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25 Apr 2019

Centre for Contemporary Arts and Glasgow School of Art present: On Learning ...

© Beatrice Infrano

School for Civic Imagination
Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow


Talks & Events - Friday 3 May 2019, 2.30pm - Monday 20 May, 7pm - Thursday 23 May, 12.30-7pm


+44 (0)141 352 4900

Centre for Contemporary Arts
350 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow G2 3JD
United Kingdom

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А programme of free workshops, lectures, and discussions with Jason E. Bowman, Amy Feneck, Dmitry Vilensky, Sofia Gallisa Muriente, Camilla Crosta, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Grant Watson and others will run in May at CCA and the Glasgow School of Art.

School for Civic Imagination opens a call for participants for 2019-2020. The deadline for applications is 10 May 2019.

Building on many years of support and analysis for socially-engaged art practice, CCA is focusing attention on underlying foundations of contemporary education and pedagogy. It is evident now more than ever, with the spread of post-colonial intellectual and activist interest in contesting and reframing the dominant narratives of western privilege, that we are, as individuals and organisations, quizzing and challenging the role education continues to play within the understanding and reshaping of current society.

It is more and more common within the arts and culture to meet criticism, if not complete refutation, of conventional academic models and forms of knowledge. Too often these forms appear composed of imperialist and neo-liberal elements. And yet, instead of a perhaps predictable rejection of any similarity to those contested tedious and predictable pedagogical models, the number of schools appearing in the last decade is actually growing all around the globe.

While education has become, as Mai Abu ElDahab noted on the occasion of the announcement of the plans for Manifesta 6, 'the buzz word in the art world,' and while it is possible, following Irit Rogoff, to speak of an 'educational turn in curating,' it seems to be much less fashionable to study in detail the institutionalisation of art education as such.

Pedagogy within contemporary curatorial and artistic practice not only challenges the knowledge economy but also contests conventional institutional models and practices of institutionalisation. It clearly proposes a shift in the historically established hierarchy between exhibition and education and thus seeks to create a situational alternative to established learning formats within museums, galleries, biennials and other normative occasions for art practice. Moreover, both education and art are considered for their intrinsic value, which closely relates to the urgent issues of governance and its distribution.

For these reasons CCA will host a series of events - on the reasons of schooling - during May 2019.

We will kick off on 3 May with a panel discussion on the uses of the school format in the arts, chaired by Jason E. Bowman. This panel will see the participation of a London duo whose practice is defined as The School for Alternative Economics, a Puerto Rican pedagogical organisation called Beta-Local, the Russian collective Chto Delat and their School for Socially Engaged Art Practice as well as the pilot of the CCA School for Civic Imagination.


// Panel Discussion

CCA, Fri 3 May, 2.30 pm, Free (unticketed) / All Ages
Join us to explore and analyse 'the educational turn' — a tendency in contemporary art in which pedagogical formats and structures appear as artistic or curatorial practices.

Panel Chair:

Jason E.Bowman: artist with a curatorial practice, writer, researcher and educator, Fine Art Programme Leader at Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg.
Jason works primarily by commission to realise art works that address political, economic, social and cultural coercions of publics through participatory methods. His work is informed by latent histories, psychoanalytic thought and the theorisation of time and place.

Panel Members:

Camilla Crosta: School for Civic Imagination, Scotland
Camilla is an Italian curator based in Glasgow, with an interest in public and socially engaged art. She co-founded Fronde, a collective that creates 'situations' that want to encourage changes in the city of Venice. She was actively participating in the pilot edition of the School for Civic Imagination.

Amy Feneck: The School for Alternative Economics, England
The Alternative School of Economics, run by artists Ruth Beale and Amy Feneck, is an artistic project using the practice of self-education to study economics, creating a framework for investigating political, social and cultural issues.

Sofía Gallisá Muriente: Beta Local, Puerto Rico
Sofía is an artist and co-director of Beta-Local — a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting and promoting aesthetic thought and practices through three prominent programmes: La Práctica, The Harbor and La Ivan Illich. These three programmes span artist residencies, research based and an experimental pedagogical that regularly work in harmony together.

