Education As Experiment Day 3: Rebecca Hartley and Kate Wiggs / James Ellison

Rebecca and Kate propose workshops that will teach Post First World War International Relations Theory (this was when the field started in America) in a prohibition-themed party (because of the link with early theory and America).

At the entrance to the room, students of IR will be asked to dress up in 1920s attire from the fancy dress box and partner one of our dancers. The dancers will know authentic dances of the 20s – such as the Waltz and the Lindy Hop – and whist partnered will talk about the current international state of affairs.

James Ellison

“We are living through a long anti-1960’s, the various anti-capitalist experiments in communal living and collective existence that defined that extraordinary decade, seem to us either quaintly passé, laughably unrealistic or dangerously misguided. Having grown up and cast off such seemingly childish ways we now think we know better than to try and bring heaven crashing down to earth and construct concrete utopias. To that extent despite our occasional and transient enthusiasms we are all political realists. Indeed most of us are passive nihilists and cynics.” Simon Cricthley, 2009

The passé nature of the 50 year old experiments in communal living and non-hierarchical education, of the counter-culture movement, is being radically challenged. If there is any hope in bringing about social change, these ideas and forms should be developed further. It is not enough to question and critique the way in which our society is organised, we must dive deeper into or criticisms, and bring back these radical environments for learning and growth. Beginning with the utopian ideals of the past, particularly ones accompanying the commune movement, we have a starting point for a physical re-imagination of the site of pedagogical practice. With the recent explosions of high profile communal living, non-hierarchical organisation and anti-capitalist sentiment, around the occupy movement, these forms have been given a new life. The presence of the aesthetic language of the counter-culture within the 21st century urban landscape is a cause for celebration. And as this visual language is being constantly repeated, the only hope is it will continue to grow.

Education as Experiment Countdown day 5: Joel Colover, Vicky Habermehl & Andre Pusey (ex ROU)

University as territory: an exploratory mapping workshop into the terrain of education. – Joel Colover, Vicky Habermehl & Andre Pusey

People connected to the recently disbanded group The Really Open University propose to run a workshop reflecting on various interventions and projects in and around the University. Through collectively constructing maps and layouts of the university and then overlaying with our points of interaction, we hope to assess the current terrain of education, whilst critically reflecting on our position in Leeds and experiences with the ROU as well as those of other participants in the workshop; we aim to discuss and create new methods, knowledge and tactics. Taking inspiration from similar groups attempts to map the university we want to invent new symbols to help us find the points of rupture, routes we have taken and lines of flight we wish to follow, moving beyond a position of simply wanting to save the university.

Education as Experiment, Countdown day 6: Mel Donhoe

The third of 8 posts to introduce Education as Experiment.


Three years ago I was on my final disciplinary at a college I was Head of Department, Fine Art, just as I was hauled into the office early one morning to be quizzed regarding the work of my notorious year two degree students. As I approached their studio spaces (on the third floor) I could see day light gleaming in through the hole they had smashed through the exterior wall and drawn a bank machine around it. Previously they had set a boat on fire in a near by mere, probably instigated by my throwing a harp from the window during a seminar. Nicolas Bourriaud, in his book, Relational Aesthetics suggets in relation to contemporary art, that it is a ‘demonstration, for everyone to come, of the possibility of creating significance by inhabiting the edge of the abysss.’ Im pained daily by the notion, what actually is the significance, today for students of art to inhabit this abyss? In my opinion and indeed experience, art education has been plunged into a standardisation in a way that allows art to create a false sense of place. We are graduating mechanical professionals that have experienced art education and not art.

Through a series of non standardised, non institutional actions (pedagogic event scores) I propose to demonstrate an active archive of tools for unteaching art education in order to bring back a sense of real place. Armed with evidence and catalyst reproductions that will nuture and encourage brief dialogues between anyone who has been engaged with art school institutions, either marginalised, protagonistic or pragmatic there wil be something for everyone to look fondly upon, take back to the learning site or totally ignor because you are fundementally in agreement with my armoury of disciplinaries, warnings, dismissals, constructive dismissals, legal battles and more recently, gagging restraint.


Should art students construct a bonfire instead of a degree show?

Education as Experiment, Countdown day 8: John Plowman

The second of 8 posts to introduce Education as Experiment.

John Plowman

John Plowman is an international artist who, in his practice encompasses both studio and curatorial activity to explore his interest in the production of art, its site(s) of production and exhibition. Since 2004,with Nicola Streeten, they established the curatorial project, Beacon, which engages critically with urban cultural values within the context of presenting contemporary art in non-gallery spaces offering a new perspective on art practice through collaboration between artist, audience and institution.

The aim is to adapt and re-enact a performance I did in 2008 as part of my show entitled ‘The Reading Room’ with Handel Street projects in London. This will create an AAC reading group who will collaborate with me in reading selected texts from books arranged on three tables. each table having a separate discipline, Arts, Humanities and Science. As each page is read it is torn from the book and returned. The previous incarnation of this work resulted in a growing cacophony of sound, conflicting facts. Participants were able to join and leave at their own discretion.

Education as Experiment Countdown day 9: Mike Neary and Sarah Amsler

The first of 8 posts to introduce Education as Experiment


Sarah Amsler and Mike Neary will engage in a conversation about work they are doing inside and outside the University of Lincoln, UK. The conversation will focus on two projects: Student as Producer and the Social Science Centre, Lincoln. Student as Producer, which they describe as a critical response to the consumerisation of higher education, is the organising principle for teaching and learning at the University of Lincoln. The Social Science Centre is a co-operative experiment in higher learning across the city of Lincoln. Key themes to be discussed are education and the institution, the politics of representation, autonomous education and the production of critical and practical knowledge.

How to set up your own free education space


1. Neutralise a space from previous institutional stench with wipes provided.

2. Make a blog

3. Set up events

4. Done

Let the Learning begin.

Education As Experiment Event Blog

This is the link to the event blog. All bio’s and event information

MAY 17th 10am – 6pm