Online discussion series

This is a weekly discussion series led by Qianlin and Semin, as an attempt to debunk the conceptions around art schools and art education as members of art schools through collective readings and discussions.Original events happended on Microsoft Teams.There are edited recordings below.


In this session, we invite everyone to join our informal discussion concerning our first-hand experience as art students.
Why do we become art students?
What made you choose MA?
What are you getting /not getting from it?
What kind of formats of art teaching you’ve experience have worked /not worked within the institution?
How do you think things can be improved?
And most importantly why is it so expensive?! (*international student crying out loud)

Reference readings:

Teaching 1 Critical Thinking, Teaching 3 Engaged Pedagogy, Teaching 12 To Lecture or Not, Teaching 20 Teachers against Teaching in Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom by Bell Hooks

Constructive Alignment by John Biggs

When art meets free play, who wins? By Tim Gill


In the second session, we will talk about the educational turn in curating with examples of artwork. This kind of discursive production often takes the form of a durational dialogical process. Instead of building an authoritative pronouncement of truth, these curators and artists are more inclined to create a co-production of questions and enquiries.

What’s the good and bad about the conversational mode appearing in the artwork and exhibitions?
Is being a passive spectator necessarily bad?
Do those educational programmes alongside the exhibitions really serve their purposes instead of being spectacles?
What are your experiences and opinions of these exhibitions and artworks?

Reference readings:

Paul O’Neil, Curating and the Educational Turn, 2010

Participation, edited by Claire Bishop, 2006

Jacques Rancière, The Emancipated Spectator, 2009


In this session, we will use different examples of pop culture, Alain Badiou’s philosophy on ontology, event, and truth, along with Alex Ling’s essay on Duchamp to discuss the thin line between art and pop culture/real-life (these are very much reflections based on Ben’s Infinite Lunch series, and people who want to know more can go to check the recordings of his lectures on Teams).

Are memes, NFT, pop art, internet culture, things happening in our real lives better than art?
How can artists create better artwork than those examples?
What’s the difference between art and those things?

Reference readings:

Oliver Feltham and Justin Clemens' introduction to Badiou's Infinite Thought

Alex Ling's The Schlock of the New