Date: February 28 2014, 19.30 – 21.00 h 

Piet Zwart Institute: Karel Doormanhof 45, Rotterdam

Admission: Free

The lecture is open for public

Lecture # 2
Dennis Atkinson:Events of Learning and the Poietic Materialism of Art

Hereby we cordially invite you for the public lecture series Critical Pedagogies of the 21st Century. What is a school? How does it influence and construct politics and social relations in our present day society? Society seems to be ready for implementing change in schools. On the one hand this is based on the premise that we have to rethink education in relation to the future and challenges of the 21st Century. On the other hand there is a critical evaluation of conventional institutions and formats, fuelled by a clear interest from artists and theoreticians alike in alternative educational models.

The film Postcards from the Desert Island from the artist Adelita Husni-Bey documents a 3-week workshop with students from an experimental, self-run elementary school in Paris. The artist asked the pupils to turn the school hall into a desert island, and to relate themselves to this new territory. The video documents the children’s approaches to self-governance and the possibility of imagining institutions and social relations from scratch. What if we break down the concept of school to its bare essence? What is a school? This question is the starting point for the lecture series Critical Pedagogies of the 21st Century, which deals with the phenomenon ‘school’ on a philosophical, theoretical and fictional level.

In the second keynote lecture Dennis Atkinson (Professor Emeritus Goldsmiths University of London Department of Educational Studies and the Centre for the Arts and Learning) will explore processes of learning through the themes of event, truth, pedagogies against the state and becoming. He will focus on art in education at a time when it is under threat. Arguing for the importance of art in education in terms of the force of art, by taking the line that the transformational and ‘vital’ force of art is deeply significant for processes of learning and pedagogic action. Here the emphasis is not upon the art object in its more traditional or contemporary guises, but upon art’s process of becoming or its event: an event that will be considered in terms of a poietic materiality. A space whose force, put in the words of Deleuze, is to restore a belief in this world when today for many the distance between involvement in the world and a belief in it is increasing.

Critical Pedagogies of the 21st Century is developed by the Master of Education in Arts as part of the seminar Critical Pedagogy. It is indebted to the inspiring meetings of the ‘New School Collective’. 

Fore more information and the biographies of the speakers, see this page:

(Credits photo: Adelita Husni-Bey, Postcards from the Desert Island, 2010-11, SD video transferred to DVD, 23 mins.Courtesy the artist and Galleria Laveronica)