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robertogreco : jacquesrancière   4

The Weirdness and Joy of Black Mountain College | The Nation
"Can the art of teaching art be exhibited? No, but people keep trying."

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"Can art be taught? That question isn’t as old or as hoary as one might imagine. For many centuries, artists were taught, either through a studio apprenticeship or, later, in a formal academy. It only became possible to think of art as something different in the 19th century, when the old system fell apart and it seemed conceivable that anyone could be an artist. But very few people were. Perhaps being an artist was the result of some peculiar inner drive or necessity, some genius that burned in certain kinds of people—something they were born with rather than something that they learned. The question has by now fueled two centuries’ worth of bar banter, family quarrels, and panel discussions. What keeps the conversation going is that many of the people who say that art can’t be taught still make their living by teaching it. Teaching does have its own rewards, and so does trying to learn, whether the learning “takes” or not.

A related question is easier to answer: Can the art of teaching art be exhibited? No, but people keep trying. The ambitious show “Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957,” at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, is the latest such effort. (It will be on view at the Hammer Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles, from February 21 to May 15, and then at the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University in Columbus from September 17 to January 1, 2017. A handsome catalog is available from Yale University Press.) In fact, Black Mountain exhibitions have become a genre unto themselves. “Leap Before You Look,” curated by Helen Molesworth, formerly of the ICA/Boston and now at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, is the fourth that I know of. The first, which I saw in 2002, was “Black Mountain College: Una Aventura Americana,” curated by Vincent Katz, at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid. Then came “Starting at Zero: Black Mountain College 1933–1957,” curated by Caroline Collier and Michael Harrison, at the Arnolfini in Bristol, England, and Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge, in 2005 and 2006. And last summer, I paid a visit to the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin, which mounted “Black Mountain: An Interdisciplinary Experiment 1933–1957,” curated by Eugen Blume and Gabriele Knapstein.

Why the recurring preoccupation with a short-lived, unaccredited school at the back of beyond, which never had enough students to pay its way? It could be the school’s believe-it-or-not story and how, the more you learn about it, the more unlikely it seems. The tale begins in 1933, when an unorthodox, arrogant classics professor named John Andrew Rice and several of his colleagues were purged from Rollins College in Florida. A number of their fellow professors resigned in protest, and some students withdrew as well. Bent on starting a college of their own, they found a complex of buildings for rent near Asheville, North Carolina, and some start-up money—but not much. At first, the faculty worked without salaries, but at least they owned the joint: The papers of incorporation specified that “the sole membership of the corporation” would be “the whole body of the faculty.” In other words, there was no board of directors and no non-teaching administration either, so the instructors had no other masters than themselves.

There was splendor and misery at Black Mountain, which was run according to the will of its teachers and, to a great extent, its students. The faculty believed that the curriculum should reflect what the students needed or desired to learn. This principle runs contrary not only to the present conception of the student as a consumer or client who is to be supplied with certain knowledge, but also to the designs of the conservative governors of North Carolina, Wisconsin, and other states, who believe that they should have the final say over what’s being taught and who’s doing the teaching at their state colleges and universities. At Black Mountain, teachers and students committed themselves to shared undertakings, the educational equivalent of socialism: from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."

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"Black Mountain’s founder had in his own way anticipated the Maoist doctrine of continuous revolution. “At one time Rice said he thought the college should disperse every ten years into smaller units,” recalled M.C. Richards, the English professor turned potter who’d been instrumental in bringing Olson to the campus. “This was to avoid too much stability. It was to be faithful to the chaos out of which creativity constellates.” No one was better at cultivating chaos and spangling the atmosphere with its constellations than Olson. Who else would have thought of suggesting to a fellow poet, Robert Creeley, that he fill in as a teacher of biology? When Creeley pointed out that he’d never studied the subject, even in high school, Olson “said, ‘Terrific, you can learn something,’” Creeley recalled. “Subsequently, I realized that teaching is teaching. It has, paradoxically, nothing to do with the subject.” In other words, true learning, as described by Jacques Rancière in The Ignorant Schoolmaster, is fostered by teaching what one does not know.

