collective self-education in the arts and culture…

Post-pedagogy :: Miško Šuvaković

The term ‘post-pedagogy’ was coined by American ‘Derridean’ theoretician Gregory L. Ulmer referring to the concept of ’scene of writing’ of Jacques Derrida.[1] In Ulmer’s book Applied Grammatology ‘post-pedagogy’ has been applied to the completely different authors such as the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, caries sculptor and performance artist Joseph Beuys, film director Sergei Eisenstein, and theatre director Antonin Artaud. For Ulmer the term post(e)-pedagogy indicates a move beyond conventional pedagogy in order to establish pedagogy in the era of electronic media.

I will assign several different possibilities to the concept of post-pedagogy:

(1) opening-up of the traditional pedagogic process (process of transmission of ‘ideas’ /knowledge/ from the teacher to the student) towards research or behavioural work of equal collaborators that learn from each other[2];

(2) anarchistic destruction of the cannons, rules, criteria, and laws of pedagogy, by performing pedagogical situation as luddism and emancipating act of creation[3];

(3) annulation (destruction, deconstruction, relativisation, decentralisation) of one’s own status of ‘teacher as the proprietor of knowledge’[4];

(4) establishing theoretical or pedagogical lecture as open, nomadic, and interactive artwork[5];

(5) execution of theoretical, auto-poetical, or pedagogical lecture as an event that can not be precisely identified as a lecture in theoretical sense, as an artwork (meta-representation), or as a sort of promotional workshop[6];

(6) establishing  the act of theoretical delivery as a stage event, or in the mode of a stage event, with elaborating special rhetorical-verbal, behavioural, and media examples, or articulations-and-attractions of lecture or instruction[7];

(7) situating the act of theoretical delivery in the system of media reproductive communication (radio, television, LP records, CDs)[8];

(8) execution of theoretical act of delivery in the system of interactive electronic media (computer network or multimedia and VR)[9] – with the possibility of reply from the listener and his/her intervention in the frame of proposed lecturer’s themes and explications;

(9) establishing any artistic practice as the basic model (body) by which representation, proxy, demonstration, or signifying performance (testing) of theoretical propositions and possibilities is executed.[10]

What is important for understanding post-pedagogy is that the term ‘pedagogy’ is redefined (transformed, transfigured) as ‘productive practice of performance’ on a real or fictional ’stage’ (screen). Pedagogical act is not transmission of a ‘crystallised knowledge’ from one subject (subject-master of knowledge) to the other (subject-without knowledge), but a set-up of possibilities for different individuals to construct themselves as subjects of knowledge in a conceptually demonstrative manner, by the means of theoretical, artistic or cultural-media material apparatuses. Those are actually dynamic interactive epistemologies or theory at work.

[1] Gregory L. Ulmer (1987), Applied Grammatology; Post(e)-pedagogy from Jacques Lacan to Joseph Beuys, Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkinks University Press

[2] That process of studying through research was elaborated in the Art&Language group in the early 70es. For example, Therry Atkinson and Michel Baldwin define it with a following scheme: “Searched by the index of = def. A-L(x)(if x is a member of A-L then (($y) x learns a from y and x ¹ y))”.

[3] John Cage used it in his university lectures. One of his post-pedagogical gestures is giving the highest mark ‘A’ at the beginning of the course, without assesing the knowledge that is usually done at the end of the course.

[4] For example, Tzvetan Todorov speaks of late Roland Barthes as a ‘thinker’ and ‘writer’ who overturns the discourse of the teacher. He says that Barthes’ books are not deliveries of ideas, but verbal gestures (action writing).

[5] For example, lectures of Joseph Beuys executed as an art event (performance, happening, action).

[6] For example, lectures of Robert Wilson held as some kind of pedagogical or theoretical performance, thematising and interpreting his own theatre poetics.

[7] This sort of lecture practice was utilised by many. In modern history, we could refer to lectures by Martin Heidegger or Ludwig Wittgenstein, subject of many anecdotes. For example, Heidegger’s singing, or Wittgenstein’s laying on the floor of the classroom while he lectures. But the notion of conceptualy aimed theatralisation of lectural-pedagogical act can be found in Lacan’s lectures on mathemes or his TV performance and lecture he held for the medium of television about television. We can also mention, for example, lectures of philosopher Jacques Derrida, philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, theoretician of culture Boris Groys, etc.

[8] Many examples could be mentioned from John Cage to Lacan, Derrida or Slavoj Žižek.

