Critical Performative Pedagogies in Art & Design Education
Edited By Lee Campbell
Edgy approaches in performative pedagogies promote what Glenn Loughran, calls ‘the freedom to wander, to swerve.’ The idea, I think, is to exchange knowledge in a classroom, to interrupt established order to detect ‘new-orders’. Behind every student voice is an epic narrative, an experience ripe for exchange. Loughran factors currencies such as the Anthropocene, a new geopolitical epoch that makes us question materiality and ego.
In Glenn Loughran’s provocation, he advocates ‘a suspension of the goal orientation of action itself, in favour of the freedom to wander, to swerve’. While provocative within the humanities and social sciences, in art education this comes close to upholding the status quo. European art educationalists are baseless exceptionalists in this regard. In imagining their autonomy from higher education, they invariably ←59 | 60→eulogize their goal-less unstructured curriculum. Other disciplines imagine art’s anti-curriculum to be the silver bullet for the responsiveness they lack. In practice, however, the anti-curriculum is mired by its expressionist roots; it privileges atomized art students who learn to prioritise the ‘spontaneous’ asocial forms of self-interest favoured by neoliberal governmentality over the disciplinary ‘reproducible’ forms of subjectivity supported by classical liberalism. Gert Biesta’s misgivings regarding such monadic forms of student-centred education are closely affiliated with Shift/Work’s artistic paragogics. For Shift/Work (discussed in my chapter in Leap into Action Companion), a performative paragogics is not goal-driven, but triggered by what Biesta calls, multiple ‘domains of purpose’ (Biesta, 2017: 234). The intersubjective negotiation of these domains...
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