Art Education: The making of alternatives?

Session Convenors

Sue Breakell, University of Brighton

Gavin Butt, University of Sussex

Matthew Cornford, University of Brighton

Naomi Salaman, University of Brighton

Session Abstract

Modern forms of art education have variously created worldmaking environments for staff and students to envisage, conceptualise and create alternatives to dominant aesthetic, social and political forms. From the Bauhaus to Hornsey College, and Black Mountain to Dartington, art education has acted as a laboratory for social and political, as well as artistic, change. In the UK, from the countercultural 1960s to the anti-Thatcherite ‘80s, change has come from students being afforded time and liberty to act at a remove from capitalist imperatives of paid employment – even from the constraints of pedagogy itself – or from direct engagement with radical teaching content: experimental studio briefs, placement activities or critical theory.

But, building on the work of Left-theorist Mark Fisher, we ask: Are art schools in neoliberal times still potent sites for the incubation of alternative political possibility? Or have they become tamed by the marketised imperatives of competition and of audit culture? Have students become more conservative upon becoming consumers of their own education? Or is asking such questions only to describe the different conditions of alternative worldmaking in art school today?

We welcome proposals addressing modern or contemporary art schools and their role in the creation of, for example, alternative lifestyles, radical art, revolutionary communities, feminism, LGBTQI culture, race politics, and rock and pop music. Submissions that explore the role of the archive in rehabilitating histories of radical forms of education, or adopt a theoretical approach to the ‘alternative’ or ‘critical’ capacities of the art school are expressly encouraged.

To offer a paper
Please email your paper proposals direct to the session convenors, details above.

Provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper (unless otherwise specified), your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

Please make sure the title is concise and reflects the contents of the paper because it will appear online, in social media and in the printed programme.

You should receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your submission within two weeks from the session convenors.

Deadline for submissions: Monday 5 November 2018

BACK TO 2019 Annual Conference