Guest Professor Judith Seng and Senior Lecturer Fredric Gunve invite you to take part in a Shadow Course with the aim of creating future artistic and art based educations.
Description of project
(Sha)do(w)ing(Dis)course (Sha)do(w)ing(Dis)course took from the curriculum 1. Approval The Board of the Faculty of Fine, Appliedand Performing Arts at the University of Gothenburg have not approved this curriculum Several revisions to the curriculum has been made, but never presented to the board, published or shown in public. 2. Prerequisites Admission to take part in a shadow course requires undocumented and independent approaches to the topic and content. Applicants will select themselves based on their ability and intention to take part in a shadow course. 3. A shadow course purposes This course is about survival in a nearby future for everyone, non-humans and humans all included. The shadow course introduces methods and concepts of informal course activities that aim toward making transdisciplinary outcomes possible inside formal educations such as institutionalized art educations. This is of importance today when new ways of ethical and sustainable ways of living and understanding the world are needed for adapting to new environments and climates of the future. It does so by introducing itself as a parallel and informal shadow course that run along(in)side formal university courses infecting and changing them and its participants from within. By taking part in a shadow course the participants can act from an in-ground position (institution underground) within the frameworks of formal education and institutional art and art education. A shadow-course claim to make real experiments and change possible, and can help prepare and take part in creating futures. 4. Degree Students who complete the program are given no degrees, certificates or diplomas. The aim of this experimental course, staged during OPEN WEEK at HDK Gothenburg, Sweden, was to experiment with new learning rituals within and beyond academic and artistic educations. It introduced itself as a parallel and informal shadow course that run along formal educational situations and places, infecting and changing them and its participants from within. It started as a nucleus and will grow and learn through ongoing repetition and collaboration within the Shadow Academy. A shadow-course claims to make real learning experiments and change possible, and can help envision and take part in alternative futures. This is done by blurring the borders between art, design and everyday life within educational discourses such as University coursers and other institutional spaces and situations. This first (Sha)do(w)ing (dis)course took place in complete darkness and involved 10 participants. The course was structured and framed in three separated phases: 1. Shadow (Col)lecture - 2. Writing without Reflection - 3.Moving the Darkness. The participants gathered in front of the door and were introduced to the rules and setting of the course before everyone was allowed into the room. The room was complete dark, and everyone was lead to and seated on pillows in a circle on the floor. On each pillow, different objects where placed that signified five specific roles from which to speak and contribute to a discussion in the dark. A story about the Shadow Academy* was read out to the group to initiate the discussion. The person who found on its pillow a Mobius band had before the course started been informed about being the one to Retell the story just been told. The closest person to the right had found glasses on the pillow and were told to Zoom in into one specific aspect or detail of what has been retold. The next person found a stone and was asked to give example for aspect highlighted in the previous zoom in. A question should be asked by the person who got a lump of play-do, which then should be replied by the next person holding a ping pong ball. This process was repeated over and over while in each round, roles where handed over to the neighboring person. The discussion was stirred by a different choreography of listening and contributing that together formed a reflection process giving space to multiple voices and perspectives according to the different roles. It was an impressive experience how listening, thinking and talking in group a group differ from when everyone is visible. Other rhythms, and paces of talking emerged out of the darkness, new and more concentrated listening processes took form when everyone had to wait till they thought, instead of see if the one talking was finished or not. Other aspects and senses became important and changed the way of discussing in a group and thus content of thoughts. Listening became a prominent quality and experience of this conversation. The second phase; Writing without Reflection was about noting, writing, drawing, building with different pens and papers based on the previous discussion. The darkness did not make the act of drawing/looking possible, instead each one had to use drawing/listening as a way of communicating. People were rather listening to each other’s (as well as their own) rhythms, gestures, movements of materials. An orchestra of reflecting together without seeing or hearing words emerged. The last and third phase; Moving the Darkness started with sound: A “zisch” made by opening a beer can was followed by a screening of a DAF music video and sound on a mobile phone. It marked the beginning of a loose conversation and movement from a sacral experience to more profane and perhaps even liberating experiences, where the frame of darkness could be used and experienced in a different way. All phases took place in complete darkness. At the beginning, it was impossible to see anything but slowly eyes adjusted and started seeing soft nuances of darkness. At the end, the group was guided to leave the darkness together met again in the light in front of the door. (Sha)do(w)ing (dis)course was purposely not visually documented. *The Shadow Academy There was a time, when people always aimed for the center hoping to find one unmistakable definition of everything. They loved being in the spotlight while fearing the dark and always mistrusted what was hidden in the blurry and immaterial shadows. They believed in finding a truth by exposing everything to full light. They became excellent in separating things from each other and cultivating borders. Body was body, and mind was mind, nature was nature and culture was culture, women was not man and man was not animal. After a while their world was defined and separated in many small categories of this and that and that and this. Sometimes they fought brutal wars when one group defined a thing in one way and another group defined the same thing in another way. They were so occupied with maintaining their system of division that very little energy was left to develop new ideas and approaches. But one day a member of the society was so exhausted from constantly separating and categorizing that she simply stopped moving at all. This happened on a buzzy street a warm sunny day. Standing motionless, she faced the sky. For the first time in her life she looked straight into the sun and made a painful realization. Even if the sun is the brightest object and thereby must be the truest object of them all, you should never look straight into it. You must always shade your eyes. But what did this mean? What was to be learnt from that experience? Was there something else to be found when not looking directly into the light? She turned her head and saw a small back door in a dark alley she never seen before. Over the door there was a banner saying SHADOW ACADEMY. Underneath the text someone had written; Enter here and experience the Shadow Qualities! She wondered: Shadow qualities, what is that? Then she entered. At first, she could not see anything, it was all dark, but slowly her eyes started to adjust and out of the darkness blurry shapes of other people, objects and the space emerged. Without the light shining bright and clear on everything she felt a bit insecure but at the same time she discovered a new quality of looking at the situation she was in. She had to use her body and all her senses, new and old, to navigate the darkness. There was hardly any contrast to distinguish the different elements that formed the situation, but it was possible to draw new lines and connections over confirmed ones. She had to make movement after movement and through repetition these new lines emerged out of the dark. She experienced how by temporarily un-learning her familiar skills, together with the others she enjoyed the re-learning of what can become
Description of work included
Type of work
Artistic work, Artistic research, teaching, education, Design, Performance, experiment, Course, discourse
HDK –Academy of Design and Craft during Open week – Gothenborg Designfestival
Link to web site