We created PILOT conscious that radical change is needed in arts education. It’s an alternative curriculum and collaborative space for participants to share and learn together. What are we hoping people will take away from it?
I always maintain that we should practice art - or any other action in the world - as if the world mattered. By that, I mean that the education of art far too often remains obsessed with its own history and narration, its own ideas of what radicality means, its own context… and this can constrain rather than liberate those willing to spend time to understand their own creative potential as part of the world.
In the meantime, contemporary art practices cross boundaries in and out of art frames all the time. This richness is what we should be concentrating on, together with a student-centred approach that recognises their subjectivities as soul-searching engines in an uncertain world.
Those of us teaching in art in higher education have had drastic changes imposed on us, structurally and by managerial governance. In the process, teachers have spent too much time firefighting rather than asking ourselves ‘what kind of art school do we believe in here and now?’, or ‘are we truly listening and spending enough time with our students to learn and understand?’
How can we provide alternatives to those wanting to learn in the world other choices outside of the current university-based art school? How do we salvage our vocational skills as teachers from being wrecked in the university structure, without losing the vision of wanting art schools to exist and be different? For them to be for as many people as possible?
With the PILOT course, Ali and I want to keep open these necessary and complex questions. Maintaining a variety of viewpoints and experiences is key to PILOT and furthering the opportunities of participants, through mentoring, and guest thinkers and practitioners.
We want the artists who come through PILOT to better understand the intellectual positions in their work, be stimulated by leading practice and research material, and develop lasting peers that inspire and challenge. We want them to leave with a sense of purpose to guide them in their futures.
Find out how to apply to PILOT here – we welcome artists and creative practitioners at any stage of their career.