Documenting Secrets

Working Rhythm #3 thumbnail
Collectively Rocking Chairs thumbnail
Kittry thumbnail
Hide and Seek 1 thumbnail
Missing Lesson thumbnail
It works! thumbnail
 In-Between Spaces thumbnail
Working Rhythm #3
Collectively Rocking Chairs
Hide and Seek 1
Missing Lesson
It works!
In-Between Spaces

Work­ing Rhythm #3, Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum / In Search of the Miss­ing Lessons 2013

Col­lec­tive­ly Rock­ing Chairs, Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum / In Search of the Miss­ing Lessons 2013

Kit­try, Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum / (In)visibilities 2012

Hide and Seek 1, Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum / (In)visibilities 2012

Miss­ing Les­son, Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum / In Search of the Miss­ing Lessons 2013

It works!, Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum Utrecht 2007

In-Between Spaces, Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum Utrecht 2007

Han­nah Jick­ling and Helen Reed inter­view Annette Krauss

Last year, Helen and Han­nah intro­duced the idea of a ‘covert cur­ricu­lum’ to a group of pre-ser­vice teach­ers at the Ontario Insti­tute for Stud­ies in Edu­ca­tion, in order to shape a dis­cus­sion about the expec­ta­tions, val­ues, and behav­iours that are unof­fi­cial­ly learned in edu­ca­tion­al con­texts. This led them to Nether­lands-based artist, Annette Krauss, who is well known for her ongo­ing project, ‘The Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum’ pro­duced with sup­port from Cas­co (Utrecht 2007), Walden #3 (Munich 2010), Kun­sthaus (Dres­den 2010), The Show­room (Lon­don 2012), and Whitechapel Gallery (Lon­don 2012–2013). The idea of a hid­den cur­ricu­lum refers to the expec­ta­tions, val­ues, and behav­iours that are learned in edu­ca­tion­al con­texts, with­out being nec­es­sar­i­ly rec­og­nized, intend­ed or desired.

Krauss’s oth­er projects such as ‘Read-In,’ (with Hilde Tuin­stra, Lau­ra Par­do, Maiko Tana­ka, 2010-present) and ‘The Site for Unlearn­ing’ (Tbil­isi Tri­en­ni­al 2012) also explore approach­es to art mak­ing as forms of research and ped­a­gogy. In these works, the role of the doc­u­ment is inter­ro­gat­ed, manip­u­lat­ed or out­right evad­ed. As with many par­tic­i­pa­to­ry research projects, Krauss’s works per­form nec­es­sary acts of trans­la­tion, respond­ing to the urgent ques­tions, doubts and pro­jec­tions about how a project is to cir­cu­late among audi­ences beyond the imme­di­ate participants.

In her most recent book, Arti­fi­cial Hells, Claire Bish­op con­tends that the ques­tion of how to com­mu­ni­cate art-as-ped­a­gogy to an exter­nal audi­ence is a press­ing and ongo­ing dilem­ma. In shap­ing her argu­ments, she notes that class­rooms have no image; they have no spec­ta­tors, mean­ing the art world is typ­i­cal­ly not present dur­ing the par­tic­i­pa­to­ry project, and thus their ‘access’ to the process and the messi­ness is exclud­ed. Bish­op writes, “Edu­ca­tion is a closed process of social exchange, under­tak­en with mutu­al com­mit­ment, over a long dura­tion, rather [than] the per­for­mance of acts to be observed by oth­ers.”[1] Bish­op sur­mis­es that what is at stake is a dou­ble ontol­ogy, where­by par­tic­i­pa­to­ry art projects exist or func­tion for two audi­ences. The pri­ma­ry audi­ence is the stu­dents and teach­ers who work with an artist, while the sec­ondary audi­ence is the art world con­sist­ing of artists, schol­ars, cura­tors, and crit­ics and even a gen­er­al pub­lic, all of whom are exter­nal to the event itself.

