Thursday, September 25, 2008

Omni-Point Perspective: Interactive Pedagogy

Input and output relate via a recursive feedback loop, sophisticating and refining the data set via a series of filters, in which both student and teacher are both input source and output media; in which both student and teacher are both student and teacher. The Professor, extant safely as a validated power symbol within the protectorate of academia, must move to subvert that seat, absolving the bureaucracy of the arts institution via participation, action, collaboration, exposure. The emergent role of the educator/artist is as an aggregator of data, a facilitator of actions and events, a search engine with advance search and infinitely refinable filter options. The student/teacher submits variegated output; it is then the function and responsibility of the teacher/student to assist in sophisticating that data via a set of increasingly limiting filters enabled by objectivity, experience, externality. This data set is, in turn, resubmitted to the rigors of the process in the reverse direction, ad infinitum, mapping the identities of both users in the process.

We propose to develop a platform for the Open Sourcing of education. Multiple simultaneous users R+D an open framework interface, and submit their chunks of code to the group. The framework is then experimented with, tested, reconfigured, re-published, and distributed under public license, available to the larger, theoretically universal user set to further manipulate, R+D, and resubmit. The Hive Mind grows exponentially, and the Group propels itself far afield of the possibilities of the separate pursuits of unrelated individuals. Subverting the market basis of contemporary culture, ideas are developed for the sake of progress, rather than capital, at least theoretically. Collaboration is of the highest utility. Concurrent with the institutional paradigm of ART, a new alternative emerges: that of the DIY, the Second City, the localized life collective. We aim to subsume and merge these co-extant models, darting sidelong through the Exit at opportune moments, Nationally Accrediting subcultural esotericism and refusal as institutionally valid, and vice versa.

Pursuing a practice informed of the successes and failure of modernism and post-modernism, we edit from both to construct a new paradigm: practice qua Practice, life as “making”, active living as medium of choice. As the boundaries between art/science/ habit/sustenance/belief dissolve into an inclusive holistic pursuit, making sustains itself as an enduring life practice, more seamlessly integrated into the process of surviving physically, psychologically, spiritually, and socially. We absolve the white cube demarcation, moving towards a more authentically social practice. The current climate of our particular exclusive sub-culture subsumes inclusivity, awards Bonus Points for Benevolence. Combining the meta-narrating impetus of Modernism with Post-Modernism’s assertion of the hyper-individualized, the new paradigm re-attempts to provide the ideal for everyman, while acknowledging desire, whim, caprice, humanism, subjectivity, locality, individualism. We acknowledge in this filtering and reconstructive process the failures of modernism and post-modernism as tendential towards fascism and wanton hedonism, respectively.

It is assumed that the primary motive for output is a responsibility to a given concept’s highest possible realization, rather than a responsibility to a given media. It is assumed likewise that the highest possible conceptual realization is authentication of oneself, of internal imperatives to action, of achieving the highest possible iteration of oneself, rather than capitulating to a conceived paradigm, whether it be historical, academic, industrial, commercial, or conceptual. It is the duty of those within a model to tesselate and distort that paradigm according to the development of its new needs and desires.

Finally, the institution of academia preemptively constructs a susceptive social system, ripe for use as a beta testing environment for conceptual frameworks. The “classroom” is an extension of my “studio” practice, both pursuits being inseparable from the larger framework of a holistic life practice, in which all actions are considered viable within an ontological holarchy, actively opposed to hierarchization of actions, intents, output.

Epilogue: I believe one should severely limit the use of the phrase “I believe” when writing personal statements. I believe that as an educator my role is multiplicitous: collaborator, critic, advisor, student, facilitator, filter, input, output. I believe that my primary role is as a learner, and that only as an active pursuer of knowledge will I succeed as a teacher. With the benefit of observations from 10 years practicing in this field, I believe that a new, living, self-modeling, reflexive, and adapting paradigm is emerging for both the field as a whole, and for the role of the artist. I believe that the term artist is archaic and exceedingly useless. I believe that the artist’s role emerges as facilitator, filter, social collaborator, open framework architect, data collector, researcher and developer, inclusive lifestyle architect. I believe that for a pursuit to remain viable, it must adapt and adopt from the philosophy of emerging programming technologies as open source, universally editable and contributable information networks. I believe that for contemporaneous systems to be resilient, they must be interactive, render in real-time, respond to forces structurally via tesselation and triangulation, shifting to the vantage point of the player as a first person shooter video game engine does. I believe that for a pursuit to have longevity with the maker, it must engage on all levels of interest, from sustenance to whim.

[This essay is posted to a group of users on Google documents, a future revision based on comments and changes made by the group will be posted here.]