[9] The examples are different and there are many net-artists or theoreticians whose work communicates through pedagogical modes by means of www (for example critical art ensemble).

[10] The example are theoretical-theatrical or theoretical performances of the group TkH – Teorija Koja Hoda (Walking Theory). TkH worked with theoretical constructions that were realised through public performance in order to show the body of theory.

Open Source Procedures in Education :: Marta Popivoda

With paradigmatic switch toward immaterial production and digital technologies, drugs when every copy is identical to original, buy more about and every information potentially gift, which doesn’t deprive the one who is giving, proprietary is emerging as a point on which the power of the ruling class is reviling and demonstrating its position in the hierarchical class order. Intellectual property is one of the most controversial issues of this complex mechanism, and it has become very problematic in the domain of ICT, Internet and www, because the protocols and procedures of sharing and open access to the information are already inscribed in the materiality of these media.

Critics of intellectual property in the domain of digital technologies, and even broader, contemporary culture and society (e.g. Richard Stallman, McKenzie Wark) point out that the property in the most cases doesn’t even belong to the producers/workers (writers, programmers, artists), but to agents like publishers, software companies, galleries, museums, theater houses, etc.[1] At this point we are coming to the question of the “symbolic proprietary”, which I consider crucial for the context of actual knowledge production. Today, in the context of post-Fordist production the most influential regulative system is proprietary over concepts, notions, information, paradigms, and history. In this way they are being commodified and thus they are maintaining vertical, hierarchical order between “the one who knows and the one who doesn’t know”, “the one who is audible and the one who is inaudible”, “the one who is visible and the one who is invisible”.

As a critical reaction to these categorizations I consider independent collective self-learning and implementation of open source procedures in learning process as one of the possible modes for hacking the information, and its actualization as knowledge. It enables cracking the codes of institutional education and freely taking over the methodologies, their re-appropriation and implementation in our own procedures directed beyond actual proprietorship toward knowledge that will not take the position of the commodity and close its code.

The term Open Source originally comes from the Free Software movement. Free Software – as an opposition to proprietary software – implies four essential freedoms. Freedom 0 is the freedom to run the program; 1 is the freedom to study and modify the program, and the ability to access the Source Code is prerequisite for this freedom; 2 is the freedom to redistribute copies; and 3 is the freedom to improve the program and distribute the improvements for the benefit of others.[2] What I would like to emphasize is that the term Free Software addresses the freedom of equal access to the information, and open source is methodology through which this principle can be achieved. This distinction is what makes open source procedures applicable in different contexts, like art and education.

Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt (in Empire) open the copyleft issue with the assumption that today is much easier to re-configure proprietary relations, in difference to former capitalistic systems. That is because the crucial proprietary now is not the proprietary over the material means of production: machines, but over immaterial means: human mind, thought, imagination, creativity, intellect. And this is the potentiality, which makes implementation of open source procedures in artistic education the crucial element in the (class) struggle for free information.

[1] McKenzie Wark (2006), Hakerski manifest (A Hacker Manifesto), Zagreb: Multimedijalni institut

[2] See Tomislav Medak, “Open Source Paradigm in the Arts”

Education and Self-learning :: Bojan Djordjev

Recently, surgery many critical educational as well as artistic-educational projects are about finding a more appropriate term to replace education. That is why education in the title is crossed out – as an appeal for a new, alternative term.

Etymologically speaking, the word education is derived from the Latin educare meaning “to raise”, “to bring up”, “to train”, “to rear”, via “educatio/nis”, bringing up, raising. Lately, there has been a return to an alternative assertion that education derives from a different verb: educere, meaning “to lead out” or “to lead forth” (Wikipedia). This other version of etymology implies to lead out of something to something else, from one state to another. Like leading out of darkness. I would also emphasize that this meaning implies that someone is leading someone else – in the case of education (i.e. in traditional western system of education) a teacher who leads a student out of darkness of ignorance, lack of knowledge – to the state of possession of knowledge. This notion of someone instructing someone else – the master of knowledge instructing the one with less or no knowledge, is the reason why the alternatives to traditional notions of education distinguish themselves also by adding prefix self to the term, as an immediate, most visible distinction. So the first thing to be done is to avoid the authoritarian position of the teacher as the only proprietor of ‘knowledge’, or as Jacques Rancière puts it:

The pedagogical myth [that of instruction being the art of explication] divides the world into two. More precisely, it divides intelligence in two. It says that there is an inferior intelligence and a superior one. The former registers perceptions by chance, retains them, interprets and repeats them empirically, within the closed circle of habit and need. This is the intelligence of the young child and the common man. The superior intelligence knows things by reason, proceeds by method, from the simple to the complex, from the part to the whole.[1]

The s-o-s project technique of self-education is based on the Rancière’s theorization of the example of ‘ignorant schoolmaster’ Joseph Jacotot, and Gregory Ulmer’s concept of post(e)-pedagogy. Utilising these concepts in self-learning should in fact, cross out the ‘other’, the lecturer from education’s etymology. The s-o-s project in that sense, relies on the book(s, texts) as the source on the one, and on free discussion between equals that re-signifies each other’s experiences, on the other hand.

