Experiential learning, learning through problem solving. see visuals here
Production of a small book: a response to the Arnolfini galleries and their content 6th October 2010
In the main artists set their own problems then attempt to solve them (this is not exclusive to the arts, some scientists could be said to be working this way)
even in a formal pedagogical situation (such as an MA) where a problem may be placed on the table - an external problem to solve - the process of creating the work will involve the invention of more problems.
Questions of appropriateness of form and function/content should arrive. In a given problem there might be a specific form and a direction of content given.
The first task on the MA was a small A4 folded book or zine. It can make pages that turn, offering 8 sides...even 8 more sides if you open out and refold “inside out”. It might also form a paged book containing a map on the inside whole unfolded page.
But how to present the experience of the galleries at the Arnolfini on this paper? Is it important which sheet starts the book (2 pages present a folded edge the other 2 a split one).
How to define the experience in words? And how to write about the defining of the experience in words…..
I ended up attending to the space and choreography of the exhibition. I was tired. I wandered through the spaces getting a general/overall understanding of the works shown. But the light and space and the journeys of the other people combined in the galleries was (should it be was or were? it was a melting together of 3 things into one, which would imply was) holding my attention.
SO...I was set the task of responding to the exhibitions at the gallery. I went down the track of work and space. I set new problems that needed solving. The “solution” was not reached until I was able to make the zine reproduce-able in printed form - and put in a little clear bag with a sticky label explaining that it was a response to the Arnolfini galleries and 3 specific exhibitions. 31/2 words of work plus the label
What did I learn? How did I learn it? How much depended on my prior knowledge, not just technical knowledge but knowledge of how I work, the process that creates work. Work as noun and verb.
Exhibitions are responded to in different ways on different days by different people (probably). That the state of mind/emotions/body affect the potential to read the work. Space on that day was very important to me - alongside light (there were the shimmering patterns of light reflected on the water in the upstairs gallery). That words written can induce further words by both the viewing of them set on the page and the sound of them in the mind’s ear. This is a multi sensory experience, this teasing out of language from the body, combined with an intellectual experience of the art gallery. It requires a certain concentration and commitment. An assessing of the accuracy of the spelling out of experience. I was given a structure to work with - that can be seen as help or hindrance. Does that make it neutral? Is it just an accepted beginning? How much is it a guide? A pedagogical tool: a leading/ a walking alongside? It certainly makes an interesting comparison when looking at different peoples’ solving of the problem.
I became still: I sat in the lower gallery. Whilst feeling the space I started writing words based on my experience to that moment. Words beginning with ‘L’ listed themselves (they came to my head and out through my hand and I heard the sounding of them as I wrote - how long before I put pen to paper did they form? how much was the next word chosen by the ringing of the previous one in my mind’s ear and in my sight?) ....starting with look - as looking and looked (as present and as completed). How does it happen that you start and something forms and as it works then something more forms? Thinking is hardly the word to apply to it.
The words went over the page. The text could be read on page one or more fully by turning the page for each lines. This seemed to be like the experience of the works: a constant flickering of understanding, of contemplation that didn’t create a coherent whole but something more fluid. I honed the experience down to 25/6 words. It was enough (for some part of the experience). Then I was faced with the space: the gallery divided: one quarter black walls with a partition dividing it from a light white quarter that then merged into the remaining half. I opened up the sheet to the inside/the reverse side. There I mapped my sensations of space - it links to the “right” side of the zine with the letter ‘e’ broken from the end of “space” that encourages you to either turn the page or open it up to the other side. Words (including some repetition). In all the galleries I was aware of the space but I spend most time in the ground floor gallery, therefore my response is mainly to that place .Y lle yna [the place that].
When I had the opportunity I used a stencil to create the lettering - it needed order that was beyond hand writing. As soon as possible it became a piece of work prepared on the computer for print (typeset - it would be wonderful if it really was printed in the hot press technique - the printing press). The book part is all lower case. no hierarchy. I might have some objections to hierarchies in other parts of life but in text/bodies of writing I find them useful. The inner mapping is all upper case except for the linking ‘e’. Some words are spelt out with large outlined letters. The paper is laid so has slight texture one side and is smoother on the other-side. It is recycled paper.
How is this piece to be read – is it a language piece or a visual piece? All of the words except space are complete, readable. A poetic consonance of sounding to start the work. But as you open up t the inside mapping it is much more about space and position (not that the other side is not meticulously spaced and arranged), the readable page format is abandoned...except if you fold it like a tent. There is a relationship occurring between linguistics, poetics, typography, design and visual art.
Work: 31/2 words. This piece of writing 1260 inclusive.
The founder of Creative Pedagogy, Dr. Andrei Aleinikov, defined it in the form of formula of invention – a strict word pattern used to describe inventions for patenting in technology:
“Creative pedagogy that includes educational influence on the learner for acquisition of certain study material (subject) [as pedagogy in general] and differing from the above by the fact that in order to achieve higher efficiency of learning, the pedagogical influence is provided on the background of centrifugal above-the-criticism mutual activity in which the learner is raised from the object of [pedagogical] influence to the rank of a creative person, while the traditional (basic) study material is transformed from the subject to learn into the means of achieving some creative goal, and the extra study material includes the description and demonstration of the heuristic methods and techniques.” (Translated from Russian )