September 20, 2021

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Bureaucracy and useless new buildings.  The university professor says that art education is far from art

Bureaucracy and useless new buildings. The university professor says that art education is far from art

Reporting, relevance, innovation, and managing goals – reforms have long plagued the research and education sector, some might say like the Persians. Art education is no longer an exception.

But that’s exactly what they should be, says Ane Hjort Guttu, artist and professor at the Academy of Art Oslo (KhiO).

Evolution is risky for the field of art, an activity that is clearly unmeasurable. Evolution can be devastating for students, the environment in art academies, and art and the role it has to play in society, she says.

The professor believes it is time to protest the development she has witnessed accelerating since she began teaching more than 20 years ago.

Satire in a seminar

This grumble has been for a while, in institutions educating artists of the future, where the old and most dominant academies and colleges were incorporated into universities, colleges, and departments—yet rules and frameworks were given like no one else in a sector.

What many are now witnessing is that the boundaries are getting stronger and stronger and more and more dictated by people who don’t know much about art.

Ane Hjort Guttu, artist and professor of contemporary art

Previous teachers this summer had cultural newspapers Topics An essay in which students at the Faculty of Art, Music and Design (KMD) at Bergenger University express their feelings of lack of freedom and that the university does not understand what the students are doing. A student being interviewed in a student newspaper Material He describes KMD’s new building as “anti-human” and “unsuitable for artistic production”.

On September 1, Hjourt Goto is one of the contributors Symposium in the same college. On the agenda is, among other things, her film “Manifesto”, for which she won the Critics’ Award at the Rotterdam Film Festival earlier this year. It is artistic satire in documentary form about art education today.

Other contributors include historian and author Ola Innset and artist and fellow professor Hjort Guttu at KhiO, Lotte Konow Lund.

– Dictate more and more

Art must be able to challenge existing ideas about pedagogy and education. Hjort Guttu says that art is critical of institutions and should be.

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On the other hand, the consolidation of the education sector is in the process of demolishing the space for artistic creation, according to Hejourt Gutto and others who have expressed their opposition to this development.

One of them is a research fellow at Bergen, Svenong Ouniland. In February, he stood with Hjort Guttu and art students behind the exhibition “Ghost in the Machine”—with a solid kitchen backdrop.

The kitchen plays a major role in the movie Hjort Guttu, which tells the fictional story of an underground secret in a university. Beneath the surface is an unofficial principal, another teacher. Mock courses are reserved in digital learning platforms, but behind the camouflage are secret projects that only students and educators know about.

In real life, it became impossible to cook for art students and teachers in Bergen in 2017. The combined Art Academy Bergen and the university’s College of Art then moved into a new government building, designed by Snøhetta.

Without a kitchen.

It may seem strange that you are so preoccupied with this. But in the field of art, food can also be a methodology, part of a cycle and of course a social factor. Hjort Guttu says food is creating informal meeting places – now phased out.

For her, this is a fact that illustrates the subtle difference between the satire in the movie she made and the real workday.

The College of Art, Music and Design, KMD, in Bergen, was designed by the architecture firm Snøhetta. Since opening in 2017, many people have expressed dissatisfaction with the design and working conditions.

Ho Meiner Simplification of forms leads to artistic freedom, freedom of expression, and vulnerability.

Art seeks various forms of transcendence and opposition, while what many are now experiencing is that boundaries are getting stronger and stronger and more and more dictated by people who do not know much about art. We can well say that we have a limited discussion about freedom of expression if it is only about allowing discussions about decolonization to drop.

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At her own foundation, KhiO, the debate on free speech has recently revolved around decolonization, racism, and so-called identity politics.

Goto says she is experiencing ever stronger control over arts education as a greater threat to freedom of expression.

Art is a monetary institution, and therefore education must be. The art, and thus the courses, must be able to function without a strong framework. Courses, for example, should be able to be completed at night as well as during the day. It should be as easy to hold before Parliament as in a seminar room, or to be held by students and not professors, if necessary.

The kitchen in the movie Hjort Guttu and the installation in Bergen is a piece of a larger whole. The devil lives in architecture.

‘Unified mission’

Throughout the Nordic region and in Norway, the trend was the same: technical education in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Tromsø moved to new sign buildings or expensive restorations of old factory buildings. Maybe it’s nice to look at, but in many ways it’s useless, says Hjort Guttu.

– It is interesting, and surprising, how in Bergen, for example, one has not yet built a house that no one is happy with. For example, one was not given the most important thing for an artist, to have his own rooms to work in. Snøhetta prefers to build large open landscapes, rather than many small, closed landscapes. Whereas students and artists just want a functional building to work in. Where the coffee can be placed.

The Snøhetta Building in Møllendalsveien in Bergen was erected, which was to bring together all of the city’s art education under one roof, with a massive project hall in the middle, its “unifying mission”, in the words of Snøhetta. The floor is partially transparent, providing direct access to those working in the basement.

Only in and of itself, which you can be physically monitored in your work, is part of setting limits on how you act. This means that one begins with self-regulation and self-censorship in a situation where one must feel free, says Hjort Guttu.

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In addition, all registration and documentation come through everything from digital teaching systems to master cards, which may remain within privacy, but only help technical education reduce and tighten, rather than open and expand.

It is interesting, and inconceivable, how in Bergen, for example, one has not yet built a house that no one will be satisfied with.

Ane Hjort Guttu, artist and professor of contemporary art

“In parallel with the architectural facilities for monitoring and thus restraint, a myriad of other control possibilities have been implemented at all levels in institutions,” writes Hjort Gutto in “Farewell to Technical Education As We Knew It,” on the Kunstkritikk website

It also stirs up bureaucracy, noting the massive increase in administrative staff in line with mergers and subscribing to the technical education website: “In merged organizations, core functions such as IT, cleaning and operations have been outsourced, and more and more levels of management are needed. Interaction There is an administrative layer that takes over the management of the subordinate departments, without direct knowledge of the field, but with greater convergence of the ministries’ requirements in documentation and evaluation.

The art world is not so interested

Hjort Guttu believes that the consequences of useless new buildings and bureaucracy may be that formal educational institutions have become irrelevant in the art world.

The track itself places a stronger emphasis on academic research measured against traditional criteria such as publications and formal qualification requirements. Although many PhD scholarships can provide more space to explore a project over time, she believes that “neither the art market, nor museums, nor the alternative artist-driven field (…) is particularly interested.”

When research is based on the idea that this is something that can be measured in a certain way, the field of art must also adapt to this in order to receive funding. Publication of articles does not count, and exhibitions do not count. In fact, one forces artists into something they are not equipped for. The more one tries to make technical research similar to normal academic research, the worse it gets.