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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

EVENT - Shift/Work: Developing participatory workshop models for educating contemporary artists

University of Edinburgh
Monday 2 April 2012

(NB this date has changed from original posting)

Neil Cummings – Professor of Critical Practice, Chelsea College of Art & Design
Dave Rushton – Institute of Local Television

Shift/Work is an exchange between the School of Art, University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop that develops and shares open educational resources for artists and art educators. The purpose of this workshop is to enable its participants to develop their own models of collaborative practice-based learning.

Developing new sites in which art can be produced and expanding the ways in which production is supported are central to learning how to practice as an artist. To facilitate this, art education conventionally combines ‘structured’ historical and theoretical scholarship with ‘open’ practice-based learning agreements. This incoherent approach perpetuates the legacy of Romanticism, producing ‘autonomous’ auteurs rather than artist-learners. This does not prepare artists to participate in today’s artworld, a horizontally integrated network that is highly dependent upon reciprocal altruism.

Re-imagining the learning environment is key to facilitating the kinds of knowledge that artists now require. Developing an iterative action-based approach to artistic learning that is at once theoretical and practical is imperative.

Shift/Work aims to examine and reconfigure ways in which we can facilitate comprehensive workshop-based approaches to artistic production that are theoretically informed, practical and participatory. Shift/Work will facilitate new experiential knowledge, practices and tools for artists and art educators to adapt and implement.

The workshop will be hosted in three studios in the School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art. It will accommodate up to 30 participants, two speakers and their facilitators. It will consist of a two and a half hour morning session and a two hour afternoon session.

The workshop will begin with two presentations – one by Neil Cummings and one by Dave Rushton – followed by two break-out sessions. A rota-based approach to curriculum design will focus attention on the workshop as a convivial means of knowledge production and distribution. Learning and exchange will be developed through ‘on-the-job training’, engaging the participants in a collective approach to learning. 
  • Attendees will require some experience of art education, either as a student or as an educator, as prior knowledge will be form a key component of the heuristic process.
  • The event will be simultaneously recorded and streamed live on Bambuser to enable wider access.
  • The presentations and feedback sessions of the event will be transcribed, edited and published in 2012 as part of a Shift/Work publication being produced by Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. 
Shift/Work is supported by the HEA Discipline Workshop and Seminar Series 2011-12.

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