In many instances, artists attempt to trans­late the project for a sec­ondary audi­ence through inven­tive approach­es to their doc­u­men­ta­tion. Often, these nec­es­sary ‘doc­u­ment solu­tions’ serve not only to trans­mit the work, but also con­tribute to for­mal inno­va­tion with­in the dis­ci­pli­nary fields in which they are locat­ed (sculp­ture, pho­tog­ra­phy, per­for­mance, event-based, social­ly engaged and ped­a­gog­i­cal prac­tices). We see this in Allo­ra and Calzadilla’s use of the trace, Richard Long’s line walked in a field, Bar­bara Steveni’s appro­pri­a­tion of the archive, Mari­na Abramovic’s re-stag­ing of influ­en­tial per­for­mance works, Valie Export’s fic­tion­al­ized pho­tos of a pub­lic inter­ven­tion, Allan Kaprow’s cur­ricu­lum-based-event-plan-ephemera and many more. With respect to art-as-ped­a­gogy, the issue of post-pro­duc­tion con­tin­ues to require inven­tive­ness and care­ful selec­tion along­side eth­i­cal and dis­ci­pli­nary expectations.

Han­nah and Helen met with Annette Krauss to talk about the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum project and issues relat­ed to col­lab­o­ra­tion, author­ship, inno­va­tion, doc­u­men­ta­tion and post-pro­duc­tion in her work.

Helen Reed: To begin, Annette can you describe the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum project?

Annette Krauss: The Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum is an art project that focus­es on the uniden­ti­fied, unin­tend­ed and unrec­og­nized forms of knowl­edge, val­ues and beliefs in the con­text of sec­ondary school edu­ca­tion. It could be explained as an inves­ti­ga­tion of every­thing that is learned along­side the offi­cial cur­ricu­lum. On one hand these oth­er forms of knowl­edge include var­i­ous kinds of actions and tac­tics chal­leng­ing enforced cul­tur­al val­ues and atti­tudes (e.g. punc­tu­al­i­ty, tidi­ness, etc.). On the oth­er hand the project looks at prac­tices that stu­dents devel­op in order to cope with the require­ments in every­day life in school, inves­ti­gat­ing forms of sub­or­di­na­tion, hier­ar­chies and silent vio­lence. In very gen­er­al terms the project deals with the realm of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, try­ing to address its blind spots, hid­den nich­es and mute prac­tices that are con­tained with­in every­day rou­tines at school.

The for­mat of the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum project is work­shop-based. The idea has been to fur­ther devel­op a frame­work, togeth­er with stu­dents, that allows us to approach what a ‘hid­den cur­ricu­lum’ means and does. It’s a ‘think­ing by doing’ process that tries to sit­u­ate the hid­den cur­ricu­lum in the spe­cif­ic cir­cum­stances of the par­tic­i­pants, in their schools, and with­in the con­di­tions of each project at a cer­tain time and place.

The project has been real­ized with stu­dents rang­ing from 13 to 17 years old and has tak­en place sev­en times, in dif­fer­ent coun­tries such as Ger­many, the Nether­lands, the Unit­ed King­dom and France. Gen­er­al­ly the project takes place dur­ing school time, run­ning par­al­lel to oth­er sub­jects, for sev­er­al hours a week. The dura­tion, and the hours the school and pupils com­mit to the project vary and depend on long nego­ti­a­tions that hap­pen before­hand with the school.

The indi­vid­ual work­shops set a frame­work for the pupils to inves­ti­gate their sur­round­ings, and their own actions and behav­iours with­in them. By observ­ing them­selves and their col­leagues crit­i­cal­ly, they start to address how they deal with the rules and con­ven­tions of every­day life – how these are inter­nal­ized and per­haps uncon­scious­ly resist­ed. Through this, the stu­dents active­ly reflect on the legit­i­ma­cy of spe­cif­ic social con­texts. In small groups, they begin to devel­op per­for­ma­tive sit­u­a­tions, or inter­ven­tions, that respond to these ques­tions, as well as com­ment on the con­ven­tions and unwrit­ten rules in their direct envi­ron­ment. This ‘think­ing by doing’ process has prompt­ed the doc­u­men­ta­tion of these per­for­mances with film, audio and pho­tog­ra­phy by the stu­dents them­selves. As a result, the stu­dents get a basic intro­duc­tion to video cam­eras and sound equip­ment – we always dis­cuss what it means to document.

