art + life. London & New York: Phaidon Press.

Plummer, Thomas G. (1990). Diagnosing And Treating The Ophelia Syndrome. Faculty lecture, Delta Phi Alpha, German Honor Society, 5 April 1990.

Precarious University (2016). Towards A New Concept Of The Art School. Symposium Minutes

Precarious Workers Brigade (2017). Training for Exploitation? Politicising Employability and Reclaiming Education. Foreword by Silvia Federici. London: Journal of Aesthetics & Protest. A critical resource pack for educators teaching employability, ‘professional practice’ and work-based learning. Authored by the Precarious Workers Brigade and designed by Evening Class. Provides a pedagogical framework that assists students and others in deconstructing dominant narratives around work, employability and careers, and explores alternative ways of engaging with work and the economy. Statistics and workshop exercises on precarity, employment rights, cooperation & solidarity. As a feminist I recognise many of these tools from past and contemporary practices of consciousness raising. They are effective and I encourage readers to use them (Silvia Federici), paperback or free PDF.

Rancière, Jacques (1991). The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation. Trans. & Intro. Kristin Ross. Redwood: Stanford University Press.

Reardon, John and David Mollin (2009). Ch-ch-ch-changes: artists talk about teaching, London: Ridinghouse. A guide for artists, teachers and students, this volume of interviews focuses on artists teaching in Europe, bringing to light their endeavours to survive within art education. The interviews provide insight into teaching and the artist-teacher. Offering a wide range of perspectives on the teaching of art, teachers share  different approaches to teaching and the rewards of their dual-roles. The artists have been selected from institutions including Central St Martins, Glasgow School of Art, Städelschule Frankfurt, Kunstakademie Münster.

Rowles, Sarah (2013). Art Crits: 20 Questions. A Pocket Guide. London: Q-Art.

Rowles, Sarah (2011). 11 Course Leaders; 20 Questions. London: Q-Art.

Rowles, Sarah (2010). Debate. A-N Magazine Jul-Aug 2010.

Situationist International and students of the University of Strasbourg (2000/1966). On the Poverty of Student Life: Considered in its Economic, Political, Psychological, Sexual, and Especially Intellectual Aspects, with a Modest Proposal for Doing Away With It. Detroit: Black and Red. Written by Tunisian Situationist Mustapha/Omar Khayati. Original pamphlet published by the student union of the University of Strasbourg and handed out at the official opening of the university in November 1966. The student union was subsequently closed by court order. Online versions (includes the judge’s summation) / Bureau of Public Secrets (annotated) / Situationst International Online (annotated, translated by Ken Knabb).

Springer, Simon, Marcelo Lopes de Souza and Richard J. White eds. (2016). The Radicalization of Pedagogy: Anarchism, Geography and the Spirit of Revolt. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.

Steinweg, Marcus (2009). Nine Theses on Art. Art & Research Vol. 3. No. 1. Winter 2009/10.

Suchin, Peter (2011). Rebel without a Course. Art Monthly 345, Apr 2011 & Letters.

Sutton, Isabel (2014). Is this the end of the British art school? New Statesman, 20 Nov 2014. Current debates around art school economies in the UK.

Thorne, Sam (2017). School: A Recent History of Self-Organized Art Education. New York: Sternberg. A chronicle of self-organized art schools and artist-run education platforms that have emerged since 2000. 20 conversations conducted by Thorne with artists, curators and educators from projects in London, Lagos, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Ramallah, Berlin and Saint Petersburg and other locations on student debt, MFA education and the pedagogical turn, with proposals for the future of art education. Contributions by Bik Van der Pol, Bruce High Quality Foundation University, Tania Bruguera, Chto Delat?, Sean Dockray, Olafur Eliasson, Ryan Gander, Piero Golia, Fritz Haeg, Pablo Helguera, Jakob Jakobsen, Ahmet Öğüt, Yoshua Okón, Open School East, Rupert, Wael Shawky, Tina Sherwell, Bisi Silva, Christine Tohme, Anton Vidokle etc.

University for Strategic Optimism (2011). Undressing the Academy, or The Student Handjob. London: Minor Compositions, Brooklyn: Autonomedia.

Warner, Marina (2014). Why I Quit. LRB Vol. 36, No 17 (11 September 2014), pp. 42-43.


Bion, Wilfred R. (2001/1961). Experiences in groups and other papers. London: Routledge.

Chilver, John (2007). Group and Gang (The Absent Collective). Afterall / Contexts (April 2007).

De Wachter, Ellen Mara (2017). Co-Art: Artists on Creative Collaboration. London: Phaidon Press. Over the past fifty years the number of artists making work collaboratively has grown exponentially. Co-Art: Artists on Creative Collaboration explores this phenomenon through conversations with pairs and groups that offer insights that are relevant beyond the art world, a vital tool for those who seek to work with other people. Featured: Allora & Calzadilla, Assemble, ayr, Biggs & Collings, ChimPom, Claire Fontaine, DAS INSTITUT, DIS, Elmgreen & Dragset, Eva & Franco Mattes, GCC, Gelitin, Guerrilla Girls, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, John Wood and Paul Harrison, Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Trecartin, Los Carpinteros, Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz, Raqs Media Collective, SUPERFLEX.

Downing, John (2011). Encyclopedia of social movement media. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Dunn, Peter and Loraine Leeson (1997). The Aesthetics of Collaboration. Art Journal Vol. 56/1, Aesthetics and the Body Politic (Spring 1997), pp. 26-37.

Forkert, Kirsten (2006). Artistic and political autonomy, or the difficulty and necessity of organizing artists. Chto delat/What is to be done? When Artists Struggle Special Issue. Republished in the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest.

