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.
Image: Raspberry Pi, Sensor IoT workshop, Agorama, March 2018
Part 3, Stirling
Intro to P2P
Saturday 25 January 2020 10am-4pm
Venue: The Tollbooth, Stirling
A workshop with Max Dovey of Agorama; an artist collective with an institutional partnership network that includes Furtherfield (London), North East of North (NEoN, Scotland), and a number of artists working in the field of art and technology. For this instalment of the programme, Max Dovey will be hosting a workshop exploring alternative models for living online including an informal presentation on Agorama's p2p research, a workshop introducing the peer-to-peer web and exploring some interesting p2p projects and resources and how these can be applied and used in broader themes of artists' work.
Image: Hazel Brill, Agorama Residency, December 2019
Agorama run three main threads of activities; a server co-op to establish a p2p distributed platform for artist experimentation and use this network infrastructure to develop a grass roots autonomous model for digital communication; workshops and lectures, focusing on digital literacy and providing the guides and tools for other practitioners to learn and expand their practice; and a series of regular practice-led workshops and lectures from their space in Raven Row. Agorama also host residencies and exhibitions, focusing on bringing in creative practitioners to develop new interdisciplinary projects.
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.