HR: We first came across the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum Files when we were help­ing Art Metro­pole move. It is an artist-run cen­tre that dis­trib­utes artist mul­ti­ples and print­ed mat­ter in Toron­to. While “help­ing” we end­ed up skim­ming through each and every book before plac­ing it in a box. And that’s how we found the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum Files. We had heard about the project already, but hadn’t seen the actu­al documents.

Han­nah Jick­ling: It was great tim­ing to find this aspect of your work, because we have been fret­ting about how to rep­re­sent our own projects, espe­cial­ly the art-works we cre­at­ed with groups of stu­dents this year[2], for an audi­ence beyond the schools. The Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum Files gave us hope for how a par­tic­i­pa­to­ry project might func­tion out­side of its ini­tial con­text. The com­plex­i­ties and lay­ers of par­tic­i­pa­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion are made vis­i­ble and at the same time the files are aes­thet­i­cal­ly suc­cess­ful and invit­ing as works in their own right. Along with ques­tions we have for you about pro­duc­ing the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum project, we are won­der­ing about the process of cre­at­ing the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum Files: the deci­sions you made about how to rep­re­sent your work with the stu­dents and how these doc­u­ments give form and cred­i­bil­i­ty to your art practice.

The files were con­ceived of as a project with­in the project. The Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum Files were done in col­lab­o­ra­tion with art stu­dents at the Ger­rit Rietveld Acad­e­mie. Togeth­er with Julia Born, a graph­ic-design­er and tutor at the acad­e­my, we tried to chal­lenge the stu­dents’ under­stand­ings and approach­es towards a hid­den curriculum.

Do you also know the oth­er pub­li­ca­tion with the excus­es on the cov­er? This pub­li­ca­tion I see more as a dis­cur­sive fram­ing of the project. In the book there’s a text from a soci­ol­o­gist that I have been work­ing with[3], an inter­view between Mari­na Vish­midt, Emi­ly Pethick and myself[4], art­work by Ash­ley Hunt[5], and reflec­tions by Celine Con­dorel­li[6] and Fiona Par­ry[7]. The book brings togeth­er the things that I was strug­gling with the­o­ret­i­cal­ly at that point – in rela­tion to the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum. There’s also a DVD with all the com­pi­la­tion mate­r­i­al pro­duced by the pupils for the pupils. Some­thing we’ve kept doing since then. So over­all, in addi­tion to the in-school project, there are three pub­li­ca­tions that are part of the first Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum project that hap­pened in Utrecht.

HR: Can you tell us more about why it was impor­tant to explore the the­o­ret­i­cal strug­gles asso­ci­at­ed with the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum project? Can you reflect on what is meant by ‘the­o­ret­i­cal’ and why this was help­ful? Also, what was it about the for­mat of a book that allowed you this kind of exploration?

This ques­tion is fun­ny, since I was recent­ly in con­ver­sa­tion with some­one who posed the ques­tion the oth­er way around. They want­ed to know why the dis­cur­sive elab­o­ra­tion wasn’t enough. For me, the entan­gle­ment of the mate­r­i­al pro­duced by stu­dents, as well as the dis­cur­sive side of learn­ing in school, makes it inevitable for the project to have to approach and the­o­rize both. We should­n’t for­get that the deci­sion for a ‘think­ing by doing’ and ‘doing by think­ing’ approach is moti­vat­ed by my desire for how to approach what we are doing along the way. Fur­ther­more, it is a way for the hid­den cur­ricu­lum research to tack­le the phys­i­cal­i­ty of edu­ca­tion, name­ly the stu­dents’ bod­ies in inter­ac­tion with their mate­r­i­al and dis­cur­sive envi­ron­ments, prac­ti­cal­ly and the­o­ret­i­cal­ly. It is a way to bring the­o­ry and prac­tice into con­ver­sa­tion with each oth­er. The pub­li­ca­tions from 2008 are one step in the research as they record the inter­views, texts, actions and work­shops. But again, what seems most impor­tant for me is to bring bod­ies, (and here I refer to human and non­hu­man, objects) and mean­ings togeth­er in approach­ing any form of learning.

