Thursday, January 13, 2011

Agitprop: Call for Participation
From January 29th though March 5th 2011, Agitprop will be conducting a workshop in conjunction with the 2010 California Biennial. This workshop will take place at the Agitprop space in North Park (San Diego).

The title of the project is The 2837 University. The 2837 University will examine spaces in the neighborhood nearby the Agitprop space that are sites of knowledge construction- that is, places where people learn something through the exchange of ideas. These spaces can range from a table at a coffee shop where two individuals engage in conversation to more formalized instructional centers.

The 2837 University will be broken down into two parts: The first several meetings will focus on examining what and why we are looking at these spaces (see ‘Conceptual Framework’ below). The second part will ask participants to enter the neighborhood and document the spaces in question through the use of video, photos, interviews, drawings, paintings, etc, etc.

The goal of this course is to act as a participatory feasibility study in order to determine if Agitprop should expand its interests into the field of education and to see if a “university” could be pieced together from preexisting spaces that lend themselves to the construction of some form of knowledge.

The workshop will convene every Saturday from 3-5pm during the dates stated above. A complete schedule will be distributed upon registration. Registration is free.

To register, or for further information, email with 2837 University in the subject line.

Thank you and we hope you participate!

David White and Edward Sterrett

Conceptual Framework:

The 2837 University is a project that re-imagines the Agitprop space and the surrounding neighborhood as the site of a micro-university, with the goal of opening a conversation about re-purposing the concept of University Education in the context of the ongoing critique of the corporatization of the University. We will begin by investigating the relation of the construction of a mass consumer class in the US after WWII and the formulation of a new concept of individuality that borrowed its notion of self-expression from the legacy of Romanticism, all the while yoking the seeming freedom of expression to the profit system of hyper-inflated production and infinite obsolescence. As the university system is increasingly dominated by corporate interest, the very notion of the student is replaced by that of the consumer, and the value of a university education is understood strictly in terms of the acquisition of readily available skills and knowledge bases that are immediately transferable to exchange value. We might begin from the question of what has been lost; what was the notion of the university student before it became the university consumer? And we might begin provisionally with the idea that education, the work of the student, is to come to terms with a freedom that, far from being the trap of infinite choice that masks itself as the freedom of a consumer class, is in fact the work that one does on oneself in order to free oneself from one’s limitations. The question remains, how to construct one’s own individuality without succumbing to the myopia that characterizes the absolute atomization of a self-interested consumer class, how to reclaim and reconstruct a social fabric that is not at all points grounded in the logic of the market, and how the structure of the University itself, which encourages the excessive borrowing, atomized suburban living arrangements and passive resistance strategies characteristic of the trap of the consumer class, can be retooled to encourage and make possible the work of the student, a work that continues despite all these hindrances,perhaps we could rethink the University as a space which is made by the work of the student however and wherever that may take place? The 2837 University will run from January to March of 2011; during this time the space will also play host to a series of installations, screenings, and performances that address and contribute to the conversation initiated by the project.

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