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collective self-education in the arts and culture…

(Srpski) Kritička pedagogija :: Iskra Gešoska

related concepts and terms: research, no rx art practice as research, experiment, de-institutionalization, deschooling, self-organization, methodology, open source

Current cultural-artistic initiatives and conditions of work at the independents scenes today require new formats of education, learning, knowledge production and sharing, that go beyond models established in official educational institutions. As the scenes grow, the formats become more articulated and organized, thus emphasizing the importance of the process of self-organized learning in collective instead of gained amount of knowledge as the result of this process. Besides, the articulation of the formats render their methodologies available for sharing, further applying and/or improving by others. It also prevents us from over-enthusiastic understanding them.

Among characteristic organized formats of work in collective self-education, one can find: workshop, laboratory, working group or workgroup, and reading group.

Workshop and laboratory, as we know them in contemporary art and culture, are similar formats, sometimes considered variants. Moreover their etymology is the same – both are about “work” or “labor”. However, they are not the same nor at practical neither on conceptual level.[1]

Workshop is the most often about skills or similar particular (piece of) knowledge. It is realized as organized passing on of certain technique, specific knowledge, skill, experience, or method. Workshop is led by a workshop leader (up to 3) who already has or knows that technique, skill etc, and includes several participants who are interested in it. In collective self-education, a group gathered around common interest or aim is the one who invites certain workshop leader according to its concrete need. Workshop is framed in time, and it usually lasts from one day to one week. Laboratory is meant as wider and less organized infrastructure for artificial providing optimal conditions for experiments, discussions, and creative processes of a group of collaborators. An educational laboratory shouldn’t be led; it rather gathers horizontally collaborators in a cultural-artistic process in order to put certain subjects in question, to test methods, or to try new solutions and ideas. Therefore, there is usually a moderator or facilitator – instead of leader – of the laboratory. Laboratory can be realized without predetermined duration, as an open process, but because of economic reasons it is actually a rare case and it usually appears as a problem-solving format.

Speaking conceptually, although work is starting point for both workshop and laboratory, it is treated differently. Work-shop (in previous periods connected with crafts) is about “selling and buying” knowledge that can be integrated in future work of the participants. On the other hand, laboratory (from lat. laborare > laboratorium “a place for labor or work”) is about improving the work through extending knowledge about it, inventing it, questioning it, or destabilizing its premises by putting it into an experimental situation.[2]

Working group in the addressed field is a community gathered around common educational aim: particular task, research project, problematics, topics… It is temporary format motivated just by the aim, and after it is completed working group disintegrates. Number of members, their roles, as well as duration and organization of a working group depend on the very members and type of the aim. In the situation of collective self-education this format implies a “post-pedagogical” shifting the roles of those who know and those who are taught, those who ask questions and those who give answers. In that way each member of the group can learn from the others and learn them, orient the work of the group and follow the stream proposed by someone else. Because of the complexity caused by multi-directional “togetherness” of educational process and one predetermined aim on the other hand, working group requires precise organizational structure and decision-making process. Otherwise it can easily transforms in standard hierarchical educational or research situation.[3]

Reading group is also a temporary educational community, but whose work is intellectually orientated and focused on studying certain literature. It is usually not motivated by a particular task or aim, but by common field of interest and will to research on it by reading, discussing and thinking in a collective situation (but without a request for togetherness). Typical form of work within reading group is “seminar”. It is practiced also in official high education, when a group of students self-organize themselves in order to read together certain book or author. This kind of work concentrated around written material implies Rancierean horizontal educational situation, where “the book” is material artifact that engages directly all present intelligences in equally valuable understanding and interpreting it.[4] From the process of work within a reading group who benefits the most are the individual participants, who can work separately from each other and whose collaboration within the group don’t necessarily requires solidarity or common vision of cultural or artistic practice. However, it can be a starting point for certain group work or action in future.


[1] See more about art practice as research, laboratory and experiment in contemporary art in Ana Vujanovic: entries “Reasearch, Laboratory/Experiment”, and “Open Work”, Performance Research: Lexicon, vol. 11/ no. 3, Routledge, London, 2007.

[2] See more about popularity of research and labs in contemporary performing arts in Mårten Spångberg: “Overwhelming, The Doing of Research” (manuscript), 2006.

