Activity: Academic Talks or Presentations › Workshop › Teaching
Cutting Publics Out of Communities introduces students to theories and practices surrounding art for the public sphere. The aim of the course is to enable students to develop a rigorous engagement with what it means to be public. In a period of neo-liberal advance and the colonization of the public sphere by market interests and the third way state, art needs to function for social democracy and not become thoroughly debased by the surrounding apparatus. In order to address practical problems on ‘how we can live together’, which includes both critical deliberation on social issues and a recognition of economic difference - a social democracy not a Liberal Democracy is required. It is therefore vital we examine existing notions of art, publics and participation with the aim to exceed them - to bring to the fore arts potential for enabling political and social organization. Freee complicates the notion of the convivial in social practice by using witnesses instead of participants and we develop theories of place and space from radical geography, theories of hegemony and the multitude, the theory of the philistine and the political theory of parrhesia in our projects. In our artwork, Freee do not create consensus, manage or co-opt people, nor become their mouthpiece. Politics needs conflict and dissent not improved techniques to dominate political processes that manage the public. To address the well-known tensions in the concept and formation of publics, Freee generate publics through techniques that derive from montage: cutting, rearranging, pasting, spitting and joining. In a series of lectures, seminars and workshops Freee will explore practice at the intersection between art and politics. They will discuss ideas key to their art including real montage, the passerby, the witness and the heckler, together with their strategies and tactics for art production such as publishing, converting passersby into publics, sloganeering and spoken choirs. Students will be encouraged to consider their own practice in relation to Freee’s key concepts and to make a proposal, artifact or an action that demonstrates their understanding and position.