SpRoUt is an Art School
CUNNINGHAM, AMY, Skipper, Hayley and Cull, Laura (2010) SpRoUt is an Art School In: Art Schools: Inventions, Invective and Radical Possibilities, 11th & 12th June 2010, University College London. (Unpublished)
This paper will perform the edited results of a conversation between the four members of the artists collective, SpRoUt, on the topic of art schools. For SpRoUt, the life room is defined by an objectifying and measuring, clinical and petrifying gaze, which attempts to freeze the life and movement of that which it observes, in order to study it. Likewise, though, the group crit. strategy risks imposing an intentional model of knowledge, in which students are called upon to defend and justify their practice, suggesting that, as artists, we must always ‘know’ what we are doing and what we have done. In contrast, SpRoUt’s pedagogical project – Under Construction: Staging the Future – was concerned with creating a context in which artists and students learn by participating in collaborative processes and through embodied doing, but not in a way that culminates in any complete or totalizing knowledge. The aspect of the Life Room legacy which we retain is an interest in the art school as a place in which we can train attention: develop our powers of vision, audition, sensation and so forth. In turn, we retain the group crit. but as an event in which students can collect the multiplicity of responses their work evokes. SpRoUt’s 25-minute paper will present documentation of Under Construction as well as discussing the pedagogical ethos of Under Construction II, due to take place in Zagreb in September 2010. In particular, we are interested in exploring the idea of the studio and the seminar room as a kind of theatre: enabling fictions or scenographies that make practice possible. Perhaps practice, need not be construed as a conscious pursuit of signature themes or forms, but as a mode of performance in which we are ceaselessly trying to stage new futures.
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