[3] See more in Oxana Timofeeva, “From the ‘Inoperative Community’ to the ‘Workgroup’”, at http://magazines.documenta.de/frontend/article.php?IdLanguage=1&NrArticle=702, May 17, 2009 / “Od ‘neoperativne zajednice’ do ‘radne grupe’”, TkH, no. 13, Belgrade, 2007.

[4] More precisely it is the situation of professor Jacotot; see: Jacques Ranciere, The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991.

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Community-Based Knowledge :: Vladimir Jankovski

Many of today’s experts in the areas of  education, urologist economy and community development have come to the conclusion that educational institutions alone can not prepare pupils and students for what awaits them after they complete their formal education. The key proponents of the new educational tendencies are advocating the introduction of new approaches that would unite study related activities conducted within the institutions with experiences and knowledge already existing in the community where they live and work.

Students frequently complain that the classes they attend are irrelevant and are not substantially related to what is happening outside the classroom. Because of this situation, shop they are very often not motivated to study, nurse because they perceive the educational process as something imposed, rather than as an exciting opportunity to improve themselves and contribute for the benefit of others. During the last few decades there has been a growing consensus on the need to change the educational systems. However, this reform should not be focused only on what is to be the subject of study, but also on how and where the educational process is to be conducted. Setting aside the idea that the place of the educational process lies solely in educational institutions  creates an opportunity for the process  to be  “opened” to such concepts as self-education, education carried out as part of the work of NGO’s, civic sector activities, activism, etc.

These concepts use the term community-based knowledge as a broad framework for the processes which encompass “service learning” (a method under which students or participants learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organised service that is conducted in and meets the needs of the community), experimental learning, school-to-work learning, internships, life-long learning, etc. It is important in this context to point out that the emphasis has been  on the desire of those involved in the educational process to learn or acquire skills related to those community aspects for which they think will be the most beneficial to their professional advancement and development.

In this context, the term “community” refers to schools, as well as all other formal and informal institutions in the place where the person involved in the educational process lives. The concept of community has been extended to include all sources of education that can be found and used on the internet.

The community-base learning principles apply to the changing nature of society, the person learning, the learning process, as well as to the sources of learning. The basic principles can be defined as follows:

-         Education must be seen as a continuous process which starts from pre-school age,  is carried out through various formal educational institutions, for then to continue as a life-long educational process for adults;

-         Learning is something that the individual does for him or herself. That’s why the process requires complete involvement both of the learner and the professor/mentor;

-         The future needs of employers will be focused not only on highly educated individuals, but also on  individuals with a versatile knowledge set including critical thinking, team work, as well as the ability to apply  acquired knowledge;

-         The problems facing educational workers are broader than the opportunities available to schools to solve them. For this reason, the involvement of the general community and all agencies working in the area of knowledge and its application is of key importance.

One of the more interesting aspects of this process is the dialogical relation between various different areas. Thus, according to Poulsen, this is a “method of learning/teaching which brings together the experience of community service with academic knowledge, personal advancement and civic responsibility “. (Poulsen, 1994)

Until know, the educational systems have been focused primarily on teaching. However, this has been changing in recent years, with the focus being re-directed from teaching to learning, from externally determined “expert” curricula and methodologies, towards learner-centred knowledge, based on experience and linking of knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to function in the dramatically changing world in which we live in.

According to Hamilton, the role of mentors in the community-based learning process has been problematic and critically perceived. The mentors provide advice and encouragement to the participants in the process, sharing their knowledge and experiences as part of a personal and long-term relation. (Hamilton 1990, p. 156). This is a reason more to pay special attention to the process itself. Along those lines, Berryman and Bailey point out that “passive, fragmentary and decontextualised trainings organised around the idea of providing true answers adds up to ineffective learning “. (Berryman and Bailey, 1992.)

Erica Sorohan sums up her experiences from this area in the following 5 key aspects:

-         We position learning within our own personal experience, which is why we learn best when we manage the learning process ourselves;

-         We learn most effectively when we learn in some context, which is why learning  should be directly related to work;

-         We learn from those around us, which is why we should be able to communicate and cooperate openly and freely with others;

-         We constantly generate knowledge, which is why we need to know how to encompass what we know and how to share it with others;

-         We learn unconsciously, which is why we need to learn how to recognise and question our implicit assumptions. (Erica Sorohan, 1993)

References:

Berryman, S., and Bailey, T. The Double Helix of Education and the Economy. New York: The Institute on Education and the Economy, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1992.