HR: I am curi­ous about what we see in the files ver­sus what has been left out. Could you talk a bit more about what we are we not see­ing and for what reasons?

I would say that what’s shown in the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum Files is about one-tenth of the project. But I guess that counts for the whole project. This actu­al­ly points to broad­er dis­cus­sions around vis­i­bil­i­ty and invis­i­bil­i­ty that have arisen through­out the years. A huge part of the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum project is about the stu­dents’ secret actions and sub­ver­sive tricks in school. So, in hon­our­ing their right and desires to dis­close or with­hold these actions, inter­est­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties appeared to dis­cuss what could or couldn’t be shown.

Going back to the issue of the stu­dents’ secrets, we felt the urge to cre­ate an agree­ment and frame­work for dis­cussing these secrets in pub­lic with­out nec­es­sar­i­ly reveal­ing them. The pupils sug­gest­ed the so-called Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum Archive. It is a way to col­lect the secret actions and prac­tices that they use in order to face the require­ments and insti­tu­tion­al struc­tures of school. This archive has two sec­tions: one is pub­lic, parts of which became the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum Files, and one is strict­ly con­fi­den­tial – stu­dents would always dis­cuss which sec­tion of the archive these secrets would enter. In this way both parts are always under dis­cus­sion. But also the logis­tics of the archive, the trav­el­ling of one work­shop series to anoth­er brings chal­leng­ing ques­tions: for exam­ple, in order to bring the project to oth­er groups of stu­dents, we agreed that I would only do this if there was not anoth­er teacher present. My part in this was, and always is, very dif­fi­cult and it’s nev­er real­ly resolved, it’s a paradox.

HJ: Could you talk a bit more about how you under­stand the crit­i­cal impor­tance of the stu­dents’ secrets?

Stu­dents’ secrets are very often asso­ci­at­ed with deviant behav­iour in school. Need­less to say, the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum project is not about chang­ing deviant behav­iour, but more about inves­ti­gat­ing the poten­tial for change that comes from it. There is a lot we can learn and should take seri­ous­ly when doing things that might not be allowed in the first place. It has been inter­est­ing to think about whether this deviant behav­iour is actu­al­ly reaf­firm­ing the sys­tem of the school and how far the two might be entangled.

The title of the project itself, the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum, has been mis­lead­ing in work­shops, in that it’s intro­duc­ing some­thing that is hid­den and pro­vokes a ‘need’ to reveal the invis­i­ble. This obvi­ous­ly needs fur­ther scruti­ny. The work­shop tries to estab­lish a clos­er look at the func­tion of (in)visibilities in soci­ety, and the dif­fer­ent ways we might relate to them and uti­lize them for our own agen­das. In this sense, the secrets in school are depar­ture points for many inves­ti­ga­tions – look­ing at them as a form of deviant behav­iour is one way to see them, elab­o­rat­ing on them with regards to their func­tion is anoth­er. And yet a fur­ther aspect of the secrets that was brought up in the work­shops was about acknowl­edg­ing that (in)visibilities and (in)visible spaces and are sim­ply part of our life.

In this, there is oppor­tu­ni­ty to attend to the con­tin­u­ous pres­ence, pro­duc­tion and rev­e­la­tion of blind spots. And there is an ini­tial impulse to just want to reveal these blind spots, but there is more there about how a blind spot might func­tion in a soci­ety in which, for exam­ple, the dom­i­nant par­a­digm is one of vis­i­bil­i­ty and trans­paren­cy. It becomes a mat­ter of accept­ing that what­ev­er we do or say in this very moment will mean more than, and be dif­fer­ent from, what we intend. How can we relate to this, the­o­ret­i­cal­ly but also very prac­ti­cal­ly, in actions and movements?

