ART&CRITIQUE workshop, First Alternative Education Open-Day 2017. Photo School of the Damned.

Radical Pedagogy Research & Reading Group

Radical Pedagogy Research & Reading Group #1

Friday, 22 February 2019, 7pm – 9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Closest stations: Whitechapel / Aldgate East
Suggested donation £2, booking via Eventbrite

ART&CRITIQUE workshop, First Alternative Education Open-Day 2017. Photo School of the Damned.
ART&CRITIQUE workshop, First Alternative Education Open-Day 2017. Photo School of the Damned.

Fuelled by economic crisis, austerity and the liberalisation of higher education, alternative art education has burgeoned into a full-blown movement in the last decade. But what is alternative art education? Who is it for and what is it alternative to?

There are as many different formats and models of alternative art education as there are art schools, but in what ways is alternative art education expected to be different from traditional art education? Should alternative art schools try to emulate accredited MFAs or are they expected to radically re-imagine art education? How should alternative art schools be organised, structured and funded? Should alternative art schools challenge art institutions and the art market?

Join us on Friday, 22 February 2019 for the first meeting of the Radical Pedagogy Research & Reading Group, a monthly forum and research project on alternative art education, radical pedagogy and self-organisation. We will exchange ideas, have conversations and determine the syllabus for the reading group. The reading group will meet on the last Friday of every month, with the practical aim of informing the development of an alternative studio programme. We will also organise workshops, screenings and other events.

To submit your own questions and suggestions for books, articles and films for the reading group please use the contact form to send us the details. Please include full citations (author, publication date, title, publisher, page numbers), with a link to the online document or video and a sentence on why you want to discuss them.

We welcome contributions from anyone interested collaborating with us to develop a self-organised alternative studio programme, we welcome artists who incorporate pedagogical methods in their art practice, researchers, educators, students and anyone interested in the topics of the research group. These include but are not limited to:

  • modalities of art education in practice and theory
  • alternative art education
  • critical pedagogies
  • the neoliberalisation of art education
  • reform of formal art education
  • co-operative art education
  • creativity
  • practice and theory
  • knowledge and epistemology
  • skills and de-skilling
  • creative labour and precarity
  • alternative economies in art practice and art education
  • the educational turn in art practice and curating
  • institutional critique
  • self-organisation in art practice and education
  • peer-support groups
  • collectivity and collaboration

Preliminary research on the this project was initiated in the summer of 2016 when we identified our research objectives, we went on to create the alternative art education resource page and organise workshops and meetings on self-organisation and alternative art education.

Draft Reading List

If there’s anything you would like to see included here please use the contact form to send us your proposals. They will be posted here and we will use this list to collectively decide the syllabus for the reading group at the meeting on 22 Jan 2019. Please don’t forget to include full citations (author, publication date, title, publisher, page numbers), with a link to the online document or video and a sentence on why you would like to discuss them in the reading group.

[01] What is radical pedagogy?
  • Freire, Paulo (1996/1968). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum.  A founding text in critical pedagogy, it critiques the traditional “banking model of education” and argues for a radical reconceptualisation of learners and teachers as equals in the learning process. The book is composed of 4 chapters, we can read it over four sessions together with an excerpt from one of the texts that Freire cites in each chapter. Chapter 1: Hegel, Georg W. F. (1977). Lordship and Bondage. In Phenomenology of Spirit. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 111-119. Chapter 2: Husserl, Edmund (2012). Ideas: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology. London, New York: Routledge.
[02] What is alternative art education? Who is it for and what is it alternative to?
  • Koszerek, Pippa (2001). Independent Art School Conference. Journal of Visual Art Practice Vol. 1/2 (2001), pp. 111-115.
  • Pippa Koszerek (2011). Alternative Art Schools. a-n The Artists Information Company. Research paper on the background to alternative arts schools and contemporary issues within art school education, particularly after the fees were increased in 2012 , with case studies of alternative art schools.
  • Ashill, Kathryn (2013). Symposium report: alternative art schools. a-n blog.
[03] In what ways is alternative art education expected to be different from traditional art education? Are alternative art schools expected to resist and reform institutional models of education and pedagogy?
  • Ault, Julie and 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 at recent changes in art school education, addressing different pedagogical models and ideologies inherent within them.
[04] Should alternative art schools try to emulate accredited MFAs or are they expected to radically re-imagine art education?
[05] What pedagogical models and methods should inform alternative art education?
  • Bogue, Ronald (2013). The Master Apprentice. In Deleuze and Education, Inna Semetsky and Diana Masny ed. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 21-36. On Deleuze’s method of teaching, “The Deleuzian teacher, I hope to show, is both master and apprentice, a master apprentice engaged with the apprentice in their mutual apprenticeship in and thorough signs.” (p. 22) [NP]
  • Parnet, Claire. (2007). P as in Professor. In Gilles Deleuze from A to Z. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e). Video interview with Claire Parnet interviewing Deleuze. Deleuze speaks of his thoughts on teaching methodology. [NP]
  • Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty and Sarah Harasym eds. (1990/1985). Criticism, Feminism and the Institution: An Interview with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. In the Post-Colonial Critic: Interviews, Strategies, Dialogues, Sarah Harasym ed. New York & London: Routledge, pp. 1-16. On the importance of writing and the relationship between practice and theory.
  • Semetsky, Inna (2009). Deleuze as a Philosopher of Education: Affective Knowledge / Effective Learning. European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms, 14:4, pp. 443-456.
[06] How should alternative art schools be organised?
[07] How should alternative art schools be structured and funded?
  • Freeman, Jo (1970). The Tyranny of Structurelessness. Updated version. Originally published in Second Wave vol. 2, no. 1 (1972), pp. 1-6. Classic text on the necessity for structure in self-organised groups. PDF includes Levine, Cathy (1974). Tyranny of Tyranny. Black Rose No. 1 (Autumn 1974).  Equally influential response to Freeman’s Tyranny of Structurelessness.
  • Jakobsen, Jakob (2013). Pedagogy of Negating the Institution. Metamute, 14 Nov 2013.
[08] Should alternative art schools challenge art institutions and the art market?
[09] How do alternative art schools get access to resources and what do they need to become sustainable?
  • Rogoff, Irit (2010). FREE. E-flux Journal #14 (March 2010).
  • Manifesto Club (2008). Towards a Free Art School. Presented by Doug Fishbone, Serpentine Gallery Manifesto Marathon, 19 Oct 2008.
[10] What would a cooperative art school look like?
[11] Is alternative art education an art form?