On Friday, 8 February 2019 we’re discussing the first chapter of Claire Bishop’s book Artificial Hells with Eva Ruschkowski. This book club is fully booked, please check the Eventbrite page on the day of the event for returns.
Interested in alternative art education? Want to help start an alternative art school? Send us your contributions for the Radical Pedagogy Research & Reading Group draft syllabus by Friday, 15 February 2019, final version to be determined collectively at the launch on Friday, 22 February 2019. Please see the event page for more details.
[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB Claire Bishop: Artificial Hells
Friday, 8 February, 7pm – 9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Facilitated by Eva Ruschkowski Suggested donation £2, booking via Eventbrite
[ART&CRITIQUE] RADICAL PEDAGOGY RESEARCH & READING GROUP Radical Pedagogy Reading Group Launch
Friday, 22 Feb 2019, 7pm – 9pm
LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1ES
Closest stations: Whitechapel / Aldgate East Suggested donation £2, booking via Eventbrite
[OPPORTUNITIES & ANNOUNCEMENTS] February 2018
The list of opportunities, open calls, deadlines, announcements & vacancies is updated regularly.
If you would like to post your listing for open calls, opportunities or vacancies on the list please use the contact form to send us the details.
IMAGE CREDITS Jeremy Deller and Mike Figgis  The Battle of Orgreave (detail). ART&CRITIQUE workshop, First Alternative Education Open-Day 2017. Photo by School of the Damned (detail). Philip Guston  Painting, Smoking, Eating. Oil on canvas, 196.8 x 262.9 cm.
In this compelling book, Jared Diamond, professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles, takes us on a journey to show us how past and contemporary civilisations have collapsed. This session will focus on Chapter 2, ‘Twilight at Easter’ which narrates the archaeological discoveries of Easter Island, the most isolated inhabited place in the world.
Easter Island is renowned for its ‘Moai’ (headstone statues), however both, the reason for their erection and the building methods are still somewhat a mystery to us. The legend tells that the Moai were created to conserve the ‘mana’, the energy from a wise chief, to bring fertility over the tribe.
Research has shown that slaves built the beautiful statues that now are a tourist attraction; amputated hands that were found under some of them speak of the human cost. There is evidence that the Moai altars were a source of competition between different tribes and that many sculptures were destroyed in moments of conflict and war. Not only human lives were sacrificed, but also all natural resources of the island fell victim to the ambitious constructions. One could argue that parallels can be found to the contemporary transnational competition for the biggest skyscraper.
Climate Change is one of the most pressing challenges of humankind today. According to the latest UNESCO report the international community has only 12 more years to act upon the ongoing changes, yet an unwarranted, paralysing optimism persists. How can we learn from Easter Island’s civilisation which caused their own tragic end? How must the person have felt who cut down the last tree of the Island?
In this session, we will discuss the history of Easter Island and its similarities to our contemporary society. It will be led by Tere Chad who has visited the Island twice and has collaborated with Cristián Arévalo Pakarati for her Jewellery Project ‘Fusión-Haka Piri’. Cristián is an Easter Islander archaeologist and designer, Co-Director of Easter Island Statue Project, who contributed with her research to Diamond’s chapter.
How can a society choose complete deforestation in order to construct sculptures?
Why did representation become more rational and minimal during times of crisis?
Which role played fertility and the representation of the vulva.
Why is iconography repeatedly binary?
What are our contemporary Moais (stone sculptures)?
How is the arts scene in Easter Island nowadays?
How can society be so fragmented on only 163,6km2?
Alter Us is an emergent London based multidisciplinary collective that attempts to question and offer solutions regarding our contemporary context. Their concerns relate to the challenges presented by the Anthropocene, sustainability, disconnection, individualism, Artificial Intelligence, inequalities, among others.
Wondering God: A study in Nomadic Spirituality / Morris Berman
Deshumanización del Arte / José Ortega y Gasset
The Naked Ape / Desmond Morris
Easter Island / Jo Anne Van Tilburg
Touch / David Linden
Psychopolitics: Neoliberalism and New Technologies of Power / Byung – Chul Han
Monthly reading group for artists, researchers and anyone interested in the intersections between art practice and critical theory. Everyone is welcome to propose a text and facilitate the reading group. Please book your place and download the shared document. For more information and an archive of previous events please scroll down.
Free & open access
The reading group is free and open to everyone who wants to join as long as they commit to the reading. Please register and arrive early, doors will close when we reach maximum capacity. Don’t forget to download the shared document and bring a hard-copy to the book club. Please consider donating to help cover our expenses and keep us going. Alternatively, you can donate via this link.
Discussion & decision-making
Texts are selected by group consensus on the basis that they reflect on the relationship between practice and theory. This includes a broad variety of texts, from philosophy to politics and aesthetics to science fiction – there is no limitation.
Facilitating the book club
[SYMPOSIUM] is a supportive community of peers who discuss and unpack their research interests. All participants have the opportunity to facilitate the book club on a text of their choice. If you would like to propose a text, you can start preparing right now:
 Decide on a text that you want to discuss.
 Do some background research and write a short introduction to provide some context, from your own perspective. When was it written? Why was it written? Who wrote it? Was it a response to something else? Why are you interested in the text? How does it relate to, or inform, your practice or your research?
 Pace the reading. How long is the text? If it is short, can we discuss the entire text in a 2-hour book club? If the text is long you may need to divide it up between two or more sessions.
 Write down some questions that you would like to bring to the discussion. Suggest some further reading and an image or two, with captions.
 Download the infosheet and send us your proposal.