Thursday, February 02, 2006

just another word for

"Don't, for heavens sake, be afraid of talking nonsense! But you must pay attention to your nonsense.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

it seems we begin with two points: an institution and a conversation. An art school, simply put, is a representative of the institutionalization of art. It represents the world as a collection of rules, practices, traditions, habits -about art- that are organised within a social order. The presumptions and prescriptions that are taught there are a de facto description of what art is. When you describe art, you are also describing how meaning is produced, and subjectivity is formed. In other words you are describing reality. By teaching a description of reality you are engaged in constructing it, and in this sense an art school is a political institution as much as a cultural one (insofar as one can separate them to begin with)."

from "Teaching to learn (a conversation about 'how' and 'why')", Joseph Kosuth.

Ok so that's probably a bit more on the theory side of the equation. and I have to admit I haven't had much of a chance to work on the practical aspects of establishing something a little more functional than this blog when it comes to the OSAS. but I guess I felt it necessary to post and represent the much maligned theoretical aspects of this endeavour and renew what for me is the power of theory and words to drive practical developments. In this case theory might be another word for "doing what you can" with the recognition of the place of reading and digesting through writing, in inspiring action.

I think theory and discussion are also useful at this early stage because they provide a space to be totally idealistic about what an OSAS might become. In the spirit of that sort of idealism there is the chance for an OSAS to shift Kosuth's description of the art institution. If we accept that "By teaching a description of reality you are engaged in constructing it" then by engaging all, (not just the "teachers"), in constructing the teaching process, it might be possible to arrive at a kind of "meta-point-of-view" from which it becomes possible to see not only the way we construct reality through the knowledge we engage with, but also how we construct that knowledge.

to complete the loop we might return to the Wittgenstein quote. In this instance non-sense might be what emerges in terms of teaching, but if we pay attention to the function and functioning of the non-sense then important insights can emerge. To follow that one step further one way of paying attention to the non-sense might be to ask why Kosuth started his article with that quote and why am I reiterating it. for me it is for the sake of the second of the two points that Kosuth starts with. The conversation. Without the institution the conversation is all the OSAS has. So at this stage I would heartily encourage all dialogue, whether sense or non-sense and when the heap of shit gets too big then let the moderators move in.

2 Comments:

Blogger mayhem said...

I tracked down a great book today; its an ethnography of art schools in the united states..... called; when artists go to the office or something like that.........

BTW what happened to my last post?

7:59 am  
Blogger the reader said...

yeah i've had some weird things happening with posts, maybe you can dig it out of your blogger dashboard and republish it.

11:03 pm  

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