Sam Thorne’s School: A Recent History of Self-Organized Art Education is a chronicle of self-organized art schools and artist-run education platforms that have emerged since 2000. Comprising a series of twenty conversations conducted by Thorne with the artists, curators, and educators behind these schools, the book maps a territory at once fertile and contested. Spanning projects in London, Lagos, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Ramallah, Berlin, and Saint Petersburg, among other locations, these critical dialogues respond to spiraling student debt, the MFA system, and the “pedagogical turn,” while offering proposals for the future of art education.
One of the necessities or urgencies of the Silent University was to address the temporariness of art forms. You need to go beyond the conception of terms like project, workshop, residency, commission. We need to establish another form of engagement. At their core, cultural and art practices are inherently disposed toward transient projects, while pedagogy on the contrary requires extended commitment. “University” suggests something long-term and much larger in scale.
Ahmet Öğüt about the Silent University
You see, what we’re after is to remind ourselves that we didn’t come to Anarres for safety, but for freedom. If we must all agree, all work together, we’re no better than a machine. If an individual can’t work in solidarity with his fellows, it’s his duty to work alone. His duty and his right. We have been denying people that right. We’ve been saying, more and more often, you must work with the others, you must accept the rule of the majority. But any rule is tyranny. The duty of the individual is to accept no rule, to be the initiator of his own acts, to be responsible. Only if he does so will the society live, and change, and adapt, and survive. We are not subjects of a State founded upon law, but members of a society formed upon revolution. Revolution is our obligation : our hope of evolution. The Revolution is in the individual spirit, or it is nowhere. It is for all, or it is nothing. If it is seen as having any end, it will never truly begin. We can’t stop here. We must go on. We must take the risks.
Without an ethic of love shaping the direction of our political vision and our radical aspirations, we are often seduced, in one way or the other, into continued allegiance to systems of domination—imperialism, sexism, racism, classism. It has always puzzled me that women and men who spend a lifetime working to resist and oppose one form of domination can be systematically supporting another. I have been puzzled by powerful visionary black male leaders who can speak and act passionately in resistance to racial domination and accept and embrace sexist domination of women, by feminist white women who work daily to eradicate sexism but who have major blind spots when it comes to acknowledging and resisting racism and white supremacist domination of the planet. Critically examining these blind spots, I conclude that many of us are motivated to move against domination solely when we feel our self-interest directly threatened. Often, then, the longing is not for a collective transformation of society, an end to politics of dominations, but rather simply for an end to what we feel is hurting us. This is why we desperately need an ethic of love to intervene in our selfcentered longing for change.
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For us, body education is core education. Our bodies are the physical bases from which we move out into the world; ignorance, uncertainty – even, at worst, shame – about our physical selves create in us an alienation from ourselves that keeps us from being the people that we could be.
As we managed to be more trusting with each other we found that talking about ourselves and our sexuality can be very liberating… With each other’s support, we have become more accepting of our sexuality, and we have begun to explore aspects of ourselves that we hadn’t thought much about before. Our sexuality is complex because it involves physical, psychological, emotional, and political factors.
Feminist porn wants you to be horny, wants to encourage people to feel sexy and to be sexual objects, but decide for themselves how, why and for whom. Once you have that power it is much easier to decide when you do not want to be sexual.
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Compostists eagerly found out everything they could about experimental, intentional, utopian, dystopian, and revolutionary communities and movements across times and places. One of their great disappointments in these accounts was that so many started from the premises of starting over and beginning anew, instead of learning to inherit without denial and stay with the trouble of damaged worlds. Although hardly free of the sterilizing narrative of wiping the world clean by apocalypse or salvation, the richest humus for their inquiries turned out to be sf—science fiction and fantasy, speculative fabulation, speculative feminism, and string figures. Blocking the foreclosures of utopias, sf kept politics alive.
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What characterizes the situation that a commune faces is that by giving oneself to it unreservedly, one always finds more in it than one brought to it or sought from it: one is surprised to find one’s own strength in it, a stamina and an inventiveness that is new, plus the happiness that comes from strategically inhabiting a situation of exception on a daily basis. In this sense, the commune is the organization of fertility. It always gives rise to more than it lays claim to. This is what makes irreversible the unheaval that affected the crowds that descended on all the squares and avenues of Istanbul. Crowds forced for weeks to deal on their own with the crucial questions of provisioning, construction, care and treatment, burial, or armament not only learned to organize themselves, but learned something that most didn’t know: that we can organize ourselves, and that this capacity is fundamentally joyful.
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Queerness is not yet here. Queerness is an ideality. Put another way, we are not yet queer. We may never touch queerness, but we can feel it as the warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality. We have never been queer, yet queerness exists for us as an ideality that can be distilled from the past and used to imagine a future. The future is queerness’s domain. Queerness is a structuring and educated mode of desiring that allows us to see and feel beyond the quagmire of the present. The here and now is a prison house. We must strive, in the face of the here and now’s totalizing rendering of reality, to think and feel a then and there. Some will say that all we have are the pleasures of this moment, but we must never settle for that minimal transport; we must dream and enact new and better pleasures, other ways of being in the world, and ultimately new worlds. Queerness is a longing that propels us onward, beyond romances of the negative and toiling in the present. Queerness is that thing that lets us feel that this world is not enough, that indeed something is missing. Often we can glimpse the worlds proposed and promised by queerness in the realm of the aesthetic. The aesthetic, especially the queer aesthetic, frequently contains blueprints and schemata of a forward-dawning futurity. Both the ornamental and the quotidian can contain a map of the utopia that is queerness. Turning to the aesthetic in the case of queerness is nothing like an escape from the social realm, insofar as queer aesthetics map future social relations. Queerness is also a performative because it is not simply a being but a doing for and toward the future. Queerness is essentially about the rejection of a here and now and an insistence on potentiality or concrete possibility for another world.
Drawing together communiqués, covert interviews, oral and underground history of introvert struggles (Introfada), here for the first time is a detailed documentation of the political demands of shy people.
Radicalised against the imperial domination of globalised PR projectionism, extrovert poise and loudness, the Shy Radicals and their guerrilla wing the Shy Underground are a vanguard movement intent on trans-rupting consensus extrovert-supremacist politics and assertiveness culture of the twenty first century. The movement aims to establish an independent homeland – Aspergistan, a utopian state for introverted people, run according to Shyria Law and underpinned by Pan-Shyist ideology, protecting the rights of the oppressed quiet and shy people.
Modern capitalist society runs on paid work. Yet for many of us, paid work is at best a frustrating experience. Some of us are burdened with too much work, while others fight the hard realities of precarious, low-paid, low-quality work amid persistent mass unemployment. So what if we rethought the whole system?
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Post-work: the radical idea of a world without jobs