One of the biggest aspects of the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum project is how it gets nego­ti­at­ed with­in a school con­text. At a cer­tain point with­in the process, I’ll be dis­cussing what the project could mean with teach­ers and admin­is­tra­tion, and inevitably, one of the teach­ers will always want to see the secret mate­r­i­al. I won­der, “How can you even ask such a ques­tion? It is so uneth­i­cal. No! You will not get it. You get the pub­lic mate­r­i­al like any­one else, and that’s it.” The chal­lenge is to under­stand the project beyond the rev­e­la­tion of stu­dents’ secrets. The project is more about the crit­i­cal aware­ness and inter­ven­tion that stu­dents take from with­in insti­tu­tions, it is meant to high­light their agency in this, it is meant to allow them a way to speak back to the process­es of schooling.

HJ: All of these lev­els of rep­re­sen­ta­tion are inter­est­ing. There are the clan­des­tine struc­tures, games and secret archives in which aspects of the project cir­cu­late – some of which you, as the facil­i­ta­tor, don’t even have access to. Then there is what has been exhib­it­ed in art spaces, what you talk about with peo­ple, and in lec­tures, and also spec­u­la­tion about what may have cir­cu­lat­ed on-line. The Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum book, the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum Files and the DVDs are more curat­ed and finite forms. I want­ed to know about the book in par­tic­u­lar – what audi­ence did you have in mind for it?

An art audi­ence. How­ev­er, with the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum Files, we were think­ing much more about over­lap­ping art audi­ences and stu­dent audi­ences. If you asked about the pupils who were involved, what they were most inter­est­ed in, it was very clear­ly the DVD. It con­tains the mate­r­i­al they pro­duced, and is struc­tured in a way that they could eas­i­ly access. Every one of them got each of the three doc­u­ments, but with the more the­o­ret­i­cal book­let, which I love, some of them said, “keep it because we don’t need it, we will not read it any­way,” which I do understand.

HR: This is all so help­ful as we reflect on the projects we pro­duced with stu­dents. As we cre­at­ed the work with them I think we were con­strained by the idea of what a final out­come need­ed to be, which I think is unfor­tu­nate, but also real­is­tic. We were feel­ing the press­ing need to have the work cir­cu­late beyond the class­room in some way, to do anoth­er kind of jus­tice to this process we’d com­mit­ted to.

I also strug­gle with imag­in­ing the final prod­uct of a col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly gen­er­at­ed project in which stu­dents may or may not be acquaint­ed with putting their ideas into a form, what­ev­er that form might be. So I won­der, to what degree do I feel manip­u­la­tive? At what point do I say, “Stop, you’ve pro­duced so many ideas now, I think you can be con­fi­dent.” Over the years, I’ve noticed that the moment I say stop, is the moment that gets the most empha­sis. And then I think, what does it mean to do this? I real­ly start to ques­tion myself.

HJ: I know what you mean, but I think that’s okay. Espe­cial­ly with­in the kinds of projects we cre­ate, there are tricky expec­ta­tions that can start to dic­tate what col­lab­o­ra­tion should look like. It becomes embar­rass­ing to admit that you want to have cer­tain kinds of con­trol, or that you’re manipulating.

Absolute­ly. But I think it’s a nor­mal way of inter­act­ing with each oth­er. When I work with groups of stu­dents, I don’t make myself invis­i­ble, I am there with the whole pack­age that I bring in from the pre­vi­ous ver­sions of the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum projects. Of course this influ­ences the stu­dents and I am always won­der­ing about when to show parts of the pre­vi­ous projects. When does this make sense? When is it okay to intro­duce this mate­r­i­al in order to get some­where, and does ‘some­where’ actu­al­ly mean ‘my some­where.’ Like you said, we also have to de-mys­ti­fy this whole process of social prac­tice and col­lab­o­ra­tive prac­tice. My strat­e­gy is to be open about my vis­i­bil­i­ty in the class­room, to try to acknowl­edge my pres­ence and direc­tion with­in the process. At the same time, when I iden­ti­fy myself this way, I am not always sure if the stu­dents under­stand. I like to be with dif­fer­ent peo­ple and like to have dif­fer­ent con­ver­sa­tions on many lev­els; so to whom am I actu­al­ly speak­ing? It changes. Some­times it looks like I am talk­ing to the stu­dents, but I’m actu­al­ly speak­ing to my assis­tant who is also an artist. Or some­times I am speak­ing to my assis­tant, but actu­al­ly sub­tly try­ing to talk to the teacher. So my pres­ence, the under­stand­ing of what this means, and how it is com­mu­ni­cat­ed is unre­solved. Some­times I have the need for res­o­lu­tion, but some­times I like it to be unre­solved. I am sur­round­ed by para­dox­es and I have a feel­ing that we are caught up in a sys­tem that con­stant­ly wants to resolve these para­dox­es, instead of try­ing to find ways to build upon them. This is our prac­tice, this is our life and I think we have to learn to engage with­out nec­es­sar­i­ly resolv­ing them. Maybe it brings us some­where else.