Hamilton, S. F. Apprenticeship for Adulthood: Preparing Youth for the Future. New York: The Free Press, 1990.

Poulsen, S. Learning is the Thing: Insights Emerging From a National Conference on Service-Learning, School Reform, and Higher Education. Roseville, MN: National Youth Leadership Council, 1994.

Sorohan, E. “We Do; Therefore, We Learn.” Training and Development 47/10 (October, 1993): 47-55.

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Formats of Work in Collective Self-education :: Ana Vujanović

related concepts and terms: research, dermatologist art practice as research, experiment, de-institutionalization, deschooling, self-organization, methodology, open source

Current cultural-artistic initiatives and conditions of work at the independents scenes today require new formats of education, learning, knowledge production and sharing, that go beyond models established in official educational institutions. As the scenes grow, the formats become more articulated and organized, thus emphasizing the importance of the process of self-organized learning in collective instead of gained amount of knowledge as the result of this process. Besides, the articulation of the formats render their methodologies available for sharing, further applying and/or improving by others. It also prevents us from over-enthusiastic understanding them.

Among characteristic organized formats of work in collective self-education, one can find: workshop, laboratory, working group or workgroup, and reading group.

Workshop and laboratory, as we know them in contemporary art and culture, are similar formats, sometimes considered variants. Moreover their etymology is the same – both are about “work” or “labor”. However, they are not the same nor at practical neither on conceptual level.[1]

Workshop is the most often about skills or similar particular (piece of) knowledge. It is realized as organized passing on of certain technique, specific knowledge, skill, experience, or method. Workshop is led by a workshop leader (up to 3) who already has or knows that technique, skill etc, and includes several participants who are interested in it. In collective self-education, a group gathered around common interest or aim is the one who invites certain workshop leader according to its concrete need. Workshop is framed in time, and it usually lasts from one day to one week. Laboratory is meant as wider and less organized infrastructure for artificial providing optimal conditions for experiments, discussions, and creative processes of a group of collaborators. An educational laboratory shouldn’t be led; it rather gathers horizontally collaborators in a cultural-artistic process in order to put certain subjects in question, to test methods, or to try new solutions and ideas. Therefore, there is usually a moderator or facilitator – instead of leader – of the laboratory. Laboratory can be realized without predetermined duration, as an open process, but because of economic reasons it is actually a rare case and it usually appears as a problem-solving format.

Speaking conceptually, although work is starting point for both workshop and laboratory, it is treated differently. Work-shop (in previous periods connected with crafts) is about “selling and buying” knowledge that can be integrated in future work of the participants. On the other hand, laboratory (from lat. laborare > laboratorium “a place for labor or work”) is about improving the work through extending knowledge about it, inventing it, questioning it, or destabilizing its premises by putting it into an experimental situation.[2]

Working group in the addressed field is a community gathered around common educational aim: particular task, research project, problematics, topics… It is temporary format motivated just by the aim, and after it is completed working group disintegrates. Number of members, their roles, as well as duration and organization of a working group depend on the very members and type of the aim. In the situation of collective self-education this format implies a “post-pedagogical” shifting the roles of those who know and those who are taught, those who ask questions and those who give answers. In that way each member of the group can learn from the others and learn them, orient the work of the group and follow the stream proposed by someone else. Because of the complexity caused by multi-directional “togetherness” of educational process and one predetermined aim on the other hand, working group requires precise organizational structure and decision-making process. Otherwise it can easily transforms in standard hierarchical educational or research situation.[3]

Reading group is also a temporary educational community, but whose work is intellectually orientated and focused on studying certain literature. It is usually not motivated by a particular task or aim, but by common field of interest and will to research on it by reading, discussing and thinking in a collective situation (but without a request for togetherness). Typical form of work within reading group is “seminar”. It is practiced also in official high education, when a group of students self-organize themselves in order to read together certain book or author. This kind of work concentrated around written material implies Rancierean horizontal educational situation, where “the book” is material artifact that engages directly all present intelligences in equally valuable understanding and interpreting it.[4] From the process of work within a reading group who benefits the most are the individual participants, who can work separately from each other and whose collaboration within the group don’t necessarily requires solidarity or common vision of cultural or artistic practice. However, it can be a starting point for certain group work or action in future.