As Rancière wrote, this kind of education can never be institutionalized; “it is the natural method of the human mind,” yet everything works against it. No wonder Black Mountain could never come to terms with the outside world or itself. Robert Duncan, in his extraordinary poem “The Song of the Border-Guard”—shown in “Leap Before You Look” as a broadside accompanied by a Twombly linocut—imagines “a barbarian host at the border-line of sense.” Which side of the border was Black Mountain on? Were its denizens the barbarians readying themselves to overcome the common sense of Eisenhower’s America, or were they guardians of a deeper sense of life and learning against the yahoo horde surrounding them? No matter. “The enamourd guards desert their posts / harkening to the lion-smell of a poem / that rings in their ears.” And the poem of Black Mountain still rings in ours."
bmc  blackmountaincollege  pedagogy  teaching  education  highereducation  highered  2016  barryschwabsky  leapbeforeyoulook  johnandrewrice  rancière  reproduction  ephemeral  ephemerality  institutions  institutionalization  lcproject  openstudioproject  tcsnmy  sfsh  cv  art  arts  socialism  jacquesrancière 
5 weeks ago by robertogreco
Introduction to the book Learning Mind: Experience into Art [.pdf]
"This first section concludes with a discussion…In this exchange, led by educator Lisa Wainwright, artist Kerry James Marshall and designer Bruce Mau engage in a lively, probing debate about what artists and designers have in common, how they are different, and what each contributes to society. Wainwright’s questioning leads Marshall and Mau to reveal how they came to art and what role education played. While academic institutions question what artists, architects, and designers need to know, Mau suggests that art education may be the ideal mode of education for everyone. “I think there is an underlying power and positive effect of invention and creation,” Mau asserts. “We underestimate how important art is. If you could put everyone in society through art school, think about how different it would be to have a general population that… embraces the capacity of art to affect the way we see the world."

[Book link: http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Mind-Experience-into-Art/dp/0520260767 ]
reading  buddhism  everydaylife  everyday  documenta  cv  howweteach  howwelearn  experience  robertirwin  christopherbedford  michaelbrenson  marcelduchamp  utemetabauer  davidgetsy  lisawainwright  artandthemind  practice  theory  mikahannula  jacquesrancière  paulofreire  thinking  teaching  pedagogy  design  kerryjamesmarshall  brucemau  johndewey  deschooling  unschooling  edg  glvo  openstudioproject  lcproject  2010  jacquelynnbaas  maryjanejacob  books  learning  arteducation  education  art  rancière 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Draft of a manifesto written in defense of a group of people that did not ask for my defense, using words they would not use and engaging people they ignore. « Lebenskünstler
"While you wring hands over what it all means, we are trying to change the world, build relationships and communities. Are we naive? Possibly. We prefer a world of naive dreamers to cynical observers. Keep your beloved “criticality.” Hold it close to your heart and tell us what you feel. We are friends, not “colleagues” and we choose to embrace humane values and each other. We offer a different vision. Against the professional hegemony of academic intellectualism we offer – trust, love, sentiment, passion, egalitarianism and sincerity…

We are gamblers, believing in the value of risking everything for the sake of our “foolish” dreams and schemes."
randallszott  doing  livign  acting  cynicism  2010  manifestos  art  theory  practice  glvo  lcproject  tcsnmy  intellectualism  humanity  passion  egalitarianism  sincerity  trust  love  sentiment  worldchanging  dreamers  academia  risk  risktaking  amateurism  unschooling  deschooling  understanding  cv  leisure  tinkering  wittgenstein  johndewey  philosophy  isolation  shopclassassoulcraft  authenticity  rigor  Rancière  agamben  brucewilshire  richardshusterman  robertsolomon  booklist  nicolasbourriaud  radicalphilosophy  antonionegri  naïvité  everyday  amateurs  jacquesrancière 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Really Free School » The Ignorant SchoolMaster
"This book describes the emancipatory education of Joseph Jacotot, a post-Revolutionary philosopher of education who discovered that he could teach things that he himself did not know. The book is both a history and a contemporary intervention in the philosophy and politics of education, through the concept of autodidactism; Rancière chronicles Jacotot’s “adventures,” but he articulates Jacotot’s theory of “emancipation” and “stultification” in the present tense.

The Ignorant Schoolmaster was written by the Ranciere in the early 80s as a contribution to a debate happening in France over education. The debate was over the push to make school a nicer, more welcoming and inclusive place for students. A socialist published a book criticising this arguing that schools should be for education, the issue of how students feel in them is secondary…

Against this Ranciere argued that education does not happen through the transference of knowledge from one subject to another…"

[Full text available for download here: http://www.mediafire.com/?mn3fjsyuond ]
josephjacotot  education  unschooling  deschooling  pedagogy  teaching  philosophy  schools  tcsnmy  books  toread  Rancière  jacquesrancière 
february 2011 by robertogreco

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