My approach to teaching and personal scholarly activity is based on a foundation of access, DIY approaches, public pedagogy, community collaboration and engagement, valuing and acknowledging multiple forms of knowledge, and an interdisciplinary approach to contemporary art that emphasizes social value. In my teaching I encourage students to develop a creative praxis that is sustainable and to find and create contexts for ones work.
+ Eliminating the idea of elite scholarship
+ De-centering the voice of authority
+ Collaborations and partnerships
Contributing to a Discourse
+ Creating a public platform in which students can contribute to the current discourse.
Teaching Each Other
+ Student investment and responsibility
+ Diverse perspectives and multiple voices
+ Social Learning
+ Application of historical framework to current contexts.
+ Social application
PSU Art & Social Practice Program
Since 2008 I have worked to create a pioneering and challenging program that has raised the level of excellence at Portland State University and has brought the School of Art and Design international attention and recognition as one of the primary locations in America for the study of socially engaged art. PSU’s Art and Social Practice MFA is composed of a unique combination of individual research, group work, and experiential learning. The program’s blend of critical and professional practice, collaborative social engagement, and transdisciplinary exploration produces an immersive educational environment. During my time at PSU I proposed, wrote and realized the curriculum and structure for a lowresidency MFA program in art and social practice and have since blended the localized learners and distance students to create one program under a flexible residency model.
The program’s flexible residency model allows for travel and even the ability for students to reside outside of Portland during their course of study and create meaningful work in their own communities. This meant the implementation and management of online teaching tools and platforms. We have created a structure that allows for a high caliber of students to be enrolled despite geographical limitations and supported internationally acclaimed faculty teaching in the MFA program. The faculty that I have brought in to teach at PSU since my tenure in the program has included Mark Dion, Fritz Haeg, Pablo Helguera, Julie Ault, Tania Bruguera, Shannon Jackson, and Paul Ramirez Jonas. I have offered a selection of undergraduate courses focused on socially engaged art making, history, and theory.
School of the Air Band Class
Music Education by Radio Broadcast is not a new concept. In the spirit of the former CBS School of the Air or the the University of Wisconsin’s “Wisconsin College of the Air,” among many more have inspired, School of the Air Band Class. School of the Air Band Class is a weekly broadcast focused on exploring music, social implications, collaboration, and group dynamics. Each broadcast is approximately 30 minutes in length
These four weekly broadcasts will look at group singing and social music. We will listen to songs of Work and Play, Union and Protest, Choirs and A Capella and in the last week focusing on Bands and Groups.
Through recordings, readings, and activities listeners can engage in an exploration of social music. Weekly assignments will be given on the air that will encourage you to gather together a group to engage in these musical forms.
These readings and most albums featured on these broadcasts are available in their entireties at Ditch Projects in Springfield, Oregon from September 3- October 1st, 2011.
The broadcasts are available for download here:
To obtain copies of the weekly reading packets that accompany these broadcasts please contact me for pricing.
Special thanks to Stefan Ransom, sound engineer and editor of the School of the Air Band Class recordings
Let Knowledge Serve the City: A Social Education
Excerpts from this essay appeared as flags marking sites of learning identified by PSU students in the DUMBO neighborhood in New York.
Parties Prenantes: Info Point
For Parties Prenantes: Info Point I worked with Jonathan Quesne to create a display and presentation about his favorite book, Les Trois Mousquetaires.
Parties Prenantes: Info Point is an exhibition of informational displays that have been created to represent the interests and knowledge of people who are in the ZAC Paris Rive Gauche. These displays are made collaboratively with people from the neighborhood and associates of Portland State University MFA Art and Social Practice Concentration. Similar to the format of a science fair or a conference poster session, displays are produced that communicate the research, interests, and positions of the involved parties.
Art and Social Practice starts and ends not in rarified spaces, but out in the world, although there are intersections with studios/galleries when necessary or appropriate. This way of working is not restricted to any medium, but instead uses various forms, methods, and approaches as the situation dictates. Sometimes Art Social Practice might look more like sociology, anthropology, social work, journalism, or environmentalism than art, yet it retains the intention of creating significance and appreciation between the audience and artists