AAC @ Opening up the book Festival,Sheffield

30th September – 1st October at Bank Street Arts

Transitional Knowledge Exchange

Over the two days the film of transitional knowledge exchange will be displayed: this is an anecdotal representation of how the alternative art college sees the transition of knowledge exchange away from the institution and into the tarmac between two locations. The video will depict two individuals sharing ideas and thoughts about the experience of learning and travel whilst reading excerpts from books specifically dedicated to travel and learning.

The film is accompanied by the following presentations:

 30th September, 1pm-2pm

Presentation: how we want to transit with knowledge

This presentation will be part explanation, part pitch, part art performance. It aims to delve deeper into ways we can exchange and learn in art practice with tarmac or spaces that represent transition. Paul Stewart (Founder Alternative Art College) and Ross Cummings (Artist) will be in conversation with each other and the audience about shifts in arts learning and how arts practices are spaces to reclaim pedagogy. They will respond to the film being played and discuss the implications of exchanging knowledge without traveling.

1st October, 1pm-2pm

Reading: To Cry, To Scream : Art and Commitment.

Paul Stewart will do a small except of both a poem being published by Interkors Magazine (a sex-positive magazine, Denver) , called To Cry To Scream, which looks into how spaces of transition are ignored and through the acknowledgment of the space we are able to acknowledge both our privilege and our responsibility to others and our existence. The second reading will come from the book,Absurdity, created through the SIA at the European Graduate School, focusing on the absurdity of art practice and meaning in the Alps.

Both texts will be contextualised and questions will be led by Ross Cummings following the readings.

More here http://openingupthebook.com/2015/06/01/alt-art-college/

Situation Unit Commissions @mima

mima this Summer

Across the summer of 2015 three artists have been commissioned to question the gallery as a site for learning through artistic practice. Using their practice they will produce a site that focuses solely on the ability to exchange and unlearn preconceptions of social and political forms through artistic tools.

The blog site will archive the interventions produced by the artists and turned into a multi-functional installation creating spaces of use and no-use. Find out more.

Artists Commissioned

John Reardon (May 2015) – John Reardon is resident artist in the Politics department at Goldsmiths College where he co-convenes an MA in Art & Politics. Reardon makes single and co-authored work, work under a shared name or title, as well as anonymous work.

Harold Offeh (July 2015) – Harold Offeh’s work encompasses a range of approaches including performance, participation, video and photography. He often employs humour as a means to confront the viewer with aspects of contemporary culture.

Hannah Kemp Welch (Sept 2015) – Hannah’s practice centres around performative interventions using sound. Playing with tech, though always lo-fi, DIY, and with a sense of humour. Mainly investigating personal and social interactions when listening or experimenting with sound.

Time to consider what we have done

This last week we have reelected a Tory government but this time a Tory government with a majority. what does this mean other than … shit.

firstly the snoopers charter is going to criminalize any form of communication that cannot be read by the state, on the ground that means our privacy has gone and we are now unable to have a conversation digitally without a third party being present. in context its like having sex with someone constantly commenting or observing your movements. we will maintain a education system that segregates the arts and only funds STEM as the route to success. We will see more people below the poverty line, benefits slashed, council tenants evicted and continued use of zero hour contracts.

there is much more than this, but as a start I think its about time we stopped and did something, its time to fight back, its time to revolt, its time to make real change not superficial efforts that maintain. Maybe this can only be done with flight with a complete abandonment of the system in attempt to create something new, something that actually benefits the many not just the few.

Situation Unit mima commisions

Situation Unit


This project focuses on producing a space that has the ability to reclaim learning as a strategic tactic to influence the commodity aspects of knowledge exchange.
It will instramentalise art practice to produce a site that focuses solely on the ability to exchange and unlearn preconceptions of social and political forms through artistic tools. The space will be a site to demonstrate labor as well as hold artistic interventions that reconfigure the financial hierarchy and issues with accelarationist policy in attempting to reclaim time to learn and to streak time.

The site will turned into a multi-functional installation creating spaces of use and no-use.
Renegotiating the territory of aesthetics and its relation to the ethical. A post-conceptual artist’s lead archive. Follow the commissions here

Artist commissions Include

John Reardon May 2015

Commissioned by mima (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art), the Alternative Art College and curator, Paul Stewart, Untitled (TWOC) puts the life (movement, mediation, networks, learning, etc) of the curator at the centre of the work and in the process of it’s making and un-making.

Part performance, event, object and installation, Untitled (TWOC) consists of 31 specially designed baseball caps (worn on consecutive days by the curator) and 31 wall pegs (installed in mima for caps to hang on). Each cap comes in its own individually dated boxes and once worn by the curator for a single day is deposited at the end of that day on one of the 31 wall pegs in mima (beginning with first peg, top left).

TWOC moves between performance, event, object and installation, between Middlesbrough and mima and between ‘outside’ and ‘inside’, taking on a growing visibility and materiality as it does so.

Each day of the month, the work ‘begins’ again with curator Paul Stewart, following his movements as it slowly, inevitably finds its way to mima.

TWOC begins Friday May 1st and ‘ends’ Sunday May 31st

Harold Offeh June 2015 TBA

Hannah Kemp Welch July 2015 TBA

Free Education

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The battle against the rise in fees has exploded into the political imaginary of the student body, This shift in consciousness allows us to reclaim the soil from which learning is shared and knowledge is stored.

Reclaim the space for learning and allow education to be free.

lets permeate the cracks emerging from the neo-liberalism enveloping in the HE institutions to see what formations we can produce from the ruins that lay before us.

Students should not be passive consumers of knowledge but instead active participants in a grander scheme.

‘debt neutralises critical thinking, disciplining students into efficient components of the consumer economy’. Noam Chomsky


AAC at Unruly Engagements Ohio: abandoned public space

We have landed in Ohio, we have scouted the public spaces and private walkways, and soon we will be presenting.

On Sat  9-11.30am UTC (so 14.00pm-16.30pm GMT i think)

‘Just Say No’ : Alternative Strategies to Art Education

Co Authored by Mary O’Neill and Paul Stewart

Conference Programme: http://cia.edu/files/resources/14aaunrulyprogramfinal.pdf

We will share the images from the presentation soon, but here are some holiday snaps of ‘public spaces’ completely deserted.

IMG_1253 IMG_1255 IMG_1258 IMG_1259 IMG_1261 IMG_1263 IMG_1264 IMG_1266 IMG_1268 IMG_1270 IMG_1272 IMG_1275

How to begin? A reflective encounter


How to begin? At a chosen moment in a vacant country house (mill, abbey, church or castle) not too far from the City of London, we shall foment a kind of cultural “jam session”: out of this will evolve the prototype of our spontaneous university.” Alexander Trocchi, 1964

Paul Stewart and Mary O’Neill Will be presenting a collaborative paper at the Unruly Engagements conference in Cleveland (Cleveland Institute of Arts) around how we navigate alternative strategies to art education. this is a reflective encounter of the roles played by student and lecturer in response to the emergence of the alternative art college in 2011.

more information of the conference here: http://cia.edu/events/2014/11/unruly-engagements-conference

We will share extracts from the paper and responses after the conference.