[1] See more about art practice as research, laboratory and experiment in contemporary art in Ana Vujanovic: entries “Reasearch, Laboratory/Experiment”, and “Open Work”, Performance Research: Lexicon, vol. 11/ no. 3, Routledge, London, 2007.

[2] See more about popularity of research and labs in contemporary performing arts in Mårten Spångberg: “Overwhelming, The Doing of Research” (manuscript), 2006.

[3] See more in Oxana Timofeeva, “From the ‘Inoperative Community’ to the ‘Workgroup’”, at http://magazines.documenta.de/frontend/article.php?IdLanguage=1&NrArticle=702, May 17, 2009 / “Od ‘neoperativne zajednice’ do ‘radne grupe’”, TkH, no. 13, Belgrade, 2007.

[4] More precisely it is the situation of professor Jacotot; see: Jacques Ranciere, The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991.

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Deschooling :: Suzana Milevska

related terms: deinstitutionalisation, disease self-education, search informal education, here homeschooling, life-long-learning, networked learning / learning webs, self-organisation, vernacular

The critical term deschooling is not at all about a kind of Pink Floydian “we don’t need no education”. It is not about being done with education all together and it does not entail any calling to riots against schooling. Before all it questions what kind of education should replace the institutionalised, monopolised, hierarchicised and commodified education as we know it for centuries. Although deschooling resonates a kind of poststructuralist and deconstructionist model of critical interpretation of the power regimes of knowledge based control society and education system of control (think Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze) we actually owe the term “deschooling” to Ivan Illich. He coined the term deschooling in 1971 in his “old-skool” book Deschooling Society. [i]

Ivan Illich was an Austrian philosopher, social critic, polymath and polyglot. As a priest (actually he resigned the Roman Catholic church later in his life) he travelled and lived in various places (Mexico, United States, Germany) where he committed to different human causes. He was a precursor of postcolonial critique of the church interpreting its emissaries and foreign missions as a form of industrial hegemony and, as such, an act of “war on subsistence.” More importantly, he has argued for the creation of convivial, rather than manipulative institutions, for universal and self-directed education and intentional social relations in fluid, informal arrangements. Although sometimes referring to already exhisting ideas of Everett Reimer and Basil Yeaxlee, his work is uniquely bold and reflects his critical stances on the corrupted institutions of contemporary Western culture and their effects based on the provenance and accepted practices of education, medicine, work, traffic, energy use, and economic development. He has clearly pointed out the frequent confusion of teaching with learning, grade pursuing with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new.

One comes to several interconnected ideas within the call for deschooling. One of the most important and most advanced of all alternatives to the institutionalised education is the early concept of networked learning found in Illich’s work. Before even Internet was widely spread he wrote that the most radical alternative to school would be a network or service which gave each man the same opportunity to share his current concern with others motivated by the same concern. [ii]His description of the eventual networked learning system sounds extremely innovative and at moments even prophetic for the period:

The operation of a peer-matching network would be simple. The user would identify himself by name and address and describe the activity for which he sought a peer. A computer would send him back the names and addresses of all those who had inserted the same description. It is amazing that such a simple utility has never been used on a broad scale for publicly valued activity. [iii]

Neetworked learning is an important leap that helps us understand the relevance of Illich’s radical thinking regarding changes needed in education for the launch of more contemporary discussions on self-education. It is a process of developing and maintaining connections with people and information, and communicating in such a way so as to support one another’s learning. If the institutionalisation of education is considered to tend towards the institutionalisation of society, coversevely he held that the ideas for de-institutionalising education are the starting point for a de-institutionalised society.

Network learning (similarly to community based learning) was coined much later and is based on the principles of learning where individuals establish an online identity and formulate relationships with other people and information to communicate and develop knowledge. However, regardless to its technological difference it sounds exactly as Illich’s profecy:

The current search for new educational funnels must be reversed into the search for their institutional inverse: educational webs which heighten the opportunity for each one to transform each moment of his living into one of learning, sharing, and caring. [iv]

The concept of vernacular is related mostly to the way in which thought language neglects mother tongue but obviously for Illich the process of destabilization of the vernacular language was also the starting point for establishing control society through education.

