Instant Class Kit

The Pedagogical Impulse’s historical component focuses on the teaching practices of Fluxus and Happenings artists and other unorthodox pedagogues employed in art colleges, universities, and free schools across Canada and the US. These educators produced and distributed printed matter and other multiples as expressions of radical pedagogy in the form of posters, booklets, games, alongside other kinds of educational ephemera. Such forms of course curricula did not circulate within the art- world system of galleries and publishers and therefore did not share the same recognition and collectible value as mail art, Fluxkits, and other conceptual and performance based instructional pieces. In recent years there has been a renewed interest in collecting, repriting, and reactivating these more obscure projects and reappraising the merits of a fluxus-based pedagogy within postsecondary education. Despite the rise of digital culture and online platforms for working and communicating, multiples, printed editions, and other types of instructional ephemera continue to be important strategies for contemporary artists engaged in social practice.

In response, we are producing an edition of four social practice Instant Class Kit that will double as a curriculum guide and pop-up exhibition. Taking its cues from the interactive and open-ended strategies of Fluxkits and the three-dimensional format of avant-garde publications, the Instant Class Kit will be comprised of historic and contemporary artist editions, loosely unbound in an archival quality, screenprinted box. The kit examines how classrooms can become sites of collaboration and creative practice. It offers a new frame within which to teach the history of participatory art, social and political engagement, and serves as a tool for innovative teaching practices. The project is curated by Vesna Krstich and organized by Stephanie Springgay.

Intended for university level art students and teachers, curators, activists, or community organizers interested in socially-engaged art practices, the editions housed in the kit await activation. Receiving the kit becomes a learning challenge unto itself, as users decide how to interpret, activate, and evaluate the various materials in different spaces and contexts. Three copies of the kit will be shipped at a time to prospective activators (approximately 16-20 will receive the kit over the course of the project). One kit will remain in the University of Toronto as an archival copy and will be made available for study. Users will be required to document and share their findings and experiences in the form of blogs, videos, and photographs, which will be posted on The Pedagogical Impulse website. Costs of shipping will be covered by our grant. If you are interested in activating the kit please contact us.

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