[-empyre-] from autonomous zones to radical education-a complex mix

Christina McPhee christina at christinamcphee.net
Mon Jan 21 04:32:21 EST 2008

Katherine and Srdjan,

  if you two are still on line, please give us a bit more of an  
account of what happened when "Lost Highways" in  Ljubljana in re: any  
spatial practices related to the autonomous zones in that city? If  
anyone on the -empyre- list is from Ljubljana, or has taken part in  
the Lost Highways Expedition, please respond, to.

You were saying to me the other day, in our video skype conversation,  
that in each Balkan capital city, a certain theme was chosen (or  
with the participants in each locale.  At Ljubljana, the focus was on  
autonomous zones in their city.  The term, while in common use as a  
catch all or slang for a place where people set up an alternative  
political /community-often-communitarian space (one of the first is  
Christiania, in Copenhagen)-- is also a tribute to
Hakim Bey's book/initiative TAZ  http://www.hermetic.com/bey/taz3.html

Tell us a bit more about Ljubljana's  zones--coming from squats during  
the Tito era, or afterwards?-- and how have artists created political  
interventions there?

And as curators/historians/designers do you draw from from the utopian  
'merry madness' of  TAZ as a nascent (or early) hotbed of social  
transformation/anarachy-- as you seek to work in the larger space of  
'what is missing' in Europe,  where the crisis about how to deal with  
the closing down of public spaces of creative thought and production   
through government homogenization  (top down) is in high relief??   I  
am thinking here of the idea of radical education==which was so  
eloquently and devastatingly put into colloidal suspension in (it  
seems like) these days, by the notorious shutdown of Manifesta 6 .  I  
am interested in hearing you comment more on  the new initiative at:  
Ljubljana (Moderna Galerija)  :


  Katherine, you write "In the era of global neo-liberalism museums  
share the same concerns about the demands for simplification of their  
contents, bureaucratic control and result-oriented culture as the  
universities, which are now facing the.forthcoming “Bologna Accord”  
with its tendency to homogenize and rationalize higher education in  
order to gain more accessible and comparable outcomes. Museums as  
sites of informal learning should, according to Irit Rogoff, foster  
radical pedagogy “a pedagogy that eschews the simplicity of  
accessibility to information, experience or cultural capital, and  
replaces it with questions of access” . Rogoff is one of the authors  
of the project Academy: Learning from Art / Learning from the Museum,  
initiated last year by Siemens Arts Program in cooperation with the  
Kunstverein in Hamburg, the Department of Visual Cultures at  
Goldsmiths College in London, the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst  
Antwerpen (MuHKA), and the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. It  
concentrated especially on “gaining access to the urgent and important  
issues of our day” as the result of radical pedagogy (in a sense how  
do we get to know things, how do we get to take part in them, how do  
we have a position …), but also on linking up the topics activism,  
participation and artistic practice and demarcating education not only  
as a model, but also as a field for political participation and  
cultural creativity."


Christina McPhee

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