Although very important in the late 60s and 70s, from the 80s Illich’s work has been often neglected for being too radical and controversial. Some of the other attributes applied to his personality read: reactionary, leftist, conservative, Marxist, anarchist, liberation theologist, prophet, guru, convivial guru, teacher, dreamer, thinker, philosopher, non-conformist, critic of institutions, intellectual sniper, even ‘libertarian.’ However his own complex and universal education and his amazing erudition make his texts continously surprising and relevant readings within different contexts, particularly in contemporary projects focusing on self-education such as Deschooling Classroom: http://www.deschoolingclassroom.tkh-generator.net/?cat=4 . [v]


[i] Illich, Ivan, Deschooling Society, Harrow; 1st Harrow Edition, edition 1972, or Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd, 2000

[ii] Illich, Ivan, “Introduction” Deschooling Society, <http://ournature.org/~novembre/illich/1970_deschooling.html>, Accessed on 2009-05-15 .

[iii] Illich, Ivan, Deschooling Society, chapter six <http://ournature.org/~novembre/illich/1970_deschooling.html>, Accessed on 2009-05-15 .

[iv] Ibid., chapter six

[v] See more about Illich’s concept of deschooling and his other works in Smith, M. K. (1997, 2004, 2008), “Ivan Illich: deschooling, conviviality and the possibilities for informal education and lifelong learning”, The encyclopedia of informal education, http://www.infed.org/thinkers/et-illic.htm, Accessed on 2009-05-17

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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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[Workers'] Self-management :: Ivana Marjanović, Vida Knežević

Self-management is a set of methods, pestilence skills, info and techniques by which individuals or groups can effectively direct their own activities toward the achievement of objectives and goals.

Workers’ self-management[1] (radničko samoupravljanje) is an organizational model of economics where workers have a decision-making power contrarily to the traditional authoritative concept of organization where there is division between those who make decisions (management board, hemorrhoids director, boss) and those who execute them (employees).

Workers’ self-management is a concept of the state structure that was in one form implemented in ex Yugoslavia (Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia and Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) after the Resolution of Informbiro[2], expelling CPY (Communist Party of Yugoslavia) from Cominform in June 1948 and breaking up with USSR. This model, as an answer and critique of the Soviet system was being in use in Yugoslavia between sixties and eighties.

Workers’ self-management in Yugoslavia was conceived as a mixture of Soviet Union’s centralized planned socialism and Western market economy. Although workers’ self-management was a demonstration of “direct” democracy and workers were in the position to decide about certain questions, a strict control of the ruling Communist party in the form of cadre administration was omnipresent. Therefore, this type of “direct” democracy was applied only on the lower level of organizing in the form of decision-making workers’ councils that had autonomy in the decisions related to the distribution of income, employment questions, etc. However, the Party committee was deciding on the higher level issues like the cadre question. All this made the concept of workers’ self- management hermetic, autocratic and thus not consistently applied and implemented.

Nevertheless, it could be interesting to rethink it and reflect about the potential of the workers’ self- management concept as an alternative organizational model that could be re-appropriated by new autonomous self-organizing cultural and artistic practices that are acting in the atmosphere of neo liberal capitalism or transition towards it.


[1] See: Todor Kuljić, Yugoslavia’s Workers’ Self-Management, Transcription of a video by Oliver Ressler, http://www.republicart.net/disc/aeas/kuljic01_en.htm

[2] The word Informbiro is a Yugoslavian abbreviation for Information Bureau, from Communist Information Bureau or Cominform.

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Research (Experiment >Laboratory) :: Ana Vujanović

Art practice as research broadly present in contemporary Artworld, symptoms was initially introduced in visual arts in the 1960s, viagra order developed and spread through later history of art. The concept is established by art historian Giulio Carlo Argan in his essay: Art Practice as Research (1958).[1] As Argan suggested, treatment research in and by way of art entails “the ability attributed to art for addressing and solving certain problems or for addressing itself to the artist as the problem that should be solved”.

Argan’s concept implies that artwork as research – in difference to a normal artwork[2] – introduces into the art production and practice elements and competences of second-level discourses on art: art theory, aesthetics, history of art, sociology and other sciences of art. So, points of departure of non-research-based art as normal artistic activity are established values: paradigms, technics, and knowledge existing in the Artworld. In that sense, its aim is to produce art objects as skillful and valuable as possible. In opposite, the research-based art, as incidental artistic activity tends to reflect, re-think, problematize, and question the existing values or itself as a value. In that sense, its aim is not the production of valuable art objects but critical artistic practice, focused on certain problems of Artworld (research in art) or on certain social problems through art (research by way of art). In the field of today’s art the interweaving of theoretical discourse and art production is constitutive for more and more works. They don’t exist in the system of history, tradition, and actual paradigms of art as in their natural environment whose values are accepted and used for the production of artworks. Instead, the values are here seen as the problems of the art-researches.