Dmitry Vilensky: The School of Engaged Art, Russia
Dmitry is an artist and co-founder Chto Delat — a Russian collective with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism​. Chto Delat delivers The School of Engaged Art, a central component of the school is the idea of collective practice.

// Lecture

CCA, Mon 20 May, 7pm, Free but ticketed / 15+

Boaventura de Sousa Santos's work concerns itself with the field of aesthetics that has been saturated with ideas of universalism. In this lecture, he will call for a collective effort to overcome this way of thinking.

In his manifesto (to be published) de Sousa Santos looks at the three main forms of domination which exist across the modern era: capitalism, colonialism and patriarchy. He employs us to look towards an alternative way of thinking on how to confront the neutralisation placed on societies by the hegemonic epistemologies of the global North and the canons they produce. He also introduces the notion of the post-abyssal artist and what it means to be an abyssal, and a post-abyssal artist and the lines that separate the two.

Boaventura de Sousa Santos is Professor of Sociology, University of Coimbra (Portugal), and Distinguished Legal Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned an LL.M and J.S.D. from Yale University and holds the Degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa, by McGill University.

He is director of the Center for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra and has written and published widely on the issues of globalisation, sociology of law and the state, epistemology, social movements and the World Social Forum.

// Workshops

GSA and CCA, Thurs 23 May, 12.30pm - 5pm, Free but ticketed / 15+

Can we reimagine the active relationships between arts, culture, design and society for our time? As a recent exhibition in Berlin shows, the impulse to radicalise that relation and rethink art education had a long pedigree in the twentieth century. The Bauhaus is traditionally viewed as creating alternative pedagogies in relation to art. To what extent was that actually true, and to what extent can we still see it that way. What new pedagogical strategies are needed and how do we create them adapted to the institutions and practices of contemporary life? BAUHAUS DAY brings Grant Watson (co-curator of Bauhaus Imaginista, Berlin) to CCA and GSA, and through discussion and a series of studio workshops we examine these questions.

The Glasgow School of Art remains – like the Bauhaus was – a school of practitioners. Mature practitioners nurture budding practitioners through cooperative and mutual engagement in the studio in an exchange of skills working on material. What sort of models might this provide for alternative pedagogies in the contemporary world? Can the studio be an exemplar via its engagement in peer-to-peer learning, deschooling and paragogy for undoing, avoiding and pushing beyond the damaging hierarchical structures society has inherited from history?

With a full experience of practice and an eye cast backwards to the achievements of the Bauhaus and forwards to future models, studio staff give workshops all afternoon.

12.30pm: Grant Watson Introduction – Alternative Pedagogies – learning from the Bauhaus
2-4pm: Typography with Jo Petty
4-5pm: Colour with Robert Mantho
2-5pm: Working in Stone with Thom Simmons
2-5pm: Stained Glass with tbc

// Lecture

Reid Auditorium, GSA, Thurs 23 May, 6pm, Free but ticketed / 15+

What did it mean to do away with the old academic styles of teaching by rote, to dump the distinction between art and craft and to engage in experimental and artistic research on material in the age of mass production of goods? Grant Watson of RCA and co-curator of Bauhaus Imaginista in Berlin, will speak on how the Bauhaus invoked a host of alternative pedagogies in art education, and how we can view that history critically now.


The School for Civic Imagination is an informal learning programme at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow which will discuss the meeting point between art and society, and support knowledge sharing between everyone taking part. Applications are now open to take part in the programme, which will run from mid-September 2019 to mid-June 2020.

The School aims to represent a support structure for the further development of deeper connections between socially engaged art practice and civic life, delivered by a multitude of contributors and partners from an array of locations as seen in the programme above.

To apply to take part in the School, please email with email subject School for Civic Imagination. Send us a letter of interest including a bit about yourself and any community/research projects that you are currently involved in, stating why being part of the school would allow you to develop your social practice further in no more than 500 words. Successful applicants will be notified on Fri 10 May 2019 at 12pm with the first session taking place soon after.