Instant Class Kit

Instant Class Kit is a portable curriculum guide and pop-up exhibition dedicated to socially-engaged art as pedagogy. Produced as an edition of four, the kit brings together contemporary curriculum materials in the form of artist multiples such as zines, scores, games, newspapers and other sensory objects from a diverse group of artist-educators across North America. Instant Class Kit is closely modeled on the multi-sensory and open-ended strategies of Fluxkits, as well as hands-on learning kits commonly used in K-12 education. Combining these influences, Instant Class Kit offers an interactive and speculative approach to teaching that is participatory, collaborative, and social justice oriented.

Instant Class Kit was conceived in response to art historical research undertaken as part of The Pedagogical Impulse, a research-creation project exploring contemporary art as pedagogy in schools. This research examined the experimental collaborative practices of Fluxus, Happenings, and other artist-teachers employed at art institutions across Canada and the US during the 1960s. Against the backdrop of curriculum reforms, and social and political change, these artist-teachers produced and distributed printed matter and other multiples (such as posters, booklets and games) as documents of radical pedagogy. In recent years, there has been renewed interest in collecting, reprinting, and reactivating these obscure projects, and in reappraising the merits of Fluxus-based pedagogy for education.

Fourteen contemporary artists have contributed to Instant Class Kit. The contemporary artists strive to deliver a curriculum based on the values of critical democratic pedagogy, anti-racist and anti-colonial logics, and social justice, as well as continuing the experimental and inventive collaboration that defined Fluxus. The lessons, syllabi and classroom activities produced by this new generation of artists address topics and methodologies including queer subjectivities and Indigenous epistemologies, social movements and collective protest, immigration, technology, and ecology. Alongside the rise of digital culture and online platforms for communicating and working, multiples, printed editions and other types of instructional ephemera continue to be important strategies for contemporary artists engaged in social practice and pedagogy.

The artistic works in the kit await activation. Instant Class Kit is intended for K-12 and university-level art students and teachers, as well as curators, activists, community organizers, and others interested in socially-engaged art practices and pedagogy. Opening the kit for the first time becomes a learning challenge unto itself, as participants decide how to interpret, activate and respond to the instructional works, each dependent on time, space, and context. In the tradition of mail art, the kit will travel to different activators who will document and share their experiences and findings on The Pedagogical Impulse website as a series of online exhibitions.

Instant Class Kit is curated by Vesna Krstich and commissioned and directed by Stephanie Springgay.

Kit Contributors: Alana Mann, Anthea Black, People’s Kitchen Collective (Sita Bhaumik, Jocelyn Jackson, Saqib Keval), Jen Delos Reyes, Josh McPhee, BFAMFAPHD (Caroline Woolard and Susan Jahoda), Mare Liberum, Rodrigo Hernandez-Gomez, Helen Reed and Hannah Jickling, Tania Willard, Syrus Marcus Ware, Shannon Gerard (with Pressing Issues students: Maddie Bellino, Leah Benetti, Geryl Cabrera, Rocio Cardoso, Angelica Granados Lopez, Riel Hattori-Caspi, Megan Moore, Cleo Peterson, Celina Sieh, Francis Tomkins, Rebecca Vaughan, Regina Xiao, Dana Zamzul and artist-researcher Andrea Vela Alarcon), and PA System (Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson).

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