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December 13, 2010 / David Bell

Talk at New Research Trajectories/LAB

I’ve been invited to give a talk this Wednesday evening by the good people at New Research Trajectories and LAB. The former are staging a day of ‘interventions’ around Nottingham by artists and researchers on Wednesday, and have teamed up with LAB for an evening of discussion in their studio space, of which my talk will form a part. The abstract is below, whilst the full schedule for Wednesday can be found here.

Art, Education and the Social Organism

This talk considers some resonances and discontinuities between the utopian praxes proffered by Nicolas Bourriaud’s relational aesthetics; Joseph Beuys’ theory of social sculpture; and the theory and practice of the radical educational philosophy known as ‘critical pedagogy’. It considers what critical pedagogy might learn from the work of Bourriaud and Beuys, but questions whether the survival of the romantic notion of the individual in ‘the art world’ can be fully reconciled with critical pedagogy’s more collective approach to utopian transformation; as well as critiquing shallower notions of ‘participation’ inherent to much contemporary art practice. Nonetheless, it argues that artistic strategies must play an important role in a critical education and suggests that the events undertaken by both LAB and New Research Trajectories can, perhaps, be seen as examples of critically utopian artistic engagements.

Image taken from this fascinating collection.

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