[1] Jacques Rancière (1991), The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation, Stanford Cal: Stanford University Press, p. 7

Commodification of Knowledge :: Iva Nenić

Production and management of knowledge (the way information is created, find presented, infection archived, malady transmitted, shared, judged) is subjected to the material conditions of a given historical moment and specificity of cultural educational practices. The very object of knowledge is rapidly changing in postindustrial societies due to growing speed of technological development and the resulting ubiquitousness of information. The logic of capital has penetrated contemporary field of education, changing the concept of knowledge from “an organized body of information” to “informational commodity”. As Louis Althusser warned, “the ideological State apparatus which has been installed in the dominant position in mature capitalist social formations as a result of a violent political and ideological class struggle against the old dominant ideological State apparatus is the educational ideological apparatus”.[1] Late capitalism regulates the learning process in such a manner, whereas the “dominant ideology” is not mere implementation of a State hegemonic principle, but more profound change at the very core of educational systems. Knowledge is commercialized, the relevance and amount of information is rapidly growing, new technologies are conditio sine qua non of any learning process. Thus Jean François Lyotard states, that “[k]nowledge is and will be produced in order to be sold, it is and will be consumed in order to be valorized in a new production: in both cases, the goal is exchange”.[2] This also affects the role of learning: today, it is not to know for “one’s own purposes”, but to utilize the knowledge in the educational market, to make the most of one’s abilities and imagination. Knowledge as a commodity-for-sale is the hallmark of late capitalism’s hegemonic know-how approach, where quick grappling the information (having right speed and location) is more important then pursuing individual creativity outside conventional institutional framework. The value of immaterial labor, creativity and innovation, on the other hand, is recognized by the market resulting in emergent “parasitic exploitation of the immaterial domain by the material one”[3].

Commodification of knowledge, then, is a process of transformation taking place at the basis of educational system and also a present dominant condition of knowledge. The call for counteraction in the sense of various forms of critique and counterhegemony, aims towards both theory and practice. The question is how to think the value of knowledge today and how to develop open and self-reflective means of education differing from conventional teaching and learning. These strategies must take in account both global and local circumstances such as digital divide and societal inequalities, in order to trace particular needs and build context-specific tactics of combating the ruling logic of today’s cognitive capitalism.

[1] Louis Althusser (1971), “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses”, in Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays, New York and London: Monthly Review Press, pp. 127-187, 152.

[2] Jean François Lyotard (1984), The Postmodern Condition: A report on knowledge, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, p. 4.

[3] Matteo Pasquinelli, “Immaterial Civil War: Prototypes of Conflicts Within Cognitive Capitalism”, Barcelona, September 2006, p. 8

Open call for participation at DESCHOOLING CLASSROOM(o^o) project 2009/10

29.03.2010. u 20:00h, pharm
Narodni univerzitet “Božidar Adžija”,
Radoslava Grujića 3 (nekadašnja ulica Božidara Adžije)
predavanje: “Metoda jednakosti: politika i poetika”


30.03.2010. u 20:30h,
Jugoslovensko dramsko pozorište,
Kralja Milana 50 (nekadašnja ulica Maršala Tita)
razgovor “Emancipovani gledalac/ emancipovani stvaralac”,


Mislilac jednakosti i emancipacije, Žak RANSIJER ostavlja već danas
neizbrisiv trag na terenu primenjene pedagogije, politike, estetike.

29.03.2010. u 20:00h, Narodni univerzitet “Božidar Adžija”,
predavanje: “Metoda jednakosti: politika i poetika”

30.03.2010. u 20:30h, Jugoslovensko dramsko pozorište, razgovor
“Emancipovani gledalac/ emancipovani stvaralac”, prema tezama iz
knjige autora.

(tekst “The Emancipated Spectator” možete pogledati na ovom sajtu

Predavanja su na engleskom, uz konsekutivni prevod

ulaz slobodan.