HJ: I know, there’s pres­sure for things to be tight and rig­or­ous in a very par­tic­u­lar way, diver­gences or mess­es are not allowed. It’s kind of fun­ny to talk about it now, but then to feel it and be ‘in it’ is so uncom­fort­able. It’s hard to not inter­nal­ize and instru­men­tal­ize these pres­sures in our projects and I agree with you, the need for res­o­lu­tion places lim­its on the results. Where and what could that ‘some­where else’ be?

For me, there is real­ly some­thing in fem­i­nist the­o­ry, because so much of this messi­ness is brought in to the dis­course. It gives me a lot and feeds me, so I can go on work­ing with­in these para­dox­es with­out nec­es­sar­i­ly want­i­ng to solve them.

HR: Can you give us some exam­ples of fem­i­nist work and dis­course that has been impor­tant for you?

bell hooks’s Teach­ing to Trans­gress and Talk­ing Back, Car­men Mörsch’s Alliances for Unlearn­ing, Don­na Haraway’s Sit­u­at­ed Knowl­edges and Mod­est Wit­ness, Gay­a­tri Spivak’s Post­colo­nial Crit­ic, Out­side in the Teach­ing Machine and Aes­thet­ic Edu­ca­tion in the Era of Glob­al­iza­tion, Irit Rogoff’s writ­ings, Nora Sternfeld’s Das pädagogis­che Unverhältnis and Sara Ahmed’s Queer Phe­nom­e­nol­o­gy and Cul­tur­al Pol­i­tics of Emo­tions…I could go on with many more. I also draw on the work of artists such as Adri­an Piper, Group Mate­r­i­al, the Guer­ri­la Girls, Hito Stey­erl, Jan­na Gra­ham (Ultra-Red), Joyce Wieland, Lygia Clark, Martha Rosler and Natascha Sadr Haghighian.

HJ: In terms of draw­ing on artists’ works, I want­ed to go back to some­thing I noticed in the Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum Files. One of the ten zine-like book­lets con­sists of pho­tographs from one of your work­shops with stu­dents. Stu­dents are bal­anc­ing chairs on their heads, hid­ing in cup­boards and climb­ing into the school’s ceil­ing. These images are paired with ref­er­ences to ‘chair pieces’ such as Bruce Nauman’s Fail­ing to Lev­i­tate in the Stu­dio (1966), Doris Salcedo’s instal­la­tion at the Istan­bul Bien­ni­al (2003), and Bram Stok­ers Chair VI (2005) by Sam Tay­lor-Wood. Can you talk about the impor­tance of using con­tem­po­rary art works to illus­trate ideas to school chil­dren? Can we think about the class­room as a con­tem­po­rary exhi­bi­tion space and why might this be important?

The ref­er­ences could be seen as a pos­si­bil­i­ty to dis­cuss with stu­dents how ideas don’t fall from the sky and that they are embed­ded in the lega­cies of artis­tic prac­tices that I am invest­ed in. But at the same time, exper­i­ment­ing with the ‘chair pieces’ is an act of ques­tion­ing author­ship and the ways that some artists’ work is approached as a ‘sta­tus object’ in the art world. Friends and col­leagues would point them out to me as a way to say, “What you are doing is not new.” For me this was not about being new, it was about open­ing a mode of inves­ti­ga­tion. More­over what has already been done in the art world is not nec­es­sar­i­ly a con­cern for the stu­dents either, so to take up these pieces as explo­rations in the school became a real­ly valu­able expe­ri­ence, a way for the stu­dents to find these spaces them­selves. So this is what I’m inter­est­ed in, these strange syn­er­gies that come from author­ship but can actu­al­ly allow for what might be con­sid­ered a kind of col­lab­o­ra­tive prac­tice. My moti­va­tion to con­tex­tu­al­ize these inves­ti­ga­tions has real­ly come out of this impulse to go against the genius act.

