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collective self-education in the arts and culture…

Self-organization :: Ana Vilenica

In the context of contemporary society and particularly art and culture marked by transition from social function of politics to the function of economy, ed the question of organization is becoming a crucial point.

In the text DagegenDabei Nicolas Siepen defines self-organization as concept witch is giving a “specific meaning to a general term of collectiveness”.[1] This author is making a difference between leftist and rightist concepts of collectiveness. Self-organization comes from the leftist arsenal, stuff and is on opposite side in relation to the rightist terms and concepts marked by intolerance towards conflicts “within that might be visible on the outside.” In that sense self-organization presupposes flexible “we”, check different from static “we” which is in opposition to “the other”. This flexible “we”, according to Siepen, is in fact “we, the others”. One of key terms connected to self-organization, according to Iskra Gešoska, is solidarity. She understands this term as a path towards transparency of the Self, trough flexibility towards Otherness.[2]

Term self-organization is connected with theory of complex systems. It presents one of the most sophisticated and most complex systems. It generates from its own inside dynamic, without being guided or managed by an outside source. In that sense, self-organization doesn’t implicate, in any way, disorganization, or non-organization. Self-organized system is always generative, in the sense that it is not hierarchically structured and thus enables multiple flows of information. It is organized from bellow or bottom-up, and not top-down, like institutional models.

In practical/political sense self-organization can be understood as a way of resistance or a way of intervention into existing models of organization.

Self-organization in art is a model of organization witch opens a possibility for creation of alternative spaces inside of existing institutionally organized network.

In relation to s-o-s project this means: collaborators are building for themselves alternative educational model in non-hierarchical and rhizomatic way of collaboration, every one is involved in all segments of project: organization, decision-making process, research, etc.

This kind of model is in close relationship with the term (workers’) self-management.

According to: TkH, Journal for Performing Arts Theory, no 11: Self-organization issue, Belgrade, October 2006


[1] Nicolas Siepen, »DagegenDabei / Thereby Against; Fight for Relevance, or the Relation between self-organisation, institutionalisation and Power (Berlin)«, TkH no. 11: Self-organization issue, Belgrade, 2006, p. 80

[2] Iskra Gešoska, “The Archaeology of Solidarity”, TkH no. 11, Belgrade, 2006,  p. 76

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Category: Dictionary of Self-education

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Deschooling Classroom

Deschooling Classroom is a project that addresses the contemporary independent cultural scenes in the region, researching and offering an alternative to the hierarchical models of education in the art and culture. Methodologically, the project moves away from the concepts of individual authorship and expertise, and advocates open collective educational structures where self-organised communities facilitate horizontal production, exchange and distribution of knowledge.