Jacques Ranciere

Jacques Rancière je ona vrsta intelektualca kojoj je zaista teško dodjeliti neko mjesto na intelektualnoj karti sveta. Kojom god temom da se bavi, pedagogijom, filmom, književnošću, političkom teorijom ili estetikom, njegova će metoda biti pronalaženje raskoraka značenja u svakome od tih tematskih krajolika i održavanje trajne napetosti među tim značenjima. Samo je tako moguće oduprijeti se reduktivističkoj kušnji odnosno kušnji amputacije jednog dijela stvarnosti kako bismo lakše potvrdili svoju tezu. Rancière tako po definiciji ne pripada nijednoj filozofskoj školi ili struji, ali zato dijeli jedno suštinsko iskustvo svoje generacije kojemu će uvijek biti vjeran: događaj pariškog Svibnja ‘68. Polazeći od iskustva i refleksije tog događaja, Ransijer će izgraditi vlastitu ideju politike koja se temelji na jednakosti, kao i svojevrsnu teoriju emancipacije. Upravo će se pomoću te teorije intelektualne emancipacije odreći svih onih draži u kojima filozofi, ali i naučnici obično najviše uživaju: a to je pozicija onoga koji zna, pozicija više inteligencije.

U organizaciji:
Beograd: Edicija Jugoslavija, Studentski kulturni centar Novi Sad
Zagreb: Mulitmedijalni institut
Rijeka: Mulitmedijalni institut u suradnji s Drugim morem
Ljubljana: Delavsko-punkerska univerza

Besplatan prevoz za sve zainteresovane iz Novog Sada organizovan je
29. marta 2010., sa parkinga ispred gimnazije Isidora Sekulic, sa
polaskom u 17:30h. Povratak je nakon završetka predavanja. Prijave
slati na, pod šifrom: autobus-Ransijer. Broj mesta
je ograničen.

Pogledati online:

DESCHOOLING CLASSROOM(o^o) project 2009/10

[Collective self-education in the arts and culture]

TkH and Kontrapunkt announce the call for participation at the one-year Deschooling Classroom project for collective self-education. The project is aimed to students, hair
cultural workers and emerging professionals in the fields of contemporary art and culture from Serbia and Macedonia.

Deschooling Classroom project addresses the contemporary independent cultural scenes in the region and aims to research and promote alternatives 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.

The project is organised by TkH (Walking Theory) platform for performing arts theory and practice from Belgrade ( in partnership with organization Kontrapunkt, from Skopje (, and financially supported by the Swiss Cultural Programme in the Western Balkans.


The participants will go through the process of collective self-education and simultaneously will develop collaborative cultural initiatives in working groups.

The working groups will be created according to various themes and fields of interest of the selected applicants, such as: curating in visual and non-visual arts, interdisciplinary dramaturgy, free software and open source technology, words and images, etc. All the working groups have regional character and include 6-8 members from both Belgrade and Skopje.

The participants will create the contents and projects through the following activities:

* Open Week is a five-day event, consisting of workshops, lectures and presentations. The open week will be organised in Belgrade, in June 12-16, 2009, and it is departing points for each group. The Open Day will take place in Skopje on June 1, as a presentation of the project to the local audience and to the potential applicants interested in participating the project and its launch during the Open Week (Belgrade, 13-16 June).

* Summer School is intense one-week educational event. It is created by the participants of all groups, for themselves and also for the others interested in the topics, especially those from the region. The summer school will be organised in Ohrid in August 16-23, 2009.

* Incubator comprises of a six-month collaborative work of the working groups. Their curricula will be designed by the participants, and include a continual self-educational process of the groups in Belgrade and Skopje via video link, and programmes facilitated by invited guest lecturers.

* Timeshare Campus is an accommodation/work structure offered by the project to the groups in the period of March and April 2010 to facilitate collaboration during the time of preparing collective cultural initiatives. The collaborative works can be e.g. video, fanzine, installation, web site, etc. They will be publicly presented in the region after the project’s completion.


Both individuals and groups can apply.

Any discrimination on ethnic, gender, generational, sexual, religious, etc. basis is not accepted within this project.

Please send your application consisting of:

-          narrative biography (up to 500 words);

-          one example of your work (in any media);

-          one page motivation letter, with indicates field of interest; and

-          your contact (email and cell phone).

-          In case of a group application please indicate potential collaborators.


Deschooling Classroom

Deadline: June 17, 2009.

The decisions will be announced by June 19, 2009.

For further information please visit:, or contact us at:

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