The problem with this practice that we meet in the most recent time is that art-research is already assimilated in the Artworld as a normal artwork, a ‘piece’. Further, this very problem must become an urgent topic for ‘art practice as research’ that still aspires to be critical.

Notions closed to the art practice as research are laboratory and experiment. Their increasing usage in the field of art from the 1960s to nowadays is usually superficial and makes as much problems as it tries to resolve. The concepts of laboratory and experiment are in fact taken from natural sciences, where they indicate place and procedure that provides optimal conditions for solving certain problems, testing certain presumptions, and discovering certain rules of surrounding world that can hardly be found in their pure shapes. In accordance to this, their common employment in the field of art – lab as free environment for unlimited experiment with human creativity – is basically wrong, since modern art (and post-modern too) in opposite to natural sciences is not based on positivistic approach to its ‘object’: phenomena, subjects, or topics from the surrounding world. Moreover, art in western cultural tradition doesn’t tend to achieve objective insight and conclusions on the object, but quite contrary encourages subjective points of view on certain matters of fact. Hence numerous labs and experiments in contemporary art are artistic self-evidence of its own weakness – in the absurd comparison to the natural sciences, in which art puts itself. Looking through these lens, the concepts are introduces into the field to provide more relevant status of art and its production of knowledge in contemporary society. However because of that they often miss that art is already-yet a kind of social production of knowledge whose intellectual and affectational peculiarities and material specificities are what should be constantly reflected in art and by way of art, as ‘the proof of artistic particular relevance’ in society.


[1] Giulio Carlo Argan (1982), »Umetnost kao istraživanje«, in Studije o modernoj umetnosti, Ješa Denegri (ed.), Belgrade: Nolit

[2] The term normal here refers to Thomas Khun’s theorization of development of science, through normal states of science and scientific revolutions, in his book The Structure of Scientific Revolution.

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Production of Knowledge :: Jelena Knežević

Production of knowledge is a complex process of creating and organizing information in society. It is a time and money consuming process and because of that production of new knowledge is usually done by persons who work for government agencies, hospital universities, sildenafil large non-profit organizations, impotent or large corporations.

Dominant model of knowledge production consists of:

1. Educational system, research institutions and research facilities, supported by the Government and private grants (knowledge governance)

2. High-level research personnel that are to carry out social science and humanities research projects (human resources development)

3. Access to locally available social science and humanities knowledge (local knowledge)

4. Access to globally available social science and humanities knowledge (global knowledge)

5. Gatekeepers that are to evaluate research output, e.g. in the form of peer reviews (authorization)

6. Publishing research results in local print media (local documents)

7. Publishing research results in internationally recognized print media (global documents)

We can make distinction between two regimes that allocate resources for the creation of new knowledge: one is the system of granting intellectual property rights, as exemplified by modern patent and copyright systems; the other is the “open science” regime, as often found in the realm of “pure” scientific research (references and quotations). Today we also encounter this kind of system, to a certain extent, in the production of free and open source software.

The first system assigns clear property rights to newly created knowledge that allow the exclusion of others from using that knowledge, as well as the trading and licensing it. As it is well-known such a system provides powerful incentives for the creation of knowledge, at the cost of creating temporary monopolies that will tend to restrict output and raise price.

The second system relies to some extent on the fact that individuals often invent or create for non-pecuniary reasons like curiosity. Dissemination of research results and knowledge is achieved at a relatively low cost, because assigning the “moral rights” to the first publisher of an addition to the body of knowledge gives creators an incentive to disseminate it rapidly and broadly. Therefore, in this system the use of others’ output is encouraged and relatively cheap, with the cost being appropriate citation and possibly some reciprocity in sharing knowledge.

That is why the system of open science is often used as a regime of contemporary knowledge production in many critical and independent educational projects in culture and art.

According to: Bronwyn H. Hall, “Incentives For Knowledge Production with Many Producers”, ESRC Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge, Working Paper no. 292

University of California at Berkeley and NBER, Department of Economics

http://lib.northern.edu/infolit/tablesversion/lessons/lesson1/production.htm

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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.

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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” http://www.gnupauk.org/FlossTxt012

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