01 - 07 May 2013 / Making of

Syllabus Growing

Starting from what you can’t stop thinking about. Choreographed by Eric Ellingsen

Herald Gatty, diagram from Finding your way without map or compass; sketch from Darwin’s 1837 notebooks.

This is the syllabus of the class.

(1) Ask one or two different participants each week to show things that really matter to them. Pick things that can be watched, read, and listened to together. Try to put the things into the space so they can be experienced together in some way.
(2) Ask everyone in the class to start building associations between things.
(3) Take notes on the associations.
(4) Generate conversations in the associations while talking about not only what is shown but why the associations seem relevant.
(5) During each class ask, what are we really talking about here? How does what we are talking about touch the world, connect to our work, why we feel we are here, what we are trying to learn and do?

We start each class from the things we cannot stop thinking about. From ignorant schoolmasters. By not starting with a prefixed syllabus but rather a way of syllabusing. From co-produced knowledge. Reach space is the zone in which a tide grows and recedes. The robust ecology of things that overlap. Living systems like like the messy edges of overlapping things. The idea of overlaps as a class space. To choreograph as a form of teaching. A learning space. To grow a form from content which resonates starting from the participants. To believe content is how things are linked and felt, not merely the things themselves. The things are also important. To know that knowledge is constructed by doing and then doing and then doing again. To build the tool of linking like and unlike things. Together over and over by linking like and unlike things together over and over. To rhythm by rhythming. Of seemingly disparate threads. To structure a control of letting go.

One of the ideas is to construct a critical confidence that connections can be made in the spontaneous listening in the room. That all listening also lists, sways, swerves. One of the ideas is to translate ideas and being critical into a tool for a practice. One of the ideas is to start experimenting with on-line formats for courses. (Not just to record lectures and listen to people talking somewhere else which say join.) One of the ideas is that we can experience something and reflect on the experience at the same time. One of the ideas is to generate an awareness of the systems which inform and condition and constrain the things seen. One of the ideas is that the ideas can change.

Each of the weeks is followed by suggestions to watch, read, listen. These are the weeks that we are growing. These suggestions are here merely to provide a collection of starting stones around which anyone can construct their own classes from the energy and interests and particular ecologies of the people sitting in a room different than the room we are now in.

These links and little readings came up during or came after.

You make the connections.

Russell Crotty: The Universe from My Backyard
Juliana Spahr: This Connection of Everyone With Lungs

We started the first week seing Blindsight. This was from:
Youtube: Ramachandran on blind-sight
Youtube: The Boy Who Sees without Eyes
Link: Blindsight the movie
PDF: Ranciere, The Ignorant Schoolmaster