School of Unlearning Part 2 More Info

The School of Unlearning
Part 2 of 6 workshops in Edinburgh, Stirling, Dundee, Glasgow, and the Isle of Lewis in January-March 2020.

Increasingly, it seems more and more difficult to make a living from art, to make artwork around our personal lives and commitments, to strive for change without burning out, and make an artistic practice a viable career choice. The School of Unlearning offers us new tools in our ongoing struggle to maintain a career - over 6 workshops, we will examine aspects of contemporary work in order to establish common values and plan for change that we can all work towards. The workshops will cover a number of work-related issues such as busyness (striving to remain constantly visible in highly competitive conditions), attachment (the need for investment versus detachment from commercial interest), habits (the entwinement of our bodies and minds to environments and practices that have slipped our rational analysis), professionalism (the idea that the workplace is no space for emotion), and failure (fear of fallibility in art, organising and activism). The practice of unlearning will be presented as a new skill that can be developed to increase our capacity to think clearly about and challenge the conditions we are working in.

Part 2, Edinburgh
Evening Class

Friday 24 January 2020
Venue: EIS, Edinburgh
A workshop with London-based Evening Class; an experimental collaborative group in self-organised education who will help us to think through and unlearn busyness (striving to remain constantly visible in highly competitive conditions) and attachment (the need for investment versus detachment from commercial interest). This workshop will introduce self-organised collective Evening Class as well as the newly formed Designers and Cultural Workers branch of UVW union. Together we will discuss and map the inequalities and pressures of art and design work as we practice it, with a view to formalising personal and networked agreements for mutual aid, and strategies to understand and avoid burnout. At the end of the day we will think about how we can check in on and distribute or publish these rules.

Evening Class is an open, self-funded, not-for-profit group of 14 participants from different educational and cultural backgrounds, who form an active collaboration. They currently operate through different working groups that feed their research back into the collective. These working groups explore a range of themes, like unionising design practices, post-capitalist desire and the commons. Through these groups we work on developing a curriculum of both theory and practice, often working in collaboration with other like-minded organisations and individuals. The Evening Class programme takes the form of public workshops, talks and debates, reading groups, radio broadcasting, performances, walks, and publishing.


Who is this for?
Open and suitable to all of our members (Graduate, Artist and Associate) who are fed up with an unequal and exploitative art world who don’t want to give up on art completely and want to get involved in union organising and work-based activism. Artists who are making political and/or socially engaged artworks. Artists who are worried about how their creative practice will survive the future and want to develop strategies and alternatives.

Why should I come? 
To meet new people to work with and collaborate with, to replenish creative energy, to get new ideas, to tell the union and your fellow members about what you are already doing and how we could help. Lastly, to eat delicious food and enjoy great conversation.

Why is it called the School of Unlearning?
The term "Unlearning" takes cues from Gayatri Spivak's "unlearning one's privileges," where the process of unlearning denotes an active critical investigation of normative structures and practices in order to become aware and get rid of taken-for-granted "truths" of theory and practice in order to tackle inequalities in everyday life.

Sounds great, how do I sign up?
RSVP via the event page here or email us at
Spaces are limited and places will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis.  

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