This Sunday 2-4pm VerySmallkitchen present BOOK/ GALLERY/ SPACE/ PAGE/ PUBLICATION/ DISTRIBUTION, an open discussion at the Five Years Gallery as part of the current exhibition SO MUCH FOR FREE SCHOOL, ETC: A DRAFT PUBLICATION (27 Nov- 11 Dec 2010).
The discussion picks up on the LECTURE HALL. FREE SCHOOL event at Bethnal Green Library, as well as many recent projects on this site. Proposing the session to the show’s curator Edward Dorrian I wrote:
The starting point for this discussion is the following set of terms: publication, exhibition, distribution, book, gallery, page, space, writing. I am interested in how these terms move between the different realms of (print/ online) publication and (gallery/ elsewhere) exhibition. I am interested in exploring these terms and relations in the context of lecture, free school, and engaged pedagogy.
What does it mean to think of a book as exhibition? Or an exhibition as a publication? Is there something useful in such cross overs? On what level do such exchanges occur – as creative metaphors, as prompts and suggestions, as practical possibilities? How does “distribution” and “publication” apply to both these contexts? Should we cultivate a fluid leixcon, or hold to a distinctiveness of book and exhibition practices?
The seminar arises both from the context of this exhibition, and a host of recent examples, both of “the educational turn” in curating/ art practices and the related development of “reading rooms” as exhibition form. For this two hour slot I will provide a gathering of historical and contemporary examples – in the forms of texts, publications, plans – as a temporary intervention into SO MUCH FOR FREE SCHOOL, ETC.
These will be available as prompts, sources, and potential structures, but the primary focus of the session is a consideration/ discussion of this small vocabulary of terms, tracking their meaning and utility as deemed necessary by participants.
Edward Dorrian has described the project of the show as follows, highlighting its own articulation of this question of fluidity (not/ how) between forms:
Participants who submitted proposals and delivered lectures as part of LECTURE HALL. FREE SCHOOL. at Bethnal Green Library have been invited to contribute a response to their lecture as part of a draft issue publication(printed) of a Five Years Periodical: SO MUCH FOR FREE SCHOOL, ETC: A DRAFT PUBLICATION.
The aim is to present the draft publication (alongside the original Lecture Proposals) as the basis of a series of editorial discussions in the gallery at Five Years (27.11.10 – 12.12.10). The gallery and all discussions are open to the public. i.e. it is a ‘Show’.
For our purposes, editorial discussion may be understood to be any discussion occurring inside the gallery during the show’s open hours, with anyone. In addition participants have been asked to suggest and introduce possible (public) ‘seminars’ to formalise in part the editorial discussion. This is not a condition of participation and due to the limited timescale only a selection of suggested seminars will be programmed. A timetable with all the seminars will be published.
As well as the third paragraph of my proposal above, Edward also quotes the following:
(1) …there is the development of practice-based research, whereby the very languages of resistance asserted by alternative pedagogical schema (free schools, night schools, open academies, caucuses, etc.) would seem to be contradicted by the assertion of practice-as-research, an institutionally serviceable and assessable construct.
(2) What are the pragmatic requirements that would enable a free school to operate effectively and consistently… Speakers were given an open brief to address these and related issues in their own ways. There is a simple philosophy informing the school which makes no distinction between teacher and taught.
SOURCES: (1) Andrea Phillips Educational Aesthetics, Curating and the Educational Turn 2010; (2) John Cussans: YES. YES. I KNOW. FREE SCHOOL. I KNOW. proposal statement
For the draft publication I originally wrote a letter, reflecting on the LECTURE HALL. FREE SCHOOL session. When I read through a draft I wasn’t sure it was the kind of text enabling a movement from one form to another, and also capable of opening out into a conversation. It seemed such a text would work best by combing opacity and transparency, space and type. We will see on Sunday if this is the case.
Each contribution was limited to 5 xA5 and so I sent the following, a series of texts very much unfolding the set of concerns – around instruction, minimalism, score, pedagogy – that had also informed the recent INSTRUCTIONS FOR INITIAL CONDITIONS project. Written one per page the scores are:
THIS CURRICULUM OF GEOMETRY
BECOMES A PICTURE LANGUAGE
THE LOGICAL LEVEL AT WHICH ONE IS OPERATING
IS ALWAYS AT LEAST ONE LEVEL HIGHER
THAN THAT WHICH ONE CAN EXPLAIN OR UNDERSTAND
as good as
not as good as
good as as
CHARISMA IS PUNISHMENT
EXHIBITION PARTICIPANTS: ALEX SCHADY/ ALICE COOPER/ ANTJE HILDEBRANDT/ AVAES MOHAMMAD/ BRYONY KATE GILLARD / CARLY JUNEAU/ CHARLOTTE KNOX-WILLIAMS/ CHRISTINE SULLIVAN & ROB FLINT/ DAVID BERRIDGE, VERYSMALLKITCHEN, KAREN DI FRANCO/ CONCRETE RADIO, MARIT MUENZBERG, TAMARIN NORWOOD, AND MARY PATERSON/ EDWARD DORRIAN/ ELLIOTT HARRIS/ FAY NICOLSON & CHARLES OGILVIE/ FRANCIS SUMMERS/ FROSO PAPADIMITRIOU/ GEOPOLYPHONIES COLLECTIVE/ HAMJA AHSAN/ JOHANNA LINSLEY/ JONATHAN TRAYNER, FREE SCHOOL/ KATHRYN FAULKNER/ LADIES OF THE PRESS/ LARRY ACHIAMPONG/ LEE CAMPBELL, PHIL HARRIS, ADRIAN LEE, PATRICK LOAN, HEIDI WIGMORE/ LESLIE SAFRAN/ MATTHEW MACKISACK / MICHAEL SCHULLER/ NEIL FERGUSON/ NELA MILIC/ NICOLAS VASS/ OLIVER GUY WATKINS/ PATRICIA VIDAL DELGADO/ PATRICK LOAN/ PAUL TARRAGÓ/ PIER VEGNER TOSTA/ RACHEL CATTLE/ REBECCA BIRCH/ SANDRA ERBACHER/ SETH GUY/ STEVE RICHARDS/ VASILEIOS KANTAS & JO BRADSHAW
For further details and full program of seminars and discussions see here.