The Instant Class Kit: Socially-engaged art as radical pedagogy
A series of 4 workshops: October 22, October 29, November 5 and November 12, 2020
Facilitated by Stephanie Springgay and Andrea Vela Alarcón
7:00-8:30 pm on Zoom
Instant Class Kit is a portable curriculum guide and pop-up exhibition dedicated to socially-engaged art as pedagogy. The kit brings together contemporary curriculum materials in the form of artist multiples such as zines, scores, games, newspapers and other sensory objects from a diverse group of artist-educators across North America. The Kit responds to research into radical art pedagogies from the 1960s, particularly a group of artists know as Fluxus. 14 contemporary artists were invited to contribute artistic-curriculum materials that are based on the values of critical democratic pedagogy, anti-racist and anti-colonial logics, and social justice, as well as continuing the experimental and inventive collaboration that defined Fluxus. The lessons, syllabi and classroom activities produced by this new generation of artists address topics and methodologies including queer identities and Indigenous ways of knowing, social movements and collective protest, immigration, technology, and ecology.
Accessibility: This event will be live captioned. Chat and non-verbal communication tools will be enabled in zoom.
Registration: The workshops are free and open to everyone. Participants do not need to attend all 4 workshops. Click here to register for the workshop(s) of your choice.
Workshop 1: Fluxus & Socially-Engaged Art as Radical Pedagogy
This virtual workshop will introduce Fluxus radical pedagogy and the Instant Class Kit. The workshop will include lectures and discussion. Participants will be introduced to artworks from the kit and will be invited to activate a work by PA Systems that draws on the idea of giving something intangible (dream or feeling) tangible form. There is a curatorial publication for the kit that you may read prior to the workshop (optional). The publication can be found on the website.
Materials required: Ideally playdoh or airdry clay. You can make homemade dough (many recipes on the internet that require flour, oil and salt). Alternatively pencil and paper.
Workshop 2: The Museum of Care
This workshop encourages critical conversations around individual and collective actions of care, and their implications for the production and transformation of the communities we inhabit or wish to create. Participants will be asked to contribute to creating a virtual Museum of Care using found objects and materials from their immediate surroundings.
Materials: Use of a camera phone (optional).
Workshop 3: Love Letters to a Possible Future (with guest artist Syrus Marcus Ware)
Activating a number of items in the kit including Tania Willard’s Bush Manifesto and Syrus Marcus Ware’s Activist Love Letters participants will discuss intimacy and love in activism, survival, and radical pedagogy and will engage in a letter writing project for a future to come.
Materials: Pen and paper. Envelope and stamp (optional).
Workshop 4: Redundancy
Drawing from a score designed by Chris Cuellar in The People’s Mycrophony Songbook by Elana Mann, this workshop seeks to hold reflective conversations around the social, aesthetic, and political potential of listening and speaking or what Mann calls ‘radical receptivity.’ The performance, which repeats phrases over and over again, plays with the idea of redundancy – the state of no longer being needed or unnecessary. Collectively participants will engage in a virtual performance on zoom.
Materials: Paper and pen or pencil
Instant Class Kit in action at the 2019 Society for the Study of Affect Summer School. Photo credit: Andrea Vela Alarcón
Instant Class Kit. Photo credit: Andrea Vela Alarcón
Stephanie Springgay is Director of the School of the Arts and Associate Professor at McMaster University. She is a leading scholar of research-creation with a focus on walking, affect, queer theory, and contemporary art as pedagogy. She directs the SSHRC-funded research-creation project The Pedagogical Impulse which explores the intersections between contemporary art and pedagogy. With Dr. Sarah Truman she co-directs WalkingLab – an international network of artists and scholars committed to critical approaches to walking methods. www.stephaniespringgay.com
Andrea Vela Alarcón is an educator, community artist and Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto. Her work is inspired by over a decade of working at the intersections of community development, popular education and socially engaged arts in Peru and Canada. From participatory documentary to collaborative installations, her work is driven by a desire to engage with communities seeking social justice. Her research interests lie in the crossings of contemporary art and relational encounters through pedagogies of solidarity. Andrea co-directs the Instant Class Kit activations.
Syrus Marcus Ware is an LTF Assistant Professor at McMaster University in the School of the Arts. He is a Vanier scholar, visual artist, activist, curator and educator. Syrus uses painting, installation and performance to explore social justice frameworks and black activist culture, and he’s shown widely in galleries and festivals across Canada. He is a core-team member of Black Lives Matter – Toronto, a part of the Performance Disability Art Collective, and an ABD PhD candidate at York University in the Faculty of Environmental Studies. His on-going curatorial work includes That’s So Gay (Gladstone Hotel, 2016-2019) and BlacknessYes!/Blockorama.
This program is part of Hamilton Artists Inc.’s special projects stream, implemented by the NEW Committee. Special Projects are activities that do not take the form of regular exhibitions. They can be one-off performances, zines, posters, screenings, workshops, community events, digital platforms, outdoor projects in our courtyard, site-specific interventions, off-site projects, or other similarly unique initiatives.