HJ: By select­ing these works for ref­er­ence, how might this be seen as a kind of cura­to­r­i­al practice?

Of course I want to con­tex­tu­al­ize. I real­ly like this idea of curat­ing, because you are not alone in this world. These ideas are always sit­u­at­ed in a cer­tain dis­course and can be active­ly used in many dif­fer­ent discussions.

HR: For you, do these ideas about con­tex­tu­al­iz­ing come back around to the impor­tance of post-pro­duc­tion and doc­u­men­ta­tion? Did you have an out­come in mind as you were doing the projects and work­shops with the students?

Of course I had – isn’t it more a ques­tion of to what extent? I did­n’t enter the first project as a blank page on which the stu­dents would inscribe their actions and reflec­tions. And I do not believe that any­one could. Nev­er­the­less, I was sur­prised by the for­mat that was gen­er­at­ed. After the first two series of work­shops in Utrecht and Berlin, it was much more clear how the forth­com­ing work­shops would work in terms of video and pho­to out­comes, but also in terms of sug­ges­tions for gen­er­at­ed process­es from the posi­tion of the stu­dents. Show­ing the mate­r­i­al that was pro­duced in pre­vi­ous work­shops to new groups of stu­dents was very sug­ges­tive and cer­tain­ly not with­out prob­lems. That does­n’t mean that there weren’t sur­pris­ing twists. For exam­ple in the last work­shop in Lon­don, the stu­dents focus much more on per­for­ma­tive sit­u­a­tions that would then be enact­ed sev­er­al times, instead of doc­u­ment­ing and show­ing the video sequences. This cer­tain­ly brings new chal­lenges to the investigations.

ANETTE KRAUSS (based in Utrecht/NL) is an artist whose con­cep­tu­al-based prac­tice address­es the inter­sec­tion of art, pol­i­tics and every­day life. Her research revolves around infor­mal knowl­edge and insti­tu­tion­al­ized nor­mal­iza­tion process­es. Krauss’ work emerges through the inter­sec­tion of dif­fer­ent tools includ­ing per­for­mance, film, his­tor­i­cal research, ped­a­gogy and writ­ten mate­r­i­al. With these tools, she explores the pos­si­bil­i­ties of par­tic­i­pa­to­ry prac­tices and per­for­ma­tiv­i­ty, inves­ti­gat­ing insti­tu­tion­al struc­tures in order to work and think through the ques­tion – how do we know what we know?

Recent exhibitions/projects/presentations include ‘Hid­den Curriculum/In Search of the Miss­ing Lessons,’ Whitechapel Gallery 2013; ‘(In)visibilities,’ The Show­room Lon­don 2012; ‘GDR goes on — Grand Domes­tic Rev­o­lu­tion,’ Cas­co 2012; ‘Ama­teurism,’ Kun­stvere­in Hei­del­berg 2012; ‘For Ein­hoven’ Van Abbe­mu­se­um Einhoven/NL 2011; ‘We are Gram­mar’ Pratt Gallery/New York 2011; ‘School Days’, Lewis Glucks­man Gallery/Cork 2011.