Freeman, Jo (Joreen) (1970). The Tyranny of Structurelessness. Updated version. Originally published in Second Wave vol. 2, no. 1 (1972), pp. 1-6. Republished in a pamphlet together with the riposte: Levine, Cathy (1974). The Tyranny of Tyranny. Black Rose No. 1 (Autumn 1974).

French, Robert and Peter Simpson (2010). The ‘work group’: Redressing the balance in Bion’s Experiences in Groups. Human Relations, Vol. 63/12. pp. 1859-1878.

Fuchs, Christian (2007). Self-Organising System. Encyclopedia of Governance, Vol. 2, Mark Bevir ed. London: Sage, pp. 863-864.

Hebert, Stine and Anne Szefer Karlsen (2013). Self-Organised. Bergen: Open Editions.

Holmes, Brian (2006). The Artistic Device, or, the Articulation of  Collective Speech. ephemera, vol. 6, no. 4 (Nov 2006), pp. 411-432.

Holmes, Brian (2008). Articulating the Cracks in the Worlds of Power, 16 Beaver Group talking with Brian Holmes. Continental Drift.

Holmes, Brian (2012). Eventwork, The Fourfold Matrix of Contemporary Social Movements. In Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from 1991-2011, Nato Thompson ed. New York: Creative Time, Cambridge & London: MIT Press.

Izak, Michal and Linda Hitchin (2014). Editorial. Untold Stories in Organisations Special Issue. Tamara Journal Vol.12/1 (March 2014), pp. 5-6.

Jakobsen, Jakob (2003). Notes on institutions, anti-institutions and self-institutions. Infopool

Jakobsen, Jakob (2006). Self-institutionalisation: for good and ill the process of institutionalisation has become internalized. Art Monthly 298, Jul-Aug 2006, pp. 7-10.

Kester, Grant H. (2004). Conversation pieces: community and communication in modern art Berkeley: University of California Press.

Lind, Maria, Johanna Billing and Lars Nilsson (2008). Taking the Matter into Common Hands: Contemporary Art and Collaborative Practices. Black dog Publishing.

Lind, Maria (2010). The Collaborative Turn. In Selected Maria Lind Writing, Brian Kuan Wood ed. Berlin: Sternberg Press, pp. 177-204.

Lippard, Lucy (1970). The Art Workers’ Coalition: not a history. Studio International, November 1970, Vol. 180, Nr 927, pp. 171-174.

Matt (Firefly Collective) (2001). Anarchism And Collective Organization. Northeastern Anarchist #2 (Spring 2001).

Milstein, Cindy (2014). Organizing Social Spaces as if Social Relations Matter. ROAR Magazine, 13 June 2014.

Nunes, Rodrigo (2014). Organisation of the Organisationless: Collective Action After Networks. Luneburg: PML Books & Mute.

Opstrup, Kasper (2017). The Way Out. Invisible Insurrections and Radical Imaginaries in the UK Underground 1961-1991. Colchester: Minor Compositions. A counterculture history of art and experimental politics. Examines the radical political and hedonist imaginaries of the experimental fringes of the UK Underground from 1961 to 1991 and the relations between collective and collaborative practices with an explicit agenda of cultural revolution. Charts a history of experiments with cultural engineering, art, media, politics, radical education and the occult revival. Case studies include speculative techniques for igniting an insurrection with cultural means: the sigma project, London Anti-University, Academy 23 and thee Temple ov Psychick Youth. Contained within these imaginaries is a new type of action university: a communal affair that would improvise a new type of social relation into existence by de-programming and de-conditioning us. Instead of being turned upside down, the world was to be changed from the inside out.

Purchase, Graham (1998). Communes, Collectives and Claptrap. Spunk Library.

Purchase, Graham (1998). Anarchist Organisation: Why it is Failing. Spunk Library.

Ranciere, Jacques (2009). Misadventures of Critical Thought. In The Emancipated Spectator. Trans. Gregory Elliott. London: Verso.

Raqs Media Collective (2009). Additions, Subtractions: On Collectives and Collectivities. Manifesta Journal #8: Collective Curating 2009/10.

Seeds for Change and Footprint Workers’ Co-operative (2015). How to set up a Workers’ Co-op. Leeds: Radical Routes.

Seeds for Change (2013). A Consensus Handbook: Consensus decision making for activists, co-ops and communities. Lancaster: Seeds for Change.

Shukaitis, Stevphen (2009). Imaginal Machines: Autonomy & Self-Organization in the Revolutions of Everyday Life. New York: Autonomedia.

Shukaitis, Stevphen (2009). The Composition of Movements to Come: Aesthetics & Cultural Labour After the Avant-Garde. London & New York: Rowman & Littlefield.

Stimson, Blake and Gregory Sholette (2007). Collectivism after Modernism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Szefer Karlsen, Anne (2012). Self-organisation as Institution? Lecture.


Biddle, Erika, David Graeber and Stevphen Shukaitis (2007). Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations, Collective Theorization. Oakland: AK Press.

Emmelhainz, Irmgard (2016). Geopolitics and Contemporary Art, Part One: From Representation’s Ruin to Salvaging the Real. e-flux journal #69 (Jan 2016).

Haraway, Donna (1988). Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective. Feminist Studies, Vol. 14, No. 3. (Autumn, 1988), pp. 575-599.

Holmes, Brian (2005). Continental Drift: Activist research, from geopolitics to geopoetics. ephemera, theory & politics in organization vol 5. no. X (Dec 2005), pp. 740-743.

Malo de Molina, Marta (2006/2004). Common Notions, Part 2: Institutional Analysis, Participatory Action-Research, Militant Research. Transversal (Aug 2004).

Schultz, Heath (2014). Autonomous Research within and/or Beneath the Ruins; Or, We are Finally Getting our Feet Wet. ArtLeaks Gazette #2 (June 2014).