Sense of Learning; Learning Through Sense

November 3, 2014

There is no doubt in my mind that art and education are profoundly connected; artistic practice already uses tools that move it towards pedagogy.  When we consider the field of art in its radical potential---in other words when we emphasize its process and its methods---we don’t need education as a separate field any more.  In this case, art would be configured as a practice that mobilizes the other (be it an individual or a group) and its effects would aspire to be transformative.  So when we conceive of art as a productive tool for intervention we are already conceiving it as a field of collective involvement, preceding formal education, and with the intention of creating social impact.

Here we would be acting from a place very different from any kind of simplistic didacticism, because artistic practices are necessarily born of layers of antagonism toward common sense and habit, with forward-moving energy toward a sensorial and conceptual intensity.  We have to recognize that art doesn’t necessarily help with anything practical, but it develops an acute sense of survival in the face of adversity, developing tools to affirm life against routine and redundancy, while creating its own groups and communities.  Above all, art creates problems in the sense of a sensitive region that can open doors and de-automatize our reactions.

The artistic field makes communities, processes, and dissent visible---more intensely than formal education—while using technologies of sensorial processing without which we would have no access to the density of collective contact beyond the practical issues of the everyday.  In this sense it’s important to reconsider the issues of the pedagogy of the avant-garde that prioritized a direct contact with an artwork or artistic proposition.  This is the space in which we can conceive of learning something, be it in the active mobilization of a viewer who activates the issues raised by the work and distributes them collectively, or in the emphasis on the instituting qualities of the work, by opening a space to think of various diverse formats for the formation and transformation of institutions.