HANNAH JICKLING exper­i­ments with the pos­si­bil­i­ties of form, par­tic­i­pa­tion and mean­ing-mak­ing across dis­ci­plines and publics. Her projects often take shape as site-spe­cif­ic sculp­tures, pub­lic instal­la­tions, events, exchanges, pho­tographs, mul­ti­ples, print­ed mat­ter and oth­er ephemera. Atyp­i­cal forms of dis­tri­b­u­tion, entre­pre­neur­ial schem­ing and audi­ence-seek­ing are impor­tant strate­gies for sup­port­ing and dis­sem­i­nat­ing her work. Han­nah has recent­ly com­plet­ed artist res­i­den­cies at Out­door School (Mult­nom­ah Edu­ca­tion Ser­vice Dis­trict), The Ped­a­gog­i­cal Impulse (Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to), Becom­ing Ped­a­gog­i­cal (Uni­ver­si­ty of British Colum­bia) and the Rau­mars Artist-in-Res­i­dence Pro­gramme (Rau­ma, Fin­land). Her work is held in pri­vate col­lec­tions across North Amer­i­ca and can be tast­ed in the form of sour­dough pan­cakes, an ongo­ing work host­ed at Bubby’s in Man­hat­tan. She holds a BFA from the Nova Sco­tia Col­lege of Art and Design and an MFA from Port­land State Uni­ver­si­ty. She fre­quent­ly col­lab­o­rates with Helen Reed.

HELEN REED works with spe­cif­ic groups of peo­ple such as Twin Peaks fans, les­bian sep­a­ratists, and high school art teacher can­di­dates. In each project, col­lab­o­ra­tion is a work­ing process from which the art­work emerges. Reed favors col­lab­o­ra­tors that reflect her inter­est in par­tic­i­pa­to­ry cul­ture, affin­i­ty groups, and fan­ta­sy-based sub­cul­tures. Her projects take ver­nac­u­lar form such as tele­vi­sion shows, pub­li­ca­tions, post­cards and oth­er forms of eas­i­ly trans­mit­table and dis­persed media, so as to cir­cu­late back into the com­mu­ni­ties from which they are gen­er­at­ed. Reed has exhib­it­ed work at Pre­fix Insti­tute for Con­tem­po­rary Art (Toron­to), apexart (New York), Smack Mel­lon (New York), Port­land Art Muse­um, Seat­tle Art Muse­um and La Cen­trale Galerie Pow­er­house (Mon­tréal). She holds a BFA from the Emi­ly Carr Uni­ver­si­ty of Art and Design (Van­cou­ver), an MFA in Art and Social Prac­tice from Port­land State University.

[1] Bish­op, Claire. (2012). Arti­fi­cial Hells (pp. 260). Lon­don: Verso.
[2] Ask Me Choco­lates, Your Lupines or Your Life, Upside-down and Back­wards and Extra Cur­ric­u­lar Cur­ricu­lum Vitae were art­works cre­at­ed by Han­nah Jick­ling and Helen Reed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with K‑12 stu­dents and teacher can­di­dates in Toron­to (2012), with sup­port from the Ped­a­gog­i­cal Impulse.
[3] Alke­mey­er, Thomas. (2007). The Phys­i­cal­i­ty of Edu­ca­tion. On the Silent Pow­er of Sym­bol­ic Vio­lence. A. Krauss & E. Pethick (Eds.), Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum (pp. 45 – 46). Utrecht, The Nether­lands: Cas­co Office for Art, Design and Theory.
[4] Krauss, A., Pethick, E., & Vish­midt, M. (2007). Spaces of Unex­pect­ed Learn­ing. A. Krauss & E. Pethick (Eds.), Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum (pp. 29 — 34). Utrecht, The Nether­lands: Cas­co Office for Art, Design and Theory.
[5] Hunt, Ash­ley. (2007). Order: After the Jena 6 by Ash­ley Hunt. A. Krauss & E. Pethick (Eds.), Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum (pp. 64). Utrecht, The Nether­lands: Cas­co Office for Art, Design and Theory.
[6] Con­dorel­li, Celine. (2007). Show and Tell. A. Krauss & E. Pethick (Eds.), Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum (pp. 21–28). Utrecht, The Nether­lands: Cas­co Office for Art, Design and Theory.
[7] Par­ry, Fiona. (2007). How to inves­ti­gate a Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum? A. Krauss & E. Pethick (Eds.), Hid­den Cur­ricu­lum (pp. 15 — 20). Utrecht, The Nether­lands: Cas­co Office for Art, Design and Theory.