Meaning Making Meaning

    As part of the 150th anniversary of Valand Academy, I curated the platform, Meaning Making Meaning, at A-venue, Gotheburg, Sweden. Meaning Making Meaning was a platform exploring the interface between art and pedagogy, seeking to situate artistic pedagogical practice not only as the domain of art education, but something with relevance to all areas of education. To this end Meaning Making Meaning featured a broad spectrum of teachers, educational theorists and artists involved in teaching, and spanned a variety of settings from early childhood to higher education, both inside and outside of institutional structures. The platform consisted of three components: an exhibition; a workshop series; and a reading room organised by Eva Weinmayr.

EXHIBITION: In the left section of the main space was an exhibition consisting of written and visual responses by an invited group of thirty-seven figures working with artistic and pedagogical issues, to one of two queries. The first query is the Felix Guattari question from Chaosmosis: “How do you bring a classroom to life as if it were a work of art?” The second is a reformulation of the same question: “How do you bring a work of art to life as if it were a classroom?” The respondents included:

Alina Tenser, Andrea Phillips, Ann-Charlotte Glasberg Blomqvist, Annette Krauss, Anton Vidokle, Barnfilmskolan, Bronwyn Bailey-Charteris, Cara Tolmie and Kimberley O’Neill, Doa Aly, Elizabeth Ellsworth and Jamie Kruse (Smudge Studio), Emanuel Almborg, Eva Weinmayr, Felicity Allen, Gert Biesta and Carl Anders Säfström, Glenn Loughran, Harrell Fletcher, Henry Giroux, Irit Rogoff, Janna Graham, Jaroslav Andel, Jason E. Bowman, Jenny Richards, Jessica Hamlin, Jeuno JE Kim and Ewa Einhorn, Katrin Ingelstedt, Lisa Nyberg, Lovisa Gustafsson, Maj Hasager, Maria Acaso and Jordi Ferreiro, Monica Sand, Olav Westphalen, Olivia Plender, Pedro Lasch, Stephan Dillemuth, Stephen Duncombe, Sunshine Socialist Cinema, and Tyson E. Lewis. 

CLASSROOM: In the right section of the main space was a classroom where a series of workshops took place. The workshop program had as its focus meaning-making as a situated, embodied and generative practice. Here meaning was created together in the moment, rather than delivered in prepackaged units of knowledge. The workshop space, which was completely empty at the outset of the exhibition period, over the course of the program continued to fill up with the accumulated materials and byproducts of the workshops taking place there. 

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE:

Jakob Jakobsen - Small steps toward an educational theater - March 16, 10:00 - 15:00

Andrea Phillips – Speaking objects, dumb subjects - March 17, 16:00 - 17:00

Andrea Francke - The radicality and invisibility of early years education - March 19, 10:00 - 15:00

Barnfilmskolan – Open workshop for anyone from the age of 0-100 years - March 20, 13.00 - 15.00

FAGS - What does a cultural institution look like? Who gets in, who gets out? - March 21, 14:00- 19:00

Cara Tolmie  - Tempo Trials: boredom, pleasure, metabolisms and worm-holes - March 23, 10:00- 15:00

Annette Krauss - Revisiting Hidden Curriculum - March 30, 9:30- 12:30    

READING ROOM

In the reception area of the Gallery was a reading room, “Library of Inclusions and Omissions,” organized by Eva Weinmayr, which consisted of contributions by members of the public of under-recognized and marginalized texts that do not conform to the canon of Western, white, patriarchal academia; have not been recognized by main-stream publishing; and are currently absent from our established libraries and databases.