Paradox Conference September 2011
Outside In: The Permeable Art School
Hosted by CIT Crawford College of Art and Design, Ireland
Outside In: The Permeable Art School aimed to explore how the contemporary Art School is no longer an ‘ivory tower’ but an institution that reaches out and influences the cultural landscape that surrounds it and the means of reciprocity by which society infiltrates and influences the Art School.
The Keynote Speaker was Lewis Biggs OBE FRSA FLJMU Curator, Writer, Cultural Consultant, and for the last ten years the Director of the Liverpool Biennial. He spoke on The Permeable Urban Fabric – Visual Artists Reclaim the Street.
The conference was organised around 4 discussion strands:
1. The Art School Gallery
The art school gallery is a place that can be described as a meeting of the inside and the outside where artists, students and teachers form an alliance bringing professionals in contact with training professionals. In its way it is permeable whether the gallery is of the fabric of the building or an external space used for this purpose.
Post graduation, what is the art school’s responsibility and role in enabling their graduates to develop a sustainable cultural environment? What’s the benefit of staying in the city where you studied?
3. Does Fine Art need a Facelift?
If Fine Art is no longer at the centre of Art Education, what is it like to be at the periphery? What is the educational consequent response? Has Fine Art has become a marginal activity within the Academy? If we no longer think of our subject at the centre then, where is it? Is it desirable to be on the periphery or even outside the Academy?
4. Art School as Broker
The Art School facilitating commissions. Case studies/best practice exploring links and relationships with industry albeit in kind, live projects, slack spaces and pop-ups, internships and student initiatives. What is the role and responsibility of the Art School in preparing graduates for professional practice.
Student residency workshop: Urban Fabric Cork
Along with the Conference, Paradox is running a student field project for 33 European Fine Art Students called Urban Fabric. For a week prior to the Conference, students created site-specific ephemeral works in response to selected sites in Cork City. Students from Fine Art Departments in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Turkey, Poland, Holland, Britain, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Belgium participated in the project.
Urban Fabric Project was as a way of linking students to the Biennial Conference.
- UF Project facilitates the artistic intervention of students in the urban tissue of the Paradox hosting city. Students are chosen by their institutions and represent the institutions participating in the Paradox Biennial Conference.
- The international group of students meet with local students some 10 days before the Bienniale Conference to work with the lead artists throughout the city and the proposed locations (galleries, open spaces, buildings, etc.)
- Local students host international students, while the university offers some spaces, labs and technical aid to develop their artwork. Origin universities and institutions pay for their students’ trip expenses.
- Artworks developed during the days before the conference opens and are presented by the students during the conference through audio-visual along with in-site guided visits through all the locations.
Urban Fabric Student Project is a parallel event to the Paradox Biennial Conference that has proved very popular at previous conferences, highlighting the most important part of a Higher Education in Fine Arts the students, tracing a line the creation of art and research in Fine Art.